food 11.10.06

Open on Thanksgiving

Most of the restaurants listed here will be offering traditional and non-traditional Thanksgiving menu choices and many of them cut the prix-fixe price for children 12 and under by about half. All of them had seating available at last check, but don't wait long.

A Voce, 41 Mad [26th] 212.545.8555
A la carte

Artisanal, 2 Park [32nd] 212.725.8585
Three courses, $58

Bar Americain, 152 West 52nd [6th/7th] 212.265.9700
Three courses, $75

Bayard's, 1 Hanover Sq. [Pearl/Stone] 212.514.9454
Four courses, $58

Blaue Gans, 139 Duane [Church/W. Bway] 212.571.8880
Three courses, $55

Café des Artistes, 1 W. 67th [Col/CPW] 212.877.3500
Three courses, $75

Cookshop, 156 10th [20th] 212.924.4440
Three courses, $60

Craft, 43 E. 19th [Bway/Park Ave. S.] 212.780.0880
Three courses, $115

Craftsteak, 85 10th [15th/16ht] 212.400.6699
Four courses, $115

Daniel, 60 E. 65th [Mad/Park] 212.288.0033
Three courses, $135

davidburke & donatella, 133 E. 61st [Lex/Park] 212.813.2121
Three courses, $85

db Bistro Moderne, 55 W. 44th [5th/6th] 212.391.2400
Three courses, $69

The Harrison, 355 Greenwich St. [Harrison] 212.274.9310
A la carte

inTent, 231 Mott [Prince/Spring] 212.966.6310
Three courses, $45

Landmarc, 179 W. Bway [Leonard/Worth] 212.343.3883
A la carte

Orsay, 1057 Lex [75th] 212.517.6400
A la carte as well as a three course prix fixe ($45)

Payard Bistro, 1032 Lex [73rd/74th] 212.717.5252
Three courses, $62

Quality Meats, 57 W. 58th [5th/6th] 212.371.7777
Three courses, $79

Wallsé, 344 W. 11th [Wash] 212.352.2300
Three courses, $65
Broken Link
We had a bad link yesterday for the Andrew H. Green event on Sunday. The correct link is here.

By George Spelvin

IS THERE A SHOW DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?: Many of this season's new Broadway musicals got some bad buzz during their out-of-town tryouts, but that isn't stopping them from coming in. Frankly, it's hard to stop a $10 million (or more) production once things are in motion. So let's hope that the folks working on The Pirate Queen, High Fidelity and Curtains — which all got mixed notices during their tryouts in Chicago, Boston and L.A., respectively — learn from The Times They Are A-Changin' which didn't change enough after its poorly-reviewed San Diego tryout and will be movin' out of the Brooks Atkinson on Nov. 19 after only 28 regular performances.

Interestingly, the musical Cry-Baby, which was supposed to have its tryout in Seattle this winter, has been postponed. Officially, the show's producers couldn't secure a Broadway home for an immediate transfer, but unofficially, the musical just isn't good enough yet. They are now planning a spring '07 workshop of a revised version. My two cents: the show's songwriter — Adam Schlesinger of the band Fountains of Wayne — has never written a musical before and its director (Mark Brokaw) has never done a big musical before, so there's no shame in asking for help.

Years ago, when a musical was in trouble, a 'show doctor' was discreetly brought in to fix things. Neil Simon and Michael Bennett were two of the most reliable fixers back in the 1960s and 70s. They even worked on each other's shows. Simon notably contributed some big laughs — "committing suicide in Buffalo is redundant" — to help warm up A Chorus Line (a hit again in its current Broadway revival). However, you may not know why 'Doc' Simon agreed to work for free. Just a few years before, Bennett secretly helped out on Simon's aptly-named The Good Doctor and was then asked to direct God's Favorite — Simon's first flop. When Bennett began work on Chorus Line soon after, Simon owed him a big favor.

SPEAKING OF NEIL SIMON: You can watch a tribute to America's most successful playwright on November 20th, when PBS broadcasts his Mark Twain Prize ceremony. But don't expect to hear about his latest work, Waiting for Poppa. The play was scheduled to premiere on the winter stock circuit in south Florida, starting this month at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. But they shut down due to financial mismanagement, and so Simon is once again shopping for a producer. Why aren't his usual producers involved? And why aren't any of Simon's previous directors back working on this one? (Simon ultimately enlisted Richard Benjamin, who has never directed for the theater.) Exactly how bad is this play?

SPEAKING OF BAD PLAYS: Hopes ran high when Manhattan Theatre Club re-opened the beautifully refurbished Biltmore Theatre on Broadway three years ago. However, critics have been carping about the spate of underwhelming new plays (Time Out New York's David Cote, for instance, has griped on several occasions about what he calls "the Biltmore Syndrome"). MTC's current Biltmore tenant, Losing Louie, is losing so much money it is closing two weeks earlier than originally announced, which rarely happens at a subscription theater. Since all of MTC's recent hit plays — Doubt, Proof, and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife — began at their off-Broadway venues at City Center, artistic director Lynne Meadow needs to figure out how to make the Biltmore work soon, before it becomes a financial albatross.

TOO MUCH OR NOT ENOUGH? In November 2002, Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks committed to writing a play a day for the next 365 days. Four years later, they're getting produced. A few of these "plays" are so short, they are only a few sentences long. Some are gimmicky. Some are poetic. Some are compelling. Starting on Monday, you can see them all as the 365 Days/365 Plays National Festival presents her work simultaneously across the country, creating "the largest collaboration in the history of American theater." For a performance schedule and a list of participating New York theaters, click here.

ROAD TRIP! For the most part, America's regional theaters only present new plays after they achieve some success in New York, but a group of 21 theaters around the country have banded together to create something called the National New Play network that "champions the development, production and continued life of new plays for the American theater." 25 plays have been presented in sixty productions so far, and a showcase of seven new works will be presented Dec. 2-4 at the New Jersey Repertory Company.

On the musical side of things, look north for fresh talent. The Drowsy Chaperone, which won the most Tonys of any show last season, was created in Toronto. Now another show written by Canadians, Evil Dead The Musical, has just opened here to enthusiastic reviews. For theater insiders looking for the next surprise hit, how about a road trip to the first annual Canadian Musical Theatre Festival, November 21-26?

TIS THE SEASON: In the theater world, there are fundraisers every week, or so it feels. There are lots of worthy causes to support, but there's an extra reason to attend the always-entertaining "Gypsy of the Year" Competition — Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' annual fundraiser, to be held this year on Dec. 4 & 5. Along with BCEFA's Easter Bonnet Competition, it offers remarkably accurate insights into what shows and performers are generating the most buzz within the industry. I've found these events to be an accurate predictor for award nominations — the more they spoof you, the more likely you will get remembered at prize time.

JUST ASKING: Five years ago, Susan Stroman had four shows running on Broadway at the same time: The Producers, Contact, The Music Man and Thou Shalt Not. And 25 years ago, director Tom O'Horgan also had four shows running on Broadway at the same time: Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Lenny and Inner City. Can you think of any other directors who have had four concurrent Broadway shows?


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