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The Very Best of NYC Theater
by Juliet Macey
September 20, 2010
Manhattan Theatre Source showcases the Estrogenius Festival, an annual celebration of female voices, from Sept 29–Oct 3. Since its founding in 2000, the festival has blossomed into one of NYC’s largest women’s arts festivals, and it now boasts short plays, solo shows, music, visual art, dance and more. This year’s highlights include GirlPower, a series of powerful written words performed by teen actresses; "Estro Art," a group show presenting the work of female visual artists; and Voices of Africa, a show benefiting the girls of Niger and helping build schools in their nation.

The much-anticipated Signature Theatre Company revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America begins previews Sept 14 at Peter Norton Space. Set in the mid-1980s as Ronald Reagan is reelected to a second term and the new AIDS epidemic tightens its terrifying grip on the country’s gay community, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes remains as relevant today as when it first made waves on Broadway in 1993. The play, which opens Oct 28 with a run through Feb 20, stands as both a testament to how times have changed and a powerful, poignant reminder of the struggles we still face in the ongoing battle against AIDS.

In She Likes Girls, now through Dec. 30 at the Ohio Theater, playwright Chisa Hutchinson molds a fast-paced, affecting work of fiction out of the real-life anti-gay murder of Sakia Gunn—the 15-year-old Newark, N.J. lesbian who was stabbed to death in 2003 after rebuffing a two-man come-on while waiting for a bus. At the center of Hutchinson’s coming of age is Kia Clark, a student at an inner-city high school who soon learns that her charismatic crush, Marisol Feliciano, is a lesbian. The two teens begin a sweet, awkward teen romance—under the watchful eyes of homophobic classmates, skeptical friends, horrified parents and one supportive gay teacher—and become more and more emboldened, until the drama’s unsurprisingly tragic conclusion.

Acclaimed playwright and performer Marc Wolf takes audiences on a national tour of sexual politics, the American military, sanctioned discrimination, and its human fallout in the solo show Another American: Asking and Telling, through Oct 4 at the DR2 Theater. Drawn from over 150 interviews with gay and straight military personnel, civil rights lawyers, federal judges, professors and politicians, Wolf’s work portrays a community of characters struggling with the government's ban on openly gay service members.

Famed director Doug Hughes and openly lesbian Tony-winner Cherry Jones, both of Broadway’s Doubt fame, reunite in a new production of George Bernard Shaw's scorching tour de force, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Sept 17-Nov 28 at the American Airlines Theater.  The Roundabout Theatre revamps this controversial classic revolving around Kitty Warren, a woman who has achieved a life of wealth and comfort. But when her prudish daughter, Vivie, learns the truth about her mother's fortune, how will she take it? And what will become of Mrs. Kitty Warren?

Sept 30 and Oct 1, The Center and The Dollhouse present WINTERKILL, a one-woman show performed by Denise Flemming that exposes multiple personalities buried in an abusive past. Through Flemming’s gripping portrayal of the play’s characters, she explores how our experiences as young people truly affect us for the rest of our lives. Following the performance, join Flemming, bestselling author Stacey Patton and Davone Madison (CEO of the Dollhouse), moderator Joyce Li (local organizer for the Anti-Violence Project) in a conversation that will explore the devastating impact of abuse on the LGBT community and the resources necessary to alleviate the consequences of violence.
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