Sep 3 2008 11:50am

SF Theatre: TWCSR remounted, plus other NYC shows

Good news for New Yorkers: the lovely production of There Will Come Soft Rains I praised a few weeks ago has indeed been extended, thanks to the FringeNYC Encore Series. There will be five additional performances between the 4th and 10th of September. You, dear audience, should certainly be at one of them.

And, heck, while I’m updating you, I might as well put together a list of SFnal shows that are currently on the stage in New York (though I’ve seen very few of these, so I might be guessing about the speculative element). Please leave a comment if there are any shows I missed, if you’d like to organize a field trip, or you want to let us know what’s going on in your city.

Limited runs

  • Chuck and Ginger: Thawed for Your Pleasure: “At the height of their careers Chuck and Ginger, entertainers extraordinaire, were frozen in the Lucky Stiff Cigarette Time Capsule.... Unexpectedly, the Lucky Stiff Cigarettes Time Capsule went bankrupt in 2008, and our beloved Chuck and Ginger were unceremoniously thawed and left on the streets of New York, with only their song book, their snappy wit and a case of gin.” Until 10/12/08.
  • The Complete Performer: “Magic! Mindreading! Improv! Escape Artistry! Audience Awards! In 30 minutes!!? Plus a half time show! One person!!? Well, one person plus one mascot! The ride of your life from a creator of Letterman’s wackiest stunts!” Unil 9/14/08.
  • Devilish: “In an infernal supper club, a story of seduction and damnation unfolds when the devil takes the form of a burlesque dancer to bargain for the eternal souls of the entire audience.” An adaptation of Faust by the (most excellent) Pinchbottom burlesque troupe. 9/3, 9/10, 9/17, and 9/24.
  • Edgar Allan Poes Masque of the Red Death: “Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group brings Poe’s infamous tales of terror and intriguge to life in the Theatre District’s Explosive New Stage Spectacular.” The staging apparently also includes “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Bells.” Until 9/28/08.
  • King of Shadows: “A world premiere by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa [centering] around Nihar, a 15-year-old homeless runaway selling sex to survive, who claims he’s being pursued by supernatural demons.” Until 9/28/08.
  • A Midsummer Nights Dream: “This 90-minute version of A Midsummer Nights Dream stops for no one and leaves no one behind.” Until 10/4/08.
  • Nanabozho: “Drawn from Winnebago creation tales that describe how elements of the natural world emerged out of chaos and achieved their present form. Our unlikely hero is Nanabozho, the trickster hare, whose fearless, sometimes dimwitted impulses have unpredictable results.” Until 9/14/08.
  • A Number: Caryl Churchill’s excellent play about cloning, in a new production by The Clockwork Theatre. “A father is suddenly faced with the startling results of his decision to clone a child thirty years earlier. It is unexpectedly revealed that this experiment resulted in ‘a number’ of sons, three of whom now confront him with the consequences of his actions. With unexpected turns, stunning developments and a dramatic examination of the issues of nature vs. nurture, A Number is both an emotionally compelling and intellectually provocative drama.” Until 9/26/08.
  • Pinkalicious: “Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe—a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament.” Appropriate for children 3-12. Until 9/21/08.
  • The Tempest: “Tony Award-winning actor Mandy Patinkin assumes the role of Prospero, master of an enchanted isle where shipwrecks, fantastical creatures, mystery, music and romance abound. CSC Artistic Director Brian Kulick helms this redemptive tale that is the capstone of Shakespeare’s theatrical legacy.” Until 10/12/08.
  • There Will Come Soft Rains: “Modern myths of creation and destruction. Competing inventors, brilliant machines, dreams of the past and nightmares of the future. Stories by Ray Bradbury and others are told with bunraku and shadow puppetry, lightbulbs and water, actors and an upright bass.” Until 9/10/08.


