At the John Houseman
Theatre, 140 West 42nd St.,
I. W Firestone, Elaine Grollman and Debra
Ben Frances in the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre
production of "The Lady Next Door"
yet disturbing look inside the contempo-
rary world of architecture. A Korean-
American student presents her thesis for
a public swimming pool to an all-white
male jury of architects. Sexual tensions
and intellectual pretensions intertwine.
Playwright Safdie, son of renowned
architect Moshe Safdie, wrote the film
You Can Thank Me Later. His previ-
ous works for the stage include the
musical Jews & Jesus, about interfaith
dating, and Fiddler Sub-Terrain, about
the disenfranchisement of the Jewish
community in Canada.
At the Theater at the Center for
Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place in
Greenwich Village, (212) 239-6200.
Rounding Third: This well-acted, two-
man play is about much more than
sports and baseball. It's about father-
hood and coping with the curveballs
that life may throw your way.
The play opens with Don, the
Little League coach (Robert
Clohessy), waiting to meet his new
assistant, Michael (Matthew Arkin),
for the first time. Don is a sloppy,
driven coach whose goal is to create
a winning team. Michael is a conser-
vative, uptight businessman who is
more concerned with stroking the
Michael's son, a nerdy kid who
wears glasses, can't swing the bat or
catch the ball. While the two
coaches clash, secrets about their
Jewish actor Matthew Arkin (see
accompanying story) is the son of
actor Alan Arkin and brother of actor
Kids and Yiddish: Farrnisht
and Far-Fetched: This bilingual
Yiddish musical takes kids on
an adventure traveling through
time and space as they uncover
Yiddish and learn its impact on
Songs include "I Got You,
Beyz" and "P.S. I Love Yud."
Presented by the Folksbiene
Yiddish Theatre, the show is
about 90 percent English and
10 percent Yiddish. It runs
Nov. 16-Jan. 4.
At the Jewish Community
Center, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at
West 76th St., (212) 239-6200.
The Odd Potato: Running for only eight
performances, this musical about
Chanukah is directed and choreo-
graphed by Randy Skinner (42nd Street).
It's a story about a family, whose
mother has passed away. The daughter
wants to celebrate Chanukah the way
they did when her mom was alive.
Since the father is too depressed to
plan a celebration, the children decide to
take over, and the daughter tries to find
the family's special menorah. It stars
Frank Gorshin (Good Night, Gracie).
The show runs Nov. 24-30.
At the Symphony Space, at 95th and
Broadway, (212) 864-5400.
Iron: Set behind the bars of a woman's
prison, this is a drama about a young
woman, Josie, who sees her mother —
who murdered her husband when Josie
was only 10 — for the first time in 15
years. Josie hopes the visit will help her
move ahead with her life.
Chicago-area Jewish director Anna D.
Shapiro helms the production.
Through Dec. 21.
At the Manhattan Theatre Club:Stage
II, 131 West 55th St., (212) 581-1212.
Schmaltz: Written by Mark Zeller is
this comedy about Benny, a neurotic
man going through a mid-life crisis.
Benny is unhappy, unhealthy and hun-
gry for the comfort food of his child-
hood, such as chicken-fat sandwiches,
gefilte fish on challah and egg creams.
But in an effort to lower his choles-
terol, his wife puts him into a hypnot-
ic state. While in a trance, he is con-.
fronted with his family and learns why
that food is so important to him.
Previews began Nov. 13; the show is
scheduled to open Nov. 23.
At -the 78th Street Theater Lab, 236
West 78th St., (212) 868-4444.
The Merchant of Venice: This produc-
tion of the Shakespeare classic explores
the dynamics of prejudice, revenge
Director Shepard Sobel, who is
Jewish, confronts not only the play's
anti-Semitic views, but exposes multi-
ple forms of hatred.
It runs through Dec. 7.
At the Pearl Theater, 80 St. Mark's
Place, (212) 598-9802.
The Lady Next Door: Presented by the
Folksbiene Yiddish Theater, this come-
dy/drama about tenement Jewish life
on the Lower East Side of New York
first premiered in 1916.
With English supertitles above the
stage, it's a story about betrayals
among a group of neighbors who
live in the same tenement.
The play runs through Jan. 4, 2004.
At the Jewish Community Center,
334 Amsterdam Ave., (212) 239-6200.
Violet Hour: Set in 1919, it's a story
about an ambitious publisher faced
with a dilemma. He has to decide
whether he should publish a novel by
an aspiring writer and college friend, or
the memoirs of his lover, a jazz singer.
Meanwhile, matters become more
complicated after a strange machine
mysteriously arrives at his office.
Written by Jewish playwright
Richard Greenberg, who won a
Tony Award for his play Take Me
Out, it is scheduled to run
through Dec. 21.
At the Baltimore Theater, 261 West
47th St., (212) 239-6200.
Rose's Dilemma: One of the most
famous Jewish playwrights ever, Neil
Simon has dozens of Broadway, Off-
Broadway and film credits to his
name. Yet another Simon play hits
the stage this month. This one stars
Mary Tyler Moore as writer Rose
Steiner, and takes place in a beach
house in the Hamptons.
Steiner is short on cash and wants to
write a "big thing" fast. Her former lit-
erary lover has an idea that could make
her a fortune, and she jumps at the
Previews begin Nov. 20; the show
opens Dec. 9 for a limited 11-week run.
At the Manhattan Theater Club at
City Center-Stage 1, 131 West 55th
St., (212) 581-1212.1D
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