Monday, May 12, 2008

On My List

I never go to New York for pleasure anymore, those days are long gone. Only the possibility of snagging some work will lure me up I-95, as I've already mentioned.

But truth be told, if I had a bucket of expendable income, a long weekend to kill, and a delightful little pied-a-terre in Midtown (or even the Upper West Side! I'm not picky...), I would probably hop a train and return to the City to refresh the juices.

I would love to see Nathan Lane in the newish Mamet play, November. I've been a fan of Lane's since I saw his work several times at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A. This was years before he became nationally known, but his performances in Lips Together, Teeth Apart, and The Lisbon Traviata turned me into a life-long admirer.

I've seen Patti LuPone twice onstage, but never in a musical. As I've already mentioned, the story of Gypsy Rose Lee's mother has been revived a number of times. I've seen Angela Lansbury and Tyne Daly both play the role in the theatre, and Bette Midler's television movie sits in my video collection. But Lupone and Mama Rose seem made for each other, and I bet she's taking the roof off the joint.

Wouldn't this be fun to see? The revival of the 60s era flop Boeing-Boeing has the critics hootin' and hollerin'. It's apparently the slightest sex farce ever, with one-dimensional caricatures and non-stop pacing. Bradley Whitford, returning to his stage roots after a long time in Television, is being teamed with two of my favorite actresses, Christine Baransky and Mary McCormack, and a British actor known largely for his classical work, Mark Rylance, who seems to be stealing the show. Perhaps all these weeks in Shear Madness has put me in the mood for more over-the-top door-slamming.

I wouldn't mind seeing the "Encores" staging of No No Nanette, with Sandy Duncan leading a tap-dancing cast through the froth. These "Encores" are limited runs (about two weeks), so they tend to attract big talents who are reluctant to commit to lengthy runs. Rosie O'Donnell is apparently absolutely hilarious as the maid in this one.

I might put the whole trip off until Bill Irwin's new show, currently in development in Philadelphia, makes it to New York. Irwin is a certifiable genius. I've loved his clowning for many years, though he's a first-class director, too (his adaptation of Scapin ran at the Roundabout years ago). Recently, he's turned to acting in straight plays, and has made a name for himself as a strong interpreter of Albee's words (he won the Tony for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), but I look forward to his return to his theatrical roots.

Well, I don't have any expendable income, so my long weekends will be spent, in the foreseeable future, here in DC. I have little or no chance of snagging a cozy hideaway in Manhattan in which to hang my hat, so a trip north to see the above shows remains, well...

...out of reach...