Recipe for Life Cause Célèbre’s third Off-Broadway production featured several one-act plays by award-winning writers. The wonderful production took place at the Acorn Theatre, where the honoree was TINA’S WISH, a nonprofit organization supporting research to create an early and effective test for ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment. Photo: Jake Robards, Len Cariou, Penny Fuller, Andy Brozman, Tasha Lawrence, Susan Charlotte, Michael Citriniti, Elaine Stritch, Marian Seldes
The Watermill Annual Summer Benefit is one of the most exciting events of the summer season on the East end bringing together the worlds of theater, art, fashion, design and society. On Saturday July 19, 2010 artists and residents from over 25 different countries interpreted this year’s theme PARADISO, with art installations and performances on six acres of Robert Wilson’s renowned Watermill Center. The evening began with a silent auction and cocktails before the dinner with live auctioneer Simon de Pury, who performed his duties in collaboration with the international film star Sharon Stone.
Guild Hall presented an extraordinary evening with two multi talented performers Florence Henderson and Bruce Vilanch. The renowned stars combined their gifts for a unique experience called "A Bipolar Evening With Friends: Florence Henderson and Bruce Vilanch," a riotous musical evening of candid story telling. PC
The Bay Street Theatre Summer Gala, ROCK THE DOCK, sizzled on the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor Saturday night July 17. The festive Benefit Bash hosted by Mario Contone featured dinner and dancing to DJ Tom Finn along with a live auction by guest Richard Kind.
A smart revival of Fifth of July by Sag Harbor’s own Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lanford Wilson opened on the Bay Street Stage Saturday July 3. Terry Kinney, a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, directed a top notch ensemble in Wilson’s poignantly witty drama that takes place at the Talley Farm over the course of a 4th of July weekend. The tale reunites a group of friends, former activists, who make terms with the disillusionment of what has become of their lives in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. PC
Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor is presenting a revival of playwright Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July, the prequel to his Pulitzer Prize winning Talley’s Folly. That Wilson is a resident of Sag Harbor since 1970 adds a touch of irony to the evening directed by Terry Kinny, which will run July 6 through August 1. The playwright’s themes often echo a struggle to preserve the past while moving on, which is reflected in the historic fishing village he calls home.
The 50th anniversary of the Broadway debut of “The Miracle Worker” as revived at Circle in the Square is spelled out, but not necessarily spellbinding. The production rests in the small hands of a child, the Oscar nominated Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) and Alison Pill as Helen Keller’s teenage mentor Annie Sullivan, the two create resounding chemistry.
By Patrick Christiano Marking her return to Broadway as the scandalous Tallulah Bankhead Valerie Harper’s bravado performance in Mathew Lombardo’s new comedy LOOPED is a laugh out loud riot.Harper’s comic timing is flawless as Tallulah, the impetuous center of the playwright’s witty story about the cult icon, who’s audacious, devil may care hard hitting behavior was legendary. Harper’s hilarious interpretation of the larger than life Tallulah captures the star’s brash essence with a bold confidence that turns the rather slight, but clever play into an engaging romp.
By Patrick Christiano The York Theater Company’s new musical, YANK! set during World War II weaves a compelling romantic tale about two gay servicemen long before the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Openly gay brothers, Joseph Zellnik (music) and David Zellnik (book & lyrics), have created a musical in the old fashioned style of the period, which echoes shades of pop music from the era, while crafting a timely tale that delves into questions of prejudice, courage and survival.
By: Jason Clark Although The Irish Rep has presented several classics by George Bernard Shaw, one would be hard-pressed to find a more tenderhearted production than their current revival of his 1898 Candida, which happens to be one of the playwright’s most sly and unassuming works. In his pleasant production designer/director Tony Walton has guided a truly fine cast through a tricky text that blends Shaw’s astute observations on the melding of religion, politics and affairs of the heart.
Ah what treasures Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre does hold! The renowned actor Al Pacino is starring in the Public Theater’s staging of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice as Shylock, a viscous vindictive Jew in the Bard’s tricky tragicomedy tale. Directed by the predictably safe Daniel Sullivan the production features a top notch cast that includes an often radiant Lily Rabe, Bryon Jennings and Hamish Linklater along with a sturdy ensemble of accomplished actors. If Sullivan’s production offers little more than a literal interpretation of the text short on nuance and devoid of emotional layers, the actors nonetheless display a commanding flair for Shakespeare’s lush language and the stark revolving black metal staging with the sumptuous park backdrop is a visual delight.
The Ross School 2010 Annual Benefit Gala kicked off their summer season on Saturday June 19, 2010. The evening billed as Motown Live at the Starlight Club honored the renowned stage and film legend Julie Andrews with a festive dinner and dancing extravaganza, which featured the cool sounds of musicians from the early Motown era including The Miracles, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Jr Walker’s Allstar Band. Harry Winston Jewelers donated at diamond and pear studded lady’s quartz watch valued at nearly $30,000 for the live auction that was a huge success for the Ross School scholarship funds. Guests rocked the night away at the school’s major benefit. For more Ross School news, please visit www.ross.org/news where you will find all sorts of programs for children of all ages and adults. …Christiano
On Saturday June 19 The Board of Trustees and Ruth Appelhof, Executive Director of Guild Hall, hosted a members preview of the new exhibition in the museum, which will be on view through July 25, 2010: WINDSLOW HOMER, The Pleasures of Summer, and MERCEDES MATTER, A Retrospective. Also on display are the Sculptures of Gloria Kisch in the Roy & Frieda Sculpture Garden. A reception followed at the lavish gardens of Mickey and Paola Schulhof home in East Hampton.
NYC theater scene sizzles in summer… By: Isa Goldberg During the summer, the theater scene in New York City is a swarm of theater festivals all of them promising Dionysian abandon and many conjuring classical themes as conceived by emerging artists. Audiences will have their choice of everything from the “Clubbed Thumb”(Clubbed Thumb.org) to “Planet Connections” (planetconnectionsfestivity.com), both of which return this year along with the “Ice Factory” turning up the heat while SPF (Short Play Festival) takes a hiatus.
The Hetrick Martin Institute home of the Harvey Milk High School and the largest social services organization supporting LGBTQ youth held its 11 Annual School’s Out Benefit in the Hamptons on Saturday June 12. The East Hampton event on the grounds of the famed Grey Gardens was a huge success selling out quickly for cocktails and dancing on the magnificent gardens that were once the home of “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, relatives of Jackie Kennedy and subjects of the recent Broadway musical, subsequent film and earlier documentary. The Hetrick Martin Institute is the oldest social organization of its kind. For more information concerning their work or how to be of support visit www.hmi.org …christiano