Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for April 2011
BY Brandon Voss
May 11 2011 6:40 PM ET
The House of Blue Leaves
Out director David Cromer discovers the darkest shades of blue in John Guare’s black comedy set during the Pope’s 1965 visit to New York. Ben Stiller and Edie Falco are fantastic as wannabe songwriter Artie and his crazy wife Bananas, but Jennifer Jason Leigh, who’s nearly unrecognizable as Artie’s mistress, is this revival’s unsung hero. Fun fact: Stiller made his Broadway debut 25 years ago as Artie’s bomb-making son Ronnie.
Walter Kerr Theatre, through July 23.
Based on Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 YA novel, this British hit tugs at your heartstrings as a boy tries to find the beloved horse that was sold into a WWI cavalry regiment. With nightmarish visuals and animal puppetry that would make Julie Taymor green, it’s a uniquely unforgettable spectacle. As a gay bonus, Seth Numrich and Gossip Girl’s Matt Doyle, who play cousins, will appear as star-crossed lovers in the film Private Romeo.
Lincoln Center Theater at the Vivian Beaumont, open-ended.
Forget Jim Belushi, Robert Sean Leonard, and everything else in this uneven revival of Garson Kanin’s 1946 comedy; it’s all about Nina Arianda, the luminous ingénue who plays Billie Dawn, a dim-witted ex-showgirl getting a Pygmalion-style makeover. In her Broadway debut, Arianda finds surprising color and depth in her hilarious portrayal of the ultimate dumb blonde, a role that won Judy Holliday an Oscar for the 1950 film version.
Cort Theatre, through July 31.