2014 Fringe NYC Encore Series, for New York Fringe Shows You Missed

Some two dozen of the most popular shows from the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival will be presented at the 10th annual Fringe Encore series,September 4 to October 5, which (like last year) is split in two. Solo in the City at the Baruch Performing Arts Center will present eight solo performances that were hits at the festival. The other eight Fringe shows will be at the Soho Playhouse. Tickets are $18 to $20.

The descriptions come from the productions. This is a work in progress. The schedule is not complete for every show, and more shows will be added to the series before it begins.

Solo in the City: The FringeNYC Encore Series

September 4 to 27 at Baruch Performing Arts Center. 

John Clifton, Joan Shepard in Confessions

John Clifton, Joan Shepard in Confessions

Confessions of Old Lady #2

Joan Shepard’s sparkling account of 74 years on Broadway and on TV. Laced with side splitting stories and witty songs, this musical memoir won four stars from the London Times.

Sept. 18 at 7 PM & Sept. 22 at 2 PM

Fearless at Fringe


The story of one man’s broken engagement (not his fault), failed suicide attempt (definitely his fault), the relationships that followed (probably his fault) and the misguided attempts to teach his students how to take risks and become fearless.

Sept. 20, 27 at 9 PM


Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (As Performed by David Carl)

In this absurdist romp through Shakespeare, pop culture, and life in the theater, iconic actor Gary Busey (played by comedian David Carl) will perform all the parts in “Hamlet”, using homemade puppets, videos, live music, and poetry.

Sept. 19, 26 at 9 PM & Oct. 3 at 9 PM


Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey, with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran

Ever wish the Holocaust hadn’t happened? Some say it didn’t! Join Barry’s journey to find deniers from Illinois to Iran, meeting engineers and ex-presidents, dodging a brother in Hungary and a boyfriend back home to discover the truth.

Sept. 11, 18, 24 at 7:30 PM & Sept. 21 at 3 PM


 Magical Negro Speaks

Jamil Ellis gives voice to the Magical Negro — one of Hollywood’s favorite tropes — and examines what images in entertainment mean for future generations.

Sept. 19 at 8 PM & Sept. 20 at 7 PM


Murder Margaret and Me

Margaret Rutherford became a global legend playing Miss Marple. Originally she didn’t want the part, and Agatha Christie didn’t want Marple played by “the funniest woman alive.” This British sell-out sensation sees Christie playing detective, unearthing Rutherford’s terrible secrets.

Sept. 13 at 3 PM; Sept. 19 & 20 at 7 PM

ThePawnbrokerLiesLoversandBertoltBrecht The Pawnbroker: Lies, Lovers, and Bertolt Brecht

What price would you pay for love? Your dignity, your sanity, your place in history? Discover the lies behind Brecht’s legend – and what five women lost to create it. If you think you know the truth, you don’t know Brecht.


Sex Lies

• Sex, Lies & Earl Grey

How do you take your tea? Georgina likes it hot with good manners, bad behavior and a pianist. Her crash course in etiquette reveals more than she, or you might expect.

Sept. 13 at 2 PM ; Sept. 20 at 8:30 PM; Sept. 28 at 7:30 PM


The FringeNYC Encore Series

September 4 to October 5 at SoHo Playhouse.

Chemistry play

• Chemistry

Steph is a recovering depressive. Jamie overachieved himself off the deep end. When they meet in their psychiatrist’s office, they can’t deny their chemistry, but can they survive it? A pitch black and piercingly insightful comedy about being crazy in love

Sat 9/13 @ 5:30, Fri 9/19 @ 9:30, Sat 9/20 @ 7, Sun 9/21 @ 5, Sat 10/4 @ 7



Fatty Fatty No Friends

As the fattest kid in school, Tommy lives a lonely, living nightmare. When the skinny kids’ taunting goes too far, Tommy takes revenge without amends. A dark spoken-word Tim Burton-esque musical diving into the lunchtime of life, where bullies are delicious.

