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2006 Arts Calendar

Robbie Jack The Mark Morris Dance Group.

Photo: Robbie Jack


NEW YORK Hedda Gabler Brooklyn Academy of Music (February 28–March 26; 718/ 636-4100; www.bam.org). Academy Award–winning actress Cate Blanchett makes her American stage debut in the title role of Ibsen's play featuring a ruthless protagonist, in a Sydney Theatre Company production. The History Boys Broadhurst Theatre (opens April 23; 212/239-6200; www.historyboysonbroadway.com). First produced by the National Theatre in London, the critically acclaimed play by Alan Bennett finally arrives for its U.S. premiere. Nicholas Hytner directs the original cast in a funny and moving tale that illustrates the difference between education and learning in the English school system. Three Days of Rain Bernard Jacobs Theatre (opens April 19; 212/239-6200; www.telecharge.com). Julia Roberts makes her Broadway debut in a revival of Richard Greenberg's searing drama of misunderstandings among a sister, brother, and longtime family friend. Joe Mantello directs the three-person cast, which costars Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd. The Threepenny Opera Studio 54 (opens April 20; 212/719-1300; www.roundabouttheatre.org). Scott Elliott stages the Roundabout Theatre production of the corrosive, ever relevant Weill-Brecht satire in a new translation by Wallace Shawn, with Alan Cumming (Macheath), Jim Dale (Mr. Peachum), Ana Gasteyer (Mrs. Peachum), and Cyndi Lauper (Jenny). EUROPE LONDON Royal Court Theatre (through March; 44-20/7565-5000; www.royalcourttheatre.com). The Royal Court is observing its golden anniversary with the series 50 Readings, 50 Writers, 50 Years, over 50 nights. The play readings take audiences through the past half-century of modern theater, with works by John Osborne, Harold Pinter, and Hanif Kureishi. One major British playwright not represented is Tom Stoppard, whose new play, Rock N Roll, about the recent history of the Czech Republic as told through the perspectives of a rock band and a Cambridge philosopher, debuts at the Royal Court on June 3, with a run through July 15. Stratford-on-Avon The play is the thing and then some: commencing April 23, the Royal Shakespeare Company launches The Complete Works Festival (44-1789/403-437; www.rsccompleteworks.co.uk), an unprecedented, yearlong, multivenue celebration of all 37 plays, the sonnets, and several longer poems by the greatest writer in the English language. Leading directors, actors, and companies from around the world are participating, including Trevor Nunn, Yukio Ninagawa, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, the Münchner Kammerspiele, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.—Bill Rosenfield


NEW YORK Jordi Savall, the Spanish viola da gambist and conductor, a living legend in early music, returns this month to New York. Savall will lead his Hespèrion XXI ensemble and La Capella Reial de Catalunya in music of the Iberian Peninsula on March 4 at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle (www.millertheatre.com) and on March 16 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org). Mazeppa Metropolitan Opera (March 6–27; 212/362-6000; www.metopera.org). Tchaikovsky's opera, based on a poem by Pushkin about the 17th-century Ukrainian Cossack hero, premiered in 1884 in Moscow; this will be its Met debut. A Creative Path: The Music of Dmitry Shostakovich Lincoln Center (March–May; 212/721-6500; www.lincolncenter.org). A two-pronged celebration for the centennial of the birth of the Russian composer. Valery Gergiev leads performances of the first 9 of Shostakovich's 15 symphonies, conducting the Kirov Orchestra March 12 and 13 and the Rotterdam Philharmonic April 9 and 10, all in Avery Fisher Hall. The symphonic cycle concludes next fall. Meanwhile, the versatile and energetic Emerson String Quartet surveys all 15 quartets—which span the composer's career—in a marathon series, on April 27 and 30 and May 4, 11, and 14. LOS ANGELES Grendel (May 27–June 17; 213/972-8001, www.laopera.com). At the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the L.A. Opera launches the premiere of Elliot Goldenthal's musical adaptation of John Gardner's witty, tragic novel about the monster whom Beowulf destroyed. The story gives Grendel's side of things. Julie Taymor, whose theatrical imagination seems boundless, stages the opera, which bows later in the summer at the Lincoln Center Festival, in New York.—Leighton Kerner


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