Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for January 2012
BY Brandon Voss
January 19 2012 12:15 PM ET
Torchwood’s Mekhi Phifer and Rent’s Tracie Thoms are among the bright stars of Lydia R. Diamond’s African-American family dramedy about two brothers who invite their girlfriends — one black, one white — to their Martha's Vineyard summer home. Kenny Leon directs this juicy tale of race, class, and sibling rivalry like a very special episode of The Cosby Show, and producer Alicia Keys fills the gaps with sparkling incidental music.
Cort Theatre, open-ended.
Recommended for young audiences, David L. Williams and John Gregor’s peppy musical confection — originally added to Vital Theatre Company’s repertoire in 2005 — tells the endearing story of Lenny and Steve, a nerd and a bully who must learn to work together when they get picked on for being the “new kids” at a new school. The message is clear: Bullying is bad news, especially when it stems from one’s own insecurities.
Vital Theatre Company, through February 26.
The 2010 Tony winner for Best Musical is still rockin’ hard, thanks to rousing songs by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan and a resonant book by out librettist Joe DiPietro. It’s the ideal time to see or revisit the brisk, soulful show now that hunky powerhouse Adam Pascal of Rent and Aida fame has taken on the plum role of Huey, a goofy white DJ in 1950s Memphis, who introduces “race records” to mainstream radio and falls for a black singer.
Shubert Theatre, open-ended.