Apr 2, 2009

Favorite No-Shows

Alexis Soloski composes a wish list of infrequently performed plays she'd loved to see, including works by Hrotsvitha, Capek, Artaud, and John Ford. I recognize a few titles from years of theatergoing on the West Coast: Balzac's Mercadet, for instance, which I caught in a scintillating production by Antaeus (this is the play notable for, among other things, its climactic waiting for Godeau); Artaud's Spurt of Blood, which I saw in a gallery courtyard called ArtShare; and Everyman in the Mall, in an environmental staging by Cornerstone, which I nearly but never quite saw (and which, in an odd twist, happened to feautre Michele Mais, currently on B'way in Rock of Ages).

If I could draw up a short list of shows I'd love to see produced in New York, I'd include the razor-sharp (and remarkably relevant) Mercadet as well as Johnny Johnson, if only to hear Weill's score live; more Churchill revivals as good as last year's Top Girls, including Serious Money and Mad Forest (I have no good excuse for missing the acclaimed Matrix Theater production); Genet's The Screens (I did see Cornerstone/Peter Sellars' half-successful take, would love to see it (relatively) straight); Hansberry's Les Blancs, which I saw at Oregon Shakes many years ago and which shares some of the impulses and politics of Lynn Nottage's (superior) Ruined; the Brecht/Auden Duchess of Malfi, which had a stellar L.A. premiere and deserves further airings; the original Spring Awakening; a considered (possibly revised) revival of Zoot Suit; another production of Havel's The Memorandum (saw Jessica Kubzansky's near-definitive one); Schiller's Don Carlos (again, my interest is based on a killer production I saw in L.A., at the Evidence Room).

I'll stop here and throw it out to you, dear reader. What seldom-produced plays would you like to see?

1 comment:

Seth Christenfeld said...

The York did Johnny Johnson as part of the Mufti series nine or ten years ago. Despite an excellent performance by Perry Ojeda in the title role, the show is pretty much unwatchable--it's even more agitproppy than Weill's work with Brecht, and the writing isn't nearly as good.

As for my, I've been waiting a long time to see a production of a semi-obscure musical called The Fields of Ambrosia by Joel Higgins (yes, the dad from Silver Spoons and Martin Silvestri--it's based on a little-known (and little-liked) early 70s Stacy Keach film called The Traveling Executioner and ran a month in London in 1996, receiving just about the worst set of reviews any show ever has. Despite that, it's pretty brilliant.