118698img2.jpgWe’ll probably jinx it by saying this, but spring does finally seem to be inching into the city, and we’re eagerly speculating about how many days until the little leafbuds on the tree outside our window pop open. With arboreal imagery in our minds, and since it’s almost Passover, we’ll start off this week with Jake Ehrenreich’s one-man memoir-in-a-musical comedy, A Jew Grows in Brooklyn. Ehrenreich, who has had success on and off Broadway as a singer and dancer, reminisces in refreshingly upbeat fashion (no painful tearstained confessionals here) about his family (his parents immigrated to the US after surviving the Holocaust) and his happy Brooklyn boyhood.
American Theatre of Actors // 314 W. 54th St. // Through May 28, Tues.-Sat. 8pm, Sat.-Sun. 3pm, Sun. 7pm // Tickets via Theatermania

Another one-man show, from a completely different tradition and in a completely different format, is Moheb Soliman’s Habib Albi…Is Not a Man. It’s a theatrical-poetry-multimedia piece that Soliman describes as a mesh of autobiography and social commentary about his Egyptian identity in relation to his experiences growing up in Oklahoma and Ohio and the later impact of 9/11, as well as love, sexuality, and other issues. He’s been honing it for some time at various venues, so it’s in peak thought-provoking form by now.
Collective:Unconscious // 279 Church St. // Saturday 8pm // Tickets at the door

4933c.jpgOK, one more solo performance: Michael Mack’s Hearing Voices (Speaking in Tongues) relates his mother’s harrowing years of dealing with schizophrenia and its effects on her own wellbeing as well as her family’s. Mack takes on the characters not only of his mother, father, and other family members, but also embodies some of the voices his mother hears. He created the show with the help of his family, and it has a positive trajectory, so there won’t be nasty blowups about libel or secrets that weren’t supposed to be told, but it looks like a powerful show even without that extra sensationalism.
Times Square Arts Center // 300 W. 43rd St. // Through May 14, Fri.-Sat. 8pm, Sun. 3pm // Tickets via Theatermania

Says Prospect Theater Company, “there’s no Communism like show Communism,” at least that’s the idea behind their latest musical comedy, Iron Curtain, which is about a composer and lyricist who are kidnapped by the KGB for the purpose of forcing them to write musicals to promote the Communist message. Peter Mills, Susan DiLallo, and Stephen Weiner collaborated on the show, which looks like a sharp addition to the burgeoning trend of meta-musicals.
West End Theatre // 263 W. 86th // Through Apr. 30, Thurs.-Sat. 8pm, Sun. 3pm // Tickets via Theatermania

Finally, the Gothamist pick this week is Wolfpit, by poet and playwright Glyn Maxwell. Phoenix Theater Ensemble presented Maxwell’s Broken Journey last fall, and we gave it an overall favorable review. This play looks even more striking: it dramatizes the legend of two children, green all over, who are said to have descended upon an English village in the twelfth century and completely shaken the community with their essentially alien presence. Maxwell is a wonderful writer and this kind of tale is well-matched to his particular strengths, so we have every reason to expect that this will be a thoroughly mesmerizing production.
Theater Three // 311 W. 43rd St. 3rd Fl. // Through May 6; 4/12 at 8pm, otherwise Thurs.-Sat. 8pm, Sun. 3pm // Tickets here