Off Broadway Fall 2015 Guide

The new season’s Off-Broadway offerings are various, intriguing, and sometimes hard to describe — an absurdist kitchen-sink comedy about a dysfunctional family with a transgender son; a musical about First Ladies and their daughters; an all-female Shakespeare and an all-new evening of Tennessee Williams; a new work by an old rock star.

man_who_fell_to_earth

Off-Broadway has a knack for creating its own rock stars. They don’t necessarily sing, or even act. Some are playwrights or directors.

Take Danai Gurira.

Playwright and actress Danai Gurira at Playwrights Horizons

She is best known for her role as Michonne on The Walking Dead. But she is also a playwright, who will be debuting two different plays Off-Broadway this season -Familiar at Playwright Horizons and Eclipsed at The Public Theater, which will star Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

lupita-nyongo

Or take Ivo van Hove, the experimental theater director from Belgium who made a splash last year with both Scenes from A Marriage and Angels in America.

Ivo van HoveArthurMillerHe’s making his Broadway debut with two different plays by Arthur Miller, “A View from The Bridge” in the Fall and “The Crucible” in the Spring. October marks the centennial of Miller’s birth, so there are two more revivals of Miller’s work Off-Broadway.

But van Hove is also directing Juliette Binoche in a new adaptation of Antigone at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and directing Lazarus, written by Enda Walsh and David Bowie (that rock star I mentioned) at New York Theatre Workshop.

It’s short-sighted to treat Off-Broadway in the same way as Broadway — as a collection of individual potential hits or misses. (See my Broadway Fall 2015 Preview Guide.)  Off-Broadway is more spread out, more numerous (some 200 theaters/theater companies, or five times the number of Broadway houses), less publicized. As most serious theatergoers will tell you,  Off Broadway has far richer, more adventurous and more diverse offerings, at a lower price. It is also in some ways more connected.

I organize my Off-Broadway preview below by the theaters in which they are being produced, in order of my preference for these theaters (determined by such factors as their recent track record, the promise of the new season, and by the overall experience I’ve had with the theater.)

PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS playwrights horizons logo

416 W. 42nd St. Twitter: @PHNYC

Annie Baker’s “The Flick” is one of six plays that originated at Playwrights Horizons that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It offers new plays and musicals that are consistently satisfying, or at least intriguing.

playwrightsHorizonsFall2015

The Christians
August 28 – October 11; opens September 17

In this play by Lucas Hnath, Pastor Paul, who has built a megachurch, ” is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundation of his congregation’s beliefs.” Although it’s a straight play, it includes a gospel choir.

Hir
October 16 – November 29; opens November 8.

Written by Taylor Mac, the gender-bending theater star of many talents, this comic and dramatic exercise in what Mac calls “absurd realism” features the extraordinary Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) as a mother who sees herself as liberated from an oppressive marriage. Her son Isaac, returning from military service, sees her as abusive towards his father (Daniel Oreskes) who’s had a stroke. “Hir” is pronounced “here” and is the pronoun preferred by Isaac’s transgender sibling Max, portrayed by Tom Phelan (The Fosters),

Marjorie Prime
November 20 – January 3, 2016; opens December 14

The inimitable Lois Smith stars in Jordan Harrison’s play.”It’s the age of artificial intelligence, and 86-year-old Marjorie — a jumble of disparate, fading memories — has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her.”

Spring, 2016

Familiar by Danai Gurira

Antlia Pneumatica by Anne Washburn

Indian Summer by Gregory S. Moss

THE PUBLIC THEATER

publictheaterlogo425 Lafayette Street. Twitter: @PublicTheaterNY

Having originated both Hamilton and Fun Home, the Public is on a roll

Public Works’ The Odyssey
September 4-7

Director Lear deBessonet and lyricist/composer Todd Almond team up for the third time,  to reimagine the Greek epic with professional actors and some 200 community members.

Barbecue
September 22-November 1

In this play written by Robert O’Hara, whose Bootycandy I found outrageously entertaining, uncomfortable and profound, the O’Mallerys have gathered in their local park to share some barbecue and stage an intervention with a family member in a spiral of drugs and recklessness.

Eclipsed
September 29 – November 8

Eclipsed cast

Eclipsed cast

Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) stars in the play by Danai Gurira (co-author of In the Continuum and Michonne on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”.) Amid the chaos of the Liberian Civil War, the captive wives of a rebel officer band together to form a fragile community – until the balance of their lives is upset by the arrival of a new girl. Directed by South African-born Liesl Tommy (Appropriate, Informed Consent)

First Daughter Suite
October 6-November 15

Michael John LaChiusa  (GiantThe Wild Party) has created a musical of mothers and daughters who’ve lived in the White House: Patricia Nixon and daughters Tricia and Julie, Roselyn and Amy Carter, Betty and Susan Ford, Patti Davis and mom Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush and daughter-in-law Laura. Casting so far includes Marty Testa, Rachel Bay Jones, Theresa McCarthy, Betsy Morgan, Isabel Santiago, Carly Tamer, and Barbara Walsh.
Before Your Very Eyes 
October 17 – November 29
Gob Squad created this unique piece with New Yorkers 8-14 years old.   From behind the safety of one-way mirrors, the audience witness seven lives lived in fast forward—from angst-ridden teens to hunched geriatrics.

The Comedy of Errors
November 1-22

Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, this production of Shakespeare’s comedy will tour the five boroughs followed by a limited three-week engagement at The Public as part of The Mobile Shakespeare Unit,

Under the Radar Festival, 12th edition
January 6-17, 2016

Cutting-edge theater from around the U.S. and the world.

 

new_york_01NEW YORK THEATER WORKSHOP

79 East 4th Street. Twitter: @NYTW79

Fondly, Collette Richland

September 11 to October 18; opens September 28

“When Mr. and Mrs. “Fritz” Fitzhubert are summoned through a wee little secret door in their living room, they enter into a phantasmagorical world of Alpen hotels, mysterious employees, perilous hikes, and ancient deities, that will leave their lives forever altered.” A collaboration between the Elevator Repair Service (The Gatz) and their first living writer, playwright Sibyl Kempson.

Lazarus

Lazarus

November 18 – December 27; opens December 7

Directed by Ivo van Hove, starring Michael C. Hall and written by David Bowie and Enda Walsh, the musical is inspired by the 1963 novel The Man Who Fell to Earth about an alien who crash lands on our planet. Bowie, who portrayed the alien in a 1976 film, will be writing original songs.

SIGNATURE

signature_01

480 West 42nd Street. Twitter: @signaturetheatr

As the first New York theater to win the Regional Tony Award, the Signature now has some solid proof of what has been clear to its patrons for years.  What has distinguished this theater is not only its track record, but its commitment to keep the price of all tickets for initial runs to $25.

This season is special for two reasons — it’s the 25th anniversary season, and it’s the last one under founding artistic director James Houghton. Except for the Arthur Miller revival, however, the real excitement of this season comes in the Spring.

John

July 22 – September 6, 2015

The sixth collaboration between playwright Annie Baker and director Sam Gold, though in my review, I suggest not the best.

Love and Money

August 15 – October 4, 2015

A new comedy by A.R. Gurney, which I review here

Incident at Vichy

October 27 – December 6, 2015

Arthur Miller’s play looks at Vichy, France at the height of World War II, when nine men and a boy are rounded up. As they disappear one by one, they battle over politics, philosophy and how to escape.

Night Is A Room

November 3 – December 13, 2015

LINCOLN CENTER THEATER*

@LCTheater

The shows at Lincoln Center’s Off-Broadway venues are inexpensive (especially at the Claire Tow theater, where initial-run tickets cost $20) and often rewarding.

Dada Woof Papa Hot

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October 15 to January 3. Opens November 9

In this new play by Peter Parnell (QED), two gay couples who met at a parents group get to know one another and reveal the cracks in their marriages, and that of their straight friends. The cast includes Tammy Blanchard, Patrick Breen, John Benjamin Hickey

MTC AT CITY CENTER*

131 West 55th Street Twitter: @MTC_NYC

Ripcord

MarylouiseBurkeHollandTaylor

September 29 to ; opens October 20
Holland Taylor, Marylouise Burke, and Rachel Dratch. David Hyde Pierce directs
David Lindsay-Abaire’s new play about two rivals who vie for a choice room in an assisted living facility

Important Hats of the 20th Century

opens November 25
Written by Nick Jones (Orange is the New Black, Trevor) and directed by Moritz Von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God)
a cutthroat rivalry between milliners in 1930s New York.

Prodigal Son

January 19 to ; opens February 9
John Patrick Shanley’s new play, which he directs, stars Robert Sean Leonard, and
Timothée Chalamet as a brilliant, troubled young man from the Bronx at a New Hampshire private school.

ROUNDABOUT* LAURA PELS

Ugly Lies The Bone

September 10 to November 22. Opens October 13.

uglyliesthebone

Female soldier Jess returns from war severely burned only to find her Floridian hometown in a state of decay. With the use of virtual reality video game therapy, she desperately tries to restore her relationships, home and all that was lost. Mamie Gummer stars

The Humans

September 30 to; Opens October 25

A terrific cast including Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell, Joyce Van Patten and Sarah Steele star in the latest play by Stephen Karam (Sons of the Prophet). When Erik Blake (Birney) brings his Pennsylvania family to his daughter’s Manhattan apartment to celebrate Thanksgiving, strange things start happening.

