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Alice by Heart (MCC Theater) and Still at Risk (Theater for the New City) - two must see shows!
Posted by: summertheater 12:15 am EDT 03/14/19

Alice By Heart (MCC Theater) is in the brand-new theater complex with very comfortable plush seats, extra legroom, and a great staff (box office, concessions, ticket scanner, house manager were all extremely friendly). If you have no idea who Alice in Wonderland is (or the characters she meets like the Cheshire Cat or Mad Hatter), there's even a cardboard insert to help you out. Super easy to follow the plot (so not sure why I read some online reviews of people not understanding the plot; it's like saying you never heard of Times Square). Takes place during war-time when people are injured and in the hospital/gurneys. A woman pretends to be Alice in Wonderland and pretends to meet the characters in the Alice story, to get her mind off the pain of war and hospitals. She really falls for this guy, and that's the key part of the story. Won't spoil what ends up happening to their romance at the end. Wonderful rock songs and slower ballads by the always-wonderful Duncan Sheik, and there is not a weak link in the cast. There's a full band on the upper level of the stage too. The Caterpillar is fun as he's smoking the hookah and he can really sing a looooong note. The "bitch fight" between Alice & the Queen is especially fun. Lots of funny one-liner type jokes as well. I could see this show over and over again. Runs 1 hour 40 minutes. And I've learned it's quite easy to get to from the B/D/E and N/Q/R/W trains as well.

Still at Risk (Theater for the New City) is an Equity showcase production with many stars who have been in Broadway shows before. It's about a group of gay men around the turn of the century and how the AIDS crisis has been affecting them. You can tell it was written by someone who knew NYC very well at the time. It references the gay bar The Works (which used to be on Columbus Ave by the Museum of Natural History) and also the coffeehouse Big Cup in Chelsea on 8th Ave between 21st & 22nd (which was "the" place to go back then). Runs 2 hours 3 minutes including the 10 minute intermission. Very realistic fast-paced drama & the acting is excellent. In Act II, we see why a relationship breakup happens (it's for quite a shocking reason which I won't spoil). And one of the stars is Christopher J Hanke who is just an excellent actor from so many Broadway shows, and who I've had a crush on for many years! The staff is super friendly here as well (from the older gentleman who's always at the box office and the nice house manager man who often asks for donations); you can tell the staff truly enjoy being here.
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