A Major’s Guide to New York’s Theater Season
This weekend is a big one for everyone involved in Vassar student theater: it’s auditions weekend! All of the wonderful productions soon to premiere around campus are currently choosing their casts—good news for anyone hoping to participate in a show. Unfortunately, this preliminary stage of production means that the rehearsal process has only just begun, and we will have to wait another couple of weeks to enjoy on-campus performances. But have no fear: you can satisfy your drama cravings by exploring some other theater-going options. With a jam-packed spring season both on Broadway and off, New York City boasts plenty of great theater that’s only a train ride away. Here are a few shows worth checking out, grouped according to Vassar majors.
FILM: Film buffs should check out the world premiere of Annie Baker’s new play The Flick at Playwrights Horizons. Running from February 15 to March 31, The Flick follows three employees at a run-down Massachusetts movie theater as they spend their shifts cleaning popcorn and soda out of the aisles and tending to one of the last 35mm film projectors in the state. For tickets and more information, visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.
RELIGION: One of the most popular genres of the New York theater scene, religion offers a number of options this season for any aspiring theologian. We suggest the megahit musical The Book of Mormon (www.bookofmormonbroadway.com), now playing at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, which humorously explores the ins-and-outs of the Mormon faith while featuring a score by South Park duo Trey Parker and Matt Stone. If your attempts to score seats for that hot ticket fail, try Colm Toibin’s The Testament of Mary (www.testamentonbroadway.com)—an exploration of the story of Mary Magdalene following the crucifixion of Christ. Performances begin at the Walter Kerr Theater on March 26.
ENGLISH: With works of literature both new and old frequently being adapted for the stage, English majors will never run out of plays to see. Those looking for an American classic may enjoy the current revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (www.catonahottinroofbroadway.com) starring Scarlett Johansson and playing at the Richard Rodgers Theater through March 30. Other noteworthy performances include a revival of Frank Wildhorn’s musical adaptation of Jekyll & Hyde (www.jekyllandhydemusical.com)—performances of which begin at the Marquis Theater on April 5—as well as London’s hit musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda (www.matildathemusical.com), set to begin performances at the Shubert Theater on March 4.
POLITICAL SCIENCE: Poli Sci majors may want to consider a field trip to Lincoln Center, where the Holland Taylor’s solo show Ann (www.lct.org) begins performances at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on February 18. Written and performed by Taylor, Ann rec0unts the story of Texas governor Ann Richards, who gave the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention and became the first female elected as governor of Texas in her own right.
Of course, our recommendations offer only a small sampling of the shows opening in NYC this spring, so be sure to check out www.playbill.com or www.broadway.com for other theater options that might interest you. Also remember the productions going up on campus this February: the Drama Department’s The Cripple of Inishmaan will show at the Powerhouse Theatre February 14-16, and Vassar’s annual production of The Vagina Monologues will premiere that weekend, as well.