MCC THEATER

Address: The Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street. Twitter: @mcctheater

The Legend of Georgia McBride 

How can an Elvis impersonator become a winning drag queen in the Florida Panhandle? With an empty bank account and pregnant wife, Casey’s going to have to answer that question fast in this music-filled comedy written by Matthew Lopez (“The Whipping Man.”)

RATTLESTICK PLAYWRIGHTS


rattle_01
224 Waverly Place (though frequently also at the Cherry Lane) Twitter:  @RattlestickNY

Hamlet in Bed

Michael Laurence and Annette O’Toole star in Laurence’s play about a neurotic actor and adoptee tracks down a woman who might be his birth mother and asks her to star with him in Hamlet.

CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY

September 10 to 27; opens September 17.

IgphigeniainAulisposter

As part of CSC’s inaugural Greek Festival, Playwright Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play) and director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) team up in this dynamic imagining of Euripides’ rarely-seen final play. A father is challenged to sacrifice his daughter in order to appease the gods.

mothercourage_800x315

Mother Courage and her Children

December 9

Tonya Pinkins stars in Bertolt Brecht’s most popular play as the indomitable Mother Courage,who follows one luckless army after another across a war-torn world in her canteen wagon. Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) has written a new score for the play.

OTHER (POTENTIAL) HIGHLIGHTS

Desire (59E59 )

Opens September 10

Desire

An evening of plays based on six short stories by Tennessee Williams, adapted by Elizabeth Egloff, Marcus Gardley, Rebecca Gilman, David Grimm, John Guare, and Beth Henley.

Steve, at The New Group, written by Mark Gerrard, directed by Cynthia Nixon, starring Mario Cantone (“As Steven, a failed Broadway chorus boy turned stay-at-home dad, celebrates yet another birthday, he finds himself filled with fear and uncertainty. Is Stephen, his partner of 14 years, cheating on him?”)

GiganticatVineyardposter

Gigantic, at Vineyard Theater, November 11 – December 20, 2015. A coming-of-age musical that takes places at Camp Overton, the number three weight-loss camp for teenagers in Southern Pennsylvania.

Antigone at BAM

Always worth checking out: Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival which focuses on avant-garde experimental and European works. Of particular interest this year (as I mentioned earlier), a new version of Antigone directed by Ivo van Hove and starring Juliette Binoche.

HenryIVStAnnes

Henry IV at St. Ann’s Warehouse, an all-female production by the same team that brought us the terrific all-female Julius Caesar.

DaddyLongLegs
Daddy Long Legs, Davenport Theatre
.Based on the 1912 novel by Jean Webster, the musical tells the story of Jerusha Abbott, the oldest orphan in the John Grier Home and the mysterious benefactor who sends her to college to be a writer. Required to write him a letter once a month, Jerusha is never to know the benefactor’s identity—so she invents one for him: Daddy Long Legs.

Other companies worth checking out:

Ars Nova

Atlantic

Irish Repertory Theater

Primary Stages

Second Stage 

There are also commercial shows put together by independent producers that appear in theaters for rent, such as:

Cherry Lane Theatre
Daryl Roth Theatre
Gym at Judson
Lucille Lortel Theatre
New World Stages
Orpheum Theater
The Players Theatre
Snapple Theater Center
Theatre Row – The Acorn
Union Square Theater
Westside Theatre

*THE ASTERISK: Off-Broadway AND Broadway

*Just to complicate matters, several of the resident theaters also present shows on Broadway –  Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theater Company (MTC), the Roundabout Theater Company., and starting this season, Second Stage Theatre, which has bought the Helen Hayes. Their Broadway offerings are listed in my Broadway Fall 2015 Preview Guide.

What Is Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway?

Off-Broadway theaters, by definition, have anywhere from 99 to 499 seats. If a theater has more seats than that, it’s a Broadway house. If it has fewer, it’s Off-Off Broadway.

There are some terrific Off-Off Broadway theaters, sometimes confused for Off-Broadway. These include (but are not limited to) The FleaLabyrinth Theater, and LaMaMa ETC.

Monthly Calendar of Openings

Because there are so many shows Off-Off Broadway, and their runs are so limited, I include them in my monthly theater preview (along with Broadway and Off Broadway openings) posted near the beginning of each month.

Here’s the preview guide for September, 2015.)

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information about Off-Broadway, go to  The League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers (aka The Off-Broadway League).  This should not be confused with the Off-Broadway Alliance, which is a separate organization (though they should probably merge, no?)

September 2015 Theater Openings on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway

SAforcalendar

scene from Spring Awakening

Deaf West’s revival of “Spring Awakening” is the only Broadway show opening in September.

Other New York theater that looks promising this month: Desire, an evening of plays adapted from Tennessee Williams short stories

The Christians by Lucas Hnath

the musical Daddy Long Legs

and new work by Matthew Lopez (The Whipping Man), Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns), Thomas Bradshaw (Job),  and The Elevator Repair Service (Gatz), as well as the New York City debut of a work by the Neo-Political Cowgirls.

But you can’t know for sure until you see the show, which is why I review.

Below is a selection of the plays, musicals and “immersive” theater pieces opening in September, organized chronologically by opening date. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple or Blue. Off Off Broadway: Green.

To look at the Fall season as a whole, check out Broadway Fall 2015 Preview and Off-Broadway Fall 2015 Preview.

September 2

In Bed With Roy Cohen (Theatre Row)

At the end of his life, Roy Cohen is visited by people from his past making him account for his deeds, including Julius Rosenberg, Ronald Reagan, Barbara Walters, Roy’s lover Serge, his mother Dora, and his own youthful self.

September 3

Where Was I? (Theatre 54)

Actress Karen Ludwig’s autobiographical solo show.

September 8

Little Thing, Big Thing (59e59)

An Irish ex-con and a nun are thrust into the world of international oil skullduggery, awakening passions they thought were dead.

September 9

TheLegendofGeorgiaMcBrideforcalendar_wayne_duvall__matt_mcgrath__dave_thomas_brown_in_the_legend_of_georgia_mcbride_(photo_by_joan_marcus)

The Legend of Georgia McBride (MCC at Lucille Lortel)

How can an Elvis impersonator become a winning drag queen in the Florida Panhandle? With an empty bank account and pregnant wife, Casey’s going to have to answer that question fast in this music-filled comedy written by Matthew Lopez (“The Whipping Man.”)

Laugh It Up, Stare It Down (Cherry Lane)

“This is a story of Cleo and Joe — the meeting of their minds, the entwining of their hearts, and their life-long search for a meaningful point in a universe too random to have one.”

September 10

Desire (59E59 )

Desire

An evening of plays based on six short stories by Tennessee Williams, adapted by Elizabeth Egloff, Marcus Gardley, Rebecca Gilman, David Grimm, John Guare, and Beth Henley.

Stoopdreamer (The Cell)

Presented as part of the 1st Irish Theatre Festival,  the play suggests the lingering effects of gentrification as three locals meet in the last remaining Irish saloon in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Windsor Terrace, and reveal secrets from their past that may have ultimately stunted their futures.

Isolde (Theatre for a New Audience)

Inspired by the legend of Tristan and Isolde, the play is written and directed by Richard Maxwell. The marriage of Patrick and Isolde appears to be happy, but then Isolde hires architect Maximo to build her dream house.

Judy (New Ohio Theatre)

“It’s the winter of 2040, and the world has changed – but maybe not by much. Timothy’s wife has just left him, and he isn’t taking it well..What happens when technology fails and communication breaks down.” A comedy by Max Posner produced by Page 73.

Hamlet In Bed (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater)

Michael Laurence and Annette O’Toole star in Laurence’s play about a neurotic actor and adoptee tracks down a woman who might be his birth mother and asks her to star with him in Hamlet.

EVE (Gym at Judson)

Evepic

An immersive dance theater experience by the Neo-Political Cowgirls (“exploring and celebrating the female voice”),where the audience wanders at will through the expanse of an 11-room set, swaddled by music and art.

September 13

The Black Book (Sargent Theatre)

A college student disguises his suicide note in a poem and leaves it in his poetry professor’s classroom. The apprehensive professor, is compelled to delve into his student’s past and unravel the clues within his poem in attempt to save him

Pondling (59E59)

Genevieve Hulme-Beaman’s one-woman play presents a “strange lonely child who lives life in the grip of her own vivid imagination.”

September 17

The Christians (Playwrights Horizons)

TheChristiansposter

In this play by Lucas Hnath, Pastor Paul, who has built a megachurch, ” is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundation of his congregation’s beliefs.”

Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company)

IgphigeniainAulisposter

As part of CSC’s inaugural Greek Festival, Playwright Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play) and director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) team up in this dynamic imagining of Euripides’ rarely-seen final play. A father is challenged to sacrifice his daughter in order to appease the gods.

September 18

Boys in the Club (Regeneration at Access Theater)

Meet Hector. Hector used to go out with Alan who is now going out with Eddie who just met Gucci, the house boy, and Pippin, the Drama Queen. And yes, Hector’s the one in the bad drag…In the course of the evening, they reveal hopes, fears, and how they are still coming to terms with HIV.

