The Week in Theatre: Tony Soprano Will Yell at Your Friend's Parents

New plays opened on Broadway to mixed reviews, the Greeks get big revivals, Laurie Metcalf is going to be awesome again, and Ian McKellen will soon be gouging his eyes out on your TV.

  • Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon slay in Ionesco's Exit the King at the Barrymore, while Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons are apparently not so effective in the drab-sounding Impressionism.
  • Meanwhile Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage seems intriguing in a brutish intellectualism sorta way. Plus a cast of Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, and James Gandolfini sounds pretty solid.
  • Off Broadway, Inked Baby—by a still in school Christina Anderson—starring LaChanze sounds blah. And Haggadah at LaMama ought to be a confusing but fun trip into the Passover story.
  • My classicist friend Cathy tells me that An Oresteia at Classical Stage Company has really awful blindspots in the 'partially obstructed' section, so if you're going to see the turgid two-parter, make sure you buy a seat in the middle.
  • Speaking of classical epics, terrific and on-the-rise actor Denis O'Hare (seen recently at the Classical in Uncle Vanya with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard) is developing An Iliad, a one-man show, at Seattle Rep.
  • The poorly-reviewed film Spinning Into Butter, based on Rebecca Gilman's race-relations-in-academia play, is finally being released. (That one's for you, Depardoo).
  • Khaled Hosseini's smash hit novel The Kite Runner was already a movie. Well, now it's a play, too.
  • For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf was supposed to get a revival in New York this year, but the economy scared it off (along with Godspell, alack). Well, now it's going to become a movie, too.
  • If you missed Ian McKellen as Lear at BAM last year, you can watch the performance on New York Public Television in April.
  • In regional news: The god-like Laure Metcalf (who first hit big at Steppenwolf when she did that honking 30-minute-long monologue in Balm of Gilead) will star in the comedy Voice Lessons next month at the Zephyr Theatre in LA. The national tour of Mary Poppins started in Chicago this week, as did the run of new play Magnolia (not related to the movie) at the Goodman. Unfortunately, it's not great. The "modern multimedia" Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Majestic in Boston sounds weird and fun.
  • Also, a friend text-messaged me tonight because he thought that Elaine Stritch died. She did not. Don't anyone scare me like that ever again.