I am full of love this season — and it doesn’t have a thing to do with Valentine’s Day. Apparently February brings out the fabulous freaks and I just may brave the clichéd crappy weather to catch some of them in action. Multitalented artist and fellow Sarah Lawrence College grad (who did a hell of a lot more with her degree than I did) Meredith Monk is choreographing Particular People (La MaMa E.T.C., 74A E. 4th St., Feb 10-12; 17-19) an evening of song and dance celebrating the music of the late Donald Ashwander, the resident composer and musical director for the Paper Bag Players. When I was a kid growing up in New York, my mom took me to a lot of hellish children’s shows. The Paper Bag Players were one of the only troupes I enjoyed and Ashwander’s eclectic tunes were a big part of their appeal. Now, 12 years after his death, Monk and director Pablo Vela are reviving this cabaret which they originally staged with Ashwander when he was still alive. I just hope when I die, my arty friends will love me enough to book a theater, unearth my L columns and read them in my memory.
Björk’s songs may not be fit for children (although that’s a hypothetical kiddie album I’d like to hear) but her work inspires adults such as Josh Walden, who set his new dance musical All Is Full of Love (The Theater at St. Clements, 423 W. 46th St., Feb 12) to her music. A one-night-only performance to benefit a branch of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the show is a gender-reversed retelling of On the Town as three women adjust to life in the Big Apple. Björk’s more strident vocals double as car horns.
Under the heading of “If You Can Make a Tony-Winning Musical Out of Titanic You Can Make a Musical Out of Anything” comes Grey Gardens (Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., Feb 10-Mar 26), based on Albert Maysles’ 1975 cult documentary about two of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ less sane relatives. While it may sound like odd source material, I have complete faith in the book writer, Doug Wright (Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winner for I Am My Own Wife), and the two stars, Tony-winner Christine Ebersole and Tony-nominee Mary Louise Wilson. I have now said the word “Tony” five times and am way over my allowed limit. Time for Tony detox.