Bright Lights, Big Stars & Spectacular Shows - Getting Your Holiday Groove On!December 16, 2009 - by Griffin Miller, Theatre Editor
You’re in the Big Apple in December, which means you’ve hit holiday gold: Prime Time Show Time. So get out your theatre ticket wish list and start checking it twice -- once for giving and once for yourself...’tis the season!
Let’s begin with the newest celebs set to light up Broadway this month. The glorious new cast of God of Carnage -- Christine Lahti, Annie Potts, Jimmy Smits and Ken Stott -- is up, running and the perfect excuse for a second visit to Yasmina Reza’s explosive hit comedy. Sondheim fans are also in excellent company with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury taking center stage in the revival of A Little Night Music.
Meanwhile, David Mamet’s new play Race has hit town with both a literary and big-name bang thanks to a brilliant casting coup that brought together David Alan Grier, James Spader, Richard Thomas and Kerry Washington. And on December 28th -- just in time to kick off 2010 in style -- Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber begin previews in the Arthur Miller classic, A View from the Bridge.
And speaking of noteworthy names, one of Broadway’s most celebrated is back. Tony winner Lillias White (The Life) is currently dazzling fans with a powerful performance-and-a-half as the mother of African composer/performer/activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti in Fela!, now playing at Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre. The acclaimed production also boasts the talents of Sahr Ngaujah, who brilliantly channeled the title role Off-Broadway to capacity houses and standing ovations.
Speaking of Off-Broadway, you won’t want to miss the five-star banquet entitled Love, Loss, and What I Wore -- a delectable collection of stories by sisters Nora and Delia Ephron based on Ilene Beckerman’s best-seller of the same name and recollections of the Ephron’s friends. Featuring a revolving door of female celebrities -- when I saw it opening week, the cast included Tyne Daly, Rosie O’Donnell and Katie Finneran -- the show offers a series of personal monologues using “clothing and accessories and the memories they trigger to tell funny and often poignant stories that all women can relate to.” [On the Mom gift-o-meter, this is a sure-fire winner.]
As for current and up-coming performers, make note: should you be in town between January 6th and January 31st, you can catch Michele Lee (Tale of the Allergist’s Wife) and Tony winner Debra Monk (Curtains).