Sat 9/13 @ 5:30, Fri 9/19 @ 9:30, Sat 9/20 @ 7, Sun 9/21 @ 5, Sat 10/4 @ 7



The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Join world-renowned mixologist and raconteur Anthony Caporale (Art of the Drink TV) for a boozy romp through the history of alcohol. Cocktails and comedy combine for an utterly unique musical theatre experience! “An absolute must-see!” raves The Huffington Post. 21+ only

Fri 9/5 at 8, Fri 9/12 at 8, Fri 9/19 at 8, Fri 9/26 at 8

Erik DeCicco, Jeff Essex, Michael Armstrong-Barr in Jump Man

Erik DeCicco, Jeff Essex, Michael Armstrong-Barr in Jump Man

Jump Man

A musical parody of the Mario Brothers world. When a crime wave hits their Brooklyn neighborhood, Mario and Luigi have their heroism tested. Jump Man addresses age-old questions like “What defines a hero?” and “Do plumbers love to sing?”

Sat 9/6 @ 7, Fri 9/12 @ 7, Sat 9/13 @ 3 & 8, Sun 9/14 @ 7

No One Asked Me

No One Asked Me

Illegal. No papers. They are not supposed to be here, yet for thousands of undocumented children, the U.S. is the only home they know. They face an uncertain future, fearing deportation. Based upon stories of “illegal” NYC students.

Fri 9/26 @ 9, Sat 9/27 @ 4, Sun 9/28 @ 7:30, Mon 9/29 @ 7, Tue 9/30 @ 8

Opera in Tap performing at Freddy's Bar

Smashed: The Carrie Nation Story

A beer-soaked, absurdly comic opera loosely based on the hatchet-wielding temperance leader Carrie Nation. Raise your frothy brew high!



• This is Where We Live

Two teenagers collide like a modern day Orpheus and Eurydice in a dead-end Australian town. A dark, moving comedy infused with the rhythm of beat poetry. Australia’s Paperbark Theatre Company presents this US premiere, which won the 2012 Griffin Award.

Thu 9/4 @ 8, Fri 9/5 @ 8, Sat 9/6 @ 9:30, Sun 9/7 @ 5, Mon 9/8 @ 8



Urban Momfare

Why don’t we ever hear songs about moms not actually liking their kids? This romp through motherhood on Manhattan’s Upper East Side spans 17 years: “Music For Gifted and Talented Babies” to bra straps and Bellinis. Sling on your stilettos!

Sun 9/21 @ 7, Wed 9/24 @ 2, Thu 9/25 @ 7, Sat 9/27 @ 7, Sun 9/28 @ 5


• <50%
Gianmarco and Laura star in a completely factual play about the end of their five-year relationship. Everything is exactly as it happened, is happening, and will happen.
Mon 9/15 @ 9, Fri 9/19 @ 7, Mon 9/22 @ 8, Mon 9/29 @ 9:30 , Sat 10/4 @ 5

Held Momentarily

Held Momentarily

• Held Momentarily
Trapped on a stalled New York subway, seven strangers realize it’s not just the train that’s stuck. A poignant musical comedy about making connections, living in the moment and moving on in life… and a woman just went into labor.
Thu 9/11 @ 7, Fri 9/12 @ 9:30, Sun 9/14 @ 5, Thu 9/18 @ 9, Sun 9/21 @ 3


• Moses, The Author
Meet Moses. He has family problems (gay son, rocky marriage), God problems (existential), and career problems (writer’s block, a hellish deadline). To make a better Bible he must become a better man. A love story, with scrolls. Don’t miss it.
Fri 9/26 @ 7, Sun 9/28 @ 3, Wed 10/1 @ 3, Sun 10/5 @ 3 & 7


Mothers Day

Mothers Day

• Mother’s Day
Acid-tongued New York drag queen Helen Back incites a nuclear family meltdown when she comes home to New Jersey for Mother’s Day. The debut of a pitch black comedy/drama that explores the rules of engagement for a family at war.
Thurs 9/4 @ 9:30, Fri 9/5 @ 9:30, Tues 9/9 @ 8, Thurs 9/11 9:30


• Warm Enough For Swimming
Mom drowned years ago. Grandma died yesterday. Eddie fled his wedding. And Bridget can’t make coffee. Can estranged siblings clean the living room when the bride arrives with a post-recession pyramid scheme and a Russian Mafioso stalks their childhood home?
Sat 9/20 @ 9:30, Tue 9/23 @ 8, Thurs 9/25 @ 9:30, Sat 9/27 @ 9:30, Thurs 10/2 @ 8


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Broadway Fall 2014 Preview Guide

Listed below, chronologically by opening dates, are the shows officially scheduled so far on Broadway in the 2014-2015 season, with basic information and my two cents for the Fall shows. Both the schedule and my opinions are tentative and will be revised and updated as the season progresses.

