Disney is out; the docudrama is in!
Federico García Lorca’s final play, The House of Bernarda Alba, is the basis for Phylicia Rashad’s title role in Bernarda Alba. Ms. Rashad plays a controlling woman in a man’s world in this political allegory, ready to soak up critical praise for its timeliness. Directed by Graciela Daniele. (Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, Lincoln Center, March 6–April 9.)
Measure for Pleasure (or “Brokeback Off Broadway,” for those who know not what they say) is a love story involving womanizing, trannies and gay marriage, making it a comedic romp with a twist. The show’s been advertised with posters featuring two innocent cupids, one performing a not-so-innocent act on the other from behind. Starring Michael Stuhlbarg, Euan Morton and Saxon Palmer; directed by Peter DuBois. (Public Theater, March 8-26.)
If one seeks refuge from this unforgiving world, it may as well be in the Hamptons. Sick of celebutant voyeurism à la Lohan and Simpson? The golden era of voyeurism, Camelot-style, comes to the stage for a good run. Grey Gardens is the musical adaptation of the cult documentary about Edith Bouvier Beale, the reclusive aunt of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and her grown daughter, “Little Edie,” who are forced to come to terms with their own eccentricities in their dilapidated 28-room East Hampton mansion. Starring Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson; directed by Michael Greif. (Playwrights’ Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street, March 6–April 9.)
Between custody-battle court dates, Alec Baldwin finds himself as the landlady’s gender-bending brother in Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Ripe with sexuality and power struggles, it features the Off Broadway debut of passed-over O.C. hunk Chris Carmack as Mr. Sloane. Mr. Carmack found some time off from filming a new movie with Lindsay Lohan to star in this dark comedy with Tony Award–nominated Jan Maxwell and Tony Award winner Richard Easton. Directed by Scott Ellis. (Laura Pels Theatre, 111 West 46th Street, March 16–May 21.)
Fahrenheit 451, based on the Ray Bradbury novel of the same name, tells the story of people in a futuristic American city who do not read, think independently or have meaningful conversations. Holding the microscope over issues of free speech and intellectual property, this one’s bound to make theater and poli-sci nerds all over the city squeal. Starring Ken King, Gregory Konow and Gracy Kaye; directed by Joe Tantalo. (59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street, March 15–April 23.)
If you still can’t figure out why we’re in Iraq, yet another artistic endeavor will try and make sense of it, this time off Broadway. Using the real words of today’s political power brokers, headlines come to life in Stuff Happens, David Hare’s docudrama, complete with new material since its London opening in 2004. Starring Jay O. Sanders as Dubya; directed by Daniel Sullivan. (Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place; previews begin March 28.)
Michael Brandt’s A Spalding Gray Matter uses Gray’s monologue style in order to meditate on his own life. Gray, the beloved author and actor, suffered from depression and disappeared in January 2004; his body was found in the East River two months later. Mr. Brandt explores Gray’s illness, disappearance and apparent suicide by trying to understand his similar crises in his own life. (Clurman Theater at Theater Row, 410 West 42nd Street, May 3-20.)
And, hey, we wondered where our favorite (or not) Friend had gone! David Schwimmer stars in the revival of 1954 courtroom drama The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, the story of a naval lieutenant on trial for mutiny. Don’t worry—this is completely different from those prison guards that were recently on trial. Also starring Zeljko Ivanek and Tim Daly; directed by Jerry Zaks. (Lyceum Theater, 149 West 45th Street, starting May 7.)
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