Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for January 2012
BY Brandon Voss
January 19 2012 1:15 PM ET
Copresented by Vineyard Theatre and Naked Angels, Zayd Dohrn’s new play about an American man who falls for a questionably motivated Beijing woman has the misfortune of opening during the same season as David Henry Hwang’s superior Chinglish, which also explores miscommunication in China. Otherwise, this intriguing, unpredictable drama puts a darker spin on culture shock and boldly eschews supertitled translations.
Vineyard Theatre, through February 4.
The Cherry Orchard
Treating audiences to one of the most vivacious and accessible Chekhov revivals to blossom off-Broadway in years, director Andrei Belgrader harvested the farcical comedy of the 1904 classic about futile Russian aristocrats. Opposite a delightful Dianne Wiest as indebted landowner Ranevskaya and John Turturro as blustering businessman Lopakhin, Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie was an unexpected standout as Epikhodov, the clumsy clerk.
Classic Stage Company, closed January 8.
Dancing at Lughnasa
During my college production of Brian Friel’s memory play about five unmarried Irish sisters in 1936, the cast sometimes surmised which of those spinsters might be a lesbian. That guessing game is just as fun at Charlotte Moore’s exquisite, beautifully cast 20th anniversary production of Friel’s lyrical masterpiece, in which our narrator Michael — the role I played in college as possibly gay — looks back at his family’s sad decline.
Irish Repertory Theatre, through January 29.