You want stars, pick your favorite: Hugh Jackman, Glenn Close, Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint, Carol Burnett even, etc.  You want revivals, you got them – nine of the 15 set to open from September through December.  But there is also here the promise of a quality season.


ouryouthlogoThis is Our Youth

Cort Theater

Playwright: Kenneth Lonergan

Director: Anna D. Shapiro

First preview: August 18, 2014

Opening: September 11

Closing: January 4, 2015

Principal cast: Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, Tavi Gevinson.

48 hours in the live of three teenagers in 1982, one of whom has stolen cash from his father.

This is a revival. There were productions Off-Broadway in 1996 and 1998

One Chicago critic liked this production when it was in try-outs there, but wondered if the Cort will be too big for it. Lonergan wrote one of my favorite movies, “You Can Count On Me,” but find the plays of his I’ve seen (The Starry Messenger) painfully meandering.

Twitter: @YouthBroadway

Love Letters

loveletterslogoBrooks Atkinson Theater

First preview: September 13

Opening: September 18

Closing: February 1, 2015

Playwright: A.R. Gurney

Director: Gregory Mosher

In a revival of A.R. Gurney’s play, two people write one another love letters over a period of 50 years.

The play features a star-studded rotating cast on the following schedule:

Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow (September 13-October 10)

Carol Burnett and Brian Dennehy (October 11-November 7)

Alan Alda and Candice Bergen (November 8-December 5)

Stacy Keach and Diana Rigg (December 6-January 9)

Anjelica Huston and Martin Sheen (January 10-February 1).

This is a charming play, that I’ve seen in previous productions. (It was on Broadway in 1989.) If this production can be said to indulge in stunt-casting (and what else would you call it?) it’s stunt casting of the very highest order. My only regret is that they didn’t cast just one pair of younger performers, like, say, Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson

Twitter: @LoveLettersBway

canttakeitwithyoulogoYou Can’t Take It With You

Longacre Theater

First preview: August 26

Opening: September 28

Closing: January 4, 2015

Playwrights: George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart

Director:  Scott Ellis

Cast: James Earl Jones, Kristine Nielsen and Elizabeth Ashley lead a cast of nearly two dozen.

Two families (one deeply eccentric) collide when their children become engaged.

First produced on Broadway in 1936, this comedy (by the writing team that was the subject of the play Act One last season), is now on its fifth revival.

Twitter: @CantTakeItBway


CountryhouselogoThe Country House

Samuel J. Friedman Theater

First preview: September 9

Opening: October 2

Closing: December 9

Playwright: Donald Margulies

Director: Daniel Sullivan

Principal cast: Blythe Danner leads a six-member cast.

An adaptation by Margulies (Dinner With Friends) of Chekhov’s The Seagull focuses on a family of thespians who gather in a house in the Berkshires during the Williamstown theater festival.


dognighttimelogoThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night

Ethel Barrymore Theater

First preview: September 10

Opening: October 5

Playwright: Simon Stephens adapting the novel by Mark Haddon

Director: Marianne Elliott

Fifteen-year-old Christopher, clinically awkward and brilliant, is suspected of killing the neighbor’s dog. He sets out on a life-changing journey to find the culprit.

This stage adaptation of a peculiarly-written novel I loved by Mark Haddon was well-received in London, winning 7 Olivier Awards (equalling the previous record-breaking Matilda.) It was especially praised for its design. The director and the designers are the same on Broadway, it is still a Royal National Theatre production, but the cast is different.


onlyaplaylogoIt’s Only A Play

First preview: August 28

Opening: October 9

Closing: January 4, 2015

Playwright: Terrence McNally

Director: Jack O’Brien

Cast: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick. F. Murray Abraham, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, Megan Mullally and Micah Stock.

Running time: 2 hours and 35 minutes, including one intermission.

The cast of a show called “The Golden Egg” await the reviews in this revival of Terrence McNally’s 1982 comedy, which is likely to be most appreciated for its cast — especially the reunited duo Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, as well as the Broadway debut of Harry Potter veteran Rupert Grint.


onthetownlogoOn The Town

Lyric Theater (formerly Foxwoods)

First preview: September 20

Opening: October 16

Lyrics by: Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Music by: Leonard Bernstein

Book by: Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Director: John Rando

Principal cast: Clyde Alves, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Tony Yazbeck

Three sailors spend a day on leave in New York City, meeting some great dames.

