BY Brandon Voss
May 11 2011 6:40 PM ET
Be a Good Little Widow
In Bekah Brunstetter’s lovely little play, a touching dramedy that perfectly fits its postage-stamp stage, Wrenn Schmidt wows as Melody, a young woman struggling to act like an adult when her newish husband dies in a plane crash. L.A. Law’s Jill Eikenberry, who recently played the mom in the musical adaptation of Dan Savage’s The Kid, makes a nagging impression as Melody’s hypercritical mother-in-law. Be good and go see it.
Ars Nova, through May 14.
Hot off his ballyhooed work in La Bête, Mark Rylance delivers another ranting, rafter-shaking performance in Jez Butterworth’s very British import about motley misfits and a missing girl. Rylance stars as Rooster, a Falstaffian Pied Piper for young revelers, who faces eviction from an old mobile home that sits in the woods near a new housing development. At once merry and melancholy, the play wallows in the beauty of trash.
Music Box Theatre, through July 24.
A Minister’s Wife
My Fair Lady was great, but did George Bernard Shaw’s Candida really need to be musicalized? Maybe not. But in Michael Halberstam’s solid production, a pleasant Sondheim-lite score does no harm to Austin Pendleton’s adaptation, which lets the story’s love triangle soar above its themes of socialism and challenged Victorian conventions. Yank! star Bobby Steggart is adorable as ever as lovesick poet Eugene.
Lincoln Center Theater at the Mitzi E. Newhouse, through June 12.
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