Posts Tagged ‘The Duke on 42nd Street’

On Saturday, February 13, I saw Theatre For A New Audience’s production of “Measure for Measure” by William Shakespeare at The Duke on 42nd Street in NYC. Shakespeare loves his words and in a show with many of them, the cast does a great job of not only bring the words to life, but bringing the audience with them. The cast consists of Jefferson Mays, who plays “Duke Vincentio,” who “leaves” town and “Angelo,” played by Rocco Sisto, in charge to help clean up Vienna from the crime, prostitution, and disease that has spread through town. “Angelo” puts into effect an old law that punishes those who fornicate to be put to death. When “Claudio,” played by LeRoy McClain, gets “Angelo’s” fiance pregnant, “Angelo” takes action and makes an example of “Claudio” for all the town to see. “Angelo’s” decision is put to the test when “Claudio’s” sister “Isabella,” played by Elisabeth Waterston, pleas in exchange for her brother’s life, she will give up the holy vow she is about to take. What ensues is the grappling tale of right, wrong, and everything in between.

Jefferson Mays, who won multiple awards for “I Am My Own Wife” & is a fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant is well cast as “Duke Vincentio.” His brilliant acting skills help convey the wordiness of Shakespeare, making it easier for the audience to understand and follow. Elizabeth Waterston is sensational in portraying “Isabella’s” beauty, innocence, and conviction. At the forefront of the tension breaking scenes are the genius comic relief performances of John Christopher Jones as “Elbow” and two-time Tony Award nominee & fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Mary Testa as “Mistress Overdone.” When these two performers are on stage, laughter will be present all around. As an extra special treat, the audience gets to be bestowed upon by the beauty that is Mary Testa’s singing voice.

For an evening of intellectual thought, comedic moments, and a special treat, head on down to The Duke on 42nd Street in NYC to see “Measure for Measure” through March 14.

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When two-time Tony Award Nominee, Mary Testa takes the stage, the audience takes notice, whether it’s her impeccable comedic timing or beautiful singing voice including a belt that knocks the roof off. It’s no wonder she was nominated for her roles in the Broadway revivals of “42nd Street” and “On The Town.” Her other Broadway credits include “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,” “Barnum,” “The Rink,” “Marilyn,” “Chicago,” “Marie Christine,” “Xanadu,” and the 2009 revival of “Guys and Dolls.” Mary has also delighted audiences Off-Broadway in such shows as “See What I Wanna See,” “First Lady Suite,” “String of Pearls,” “The Vagina Monologues,” “From Above,” “A New Brain”, and “In Trousers.” She was also a series regular on NBC’s “Whoopi” and guest starred on HBO’s “Sex and the City.” Mary can currently be seen in the Off-Broadway revival of “Measure for Measure” (also starring fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jefferson Mays) playing at The Duke on 42nd Street in New York City (229 West 42nd Street between 7th & 8th Ave).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Marcel Marceau.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you sing? high c (with my arms over my head) and low a.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Luis Bunuel (unfortunately, he is dead).

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Probably God.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Actually, I order decaf coffee from both.

6. Favorite play/musical? Play: A tie between “The Ruling Class” & “Comedians.”  Musical: Anything by Michael John Lachiusa &  Floyd Collins.

7. Favorite store to shop in? Berdorf’s during the shoe sale, and Lord and Taylor.

8. Favorite way to spend your day off? Shopping.

9. Favorite website? dilsted.com and awfulplasticsurgery.com.

10. “Mary” or “Rhoda”? Rhoda.

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