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May 26, 2010 - by Griffin Miller

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From Oscar winners Denzel Washington (Fences) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (A Little Night Music), to Tony winners Barbara Cook (Sondheim on Sondheim), Kristin Chenoweth (Promises, Promises) and Nathan Lane/Bebe Neuwirth (The Addams Family), and Emmy winners Kelsey Grammer (La Cage aux Folles), Linda Lavin (Collected Stories) and Sean Hayes (Promises, Promises), Broadway’s luminary wattage as Summer Solstice 2010 approaches is nothing short of dazzling.

The only caveat is the tick-tock factor: limited runs and contracts. Which is why, for example, if you have your heart set on seeing the current cast of God of Carnage (Jeff Daniels, Janet McTeer, Dylan Baker & Lucy Liu), Alfred Molina in Red, or David Alan Grier & James Spader in Race, now is the time to act.

And the big-name alert doesn’t end at The Great White Way since there’s no celebrity shortage Off-Broadway either: Billy Crudup in The Metal Children; Edie Falco & Alison Pill in This Wide Night; Judith Ivey in The Glass Menagerie; John Larroquette in Oliver Parker!; Kate Burton & Boyd Gaines in The Grand Manner; Kate Walsh in Dusk Rings a Bell; Dianne Wiest in The Forest; Betty Buckley, Tuc Watkins and Peter Scolari in White’s Lies; and Leslie Jordan of Will & Grace fame in My Trip Down the Pink Carpet.

VINTAGE FASHION For women, the Off-Broadway hit Love, Loss, and What I Wore triggers a sentimental journey through closets and dresser drawers of yesteryear, releasing the spring-lock on a Pandora’s Box of both fond recollections (ah, that first strapless gown!) and repressed horrors (the heebie-jeebies of fluorescent hot-pants!). For straight men, it’s an eye-opener (in a good way, I promise).

The show, presented as a reading, features a revolving cast of well-known actresses and is based on the bestseller of the same name penned by Ilene Beckerman. The stage adaptation -- simple, poignant and incredibly savvy -- comes from the reminiscences of sisters Nora and Delia Ephron and their posse of female friends.

In all honesty, it’s a show that most women need to see more than once: first-timers’ minds will back-pedal to grade-school uniforms and afternoons spent in bridal can’t help it.  And then there’s the conceptual bonus that draws you back to see different actresses step up to the fashion plate and endow the stories of clothes gone by with their own personalities.

A definite “don’t-miss-share-with-your-mom-and-daughter(s),” here’s the summer rundown of cast members signed on for Love, Loss, and What I Wore: from May 26 through June 27th: Penny Fuller (The Elephant Man), Diane Neal (Law & Order: SVU), Sherri Shepherd (The View) and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother); and from June 30 through July 25th: Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue), and Myra Lucretia Taylor (Broadway’s Nine).

More upcoming cast members will be announced on the website, -- and I strongly advise lining up tickets ASAP: the show sells out on a regular basis!


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