September 21

The New Morality (Mint Theater)

The New Morality Mint

A revival of the play by Harold Chapin, who died on the battlefield in 1915 at the age of 29. Aboard a houseboat on a fashionable reach of the Thames in 1911, “Betty Jones has been simmering for weeks, watching her husband make an ass of himself by paying excessive attention to their neighbor, Muriel Wister. Betty finally boils over and tells Muriel exactly what she thinks of her”

Fulfillment (The Flea)

Thomas Bradshaw’s new play about a man who has a new girlfriend and a new apartment, but is about to enter hell. The play “tackles the question: what makes us happy?” As in many of Bradshaw’s plays, this one includes violence, nudity and sexual situations.

September 24

Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith (The Bridge Theatre)

ConversationswithMyMolesterforCalendarmichael-mack_conversations_timo217_prayer_6x10_300dpi_credit-Timothy-Hanson

A one-man show by Michael Mack about meeting 40 years laters with the priest who molested him at age 11.

September 27

Spring Awakening (Brooks Atkinson)

An 18-week run of this revival of the 2006 Broadway musical, based on Frank Wedekind’s 19th century German play about the coming-of-age, and coming-to-rebellion, of a dozen young people. This production, originally mounted in Los Angeles, is in English and American Sign Language, features a large cast of relative newcomers, as well as Camryn Manheim, Krysta Rodriguez and Andy Mientus, and marks the Broadway debut of Marlee Matlin.

Antigone (BAM)

Juliette Binoche plays stubborn heroine in this feminist version of Sophocles’s tragedy, with a new translation by Anne Carson, directed by Ivo van Hove. Part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s New Wave Festival.

Antigone at BAM

September 28


Daddy Long Legs (Davenport Theatre)

Based on the 1912 novel by Jean Webster, the musical tells the story of Jerusha Abbott, the oldest orphan in the John Grier Home and the mysterious benefactor who sends her to college to be a writer. Required to write him a letter once a month, Jerusha is never to know the benefactor’s identity—so she invents one for him: Daddy Long Legs.

Fondly, Collette Richland (New York Theatre Workshop)

“When Mr. and Mrs. “Fritz” Fitzhubert are summoned through a wee little secret door in their living room, they enter into a phantasmagorical world of Alpen hotels, mysterious employees, perilous hikes, and ancient deities, that will leave their lives forever altered.” A collaboration between the Elevator Repair Service (The Gatz) and their first living writer, playwright Sibyl Kempson.

Have a play or musical opening in New York in September that I didn’t mention — or one in October you want to make sure I mention in next month’s calendar? E-mail me at NewYorkTheater.me@gmail.com

August 2015 Theater Openings on Broadway (Hamilton!), Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway

Hamilton9

Hamilton-PlaybillHamilton is NOT the only show opening this month. There are new plays at the Signature by both Annie Baker, winner of last year’s Pulitzer Prize for The Flick, and the 84-year-old A.R. Gurney, experiencing a late-career resurgence. There are 200 shows at the Fringe festival, and another 63 at the lesser known Thespis festival. There are exciting FREE plays at the New Brooklyn Theatre, including one by Lynn Nottage.

But Hamilton is the only show opening on Broadway, and even people who rarely if ever go to the theater have been gushing over it since its debut at the Public Theater, where it swept nearly every Off-Broadway award.

Below is a selection of the shows opening in August, organized chronologically by opening date. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple or Blue. Off Off Broadway: Green.

August 2

Delirium’s Daughters (Triumvirate Artists at Theatre Row)

Four suitors, three daughters…what’s a father to do? A kind old gentleman believes his deceased wife has forbid their three daughters to marry, until one of the suitors plays a series of tricks that helps him deal with his loss and recover his sanity. A new take on Commedia Dell’Arte

August 3

What I Learned in Fallsburg (Stage 72 at the Triad)

Gary Waldman’s personal musical tribute to growing up in the Catskills

August 4

Crossing Verrazano (Hudson Guild)

Writer-director Anthony Fusco’s play tells the true story of a gay-bashing that took place in Greenwich Village in 2010.

Lynn Nottage

Lynn Nottage

This is one of 63 plays being presented as part of the Thespis Theater Festival.

August 5

Las Meninas (New Brooklyn Theatre)

A play by Pulitzer-winnig playwright Lynn Nottage that tells the story of “the love affair between Louis XIV’s wife Queen Marie-Therese and Nabo, her African servant as told through the imagination of their illegitimate daughter. This play is offered FOR FREE.

August 6

Hamilton (Richard Rodgers)

Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson with ensemble of Hamilton

Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson with ensemble of Hamilton

The story of Alexander Hamilton, told by Lin-Manuel Miranda (In The Heights) using a mix of rap, jazz, r&b, and even light opera. I saw this at the Public Theater, and loved it.

August 7

Rachel2

Rachel (New Brooklyn Theatre)

Angelina Weld Grimké, the first African-American woman to have a play publicly performed, wrote Rachel  at the request of W.E.B. DuBois, shortly after the debut of D.W. Griffith’s racist 1915 film The Birth of a Nation,  it was one of the first plays to protest lynching and racial violence. This play is offered FOR FREE, and is presented in repertoire with Las Meninas.

August 10

cymbeline

Cymbeline (Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park)

 Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater, Patrick Page and Raul Esparza are featured In this Shakespearean fairy tale directed by Daniel Sullivan, described this way: ” Princess Imogen’s fidelity is put to the royal test when her disapproving father banishes her soul mate. Cross-dressing girls and cross-dressing boys, poisons and swordfights and dastardly villains all take the stage in this enchanting romp about the conquering power of love.” For FREE.

August 11

John (Signature Theater)

Signature Theatre presents “John” A New Play by Annie Baker; Directed by Sam Gold Pictured: Georgia Engel as Mertis Katherine Graven, Christopher Abbott as Elias Schreiber-Hoffman & Lois Smith as Genevieve Marduk

Signature Theatre presents “John”
A New Play by Annie Baker; Directed by Sam Gold
Pictured: Georgia Engel as Mertis Katherine Graven, Christopher Abbott as Elias Schreiber-Hoffman & Lois Smith as Genevieve Marduk

A play by Annie Baker (Pulitzer winner for The Flick), starring an impressive cast including Georgia Engel (from the Mary Tyler Moore Show), Christopher Abbott (who left Girls),Hong Chau (Treme) and Lois Smith (The Trip to Bountiful, Rebel Without A Cause, etc), and directed by long-time Baker collaborator Sam Gold. “The week after Thanksgiving. A Bed & Breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A cheerful innkeeper. A young couple struggling to stay together. Thousands of inanimate objects, watching. “

August 14

Fringeteaser

The New York International Fringe Festival, which begins today and runs through August 30th, offers almost 200 different shows.

August 18

InformedConsentforTwitter

Informed Consent (Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd St)

A play by Deborah Zoe Laufer “about one woman’s quest to answer the mysteries of science and her own life, inspired by a landmark court case between one of the country’s largest universities and a Native American tribe based in the Grand Canyon.”  The suit was against Arizona State University for doing unauthorized research on blood drawn from members of the Havasupai tribe

August 19

MercuryFurscriptcoerMercury Fur (New Group at Signature)

“In a society ravaged by warring gangs and a hallucinogenic-drug epidemic, Elliot and Darren, under the sway of the ruthless Spinx, throw parties for rich clients in abandoned apartment buildings – parties that help guests act out their darkest, most sinister fantasies.”

August 24

Love and Money (Signature)

AR Gurney By Gregory CostanzoA.R. Gurney, 84, has written close to 50 plays. He is best-known for “The Dinner Party,” but he is experiencing a career resurgence, which includes last fall’s Broadway revival of Love Letters, and this fall’s Broadway debut of Sylvia, as well as an entire season devoted to him at the Signature. Love and Money is a new play written as part of his residency year at Signature. “Determined to donate almost everything she owns before her life of grace and privilege ends, wealthy widow Cornelia Cunningham’s plan hits a snag when an ambitious and ingratiating young man arrives to claim his alleged inheritance.”

August 27

A Delicate Ship (Playwrights Realm at The Peter J Sharpe Theater)

A Delicate Shipcast

From the company, Playwrights Realm, that produced one of my favorite shows from last year, My Manana Comes, comes this play by Anna Ziegler. “It’s Christmas Eve, and Sarah and Sam are celebrating like New Yorkers: flirting over wine and debating the nature of existential suffering. Then there is a knock on the door, and Sarah’s childhood friend Nate stands at the threshold. And suddenly suffering becomes a whole lot less sexy.”

Whorl Inside a Loop (Second Stage)

WhorlInsideALooppic

Co-written and co-performed by Sherie Rene Scott (Everyday Rapture) A well-regarded actress agrees to teach six inmates how to tell their stories behind the bars of a men’s maximum security prison. Sharing intimate and sometimes hilarious details of their former lives, this unlikely group forms a bond — even as the actress’s life outside spins out of control.”

July 2015 Theater Openings Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway

It’s hard to come up with a comprehensive list for July — not because there is so little to see, but so much — summer theater festivals, FREE theatrical concerts like the weekly Broadway in Bryant Park, and countless Shakespeares in the parks.

There are also plays and musicals just like you’d see the rest of the year.

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date in July, of a selection of Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.
Nothing, of course, is guaranteed about any of these shows, even those that seem the most promising. (This is why I write reviews.) There are always surprises.
Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple. Off Off Broadway: Green.

July 3

Araberlin (Horizon Theatre Rep at 4th Street Theater)

The U.S. Premiere of a play about identity by Tunisian  Jalila BaccarWhen Mokhtar, an architecture student, disappears without a trace, his family and friends discover that he is suspected of belonging to a terrorist organization.

