I was very jazzed last night to, through the good graces of the estimable Allen Lewis Rickman (Boardwalk Empire, A Serious Man, and the reigning king of Yiddish theatre), attend the invited dress rehearsal of Douglas Carter Beane’s Fairycakes — and sat next to Beane as he took notes! I have been a Beane fan (one dast not call him Mister Beane) for a good quarter century, having seen his As Bees in Honey Drown with Succession‘s J. Smith-Cameron at the Lortel in 1997. I consider his work a very good reason not to despair about the state of theatre, at least the quality of it!
I wasn’t there as a reviewer last night, so consider this a straight-up plug, as it opens tonight, launching a limited run of 14 weeks at the Greenwich House Theatre, and I want to reccommend it to all and sundry, as it is a deft, charming, magical, and impressive mash-up of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with several fairy tales (Pinocchio, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, etc) done all in rhyming couplets (a TOUGH technical feat, and Beane never exhausts himself). Beane, you will recall, wrote the book for the revamped Broadway version of Rodgers and Hammerstein‘s Cinderella in 2013 — he clearly felt he had unfinished business in the fairy tale department. In addition to the gorgeous fairy costumes by Gregory Gale, and the old school painted back-drops by Shoko Kambara and Adam Crinson, the stage is packed to the rafters with diverse and hilarious acting talent including the ubiquitous Jackie Hoffman and Julie Halston (the two cast members whose work I know best), Mo Rocca (of the Daily Show, Leno and CBS Sunday Morning), Kuhoo Verma of Hulu’s Plan B, Grammy and Emmy-winning Broadway star Kristolyn Lloyd, Broadway’s Arnie Burton (The 39 Steps, Peter and the Starcatcher) Ann Harada (who’d been in Beane’s Cinderella but is best known from Avenue Q), Obie-winning Chris Myers (The Octoroon), Broadway and TV actor Jason Tam, trans actor Z Infante (who’d been in Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Jamen Nanthakumar, and a very engaging child performer named Sabotino Cruz as a tap-dancing Pinocchio.
Tickets and more info here. I predict it will sell out rapidly.