Special Events

Hercules play to mix classical and original elements

Eclipses Group Theater will premiere Hercules: In Search of a Hero, a theater piece combining excerpts for Hercules and Alcestis, both by Euripides, along with original material. Using an exploratory, multidisciplinary approach, Eclipses presents Greek and non-Greek classical and modern plays in collaboration with artists of various ethnicities and cultures. Hercules contrasts the traditional male notion of heroism with a “feminine alternative.” It is conceived and directed by Ioanna Katsarou, translated by Demetri Bonaros, and has original compositions by Costas Baltazanis. The production will play from Jan. 24 to Feb. 10 at the Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand St.) as part of the @Abrons Series program. For tickets and more information, visit egtny.com.

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Drama about Russian gays scheduled

Theater for the New City will present the world premiere of Frank J. Avella’s Lured, a play about the persecution of gays in Russia, for a three-week run Nov. 8–25; it is then scheduled for a production in January at the Onstage! American Theater Festival in Rome. Based on fact, Lured focuses on one particular Russian hate group’s attack on a young gay man and the repercussions that follow, after his loved ones decide to take action. The production, first seen at the Dream Up Festival in 2016, is co-directed by Carlotta Brentan and playwright Avella. Tickets are $18 for all performances and are available in person at the theater prior to each performance, by calling SmartTix at (212) 868-4444 or by visiting luredtheplay.com.

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LGBT pioneer is focus of new work

Dr. John Fryer, a seminal but little-known LGBT civil rights pioneer, is the subject of a the play 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous, by Ain Gordon, to be presented May 3-9 at the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (450 West 37th St.). Gordon, an Obie award winner, will also direct. 

Before 1972, homosexuality was considered a mental illness in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The classification was used by government to justify statutes and regulations that marginalized homosexuals. Fryer gave testimony at the 1972 APA annual meeting that led to homosexuality’s removal from the DSM.

Originally commissioned by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and underwritten by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the production is presented by Equality Forum, a national and international LGBT civil rights organization. For tickets ($40) and more information on Fryer, visit 217Boxes.comor call Ovationtix at (866) 811-4111. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. and run for 70 minutes.

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Play on New Deal program set

Hook & Eye Theater will present the world premiere of She-She-She, a new devised play written by Cynthia Babak, from May 19-June 2 at the Mark O'Donnell Theater at the Actors Fund Arts Center (160 Schermerhorn St., in Brooklyn).

She-She-She is inspired by the friendship between Eleanor Roosevelt and leading black activist Pauli Murray. In the 1930s, Roosevelt championed the “She She She” camps as a New Deal program tailored for women, housed in America’s national parks. Unemployed women from across the country, including Murray, moved away from their homes to gain hospitality and forestry training at the camps from 1933 to 1937.

She-She-She marks Hook & Eye Theater’s fourth devised work. Founded in 2010 by co-artistic directors Carrie Heitman and Chad Lindsey, the Brooklyn-based ensemble creates works using history, myth and science.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. May 18–21, 23–25, and May 30–June 2; there are 2 p.m. matinees on May 20 and  June 1.  Tickets are $25 ($15 students and seniors) and may be purchased by visiting hookandeyetheater.com. For more information, call (347) 927-6475.

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Project Shaw reading scheduled

The Feb. 19 reading for Project Shaw will be George Bernard Shaw’s 1914 classic Pygmalion, the basis for My Fair Lady, which will be revived this spring on Broadway by Lincoln Center Theater. The monthly series of evenings focuses on Shaw’s greatest works and sometimes those of his contemporaries. The reading will be at 7 p.m. at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street). The cast, directed by David Staller, will include Blair Brown (The Parisian Woman), Peter Francis James (Stuff Happens), and Charlotte Moore (Meet Me in St. Louis), and Bill Army (The Band’s Visit). All the plays are presented as a concert reading. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling (212) 864-5400 or visiting www.symphonyspace.org. Each Project Shaw event is followed by a talk-back with cast members. GTG’s David Staller and Stephen Brown-Fried also host a Shaw Club discussion group that meets the Monday evening following after every Project Shaw event at 520 Eighth Ave. For reservations, which are required, call (212) 355-7823 or email info@gingoldgroup.org. 

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INTAR to present new work in lab series

Puerto Rico’s Casa Cruz de la Luna Theatre Company and INTAR Theatre will present The Marquis de Sade is Afraid of the Sea as part of INTAR Theatre’s NewWorks Lab.  Performances will be Feb. 23 and 24 at 8  p.m. and Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. at INTAR Theatre (500 West 52nd St. at 10th Avenue. The experimental piece, by Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya, draws on varied sources, including the legend of the golem,  the first act of Anton Chekhov´s The Seagull and the writings of the Marquis de Sade. (The production contains explicit adult content and nudity.) For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.intartheatre.org or call 212-352-3101.