July 7

Penn and Teller (Marquis)

The duo returns for six weeks with their familiar mix of magic and comedy.

July 8

Skippyjon Jones Snow What & the 7 Chihuahuas (Theatreworks USA at Lucille Lortel Theatre)

Adapted from the children’s book by Judy Schachner, this new FREE musical marks the 27th anniversary of free summer children’s theater from Theatreworks USA.

July 9

The Weir (Irish Rep @ DR2)

A revival of the well-received play by Conor McPherson: “In a remote country pub in Ireland, newcomer Valerie arrives and becomes spellbound by an evening of ghostly stories told by the local bachelors who drink there… Then Valerie reveals a startling story of her own.”

Sayonara (Pan Asian Repertory at Theatre Row)

Tisa Chang directs this re-imagining of a musical (adapted from a novel by James Michener) of US military in post-WWII Japan

July 12

Bad Kid (Axis Theatre)

David Crabb’s funny and moving one-man show tells his story, that of a Goth boy who dreamed of being anywhere but the middle of Texas in 1991.

July 13

Ruthless (St. Luke’s)

A revival of the “campy cult favorite” about a performer with killer ambition, who is eight years old. Spoofing shows like Gypsy and movies like All About Eve, the musical boasts such alumna as  Britney Spears and Natalie Portman.

July 15

Scenes from an Execution (Potomac Theater Project at Atlantic Stage 2)

David Barlow (Carpeta) Jan Maxwell (Galactia) in SCENES FROM AN EXECUTION-p

In what she says is her last role in the theater, Jan Maxwell portrays Galactia in a revival of Howard Barker’s play about the 15th century Venetian painter who is “commissioned by the State of Venice to portray the Battle of Lepanto, a naval battle described as “the greatest triumph of Venetian history.” However, her 1,000 square feet of canvas contains quite a different interpretation. Thus the battle over truth, freedom and responsibility is engaged.”

July 16

Amazing Grace (Nederlander Theatre)

A new musical starring Josh Young and Chuck Cooper about the creation of the spiritual song ‘Amazing Grace’ by John Newton, the son of a slave trader.

July 18

I Know What Boys Want (Theatre Row- Lion)

A prep school girl discovers that this week’s Internet sensation is a video of her having sex.

July 20

Mrs. Smith’s Broadway Cat-tacular! (47th Street Theater)

Mrs. Smith is a woman on the verge of a cat-based breakdown — in search of her missing cat, Carlyle. “Featuring classic Broadway hits like “Cabaret,” “One Night in Bangkok,” “The Cat That Got Away” and many more, this cat-tacular is a deftly executed character comedy with tap dancing, puppetry, video flashbacks, and virtuosic electric guitar.”

July 22

Threesome (59E59)

Leila and Rashid, Egyptian Americans with ties to Cairo, attempt to solve their relationship issues by inviting a relative stranger into their bedroom to engage in a threesome. What begins as a hilariously awkward evening soon becomes an experience fraught with secrets

July 23

ColinQuinnNYStory2

Colin Quinn The New York Story (Cherry Lane Theater)

“Colin bemoans the rise and fall of his hometown, the city formally known as NY, from its modest beginnings as Dutch outpost to the hipsters of modern Williamsburg to the vermin below and above ground” Directed by Jerry Seinfeld.

July 26

Happy 50ish Musical (Theatre Row – Beckett)

“Baby boomer Bob is facing the big five-o with fear, beer and a letter from the AARP.”

July 27

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Westside Theatre)

LeonardPelkeyforTwitter

James Lecesne portrays every character in a small Jersey shore town as they unravel the story of Leonard Pelkey, a tenaciously optimistic and flamboyant 14 year old boy

King Liz (Second Stage Uptown)

KingLizforTwitter

“Sports agent Liz Rico has money and an elite client roster but a woman in a man’s industry has to fight to stay on top…Enter Freddie Luna, a high school basketball superstar with a troubled past.”

July 30

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow (The Attic at The Flea)

A revival of John Patrick Shanley’s play about the often bizarre byways that love between men and women can follow, told in three related scenes

Broadway Fall 2015 Preview Guide

Updated: September 1:

The Fall season on Broadway has begun unusually early this year – – so early it’s hard to call the new season “Fall 2015.” with four shows already opened by the end of the summer.

This guide will surely change –  some additions, probably some subtractions or at least alterations. What’s promised is a star-heavy season: The Broadway debuts of movie stars Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Forest Whitaker and Keira Knightley and TV star George Takei! The return of Al Pacino, Audra McDonald, Lea Salonga and Nina Ariana!  The pairing of James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson! There are also new musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gloria Estefan, and  George C. Wolfe. WillisKnightlyTakeiAnd then there’s Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Hamilton7 Listed below, chronologically by opening dates, are the shows officially scheduled so far on Broadway in the Fall 2015-2016 season, May 2015 through January 2016, with basic information and sometimes my two cents. Both the schedule and my opinions will be revised and updated as the season progresses. (Click for a rundown on long-running Broadway shows)

See also:  Off-Broadway Fall 2015 Guide

An Act of God

anactofgodlogoTheater: Studio 54
Playwright: David Javerbaum
Director:  Joe Montello
Opened: May 28
Closing: August 2, 2015
Cast: Jim Parsons Christopher Fitzgerald Tim Kazurinsky
God in the person of The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons has rewritten the Ten Commandments in a joke-filled comedy begat by the author of the Twitter feed @TweetofGod.
Twitter feed: @ActofGodBway

Penn and Teller

pennandtellerlogoMarquis Theater
First preview: July 7
Opening: July 12
Closing: August 16. 2015
Cast: Penn Jillette,Teller
The duo returns with their familiar mix of magic and comedy. @pennjillett and @MrTeller

Amazing Grace

amazinggrace logoNederlander Theatre
Authors: Christopher Smith and Arthur Giron
First preview: June 25
Opens: July 16
Director: Gabriel Barre
Cast: Josh Young, Erin Mackey, Chuck Cooper, Chris Hoch, Tom Hewitt, Stanley Bahorek , Harriett D. Foy, Laiona Michelle , Rachael Ferrera, Elizabeth Ward Land

A new musical about the creation of the spiritual song ‘Amazing Grace’ by John Newton, the son of a slave trader. Twitter feed: @agmusical

Hamilton

hamiltonlogoRichard Rodgers Theater
Author: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Director: Thomas Kail
First preview: July 13
Opens: August 6
Cast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Carleigh Bettiol, Ariana DeBose, Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sydney James Harcourt, Sasha Hutchings, Christopher Jackson, Thayne Jasperson, Stephanie Klemons, Anthony Ramos, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Rua, Phillipa Soo, Seth Stewart, Betsy Struxness, Ephraim Sykes, Voltaire Wade-Greene
The groundbreaking hip-hop opera about the life and times of the Founding Father on the ten dollar bill transfers to Broadway amid much huzzahs, including by me.
Twitter feed: @HamiltonMusical

SEPTEMBER

Deaf West’s Spring Awakening

SpringAwakeninglogoBrooks Atkinson
Authors: Book and lyrics by Stephen Sater, music by Duncan Sheik
Director: Michael Arden
First preview: September 8
Opens: September 27
Closes: January 9, 2016
Cast: TBA
An 18-week run of this revival of the 2006 Broadway musical, based on Frank Wedekind’s 19th century German play about the coming-of-age, and coming-to-rebellion, of a dozen young people. This production, originally mounted in Los Angeles, is in English and American Sign Language
Twitter feed: @SA_Musical

OCTOBER

Old Times

oldtimesnotlogoAmerican Airlines Theater

Playwright: Harold Pinter

Director: Douglas Hodge

First preview: September 17

Opens: October 6

Closing: Nov 29 2015

Cast: Clive Owen, Eve Best, Kelly Reilly

Owen makes his Broadway debut in this Roundabout revival of Pinter’s 1971 dark comedy about a friendly visit from Deeley’s wife’s friend Anna that turns into a battle for power

Fool For Love

FoolforLovenotquitelogoSamuel J. Friedman Theater

Playwright: Sam Shepard

Director: Daniel Aukin

First preview: September 15

Opens: October 8

Closing: TBA

Cast: Nina Arianda, Sam Rockwell

Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell star in Manhattan Theatre Club’s revival of Sam Shepard’s 1983 play about a brother and sister who share an unrequited love.

The Gin Game

james-earl-jones-cicely-tyson in Gin GameJohn Golden Theater

Playwright: D.L. Coburn

Director: Leonard Foglia

First preview: September 21

Opens: October 13

Closing: TBA

Cast: Cicely Tyson, James Earl Jones

Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones team up for the revival of this Pulitzer-winning play about a man and a woman in a nursing home who turn a game of gin rummy into a battleground.

Dames at Sea

DamesatSealogoHelen Hayes Theater

Authors: Jim Wise (music), George Haimsohn (book and lyrics), Robin Miller (book and lyrics)

Director: Randy Skinner

First Preview: September 24

Opens: October 22

Cast: John Bolton Mara Davi Danny Gardner Eloise Kropp Leslie Margherita Cary Tedder

First revival of the 1968 musical pokes fun at movie musicals of the 1930s. The cast of Ruby’s first Broadway show learn that their theater is being demolished, so they decide to perform on a battleship Twitter feed: @DamesatSeaBway

SylvialogoSylvia

Cort Theater

Author: A.R. Gurney

Director: Dan Sullivan

First Preview:October 2

Opens: October 27

Cast: Annaleigh Ashford, Julie White, Robert Sella

Annaleigh Ashford and Julie White star in this revival of A.R. Gurney’s 1995 comedy about a man who adopts a dog (Ashford) that causes a crisis in his marriage.  First preview planned for September 25.

