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November 14, 2003 - Image 92

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-11-14

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New York New York ma.

Its a theatergoers' town.


Special to the Jewish News


his fall, exciting new musicals and inspiring
dramas, as well as classic revivals, are filling
New York stages. Theatergoers will have no
trouble finding a show to suit their taste.
What's more, many of the new productions feature
Jewish playwrights, actors, themes, composers and
In keeping with our annual fall tradition, here's a
sampling of what's new both on Broadway and on the
smaller Off-Broadway stages.


Avenue Q: Puppets resembling Sesame Street char-
acters are the stars of this charming musical play-
ing to sold-out audiences. With three real people
and more than a dozen puppets, this savvy, origi-
nal show, geared for adult audiences, has moved
to Broadway from Off-Broadway.
The characters deal with getting jobs, paying
rent, falling in love and surviving in a New York
City neighborhood. Songs include "If You Were
Gay," "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" and "I'm
Not Wearing Underwear Today."
There is a scene in the show that depicts a
mixed marriage between two of the humans,
Brian, a Jewish aspiring comedian, and Christmas
Eve, an Asian social worker, complete with a
chuppah and the breaking of the glass.
At the .Golden Theater, 252 West 45th St., (212)

Golda's Balcony: Starting out as an Off-Broadway play,
Golda's Balcony earned such high praise that it moved
to Broadway last month.
It's the story of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir,
who began life as Goldie Mabovitch in Kiev, Russia.
She moved to the United States in 1903, married
Morris Meyerson in 1917, worked as a Milwaukee
schoolteacher and settled in Palestine in 1921.
This one-woman play, which begins at the start of
the Yom Kippur War in 1973, stars Tovah Feldshuh
who, wearing a wig and prosthetic nose, bears a strik-
ing resemblance to Golda.
From the pogroms of Russia to the halls of the
Israeli Knesset, the play also encapsulates the birth
of Israel in the wake of the Holocaust, and Israel's
struggle for peace.
Director Scott Schwartz is the son of composer
Stephen Schwartz (Godspelh Pippin, The Prince of
Egypt). The younger Schwartz's theatrical credits
include Bat Boy the Musicah tick, tick ... Boom and No
Way to Treat a Lady.
At the Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 West 44th St.,
(212) 239-6200.



I Am My Own Wife: Written by
Doug Wright (Quills), this story
of the life of Charlotte von
Mahlsdorf, a cross-dressing
German eccentric in wartime
Berlin, shows Charlotte not
only surviving the abuse from
"her" father but the Nazis' atroc-
ities as well, despite their views
on sexually deviancy. Von
Mahlsdorf also lives through the
repressive Communist regime in
East Germany.
This one-man play stars
Jefferson Mays, who portrays
numerous male and female char-
acters, including the playwright.
Directed by Moises Kaufman
(The Laramie Project), the play ran
Off-Broadway last spring.
Previews began Nov. 11; the play
is scheduled to open Dec. 3.
At the Lyceum Theatre, 149 West
45th St.,(212) 239-6200.


Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in "Wicked"

Jackie Mason: Laughing Room Only. Unlike Mason's
other Broadway shows, the comedian shares the stage
this time with singers and dancers.
Other than sharing his insights about life and poli-
tics, Mason heads up "a musical," where he attempts to
put on a $10-million Broadway show for $19.99.
The show opens Nov. 19.
At the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 West 47th St.,
(212) 307-4100.

Little Shop of Horrors: Returning to Broadway, the
classic cult hit musical tells the story of Seymour, a
meek florist; Audrey, the girl he loves; and an unusual
talking plant.
Seymour makes a pact with the plant in order to win
the heart of Audrey, and soon realizes the plant derives
its nourishment from human parts.
Music is by Alan Menken and book and lyrics are by
the late Howard Ashman.
Playing the role of Orin Scrivello, the pain-inflicting
dentist, is native Detroiter and University of Michigan
grad Douglas Sills, who made his first Broadway splash
in The Scarlet Pimpernel
At the Virginia Theatre, 245 West 52nd St.,
(212) 239-6200.

Never Gonna Dance: Set in Pennsylvania and New
York City, this dance/musical features the music of
Jewish composers Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II,
Dorothy Fields and Ira Gershwin.
Based on the 1936 movie Swing Time, it's the
story of John "Lucky" Garnett, a professional
dancer who moves to New York to prove his
worth to his fiancee's father by trying to earn

$25,000 by any means but dancing.
But, motivated by the rhythms of the city, he
can't keep still, and finds a new romance with a
dance teacher.
Previews began Oct. 27; the show is scheduled
to open Dec. 4.

At the Broadhurst Theatre, 234 West 44th St.,
(212) 947-8844.

Taboo: A hit on the London stage, this production,
produced by Rosie O'Donnell, is a musical with
lyrics by and starring George O'Dowd, better
known as "Boy George."
The story, set in the early 1980s, an era of daz-
zling fashion and a new kind of pop culture, is
about the life of artist/designer Leigh Bowery, as
well as the rise and fall of musician Boy George.
Both of their-stories are played out against the back-
ground of the high-profile club Taboo.
Jewish playwright Charles Busch wrote the play's
book, adapted from the original book by Mark Davies.
Busch's long list of credits includes the Broadway hit

The Tale of the Allergist's W.
Lighting design is by Natasha Katz, whose husband,
Dan Schreier, a sound designer, hails from Detroit.
At the Plymouth Theater, 235 West 46th St.,
(212) 239-6200.

The Boy From Oz: This humorous yet heart-warming
musical is based on the life of Australian entertainer
Peter Allen. A protege of Judy Garland, Allen was mar-
ried to her daughter Liza Minnelli for a short time.
Allen overcame tragic obstacles as a child, and went on

NEW YORK on page 69

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