  • The Lion King: “A spectacular visual feast, this adaptation of Disney’s much-loved film transports you to a dazzling world that explodes with glorious colors, stunning effects and enchanting music. At its heart is the powerful and moving story of Simba, and his epic journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands.”
  • The Little Mermaid: “In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she’ll have to defy her father—the king of the sea, escape the clutches of an evil sea witch and convince a prince that she’s the girl with the perfect voice. Based on the beloved film.”
  • Mary Poppins: “Based on P.I. Travers’ cherished stories and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film, MARY POPPINS, currently one of London’s biggest sensations, features the Sherman brothers’ original Academy Award-winning songs.”
  • Phantom of the Opera: “Now the longest-running show in Broadway history, The Phantom of the Opera is based on the novel by Gaston Leroux.”
  • The Quantum Eye: “An amazing evening of intimate magic and mind-reading brought into the 21st century.Join [Sam Eaton] every Saturday at The Snapple Theater Center, the only Off-Broadway theater right on Broadway.”
  • Spamalot: “Broadway’s most hilarious hit comedy. The record breaking show, written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez and directed by Tony winner Mike Nichols, tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and their quest for the Holy Grail.”
  • Wicked: “The untold story of the Witches of Oz, based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire.”
  • Xanadu: “The mind-blowing, magically hilarious, musical love story about a Greek muse who descends from Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, CA in 1980 to inspire a struggling artist, build the first roller disco and save the world...all while roller skating!”
  • Young Frankenstein: “The classic Mel Brooks movie is alive... and it’s Broadway’s award-winning monster hit! This wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend follows bright young Dr. Frankenstein as he attempts to create a monster...but not without scary and hilarious complications.”

[Image by Flickr user haydnseek, CC licensed for commericial use.]

C.D. Thomas
1. cdthomas

LONDON—Ken Campbell, a maverick British actor, writer and director whose career ranged from sitcom roles to a 22-hour stage extravaganza, has died, his agent said Wednesday. He was 66.

Campbell was found dead Sunday at his home in Epping Forest, east of London, said Nicki Stoddart of United Agents. The cause of death has not been determined.

Campbell had recently returned from the Edinburgh Fringe festival, where he performed in a typically anarchic work titled "Showstopper! The Improvised Musical."

Campbell was an eccentric talent whose obituary in The Guardian newspaper proclaimed him "one of the strangest people in Britain." One of his plays was titled "I'm Not Mad, I've Just Read Different Books."

Stoddart said Campbell's genius lay in "the excesses of his imagination allied to his extraordinary discipline and intelligence."

"He just wove magic. He was a true original," she said.

Born in Ilford, east London, in 1941, Campbell attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the training ground of Britain's thespian elite. His work soon drifted from the mainstream, fueled by a love of improvisation and inspirations that ranged from ventriloquism to action hero Jackie Chan.

"I can write a bit; I can direct, but I only really enjoy directing something nobody else will," he once said. "I don't want to join the who-can-do- 'The-Cherry-Orchard' -best competition, because the answer is it wouldn't be me."

In the 1970s he toured British pubs with his ensemble, The Ken Campbell Roadshow, whose members included Bob Hoskins. In 1976 he formed the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, mounting shows including eight-hour sci-fi play cycle "Illuminatus," 22-hour epic "The Warp" and a stage version of Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
Nina Lourie
2. supertailz
Vampire Cowboy theatre (that occasionally also does Zombies. They have some of the best fight work I've seen around town and are generally a hilarious show. Oh! Plus! You can take fight classes from them!
Liz Gorinsky
3. TooMuchExposition
cdthomas @ 1: What an amazing biography. I'm sorry that I never got to see his work.

supertailz @ 2: Ah, I've heard of these Vampire Cowboy guys (one of them went to the same MFA program a friend of mine is about to start) but haven't seen them. Not sure I can make the expo, but I'll keep them in mind.
4. Hewii
I was extremely excited to hear that Doug Henning's MAGIC is coming back? Liz, how many tickets can I put you down for?
Liz Gorinsky
5. TooMuchExposition
A roving corespondent who calls himself Cardenio recently got in touch with his review of the Classic Stage Company's The Tempest:
Classic Stage Company's production of The Tempest benefits from a strong performance by Mandy Patinkim as Propsero, the deposed duke of Milan who uses his spellbinding powers to undo his enemies, retake the throne, and secure a princely husband for his daughter. The show also benefits from the clever and effective staging of director Brian Kulick. The rest of the cast is competent or better, especially the actors playing Ariel, Caliban, Prince Ferdinand, and the clowns Stephano and Trinculo. The costumes, which include elaborate (body paint) tattoos, are well done, too.

I'll be seeing it next weekend. I'm quite excited, since I've never seen The Tempest produced before.
Liz Gorinsky
6. TooMuchExposition
Hewii @ 4: I'm just seeing this now, but I confess I'm a bit confused since Henning's wikipedia entry says he's, um, dead. Is there something I'm missing?

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