Twitter feed: @SylviaBroadway

Therese Raquin

TheresaRaquinNOTlogoStudio 54

Playwright: Helen Edmundson adaptation of Emile Zola Director: Evan Cabnet

First Preview: October 1

Opens: October 29

Cast: Keira Knightly, Judith Light, Gabriel Ebert, Matt Ryan

A new stage adaptation of Zola’s novel. “In this tale of love, lust, betrayal, and guilt, Thérèse (Knightley) has made peace with her loveless marriage to a weak man when her world is turned upside down by Laurent walking through the door

NOVEMBER

King Charles III

KingCharlesIIIlogoMusic Box Theater

Playwright: Mike Bartlett

Director: Rupert Goold

First Preview: October 10

Opens: November 1

Cast: Tim Pigott-Smith, Oliver Chris, Richard Goulding, Adam James,Margot Leicester, Miles Richardson, Tom Robertson, Sally Scott, Tafline Steen,Lydia Wilson

A Broadway transfer of the 2015 Olivier award for best new play imagining Prince Charles’ ascent to the throne. Twitter feed: @KingCharles3

On Your Feet

OnYourFeetlogoMarquis Theater

Authors: Gloria Estefan (music), Alexander Dinelaris (book)

Director: Jerry Mitchell

First Preview: October 5

Opens: November 5

Cast: Ana Villafañe, Josh Segarra

Singer Gloria Estefan tells the story of her and her husband Emilio Estefan Twitter feed: @OnYourFeetBway

Allegiance

AllegiancelogoLongacre

Authors: Music and lyrics by Jay Kuo, book by Marc Acito, Kay Kuo, Lorenzo Thione

Director: Stafford Arima

First Preview: October 6

Opens: November 8

Cast: George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung, Katie Rose Clarke, Michael K. Lee, Christopheren Nomura, Greg Watanabe

A new musical based on George Takei’s family’s experiences in an American internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Twitter feed: @AllegianceBway
.

A View from the Bridge

AViewfromtheBridgeLyceum Theater

Playwright: Arthur Miller

Director: Ivo Van Hove

First Preview: October 21

Opens: November 12

Cast: Mark Strong, Nicola Walker, Phoebe Fox.

This will be the fifth production on Broadway of Miller’s Greek tragedy of a play set on a Brooklyn waterfront in the 1950s; the last was in 2010 starring Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber. However, it marks the Broadway debut of the much-praised Belgium avant-garde director Van Hove, who wowed New York audiences just last year with his innovative Off-Broadway productions of Scenes from a Marriage and Angels in America. His View from the Bridge is a transfer from London.

MiserylogosortofMisery

Broadhurst Theater

First preview: Oct 22 2015
Opening: Nov 15 2015
Closing: Feb 14 2016

Director: Will Frears

Writer: William Goldman, from the novel by Stephen Kin

Cast: Bruce Willis, Laurie Metcalf

Bruce Willis makes his Broadway debut with Elizabeth Marvel in William Goldman’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a popular writer held hostage by an insane fan

China Doll

ChinaDolllogoGerald Schoenfeld Theater

Playwright: David Mamet

Director: Pam MacKinnon

First Preview: October 21

Opens: November 19

Cast: Al Pacino, Fran Kranz

David Mamet’s new two-character play about a billionaire, Mickey Ross (Pacino), who has just bought a new airplane for his young fiancée as he prepares to go into semiretirement; on his way he suddenly gets a phone call.

Twitter feed: @ChinaDollBway

DECEMBER

The Color Purple

ColorPurplelogoBernard Jacobs Theater

Authors: Music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, book by Marsha Norman

Director: John Doyle

First Preview: November 9

Opens: December 3

Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson, Danielle Brooks

A revival of the 2005 musical based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Twitter feed: @BwayColorPurple

School of Rock—The Musical

Winter Garden Theater SchoolofRocklogo

Authors: Lyrics by Glenn Slater, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and from the movie, book by Julian Fellowes

Director: Laurence Connor

First Preview: November 9

Opens: December 6

Cast: Alex Brightman, Sierra Boggess

An adaptation of the 2003 Jack Black movie about a really bad substitute teacher who enlists his fifth-grade class to form a rock group to compete in the Battle of the Bands.

Twitter feed: @SORMusical

Fiddler on the Roof

Broadway Theater FiddlerontheRooflogo

Authors: Jerry Bock (music), Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) and Joseph Stein (book)

Director: Bartlett Sher

First Preview: November 12

Opens: December 17

Cast: Danny Burstein

A revival of the hugely and justly popular 1964 musical about a Jewish milkman and his daughters in hostile 19th century Russia. Twitter feed: @FiddlerBroadway

Noises Off

Andrea Martin

Andrea Martin

American Airlines Theater

Playwright: Michael Frayn

Director: Jeremy Herrin

First Preview: December 17

Opens: January 14, 2016

Closing; TBA

Cast: Andrea Martin, Jeremy Shamos

Andrea Martin stars in the Roundabout revival of this 1983 backstage comedy with lots of door-slamming.

JANUARY

Our Mother’s Brief AffairOurMothersbriefaffairnotlogo

Samuel J. Friedman Theater

Playwright: Richard Greenberg

Director: Lynne Meadow

First Preview: December 28

Opens: January 20

Closing: TBA

Cast: Linda Lavin

Linda Lavin stars in yet another collaboration between Greenberg and Manhattan Theatre Club artistic director Meadow, this one about a mother who confesses a small infidelity that has big consequences.

June 2015 New York Theater Openings

Theater in New York doesn’t end when the Broadway season does.

Patti LuPone, Tony Shalhoub, Mary-Louise Parker and Alicia Silverstone are all treading the New York boards this month, and there are new plays by Simon Stephens (Curious Incident) Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park), Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger), Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns), Douglas Carter Beane, Melissa Ross, Jesse Eisenberg, There are six shows opening on June 11th alone, which must be a record. There’s even a play opening on the same night as the Tony Awards. And let’s not forget the many summer theater festivals that are going on this month — with show too numerous to list here. (So I have a separate preview about New York’s summer festivals.)

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.
Nothing, of course, is guaranteed about any of these shows, even those that seem the most promising. (This is why I write reviews.) There are always surprises.
Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple. Off Off Broadway: Green.
To check out the entire Spring 2015 season, see my Broadway and Off-Broadway preview theater guides.

 June 1, 2015

Composition…Master-Pieces…Identity  (Connelly Theater)

David Greenspan’s solo show “brings to life two ‘lectures’  and a ‘play’ by Gertrude Stein.” (The quotation marks are his.)

June 2

The Spoils (The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center)

Jesse Eisenberg writes and stars in another play, this one about a man who sets out to win back his grade school crush after he finds out she is marrying another grade school classmate, who has become a banker.

June 3

Heisenberg (The Studio at Stage II City Center)

Written by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) this play stars Mary-Louise Parker as a woman who spots a much older man in a London train station, and plants a kiss on his neck.

Heisenberg New York City Center - Stage II Cast List: Mary-Louise Parker Denis Arndt Production Credits: Mark Brokaw (director)  Other Credits: Written by:

The Twentieth-Century Way (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre)

Based on a little-known incident in LA history, this play by Tom Jacobson explores the collision of reality and fantasy as two actors juggle various roles to entrap homosexuals for “social vagrancy” in the public restrooms of 1914 Long Beach. I reviewed this when it appeared at the 2010 New York Fringe Festival, calling it “a dazzling display, and occasionally dizzying. By the end, though, The Twentieth-Century Way‘s confusions seem integral to its many satisfactions.”

twentiethcentwayatRattlestick

June 4

Hey Jude (The Cell at Urban Stages)

Anna’s losing it, her husband Henry’s already lost it and her son Jude is just plain lost. Identity is a slippery slope in this family drama, when a matter of life and death unhinges its members and challenges their basic beliefs.

June 5

InjunctionGrantedPosterInjunction Granted (Metropolitan Playhouse)

“Capital vs. Labor, with clowns.” A re-creation of a social drama devised by the Work Projects Administration in 1937, with “a special coda…bringing the play into the next century.”

June 7

The Tony Awards

The Old Masters (The Flea)

Ben, “an artist turned teacher and expectant father, serendipitously discovers an old friend’s paintings – an old friend who mysteriously disappeared 4 months ago. As the art world falls under the spell of his friend’s work and life story, Ben is left to wonder: what about me?”

June 9

Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait (Rattlestick at Gym at Judson)

Written and Directed by Daniel Talbott. In a not so distant future where children have never known a world without war, resources are vanishing and what’s left is controlled by minuscule factions

June 10

10 Out of 12 Soho Rep

10 Out of 12
Soho Rep

10 Out Of 12 (SoHo Rep)

A play by Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns), “10 out of 12” is set during the technical rehearsals for a new play

June 11

Guards at the Taj (Atlantic Theater Company)

In this new play by Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) directed by Amy Morton,  Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed play to imperial guards in 1648 India, who watch from their post as the sun rises for the first time on the newly-completed Taj Mahal , and are then asked to do something they consider unthinkable.

guardsatthetaj

A Midsummer Nights Dream (Masterworks Theater Company at 47th Street Theatre)

Office PoliticsOfficepoliticspic (June Havoc Theatre)

When a white male co-worker makes an off-the-cuff racially insensitive remark to his boss’s black female assistant, what seems like a harmless joke snowballs, suddenly catapulting the ad sales office of a women’s magazine into turmoil.