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‘Mushroom Cure’ returns

Adam Strauss’s solo show The Mushroom Cure at Theatre 80 St. Marks has been extended through Jan. 27. Written and performed by Strauss and directed by Jonathan Libman, the show was first seen at the New York International Fringe Festival and at the Cherry Lane Theater in 2016. Strauss’s solo show was inspired by a scientific study showing that hallucinogenic mushrooms may cure obsessive-compulsive disorder. He then embarked on a program of vigilante psychopharmacology, trying to treat his debilitating obsessive-compulsive disorder with psychedelics. Performances will be Wed.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m. Theatre 80 St. Marks is located at 80 St. Marks Place at the corner of First Avenue. For tickets at $35, call OvationTix at (212) 352-3101 or visit themushroomcure.com.

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‘Trump Lear’ extends again

Performances of Trump Lear, by David Carl, have been extended through Feb. 10 at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between First Avenue and Avenue A). Directed by Michole Biancosino and co-created by Carl and Biancosino, the show opened in July. In the piece, an actor named Carl David is being held without bail for performing his Trump-inspired version of Shakespeare’s King Lear. He is forced to perform his King Lear to an unseen online audience of one, as the President restlessly watches remotely from a live feed. Performances are Saturdays at 2 p.m. Tickets ($20) may be purchased in advance at www.horseTRADE.info. Visit www.trumplear.com for more information on the production. 

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Wilde’s ‘Woman’ to get reading by Project Shaw

Gingold Theatrical Group will conclude its 12th season of Project Shaw at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 with a rare staging of Oscar Wilde’s comedy A Woman of No Importance. Directed by the award-winning Charlotte Moore, the cast features Reed Birney, Cynthia Darlow, Andrea Lynn Green, Tim Jerome, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Robert Langdon Lloyd, Martha Plimpton, Margaret Loesser Robinson, Thom Sesma, and Jennifer Van Dyke The performance will be at Symphony Space’s Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre (2537 Broadway at 95th Street). Tickets are $35 and are available by calling (212) 864-5400 or online at www.symphonyspace.org.  

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Red Bull readings of classic plays scheduled

This season’s series of Revelation Readings by the Red Bull Theater will focus on the themes of love and its madness. The Monday night readings, which present rarely performed classic plays, open on Nov. 13 with The Rover by Aphra Behn. They continue on Dec. 11 with Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus; Jan. 15 with Victor Hugo’s Hernani; Feb. 12 with Molière’s Don Juan; March 19 with Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist; April 16 with The Second Maiden’s Tragedy by Thomas Middleton; and on May 14 with another Molière play, A Doctor in Spite of Himself. The final presentation will be The Clandestine Marriage by David Garrick and George Colman the Elder. The readings will feature a number of renowned performers, including Drama Desk winner John Douglas Thompson in The Alchemist and Tony Award winner Stephen Spinella, with Patrick Page, in Doctor Faustus. All readings take place on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher St.). For more information, visit www.redbulltheater.com.

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Casts set for MCC readings

MCC Theater has announced the complete cast and creative team for 2017-18 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Jocelyn Bioh’s Happiness and Joe, the third of the 2017 PlayLabs readings. Directed by Saheem Ali, the cast of Happiness and Joe will include Joaquina Kalukango and Austin Smith; the reading will be at 7 p.m. on Oct. 2. The final of the 2017 PlayLabs readings, Lily Houghton’s Dear, will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 16; directed by Jenna Worsham, the cast of Dear will include Michele Selene Ang, Lilly Englert, and Coral Peña. Both readings will take place at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher St.). Dear is sold out, but $15 tickets are still available for Happiness and Joe. Both performances will include a reception afterward with the artists and MCC leadership. For tickets and more information, visit www.mcctheater.org.

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Pop Punk High sets limited run

Pop Punk High, a new musical by Ben Lapidus and Anderson Cook that parodies and celebrates the pop punk bands of the 2000s, will begin a run of Thursday nights at the Parkside Lounge on Oct. 12 and play through Nov. 30 (except for Thanksgiving).

The show, directed by Felicia Lobo, will be performed at the historic Parkside Lounge at 317 E. Houston St. on the Lower East Side. Pop Punk High tells the story of a high school where everyone is pop punk, it’s always 2006, and there’s never been anything cooler than shredding, pizza, and flipping off your lame-ass parents. The shows will be performed at 8 p.m. and run for 65 minutes. Tickets are available online at poppunkhigh.com or at the door.

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Dream Up Festival continues

Theater for the New City's eighth Dream Up Festival is running through Sept. 17 and features 23 shows, including four fully staged musicals, four shows on LGBTQ themes, five solo shows, a clown show, two with themes of race in America, and one based on visual art. There is also a play in English from Iceland. The festival performances are staggered over three weeks, and the number of performances varies. The complete lineup may be found at jsnyc.com/season/dreamup2017.htm#lineup. Among the highlights is Buskers: The Musical by Mark Tjarks, highlighting stories of New York buskers; Finishing the Suit by Lawrence Aronovitch, a memory play about a tailor who mourns the loss of the two most important people in his life: his lover Jimmy and his most famous client, the Duke of Windsor; and The Woman Illusion by Piper Rasmussen, a solo play about the gallery of ways to be a woman, with settings ranging from a tense job interview to the battlefields of Queen Elizabeth I. 