I have high hopes for this production, which features great choreography by Joshua Bergasse (based on the glimpses we’ve been given, in videos, in reports from pre-Broadway tryouts, and at Broadway in Bryant Park), and such standards as “New York, New York (It’s a Wonderful Town)” “Come Up to My Place” and “Lonely Town,” as well as some jazzy surprises like “I Can Cook Too.”



First preview: September 27

Opening: October 23

Playwright: Ayad Akhtar

Director: Kimberly Senior

Cast: Hari Dhillon, Gretchen Mol, Karen Pittman and Josh Radnor.

Running time: 90 minutes with no intermission.

Pakistani-American lawyer Amir and his white, artist wife Emily gives a dinner party that starts off friendly and turns ugly.

The play, Akhtar’s first, was produced at Lincoln Center in 2012, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


lastshiplogoThe Last Ship

Neil Simon Theater

First preview: September 30

Opening: October 26

Lyrics and Music: Sting

Book: John Logan and Brian Yorkey

Director: Joe Mantello

Gideon leaves his hometown to travel the world, returning 14 years later to discover that the love he left behind is engaged to somebody else, and the town’s shipbuilding industry is endangered.

The show is said to be inspired by Sting’s own childhood experiences.


realthingpiclogoThe Real Thing

American Airlines Theater

First preview: October 2

Opening: October 30

Closing: January 4

Playwright: Tom Stoppard

Director: Sam Gold

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Cynthia Nixon

Henry is a successful writer who is attempting to balance his professional and personal lives in this comedy about marriage and betrayal.

McGregor and Gyllenhaal are both making their Broadway debuts in this second Broadway revival of Stoppard’s play.



theriverlogoThe River

Circle in the Square Theater

First preview: October 31

Opening: November 16

Closing: January 25

Playwright: Jez Butterworth

Director: Ian Rickson

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Laura Donnelly, Cush Jumbo

Running time: 80 minutes with no intermission

A trout fisherman in a remote cabin tries to hook a woman into some night-time fishing.

Two words: Hugh Jackman.


sideshowlogoSide Show

St. James Theater

First preview: October 28

Opening: November 17

Lyrics by: Bill Russell

Music by: Henry Kreiger

Book by: Bill Russell with additional material by Bill Condon

Director: Bill Condon

Principal cast: Erin Davie, Emily Padgett

The Hilton twins, Daisy and Violet, were in real life conjoined twins who were trained by their guardians to become performers, and became the highest paid performers on the vaudeville circuit. “Side Show” purports to tell their story.

This “reimagined” revival of the 1997 musical was well-received in D.C., and is one of the most anticipated shows of the season, hugely leading (as of this writing) my Broadway Fall 2014 preference poll


delicatebalancelogoA Delicate Balance

John Golden Theater

Playwright: Edward Albee

Director: Pam MacKinnon

First preview: October 20

Opening: November 20

Closes: February 22

Running time: 2 hours and 55 minutes, including 2 intermissions

Cast: Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Lindsay Duncan, Bob Balaban, Claire Higgins and Martha Plimpton.

A long-married couple must maintain their equilibrium as over the course of a weekend they welcome home their 36-year old daughter after the collapse of her fourth marriage, and give shelter to their best friends who seek refuge in their home, all the while tolerating Agnes’ alcoholic live-in sister.

The Edward Albee-Pam MacKinnon match-up, which brought us the priceless recent Broadway production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” promises to do justice with another one of the playwright’s caustic Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpieces (despite the ugly poster.)


illusionistslogoThe Illusionists

Marquis Theater

First preview: November 26

Opening: December 4, 2014

Closes: January 4, 2015


The Manipulator, Yu Ho-Jin

The Anti-Conjuror, Dan Sperry

The Trickster, Jeff Hobson

The Escapologist, Andrew Basso

The Inventor, Kevin James

The Warrior, Aaron Crow

The Futurist, Adam Trent

Seven illusionists perform magic and illusion. Broadway is a stop on their world tour.