CONSENT (The Back Box Theatre at Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center)

A natural athlete and former pro-NFL player, Ron married his high school sweetheart and achieved early success as an award-winning architect. Now a chance encounter with Kurt, a sexy young law student, pushes Ron’s boundaries and seduces him into the murky waters of consent.

square14Debutaunt (Atelier Roquette)

“An interactive dance-based experience in which audience members are invited to attend a debutante ball. ”

Devil and the Deep (Theater East)

A musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s  Treasure Island.

DevilandtheDeepparrot

June 12

Gordy Crashes (IRT Theatre)

Superstorm Sandy has driven Gordy out of his apartment and into a dizzying blur of other people’s couches…Over the next three days, Gordy will see the true extent of the storm’s devastation

June 14

The Qualms (Playwrights Horizons)

This play by Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park) introduces a couple into “an alcohol-fueled party for swingers, only to find themselves at odds with the idea of free love and, suddenly, each other.”

TheQualms2

June 15

preludesposterPreludes (Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theatre)

From the creators of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, PRELUDES is a musical fantasia set in the hypnotized mind of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. After the disastrous premiere of his first symphony, the young Rachmaninoff suffers from writer’s block. He begins daily sessions with a therapeutic hypnotist, in an effort to overcome depression and return to composing

June 16

The Tempest (Public Theater – Delacorte)

The opening of Shakespeare in the Park


Ghost Stories: The Shawl and Prairie Du Chien
 (Atlantic Stage 2)

A revival of two plays by David Mamet.  Shawl is the story of a bereaved woman who consults a small-time mystic for guidance. In Prairie du Chien, a railroad car speeding through the Wisconsin night is the setting for a story of obsessive jealousy, murder and suicide.

June 17

Gloria (Vineyard Theatre)

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s play about an ambitious group of editorial assistants at a notorious  Manhattan magazine, who hope for a starry life of letters and a book deal before they turn thirty.

June 18

Significant Other (Laura Pels)

Jordan would love to be in love, but that’s easier said than done. So until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close-knit girlfriends. With Gideon Glick, Lindsay Mendez, Barbara Barrie, John Behlman.

June 29

showsfordaysposterShows For Days (Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E Newhouse)

Michael Urie and Patti Lupone star in Douglas Carter Beane’s new play about a young man’s first experiences in the theater.

Happy Days The Flea Cast List: Brooke Adams Tony Shaloub Production Credits: Andrei Belgrader (director) Other Credits: Written by: Samuel Beckett

Happy Days (The Flea)

Brooke Adams and Tony Shalhoub star in Beckett’s classic play about a woman buried in the ground.

June 30

Of Good Stock (MTC – NY City Center Stage I)

In a new play by Melissa Ross, Heather Lind, Jennifer Mudge, Alicia Silverstone portray the three Stockton sisters, who are witty, brilliant, beautiful – and a total mess, thanks to the legacy of their complicated novelist father.

OfGoodStock

15 Summer Theater Festivals in New York City 2015

NYCSummerFestivals2015Even New Yorkers who abandon the city for the summer know of the three most celebrated summer theater festivals:

Free Shakespeare in the Park, begun by Joseph Papp in 1962 in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater which was built for that purpose. This usually has two plays by Shakespeare, but occasionally there will be a Sondheim or other modern classic.

Lincoln Center Festival is not exclusively a theater festival, but always includes a couple of theater pieces, most often from overseas.

The New York International Fringe Festival, with some 200 plays, musicals and experimental works, half of which seem to be trying to repeat the success of Urinetown, which became a hit on Broadway.

But there are many other theater festivals in New York during the summer – so many that there is arguably more theater to see during the “off season” than during the regular theater season, and it is often cheaper (even free), and frequently cutting-edge.

Not all of it is worth seeing, of course, and among the bigger festivals it can be intimidating to choose, although that’s also part of the fun. (Tip: Talk to people on the lines.)

This is the fourth year I’m offering a run-down on New York’s most reliable summer theater festivals (2012,  2013 and 2014). Below is a list arranged more or less chronologically by the month in which the festival begins. (Several continue through the summer.)  Click on the festival titles below to be taken to their websites. It’s a good idea to check out their Twitter feeds as well.

May

Clubbed Thumb 

Begun in 1996, this festival has consistently offered three new quality, cutting-edge plays each summer. This is the 20th annual Summerworks. @ClubbedThumb D DEB DEBBIE DEBORAH by Jerry Lieblich, May 20 to 30. CARD AND GIFT by Kate E. Ryan, June 4 to 14. MEN ON BOATS by Jaclyn Backhaus, June 19 – 29

June 

Ant Fest 

Started by Ars Nova (most celebrated recently for originating Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), Ant Fest is a grab-bag of delights.  June 1 to 26. Twitter: @arsnova

The New York Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park

Twitter: @PublicTheaterNY THE TEMPEST starring Sam Waterston and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, May 27 to July 5 CYMBELINE,  starring Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater, July 23 to August 23

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

New York’s premiere eco-friendly/socially conscious not-for-profit arts festival. Twitter: @PCTFNYC

River to River Festival

Held in the downtown business district, this festival has only a handful of what can be called strictly theater pieces, but the hybrids are worth exploring, and all events are free. Twitter: @R2RFestival

Ice Factory Festival

Twitter: @newohiotheatre This year it’s June 24 to August 8, but they haven’t listed the offerings as of this writing.

July

Brick Theater’s Game Play Festival 

Theater pieces that lie at the intersection of video gaming and performance.  Twitter: @bricktheater . This year, July 10 to July 25.

Hot Festival 

NYC celebration of queer culture. At Dixon Place, July 7 to August 5.  @HotFestNYC My favorite title in this year’s offerings:  Michael Jackson Was Innocent and I Didn’t Kill Jonbenet Ramsay, But I Was There The Night She Died, by Michael Cross Burke.

Lincoln Center Festival 

July 6 to August 2. Twitter: @LincolnCenter 

Among the theater offerings this summer:

DruidShakespeare: The History Plays Mark O’Rowe distills Richard II, Henry IVparts I and II, and Henry V into a single narrative, directed by Garry Hynes.

Miss Julie In this edgy staging set in present-day Russia, Strindberg’s ground-breaking “modern woman” blooms in the hands of renowned director Thomas Ostermeier.

Ramona A tragic tale of two trains in love conceived by Rezo Gabriadze, who marries humor and heartbreak in a world of marionettes.

Ubu Roi Cheek by Jowl Director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod return with their company to bring an ingeniously re-imagined version of Alfred Jarry’s absurdist play.

New York Musical Theater Festival

Some 300 new musicals have premiered at this festival since 2004, including “Next to Normal,” “Altar Boyz” and “title of show” Twitter: @nymf

East to Edinburgh Festival

A preview of American productions that will be presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, at 59E59 Theaters. Twitter: @59E59 

Fresh Fruit Festival

celebrates LGBT culture. Twitter: @FreshFruitFest

Midtown International Theater Festival

Twitter: @NYMITF

August

New York International Fringe Festival

August 14 to 30. Twitter: @FringeNYC They’re whetting our appetite with a page full of this year’s show titles.

Dream Up Festival

Twitter: @TNCinNYC 

The Public Theater 2015-2016 Season

PublicTheaterSeason201516New musicals by Stew and Michael John LaChiusa (about the daughters of U.S. presidents), new plays by Robert O’Hara and Tarell Alvin McCraney (inspired by the Book of Job), and a musical adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey by Lear deBessonet are among the season’s offerings at the Public Theater, which has been on a roll — not just because of the success of Hamilton and Fun Home. (Hamilton director Thomas Kail is one of the first-class directors helming work in the new season.)

Below is the schedule and descriptions provided by the theater:

THE ODYSSEY

Public Works at the Delacorte Theater
Musical Adaptation of Homer’s THE ODYSSEY
Conceived and directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet
Music, lyrics, and book by Todd Almond
September 4 – 7, 2015

BARBECUE

Written by Robert O’Hara  (playwright of Bootycandy)

Directed by Kent Gash
September 22 – November 1, 2015

The O’Mallerys have gathered in their local park to share some barbecue and straight talk with their sister Barbara, whose spiral of drugs and recklessness has forced her siblings to stage an open-air intervention. But the event becomes raucous and unpredictable as familial stereotypes collide with hard realities, and racial politics slam up against the stories we tell—and maybe even believe—about who we were and who we become. Kent Gash directs this new play that proves family can be a bigger vice than any other addiction.

MOBILE SHAKESPEARE UNIT (Fall)
ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
November 2 – 22, 2015

Kwame Kwei-Armah, who directed The Public’s 2013 production of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit ’67 and the 2013 Mobile Shakespeare Unit’s Much Ado About Nothing, returns to direct the fall Mobile Shakespeare Unit tour of ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. This romantic fairytale will tour the five boroughs followed by a limited three-week engagement at The Public.