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Shaw series sets Crothers play

Project Shaw takes a detour from the plays of George Bernard Shaw for its next reading, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 18 at Symphony Space (95th Street and Broadway). The group will present Rachel Crothers’ 1910 play A Man’s World, which examines double standards in judging men and women’s behavior. Jenn Thompson will direct the evening. The Shaw reading in October will be Captain Brassbound’s Conversion, at 7 p.m. on Oct. 23. In Shaw’s play, a famous lady arrives in a Moroccan port only to be taken captive by a vengeful pirate, but manages to counter his band of freebooters, an Arab army, and the entire U.S. fleet. Tickets for both events are $35 and may be obtained by calling (212) 864-5400 or visiting www.gingoldgroup.com—Edward Karam

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Chekhov adaptation set for Governors Island

Brave New World Repertory Theatre (BNW) will present The Plantation, a new adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard that is set in 1870 Virginia, after the emancipation of the slaves but before the onset of Jim Crow. The immersive production will be staged for 10 performances beginning Aug. 31.

The immersive production is set inside the Commanding Officer’s House in the Nolan Park section of Governors Island. It will be performed at 1:30 p.m. on Aug, 31 and Sept. 1–3, 9, 10, 15, 17, 23 and 24. For reservations for the production, visit bravenewworldrep.org.

“Chekhov’s original story has universal relevance,” says adapter/director Claire Beckman, co-founder of Brave New World Rep. “The Plantation explores the root causes of America’s most pressing social issue with both humor and heart, while telling a story about race in America.”

Up to 70% of the tickets to the production will be distributed free on a first come, first served basis at each performance. Free ferries depart from Manhattan and Brooklyn before 11:30 a.m.; for information on the ferries, visit govisland.com/info/ferry.

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Songbook series continues

The Anderson Twins will be the featured performers for Songbook Summit at 59E59 Theaters beginning Aug. 3. During the limited run, the twins, Peter (sax) and Will (clarinet), along with their sextet and singer Molly Ryan, will perform music by Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin and Richard Rodgers. There are four segments, each focusing on a composer: Cole Porter is the subject this week; Harold Arlen on Aug. 9: George Gershwin on Aug. 15: and Richard Rodgers on Aug. 22. A four-show package is available for $120 that includes one ticket to your choice of performance for each composer. For tickets and information, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59e59.org


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Georgian theater focus of festival

Red Lab Productions will present a festival of new works written by playwrights from the Republic of Georgia, all translated into English, beginning July 13 at Teatro Circulo (64 East 4th St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery). The Georgian-American Theatrical Feast will feature two full productions, Navigator in Love by Lasha Gugadze, and A Toy Gun, by Tamar Bartaia, and seven free readings, none ever seen in America, along with special events, wine, and music. Produced by Red Lab Productions with support from Otar Margania, the festival will run through Aug. 6. For tickets ($18) and information, visit www.redlabproductions.org.

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Festival to have two-month run

The 2017 United Solo Theatre Festival, the world’s largest festival of solo performances, will be held at Theatre Row (410 W. 42nd St. between 9th and 10th avenues in the studio theater) from Sept. 14 to Nov. 19. The festival presents renowned artists and new talents featured in local and international shows. Performance genres range from drama, storytelling, puppetry, and multimedia shows to stand-up, magic, improvisation, dance, and musical. For tickets ($37.50) and information visit http://unitedsolo.org/us/ufest/.

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Arabic play readings set at CUNY

The Martin Segal Graduate Center at CUNY will host a day of free readings of Arabic plays on April 19. The Wednesday lineup at the Segal Theatre (365 Fifth Ave. at 34th Street) starts with The Adventure of the Head of Mamlouk Jabir (1971) by Sa’dallah Wannous of Syria, followed at 2 p.m. by The Dictator (1969) by Issam Mahfouz of Lebanon. The third reading, at 6:30 p.m., will be The Flipflaps (1964) by Yusuf Idris of Egypt, and it will be followed by a panel discussion. The events are on a first come, first served basis.

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TACT plans May 8 gala

The Actor’s Company Theatre (TACT) will present its spring gala on May 8 at the University Club of New York (1 W. 54th St.). The fundraiser will honor four women: Alice Ripley, Theresa Rebeck, Elizabeth McCann and Nelle Nugent. The event will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, a live auction, and entertainment by singer Liz Callaway. TACT is a company of theater artists that reveals, reclaims, and reimagines great plays of literary merit, To purchase tickets for the 2017 Spring Gala, call (212) 645-8228 or email info@tactnyc.org.

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