Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play? Maybe one in each category — tragedy, comedy, history like that?
Twelfth Night or What You Will is always fun, and Pig Iron Theatre Company aims to make it even more loveable in their accessible production, beginning February 4th at the Abrons Center. A Balkanized musical score seems like the perfect backdrop to Shakespeare’s crazy mistaken-identity saga.
“Experimental theater is about opening up new ways of seeing,” says Pig Iron’s director Dan Rothernberg; “could we sneak this into a Shakespeare play without deconstructing the thing? All our experiments with clown theater, with cabaret, and with dance theater inform the way people speak and move in this production, resulting in a rough, wholly American Twelfth Night.” This production of Twelfth Night premiered at the 2011 Philadelphia LiveArts Festival and was recently revived for Philadelphia’s 2013 FringeArts Festival.
For more information, please visit abronsartscenter.org But wait, there’s more….
While “Twelfth Night” easily qualifies as a favorite comedy, “King Lear” has to be this writer’s most beloved Shakespearean play. There is a production of the tragedy, we are told, currently at BAM, with no less a Lear than Frank Langella. You can catch it through February 9th.
For information, visit http://www.bam.org/theater/2014/king-lear.
Shakespeare, as befits an artist working under Royal patronage, wrote many a histoy of Kings. “Henry IV, Part II” is being presented at The Pearl as a special event from February 13th through 16th. The readings are in collaboration with The Shakespeare Society. More at The Pearl
More happenings in February….
If you have been swept into the mania for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” you should pay a visit to 50 Shades! the Musical – The Original Parody. In this musical, a book club’s three girlfriends turn from the usual fare to the more titilating best seller. With their interest piqued, Christian and Anastasia’s affiair comes to life on the stage. Directed by Al Samuels, one of the many co-writers, and Rob Lindley, previews begin on February 21st at the Elektra Theatre, and 50 Shades! for a March 12th opening.
For more about 50 Shades!, go to 50ShadesTheMusical.com
The Wild Project has a “Shades of Love” series of poetic readings in February, from the 3rd through the 16th. Poetic License 2014: Shades of Love is Produced by Poetic Theater Productions and features work from both emerging and established poets, including Mahogany L. Browne, Yadira De La Riva, Judith Sloan, Craig muMs Grant (HBO’s “Oz”), Staceyann Chin (Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway) and the presentation of an original theatrical work by the legendary Ntozake Shange (for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf). The festival also includes a performance from the renowned music group The Mighty Third Rail.
Learn more by going to www.thewildproject.com
And, not necessarily in honor of Valentine’s Day…
Randy Sharp delves into the mysteries of Henry Houdini at the Axis Theatre in Nothing on Earth, opening on February 27th for a 2 month run. Sharp, the Artisitc Director at the Axis, has been directing plays for 30 years, most recently the Drama Desk nominated Last Man Club.
For this production, Axis Company worked closely with William Kalush, Executive Director of the Conjuring Arts Research Center, Houdini scholar, and author of The Secret Life of Houdini, to re-create some of Houdini’s most famous illusions.
To learn more about Nothing on Earth, please visit www.axiscompany.org.