World Premiere
FIRST DAUGHTER SUITE
Written by Michael John LaChiusa (creator of Giant)
Directed by Kirsten Sanderson
October 6 – November 15, 2015

Tony nominee Michael John LaChiusa imagines the inner lives and dreams of America’s best-known daughters with a funny and moving follow-up to his 1993 Public musical First Lady Suite. A historical fantasia in four parts, FIRST DAUGHTER SUITE follows Patricia Nixon and daughters Tricia and Julie, Roselyn and Amy Carter, Betty and Susan Ford, Patti Davis and mom Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush and daughter-in-law Laura as they strive to live meaningful lives in the public eye, while dealing with the complex private relationships all of us face with our parents and children. Directed by Kirsten Sanderson/

Initial casting for this world premiere musical includes Rachel Bay Jones, Theresa McCarthy, Betsy Morgan, Isabel Santiago, Carly Tamer, Mary Testa and Barbara Walsh.

American Premiere
BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES
Created by Gob Squad
October 17 – November 29, 2015

Gob Squad returns with BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES, created over the course of the past two years with 8-14 year olds from around New York City. From behind the safety of one-way mirrors, the audience witnesses seven lives lived in fast forward, from angst-ridden teens to hunched geriatrics. As we adults try to stop the process of aging and preserve youth as long as we can, the children peer into the future and nostalgically back at their recent past, as they prepare to leave childhood behind forever.

UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL – 12th EDITION
January 6 – 17, 2016

Curated by Co-Directors Mark Russell and Meiyin Wang, this 12-day festival in January showcases cutting-edge theater from around the U.S. and the world.

GERMINAL (First Show Announced of the Festival)
Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort
Produced by L’Amicale de production (Belgium/France)

On an empty stage, four intrepid performers begin to construct the world from scratch. With ingenious theater magic, they gleefully invent laws of physics, philosophy, music, language and codes for social interaction.

World Premiere
DRY POWDER
Written by Sarah Burgess
Directed by Thomas Kail
March 1 – April 10, 2016

DRY POWDER is a new drama about the people molding and messing with the American economy. The same week his private equity firm forced massive layoffs at a national grocery chain, Rick threw himself an extravagant engagement party, setting off a publicity nightmare. Fortunately, Seth, one of Rick’s managing directors, has a win-win deal to invest in an American-made luggage company for a song and rescue his boss from the company’s PR disaster. But Jenny, Seth’s counterpart, has an entirely different plan: to squeeze every last penny out of the company, no matter the human toll. The game is on in Sarah Burgess’ gripping, razor-sharp new play about the price of success and the real cost of getting the deal done. Thomas Kail directs.

New York Premiere
HEAD OF PASSES
Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney (the Brother/Sister plays)
Directed by Tina Landau
In a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre
March 15 – April 24, 2016

Tarell Alvin McCraney, MacArthur Award-winning playwright of the acclaimed Brother/Sister Plays, returns to The Public with a new drama about family, acceptance and the power of faith. At the mouth of the Mississippi River, Shelah’s family and friends have come to celebrate her birthday and save her from a leaking roof. But in this contemporary parable inspired by the Book of Job, unexpected events turn the reunion into the ultimate test of faith and love. As her world seems to collapse around her, Shelah must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s greatest challenges.

World Premiere
THE TOTAL BENT
Text by Stew
Music by Heidi Rodewald and Stew (authors of Passing Strange)
Directed by Joanna Settle
May 10 – June 19, 2016

Stew and Heidi Rodewald, creators of the Tony Award-winning show Passing Strange, team with director Joanna Settle to bring you their thrilling new musical, THE TOTAL BENT. A riotous new show at the crossroads of the sacred and profane, survival and liberation, gospel and rock ‘n’ roll. When a British record producer arrives in Montgomery, Alabama to hook Marty Roy, a young black musical prodigy, he launches us back into Marty’s tumultuous upbringing. The son of a gospel star and self-proclaimed healer, Marty spent his childhood writing the songs that have made his charismatic father famous. But in an America on the verge of social upheaval, with an unrelenting appetite for celebrity, Marty finds himself at odds with his spiritually forceful father as he strives to make a name for himself—no matter the cost. A funny, fiery, one-of-a-kind show, THE TOTAL BENT is about the passions that divide a father and son as they make their music and make their choice between salvation and selling out.

MOBILE SHAKESPEARE UNIT (Spring)
ROMEO & JULIET
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet
May 10 – May 29, 2016

This spring, The Mobile Shakespeare Unit, which strengthens community engagement with the arts by bringing free, world-class productions of Shakespeare to communities all across New York City, will present Shakespeare’s timeless tale of ROMEO & JULIET. This production will tour the five boroughs followed by a three week sit-down engagement at The Public.

May 2015 New York Theater Openings and Awards

Some may see May as the month when theater people are waiting for the Tony Awards in June, but don’t be fooled. There are at least 21 shows opening in New York this month, including one on Broadway. AND there are a half dozen major New York theater awards announcing their winners in May. Below is a list of May awards by the date when the winners are announced, and May shows organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each show title is linked to a relevant website. (And each award is linked to a list of nominees — for those awards that announce nominees in advance.) Nothing, of course, is guaranteed about any of these shows, even those that seem the most promising. (This is why I write reviews.) There are always surprises. Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: PurpleOff Off Broadway: Green. Awards: Orange

May 2

Love Me (Funny Sheesh at The 4th Street Theater) It’s the mid-1990s in New York City, and underachieving writer/motivational speaker Charlie Styptic  searches for love and artistic achievement.

May 4

New York Drama Critics Circle winners announced

Fred and Estelle Astaire nominees announced Forever (New York Theatre Workshop)Dael Orlandersmith Forever Framed with the story of the pilgrimage that Dael Orlandersmith took to the cemetery where Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison are buried, she offers a semi-autobiographical exploration of the family we dwb-danare born into and the family we choose. Dinner With The Boys (Theatre Row – Acorn) Written by and starring Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years, Lombardi), this comedy tells the story of two wise guys from the old neighborhood who find themselves at odds with the Family, and prepare them dinner to make amends.

May 5

Theatre World Awards announced

Toast0374RToast (The Public Theater) Lemon Anderson (County of Kings) tells the story of a group of inmates “fighting to keep their minds free amidst the 1971 riots that rocked Attica Prison.”

 May 7

 Melissa’s Choice (Theatre Row, The Lion) A passionate lawyer must decide between two men, and is helped by her unlikely guides at a local campsite. Cool Hand Luke (59e59) Under the scorching Florida sun, Boss Godfrey watches the chain gang and keeps his eye on Cool Hand Luke – war hero, trouble-maker, and inspiration to his fellow inmates – just the kind of man the Boss needs to crush. (They make no mention of the Paul Newman movie. Both are based on the novel by Donn Pearce.)

 May 9

Summer and Smoke (T. Schreiber Theatre Studio) The Tennessee Williams play is directed by Terry Schreiber

May 10

Lucille Lortel Awards ceremony

One Hand Clapping (59e59) Adapted from Anthony Burgess’ (author of ‘A Clockwork Orange’) 1961 novel, this darkly comic story about the winner of a TV quiz show who makes a sinister proposition to his wife.

May 11

Outer Critics Circle winners announced

PaintedRocksatRevolverCreek The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek (Signature) A  new play by Athol Fugard inspired by the life of outsider artist Nukain Mabusa.

May 14

The Glass Menagerie (47th Street Theatre) The Tennessee Williams play presented in the inaugural season of the Masterworks Theater Company. The multicultural cast includes Olivia Washington, Denzel Washington’s daughter, as Laura.

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May 15

Drama League Awards

May 17

 AR Gurney By Gregory CostanzoWhat I Did Last Summer (Signature Theatre) The latest in the Signature season of plays by A.R. Gurney: With her husband overseas near the end of World War II, Grace fights to save the splintering bonds of her family by taking her teenage son and daughter to spend the summer on Lake Erie. Starring the fabulous Kristine Nielsen, with the up-and-comer Noah Galvin.

May 18

Obie Awards

The Flick (Barrow Street Theatre) A new production of last year’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Annie Baker about three employees of a movie theater. (My review of original production.)

May 19

TheWayWeGetBy The Way We Get By (Second Stage) Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski in Neil Labute play about the morning after a one-night stand.

May 20

permissionpicPermission (MCC Theater) Written by Robert Askins (playwright of Hand to God), directed by Alex Timbers: A couple’s new commitment to “Christian Domestic Discipline” upends their lives.

Macbeth (Public Theater)

May 21

The Other Thing  (Second Stage Uptown) Kim is a journalist, writing what she thinks will be a run-of-the-mill article about a father and son team of ghost hunters in rural Virginia.

May 24

Incognito (MTC at New York City Center) A new play by Nick Payne (Constellations) about a pathologist who steals the brain of Albert Einstein; a neuropsychologist embarks on her first romance with another woman; a seizure patient forgets everything but how much he loves his girlfriend

May 28

AnActofGod An Act of God (Studio 54) Jim Parsons stars in a ” 90-minute comedy where the Almighty and His devoted angels answer some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since Creation.”

Cagney (York Theatre Company) A musical about the actor from his humble beginnings in New York City’s Lower East Side through his rise as a vaudeville song-and-dance man, to his superstardom in Hollywood.

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May 31

Drama Desk Awards

R/Evolution (Robert Moss Theater) A new musical set 150 years in the future, when governments have been replaced by corporations.

April 2015 Openings Broadway, Off and Off Off Broadway

April is the month to binge-watch on Broadway.  Fourteen shows are opening on Broadway within 21 days — set in Paris, London, Bangkok and Moscow; and Cypress, Texas;  Airline Highway, New Orleans; and Beech Creek, Pennsylvania. They represent two-thirds of the entire Broadway Spring season!

