Two productions of works by famous playwrights go into previews tonight, one intimately concerned with the importance of place and local culture, the other unfolding across undifferentiated suburban sprawl. At the Pearl Theatre Company's performance space on St. Mark's Place, a new production of Tennessee Williams' 1977 play Vieux Carré takes the audience into a boarding house in New Orleans' French Quarter where all manner of outcast and misfit are holed up for survival — including Williams himself, whose time living in the building where the play is set informs his gritty, personal vision of life on the margins.
Meanwhile, as part of 59E59 Theaters' Americas Off Broadway festival, the Kitchen Theatre Company's production of Brian Dykstra's latest work A Play On Words (pictured at right) takes to the stage tonight. In it, two lifelong buddies and backyard philosophers seem on the verge of some major (disastrous) breakthrough in their lifelong argument over meaning. Whether you prefer Seinfeld-infused existentialism or sleazy realism, be among the first to catch these two new productions.