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Sunday, February 1, 2015

10 Groovy Things to Do in February starring Helen Mirren and Lea DeLaria

Since there are so many groovy plays, musicals, concerts and events, this is my monthly list to help promote a few of them (click on a title for more information or to purchase tickets):

1) Fish in the Dark
Broadway previews begin February 2. Opens March 5 at the Cort Theatre.
Larry David returns to the stage for the first time since eighth grade in a brand-new Broadway comedy written by… Larry David. Mr. David plays Norman Drexel, a character who is very much like… Larry David. Also starring a bunch of other people who are not Larry David, including Rita Wilson, Jayne Houdyshell, Jonny Orsini, Jake Cannavale, Rosie Perez, Ben Shenkman, Lewis J. Stadlen, Marylouise Burke, Jenn Lyon and Jerry Adler.

2) Marin Mazzie
February 4 - 7 at NYC's 54 Below
You think you know three-time Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie from her recent show-stopping turn in Bullets Over Broadway, her corseted characters in Ragtime and Passion or maybe from the scene-chewing screwballs of Kiss Me, Kate and Spamalot… or possibly you thought you gained a glimpse of her as the star of Next to Normal (heaven help us if that is really her in the guise of Margaret in Carrie!). Come see and hear the real Marin Mazzie as she steps back into her formative years with an evening of fun and fantasy as we get inside the head of a Midwest girl and the music she loved.

3) Lady, Be Good!
February 4 - 8 at NYC's City Center
Lady, Be Good! - the opening production of the 2015 Encores! season - will send you back in time to the Roaring Twenties, when speakeasies and the Charleston were all the rage, and George and Ira Gershwin’s first hit collaboration ushered in the Golden Age of American musical comedy. This madcap 1924 musical tells the story of a penniless brother (Danny Gardner) and sister (Patti Murin) who crash a garden party in hopes of some quick nourishment. They resolve to marry for money, but love gets in the way, as it usually does. Before true love wins out, they encounter Mexican gangsters, crooked lawyers, wealthy socialites, and a song-and-dance man possessed by a “Fascinating Rhythm” (Tommy Tune).

4) American Songbook: Lea DeLaria
February 5 at Lincoln Center's Appel Room in NYC
Comedian, actress and Orange Is the New Black star Lea DeLaria astonishes with her gutsy vocals and superhuman scatting technique in an unforgettably entertaining evening. Long admired for her innovative jazz covers of rock staples and a favorite of the city’s nightclub scene, Ms. DeLaria has been making waves since stepping onstage at The Arsenio Hall Show in 1993 as one of television’s first openly gay female celebrities.

5) The Mystery of Love & Sex
Off-Broadway previews begin February 5. Opens March 2 at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
Diane Lane and Tony Shalhoub star in Bathsheba Dorin's new play about four individuals whose lives remain inextricably intertwined over time. Lane's last New York stage appearance was in a 1977 NY Shakespeare Festival production.

6) On the Twentieth Century
Broadway previews begin February 12. Opens March 12 at the American Airlines Theatre.
It’s nonstop laughs aboard the Twentieth Century, a luxury train traveling from Chicago to New York City. Luck, love and mischief collide when the bankrupt theater producer Oscar Jaffee (Peter Gallagher) embarks on a madcap mission to cajole glamorous Hollywood starlet Lily Garland (Kristin Chenoweth) into playing the lead in his new, non-existent epic drama. But is the train ride long enough to reignite the spark between these former lovers, create a play from scratch, and find the money to get it all the way to Broadway? This hilarious Tony Award-winning musical comedy also stars Andy Karl, Mark Linn-Baker, Michael McGrath and Mary Louise Wilson.

7) Helen Mirren in The Audience
Broadway previews begin February 14. Opens March 8 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.
Academy Award winner Helen Mirren returns to Broadway, and the throne, in this riveting new play by Peter Morgan, the writer of the Academy Award-nominated film, The Queen. Directed by two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, An Inspector Calls), The Audience takes theatregoers behind the walls of Buckingham Palace over the past 60 years as Queen Elizabeth II meets with each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a private weekly meeting.

8) First Wives Club: The Musical
February 17 - March 29 at Chicago's Oriental Theatre
Tony Award winner Faith Prince, Christine Sherrill and Carmen Cusack star in this musical - based on the 1996 film and Olivia Goldsmith’s bestselling novel - about three former college friends who reunite to settle scores with the husbands who did them wrong. Featuring a new book by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Designing Women), songs – both original and classic – by Motown legends Holland-Dozier-Holland, and direction by Simon Phillips (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical), First Wives Club is a hilarious and inspiring story about friendship at its strongest… and revenge at its sweetest.

9) Angry Fags
February 20 - April 26 at The Steppenwolf Garage in Chicago
Pride Films and Plays presents the Chicago premiere of Topher Payne’s award-winning comedy, Angry Fags, which illustrates what happens when activism gets angry. Cooper and Bennett are men who feel helpless when their friend is the victim of an assault at a bar. Then, they feel something new: pure, unfiltered rage. Cooper presents the argument that no one is granted the rights they deserve until people are a little afraid of them. And no one is afraid of gay guys. Not yet. Angry Fags is an Oscar Wilde-meets-Fight Club fever dream about how good ideas go bad, with fascinating forays into American politics, bomb building and pistachios.

10) The Heidi Chronicles
Broadway previews begin February 23. Opens March 19 at the Music Box Theatre.
Golden Globe winner Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Emmy nominee Jason Biggs (Orange Is the New Black) and Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) star in Wendy Wasserstein's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love, friendship and a changing world.

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