And there are more than a dozen additional shows opening Off and Off-Off Broadway. This is more than one show a day; indeed, three plays are opening on April 23rd alone, which (not coincidentally) is the cut-off date this year for Tony eligibility.

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

Nothing, of course, is guaranteed about any of these shows, even those that seem the most promising. (This is why I write reviews.) There are always surprises.
Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple. Off Off Broadway: Green.

To check out the entire Spring 2015 season, see my Broadway and Off-Broadway preview theater guides.

April 2

skylight logoSkylight (John Golden Theatre)

On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Carey Mulligan) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Bill Nighy), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship, only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.
London critics loved this production of Hare’s 1995 play.

The Undeniable Sound of Right Now (Women’s Project/Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre)

In this play by Laura Eason, “it’s 1992, Chicago, and Hank is struggling to keep his legendary rock club going amid changing times and changing tastes.”

My Name is Rachel Corrie (Culture Project at Lynn RedgraveTheater) 

“On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, a twenty-three-year-old American, was killed in Gaza as she was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home.” This one-woman play is composed from Rachel’s own writings.

handtogodlogoApril 7

Hand To God (Booth Theatre)

The good children of Cypress, Texas are taught to obey the Bible in order to evade Satan’s hand. But when students at the Christian Puppet Ministry put those teachings into practice, one devout young man’s puppet takes on a shocking personality that no one could have expected.
Producer Kevin McCollum, who brings this play to Broadway following runs at Ensemble Studio Theater and MCC Theater, says it will be changed for Broadway.

Disenchanted (Westside Theatre)

A “not-for-the-kiddies musical” about Snow White “and her posse of disenchanted princesses.”

April 8

Gigi (Neil Simon Theatre)Gigilogo

In this revival of the 1974 musical, the title character is being groomed to join the family business, as a courtesan. (The 1958 movie musical, which introduced the song”Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” won nine Oscars.)

Buzzer (The Public Theater)

A play by Tracey Scott Wilson about a man who grew up in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood but is now a Harvard-educated lawyer, and his interactions with his rich best friend now in recovery, and a white girlfriend.

 The Happy Family (Theatre Row Beckett)

This play by Christopher Latro centers around three couples whose lives are provocatively intertwined with scandalous results, including a mother and step-father of one couple whose relationship eerily mirrors their daughter’s, especially with regard to feelings about the family business, an underground quasi–Ponzi scheme involving high art.

April 9

Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2 (Winter Garden)

wolfhalllogoA stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Through the eyes and ears of Thomas Cromwell, the power, passion and politics surrounding Henry VIII’s relationship with Anne Boleyn are brought to life as two plays.
Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII have been characters in many works before, such as A Man For All Seasons. This two-part play, which originated at the Royal Shakespeare Company,is being touted as an epic theatrical event (akin to Nicholas Nickleby or Angels in America), which you can see on two separate days or in a marathon on the same day.

39 Steps (Union Square Theatre)

The 39 Steps is a spoof of the 1935 Hitchcock film, with only 4 actors portraying more than 150 characters. Three of the four in the cast are from the original Broadway production.

Clinton The Musical (New World Stages)

A “ribald” look at the 42nd president of the United States, featuring three Clintons — Hillary, “WJ” (“the wholesome, intelligent” Bill Clinton), and “Billy” (“the randy, charming” Bill Clinton).

Broken (Shetler Studio Theaters)

Kevin McFadden hasn’t spoken to anyone since he killed 17 people at a shopping mall three weeks ago. But when a prison doctor takes an unexpected interest in his case, Kevin decides to meet with him – revealing a troubled past that unites them both.

April 11

Underland (terraNova at 59E59) 

A play by Alexandra Collier about two girls bored by their small town Australian high school, until a new teacher arrives. “reveals mythic beasts, Chekhovian love triangles and big sky blues, while giving the finger to everything you thought you know about ‘Down Under.'”

April 12

americaninparislogoAn American in Paris (Palace Theatre)

Hoping to start a new life, World War II veteran Jerry Mulligan chooses newly-liberated Paris as the place to make a name for himself as a painter. But Jerry’s life becomes complicated when he meets Lise, a young Parisian shop girl with her own secret – and realizes he is not her only suitor. A classic American film about young souls in Paris is re-imagined for the Broadway stage.
This debuted in Paris in December 2014. The French loved it — and they don’t usually love musicals. Prepare to see the dancing emphasized. Director Wheeldon is a respected and innovative choreographer, Fairchild is a arincipal dancer with the New York City Ballet, and Leanne Cope is a First Artist of The Royal Ballet.

April 13

Iowa (Playwrights Horizons)

A musical play by Jenny Schwartz and Todd Almond about a mother who finds her “soul-mate” on Facebook, and he lives in Iowa. So she uproots her life, and that of her teenage daughter.

April 14

Itshouldabeenyou artworkIt Shoulda Been You (Brooks Atkinson Theatre)

The bride is Jewish. The groom is Catholic. Her mother is a force of nature, his mother is a tempest in a cocktail shaker. And then the bride’s ex-boyfriend shows up.
The members of the cast have great track records: Tyne Daley, Harriet Harris, Sierra Boggess, Lisa Howard, David Burtka, Edward Hibbert, Steve Rosen, Chip Zien, Montego Glover, Josh Grisetti

April 15

findingneverlandlogoFinding Neverland (Lunt Fontanne)

Based on the movie starring Johnny Depp about J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. Barrie’s last play was an abysmal failure and his career is threatened by crippling writers block. But then a chance meeting in a London park with a woman and her spirited young boys provides just the inspiration he needs.
After an unsuccessful London premiere, producer Harvey Weinstein replaced the entire creative team; the new version then premiered at the American Repertory Theater.

April 16

kingandilogoThe King and I (LCT Vivian Beaumont Theater)

In 1860s Siam, Anna, a British schoolteacher, is hired as part of King Mongkut’s drive to modernize his country.
Yes, this is the fifth production on Broadway, but it’s the King and I — one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most lovely, tuneful musicals.

April 19

Fun Home (Circle in the Square)

FunHomeLogoWhen her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.
loved the production of this musical at the Public Theater, and the changes for Broadway reportedly involve recasting some of the children and adjusting to the theater-in-the-round of the Circle in the Square theater.

The Unexpected Guest ( TBTB at Theatre Row – Clurman)

“In a dark and foggy evening, a lost stranger seeks refuge in a nearby country
estate only to discover that he has stumbled onto the scene of a murder.” Theater Breaking Through Barriers (TBTB) launches its 2015 season with a revival of Agatha Christie’s  1958 thriller

April 20

livingonlovelogoLiving On Love (Longacre Theatre)

American opera star, soprano Renée Fleming makes her Broadway debut as a celebrated diva who deals with her philandering conductor husband’s transgressions by taking on a young lover of her own. The comedy is a loose adaptation of Garson Kanin’s 1985 play “Peccadillo” with its setting moved back to the 1950s.

April 21

Doctor Zhivago (Broadway Theatre)

drzhivagologoA young physician and his beautiful mistress get swept up in the danger and drama of the Bolshevik Revolution in this epic musical based on the classic novel by Nobel Prize author Boris Pasternak.

This musical has been bouncing around the world (Australia, Korea) since it premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in 2006 to a mixed response. Producers say they’ve changed it substantially.

 April 22

somethingrottenlogoSomething Rotten (St. James)

it’s the 1590s, and brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar known as ‘The Bard.’ When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical.

Although this is written by three Broadway neophytes, it stars Brian d’Arcy James and Christian Borle, and it is directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin)

April 23

Airline Highway (Samuel J. Friedman)

airlinehighwaylogo2In the parking lot of The Hummingbird, a once-glamorous motel on New Orleans’ infamous Airline Highway, a group of friends gather – strippers, hustlers, and philosophers – to celebrate the life of Miss Ruby, an iconic burlesque performer who has requested a funeral before she dies.
This play marks the Broadway debut of Lisa D’Amour, who demonstrated her keen insight into the economic crumbling class and her for the eerie with Detroit.

The Visit (Lyceum Theatre)

thevisitlogoThe oft-widowed Claire Zachanassian (Chita Rivera), and richest woman in the world, returns to the hardship-stricken town of her birth.  The locals pray that her wealth will bring them a new lease on life, but her arrival carries a dreadful price.

The Belle of Belfast (Irish Repertory Theatre at DR2)

“In 1985 Belfast, fiery and profane Anne Malloy… turns to her parish priest, Father Reilly, seeking the comforts of the flesh in addition to the comforts of the soul.”

April 26

Grounded (The Public Theater)

Anne Hathaway stars in George Brant’s play about an ace fighter pilot reassigned to a remote-controlled drone, facing “twelve-hour shifts hunting targets from her Air Force trailer followed by twelve in the suburbs with her family.”

Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Red Bull Theater at The Duke)

“What if Romeo and Juliet were brother and sister? Find out in this…bloodiest and sexiest of all Jacobean tragedies.” The 17th century play was written by John Ford

Nirbhaya (Lynn Redgrave Theatre)

A play by Yael Farber about gender-based violence. “On the night of December 16th 2012 a young woman and her male friend boarded a bus in urban Delhi heading for home. What followed, changed the lives of these two people and countless others forever.”

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