Students stand center stage in fall theater productions

August 25, 2013

File photo by Jonathan Tan/WSN

The start of a semester always brings with it new classes, new friends and a lot of schoolwork. But more importantly, it heralds the start of a new theater season at NYU, where one can find some of the most exciting theater in New York. This fall, keep your eyes out for a slew of fantastic theatrical experiences around campus.

A funny, entertaining and always relevant program designed to address college life, the Reality Show is written and performed by NYU students at the start of each year. Although it is required viewing for incoming freshmen, the show remains a favorite of upperclassmen and can be seen at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts during the early weeks of the semester.

Another annual student production is “Forbidden NYU.” A product of the College of Arts and Science Theater, “Forbidden” is a parody of a parody — “Forbidden Broadway” — that takes popular Broadway songs and rewrites them to describe life at NYU. Songs from last year’s production included “Seasons of Loans” and “The Phantom of the Trolley.” “Forbidden NYU” will be presented in October.

At the Skirball Center, there will be two National Theatre Live productions broadcast in the upcoming months — “Othello” and “Frankenstein.” For those unfamiliar with the program, National Theatre Live is a project to broadcast top-notch London productions to the rest of the world on the big screen. “Othello,” which will be broadcast Sept. 26, is Shakespeare’s classic military tragedy of love and betrayal. “Frankenstein,” which will play on Oct. 30, stars Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch (both of “Sherlock” television fame) as Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, respectively.

The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development will be presenting “Sweet Smell of Success” from Sept. 12 to 14. A musical based on the classic 1957 film, “Success” is the story of J.J. Hunsecker, a gossip columnist in the 1950s whose influence extended far beyond the reaches of his newspaper. Prior to the Sept. 12 performance, there will be a ceremony to induct the show’s composer, the late Marvin Hamlisch, into the NYU Musical Theater Hall of Fame.

The Tisch School of the Arts is presenting a new musical, “Murder at the Gates,” from Sept. 3 to 8. Billed as “‘Clue’ meets ‘Clueless,’” this new rock musical has book and lyrics by Steven Sater (“Spring Awakening”) and music by James Bourne (“Loserville”). With the show’s cast fully composed of NYU students, “Gates” promises to be an exciting show that should not be missed.

This semester will undoubtedly provide a myriad of fantastic performances. Those who have attended NYU productions in the past can attest to the quality of theater present on campus, but for those who are new to campus or have never checked out NYU theater, there is no time like the present. Pick a show, find a date and get thee to a theater.

A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 25 print edition. Dylan Jarrett is books/theater editor. Email her at djarrett@nyunews.com. 

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