Critic at Leisure

We are women … watch us soar!

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It was recently announced that last year, for the first time, the annual list of America’s richest billionaires had a lady CEO on the leader-board. Should that come as a surprise? In every walk of life women achievers are rapidly being recognized as the equals of their male counterparts — and now being honored for their vital contributions and accomplishments — not just in America but throughout the world.

Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Amaluna’
Diane Paulus may not be a household name but is well on her way to becoming one. She’s a Tony winner for last year’s “Pippin” and “The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess” — already extended to May 18 — and now Paulus is also the writer and director of “Amaluna,” the newest edition of “Cirque du Soleil.”
For the first time in its history, Cirque” has a cast that is 70 percent women, and an all-female band! Director of Creation Fernand Rainville calls “Amaluna” “a tribute to the voice and work of women”— but writer/director Paulus says “I didn’t want to build a women’s agenda show … I wanted to create a show …that had a hidden story that featured women as the heroines.” For her concept Paulus turned to tales from Greek and Norse mythology, Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”
From the latter, “Amaluna” takes place on an island besieged by a storm caused by Prospero, where young men land on a place previously populated by only young women. A great love develops between Prospero’s daughter and a young suitor. And “Amaluna” is the tale of the challenging trials and setbacks (via feats of amazing acrobatics and their ilk) the couples must face on their road to loving harmony.
It’s been many a “Cirque” since a vital story gave this unique entertainment such emotional heft. So mothers, daughters and grandmas make a date right now to visit the Blue and Yellow Big Top at Citi Field for a mind-opener sure to dazzle sons and dads as well. Just as much tracing the emergence of women’s independence as boggling physical feats, an outing that promises chills, thrills and some very modern lessons to take home is reason to immediately visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna for tickets.
Memories of the early versions of Cirque that were not only spectacular in their physical dexterity but for the spiritual messages they imparted surely make the arrival of Diane Paulus’ innovative, landmark “Amaluna” an event that can’t be missed!

‘A Night with Janis Joplin’ raw!
Broadway’s recent “A Night with Janis Joplin” proved to be too much glitz, hype and song time spent on performances by the many woman singers who influenced the iconic depth charges tragically short life. The musical closed on Broadway but the exciting news is Joplin’s music and her life and times will soon be back: this time at an off-Broadway venue that’s a perfect fit.
The intimate Gramercy Theatre, long a prime concert venue, will become the permanent home of “A Night With Janis Joplin,” with eight one-of-a-kind concerts weekly starring the Broadway musical’s rocking standout Mary Bridget Davies. She’ll be joined by many of the Broadway cast, including the Joplinaires — ready to cut loose and give fans — long-time and new — the chance to appreciate the full spectrum of Joplin’s soul-wrenching life and — surmounting all — the magic of her raw, haunting, exhilarating music.
The troupe will perform in a preview on the Today Show on April 4 live from Rockefeller Center, with tickets at the new space soon available at Ticketmaster.com. The singer will always own “a piece of my heart” and you don’t have to own a Mercedes Benz to afford the more gentle ticket prices for the new “A Night With Janis Joplin. Check out full info at www.anightwithJanisJoplin.com
Critic’ Alert: “Cinderella” has just opened a new block of tickets through Sept. 7, with the happy news that Carly Ray Jepson as Cinderella and Fran Drescher as her wicked step-mother, have also just extended their stays in the musical through June 8. And. beginning April 1, some schedule changes will feature a new Thursday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets at Telecharge (212) 239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com for all performances. (Broadway Theater,1681 Broadway at 53rd Street.
Finally, Will Eno’s much heralded “The Realistic Joneses” has announced a permanent General Rush Policy for the play, in previews now with an April 4 opening. First come, first served tickets at only $35 (limit two) will be offered at the Lyceum Theatre Box Office (149 West 45th Street) which will open at 10 a.m. and noon on Sundays. Tickets may also be ordered at (212) 239-6200 or telecharge.com.