The Elephant Man

theelephantmanlogoBooth Theater

First preview: November 7

Opening: December 7

Closes: February 15

Playwright: Bernard Pomerance

Director: Scott Ellis

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Alessandro Nivola, Anthony Heald, Scott Lowell, Kathryn Meisle, Henry Stram

Running time: one hour 55 minutes, including intermission.

Based on the true story of John Merrick, a horribly deformed man in the 19th century who was treated abominably.

This second Broadway revival of the 1979 play gives movie hearthrob Bradley Cooper a chance to show his inner beauty. (The deformity is not actually depicted. The audience is asked to imagine it.)


A peek at Spring 2015, which is even more tentative than the fall. I’ll flesh it out in the future. This is, as they say, a work in progress:



Samuel J. Friedman Theater

Playwright: Nick Payne

Director: Michael Longhurst

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal

First preview: December 16

Opening January 13, 2015

Closes: March 15

honeymooninvegaslogoHoneymoon in Vegas

Nederlander Theater

Music and Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown

Book: Andrew Bergman

Director: Gary Griffin

First preview: November 18

Opening: January 15

Cast: Tony Danza, Rob McClure, Byrnn O’Malley

Jack Singer, a regular guy with an extreme fear of marriage, finally gets up the nerve to ask his girlfriend Betsy to marry him. But when they head to Las Vegas to get hitched, smooth talking gambler Tommy Korman, looking for a second chance at love, falls head over heels for Betsy.



Fish in the Dark

Opening March 5

The Audience

Opening March 8

On The Twentieth Century

Opening March 12

Finding Neverland

Opening March 22


An American in Paris

Opening April 12

The King and I

Opening: April 16

Fun Home

Opening: April 22

15 Summer Theater Festivals in New York City

NYCSummerFestivalsDuring the summer, New York theater changes radically – thanks to the summer theater festivals. Some are outdoors (the others are air-conditioned.) Even New Yorkers who abandon the city for the summer know of the three most celebrated:

Free Shakespeare in the Park, begun by Joseph Papp in 1962 in the 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, which 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.)

In a departure from what I’ve done in past years (2012 and 2013), I’ve decided this year to offer a general run-down of some of the most established annual festivals, arranged more or less chronologically by the month in which the festival begins. (Several continue through the summer.) Rather than tell you what they are offering this summer, I provide links to their latest schedules, so that you can discover for yourself. It’s a good idea to check out their Twitter feeds as well.


Clubbed Thumb Begun in 1996, this festival has consistently offered three new quality, cutting-edge plays each summer.


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. Twitter: @arsnova

The New York Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park  Twitter: @PublicTheaterNY

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. Twitter: @R2RFestival

Ice Factory Festival Twitter: @newohiotheatre


Brick Theater’s Game Play Festival Theater pieces that lie at the intersection of video gaming and performance.  Twitter: @bricktheater 

Hot Festival NYC celebration of queer culture. @HotFestNYC

Lincoln Center Festival Twitter: @LincolnCenter 

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


New York International Fringe Festival Twitter: @FringeNYC

Dream Up Festival Twitter: @TNCinNYC 





April 2014 Openings Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway

A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington, Velocity of Autumn with Estelle Parsons, The Cripple of Inishmaan with Daniel Radcliffe, all opening in April.

A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington, Velocity of Autumn with Estelle Parsons, The Cripple of Inishmaan with Daniel Radcliffe, all opening in April.

In April, there are more than 30 shows opening on Broadway,  Off-Broadway or Off-Off Broadway, at least one for each day of the month, although the schedule is more chaotic than that. (Get a load of all the openings on April 21st!) Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions of some that look promising or have gotten attention – but nothing can be guaranteed in advance (which is why I review.)
* Asterisks are next to those shows to which I have been invited (and plan) to review as of this writing.

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

 A revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s drama about the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the African-American Younger family, starring Denzel Washington.

Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Marisa Tomei, and Tracy Letts star in a comedy by Will Eno making his Broadway debut about two couples both named Jones who are neighbors in a suburb.

