By EW Staff
August 14, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

AN EVENING WITH JERRY HERMAN Melodies, memories, and old-style entertainment from the prolific composer-lyricist Jerry Herman. Lee Roy Reams and Florence Lacey provide the vocal oomph, while Herman sings along and puckishly tells backstage tales from his shows, including Hello, Dolly!, Mame, Mack & Mabel, and La Cage aux folles. It’s essentially a piano-bar revue, but the personalities and showmanship fill up the stage. Put on your Sunday best, bring your parents, and while you may not have the best of times, you’ll have a perfectly enjoyable one. (TC) B Joe Neumaier

SIDE MAN Out of his own singular 1950s childhood as the only son of a self-involved musician father and a mentally unstable mother who cracked under the strain of marital neglect, Warren Leight has created a sad, funny, eloquent, and forgiving drama; his rueful understanding of his own psychic pain (unsentimentally distilled by Robert Sella as the autobiographical narrator) is matched by his loving appreciation of the jazz that so jazzed Dad and his professional cronies. Michael Mayer’s flowing direction pulls the production together. (212-719-1300) A Lisa Schwarzbaum

TWELFTH NIGHT Although Helen Hunt, as Shakespeare’s cross-dressing heroine Viola, doesn’t seem mad about speaking verse, Lincoln Center’s production still has plenty to recommend it. Brian Murray’s Sir Toby Belch is delightfully mischievous, and Philip Bosco ultimately wins our sympathy as the mocked servant Malvolio. Kyra Sedgwick makes a lusty Olivia (who yearns misguidedly for Viola), while Paul Rudd is a brooding — and at one point thong-clad — Orsino (whom Viola yearns for). Upstaging them all is Bob Crowley’s stunning set, boasting fantastical castles, pools, and even a lake. An invigorating rainstorm helps bring the dark comedy to a satisfying conclusion. (TC) A- William Stevenson

Off Broadway

VILLA VILLA Teenagers and twentysomethings swarming the theater? Not a common sight. Nevertheless, young crowds are lining up to see this show, an unconventional romp sprung from Argentina’s nightclub scene that’s part wild acrobatics, part tribal ritual. Some old fogies may complain that there’s no plot, plus you have to stand. But the De La Guarda troupe, combining pounding drums and what seems like torrents of water pouring everywhere, creates a startlingly primal experience. (TC) B+ Degen Pener

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How to Get TICKETS

Unless otherwise noted, tickets can be ordered (with surcharges) from Tele-Charge (TC), 800-432-7250 (or 212-239-6200 in the New York area); or from Ticketmaster (TM), 800-755-4000 (or 212-307-4100).

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