The Threepenny Opera. Atlantic Theater Company. Opening April 7.
The Most Deserving.  Women’s Project at City Center. Opening April 8.
The Heir Apparent. Classic Stage Company. Opening April 9.
The Library. The Public Theater. Opening April 15.
James Franco and Chris O’Dowd make their Broadway debuts in this revival of John Steinbeck’s Depression-era tragedy.
Tony Shalhoub, Santino Fontana and Andrea Martin star in James Lapine’s theatrical adaptation of Moss Hart’s classic theater memoir.
The Mystery of Irma Vep. Red Bull Theater Company at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Opening April 17.
*The Mysteries. The Flea. Opening April 20
A six-hour marathon presenting new theatrical adaptations of some 50 stories from the Bible, by playwrights including Lucas Hnath, David Henry Hwang, Jeff Whitty, Craig Lucas, Madeleine George.
Daniel Radcliffe stars in a revival of Martin McDonagh’s play.
Sutton Foster stars in this revival
 Estelle Parsons plays a women who barricades herself in her Brooklyn brownstone armed with Molotov cocktails against her family.
*Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra.  Playwrights Horizons. Opening April 21.
Kirk Lynn’s “tough love comedy” about a couple who reenact their individual sexual histories with one another, a decision that has repercussions years later.
Annapurna. The New Group. Opening April 21.
Neil Patrick Harris stars in the revival of this musical about a transgender East German rocker living under the shadow of a former protege.
Fuerza Bruta Wayra.  the Daryl Roth Theatre. Opening April 22.
Harvey Fierstein’s play about a group of cross-dressing straight men in a Catskills resort.
Cabaret (Studio 54) Opening April 24
A revival of the Kander and Ebb musical starring Alan Cumming.
The Great Immensity.  The Public Theater. Opening April 24.
The Civilians present a play about climate change.
The Substance of Fire.  Second Stage. Opening April 27.
Inventing Mary Martin. The York Theatre Company. Opening April 27
Red-Eye to Havre de Grace. New York Theatre Workshop. Opening April 30.

Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway Openings in March, 2014

March Theater OpeningsIn March, it’s possible to attend a Broadway,  Off-Broadway or Off-Off Broadway opening nearly every single day; many days, there are two; occasionally three! Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions of the most promising – but nothing can be guaranteed in advance (which is why I review.)
* Asterisks are next to those shows to which I have been invited (and plan) to review as of this writing.

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

Arlington (Vineyard Theatre), March 2

*Stage Kiss (Playwrights Horizons), March 2. Jessica Hecht, who created one of my favorite magical stage moments of 2013 in The Assembled Parties, stars with Dominic Fumusa in Sarah Ruehl’s new play about two actors with a history thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930s melodrama.

The Open House (Signature Theatre),March 3. A new play by Will Eno that hints at being about a family.

The Happiest Song Plays Last (Second Stage), March 3

Middle of The Night (Keen Company at The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row), March 4

*Satchmo at the Waldorf (Westside Theatre), March 4.  Play about Louis Armstrong starring John Douglas Thompson

Character Man (Urban Stages), March 5

*Antony and Cleopatra (The Public Theater), March 5. William Shakespeare’s play edited and directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company transposes the action to 18th century Saint-Domingue on the eve of revolution.

allthewaylogo*All the Way (The Neil Simon Theatre), March 6. Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) plays LBJ, from 1963, when an assassin’s bullet catapults him into the presidency through the his first year of office, handling civil rights legislation and the beginning of the Vietnam War. Playwright Schenkkan won the Pulitzer Prize for The Kentucky Cycle, a marathon set of plays which took a grim view of the violent founding of the American West.

The Architecture of Becoming (Women’s Project Theater at New York City Center Stage II), March 6

No Exit (Pearl Theatre Company), March 9

Hand to God (MCC Theater at the Lortel), March 10

Stockholm (One Year Lease Theater Company at 59E59 Theaters), March 12

50 Shades! The Musical (Elektra Theater), March 12

Rocky*Rocky (Winter Garden), March 13. The new stage production based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name.

Sir Patient Fancy (The Wild Project), March 15

Appropriate (Signature Theatre), March 16. This new play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins focuses on family confrontation in an old Arkansas plantation after the death of the patriarch and the discovery of a gruesome relic and a surprise visitor.

Alone in Triptych (Concrete Temple Theatre at HERE), March 16

Dark Water (MTWorks at The Theater at the 14th Street Y), March 17

Tales From Red Vienna (MTC at City Center) , March 18

aladdinlogo*Aladdin (New Amsterdam), March 20. Based on the 1992 Disney animated movie, Aladdin tell the story of a poor street kid who falls in love with a princess, is imprisoned but discovers the secrets of a magic lamp.

Hounds of War (Dorothy Strelsin Theatre), March 21

*Les Miserables (Imperial Theatre) March 23. Cameron Mackintosh returns to Broadway with the 25th-anniversary production of Les Misérables, with new orchestrations.

And Baby Makes Seven (New Ohio Theatre), March 23

lesmislogo*Mothers and Sons (John Golden Theatre), March 24. Tyne Daly stars in Terrence McNally’s play about a mother who pays a surprise visit to the New York apartment of her late son’s ex-partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son.

Beyond Therapy (TACT at The Beckett), March 25, A revival of the Christopher Durang farce about lovelorn singles and their wigged-out shrinks.

Hellman vs. McCarthy (Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex’s June Havoc Theatre), March 26

MothersandSonslogoJasper in Deadland (Prospect Theater Company at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew), March 26

King Lear (Theatre for a New Audience), March 27

If/Then (Richard Rodgers Theatre), March 30. On the verge of turning 40, Elizabeth (Idina Menzel) moves to New York City, the ultimate city of possibility, intent on a fresh start – new home, new friends, and hopes for a resurgent career.

IfThenlogoI Remember Mama (Transport Group at the Gym at Judson), March 30

A Second Chance (Public Theater), March 30

Heathers: The Musical (New World Stages), March 31

Off-Broadway Openings in February, 2014

February2014OffBroadwayFebruary a fallow month for theater? Feh.

While it’s true there are only two plays scheduled to open in February on Broadway, there are far more Off-Broadway, part of a vibrant Off-Broadway Spring 2014 season. Below are promising shows Off-Broadway, organized chronologically by opening dates. You can attend many of these shows, and many others Off-Broadway, for just $20,  through the 20at20 promotion, if you purchase tickets to the shows anytime up to February 9th.

*Almost, Maine, by John Cariani. Produced by Transport Group at the Gym at Judson. Opening February 4.
Salty waitresses, lost tourists, tough and not-so-tough women and men crack open some beer, start their snowmobiles, pitch a tent, and gather under the northern lights to try to make sense of this strange thing called love. Since its short-lived New York debut, Almost, Maine has become one of the most produced plays around the world.

Riding the Midnight Train with Billy Hayes. Produced by Barbara Ligeti at St. Luke’s Theatre. Opening February 5.

*The Tribute Artist, by Charles BuschProduced by Primary Stages at 59E59. Opening February 9.
Charles Busch is an out-of-work female impersonator who, when his elderly landlady dies in her sleep, takes on her identity in order to hang on to her valuable Greenwich Village townhouse.

Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. Produced by Matt Murphy Productions at The 777 Theatre. Opening February 9.

* Dinner with Friends, by Donald Margulies, a revival. Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company at the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for the Performing Arts. Opening February 13.

A revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning play about two couples who have been inseparable. But when one marriage unexpectedly crumbles, the couples’ lives begin to veer in opposite directions.

The Chocolate Show! A Tasty New Musical. Produced by Golly Gee Productions at the 47th Street Theatre. Opening February 14.

*Transport. Produced by Irish Rep. Opening February 16.
With a book by  Thomas Keneally (Schindler’s List) and music and lyrics by Larry Kirwan (New York City band Black 47), this musical follows the uneasy ocean voyage of Irish women who were sentenced and then exiled to the relatively uninhabited south coast of Australia in the mid-19th Century.

Bikeman: The 9/11 Theatrical Experience. Produced by Marc Agger at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. OpeningFebruary 18.

*Love and Information by Caryll Churchill. Produced by New York Theatre Workshop at the Minetta Lane. Opening February 19.
Caryl Churchill returns for her seventh American premiere at New York Theatre Workshop with a theatrical kaleidoscope exploring more than a hundred characters as they try to make sense of what they find out,

My Mother Has 4 Noses, by Jonatha BrookeProduced by Patrick Rains at The Duke on 42nd Street. Opening February 20.

Kung Fu. Produced by Signature Theatre. Opening February 24;
Cole Horibe (So You Think You Can Dance) stars as Bruce Lee in David Henry Hwang’s new theater piece blending dance, Chinese opera, martial arts and drama to depict Lee’s journey from troubled Hong Kong youth to martial arts legend.

*London Wall. Produced by Mint Theatre. Opening February 24.
In this 1931 play, John Van Druten explores the tumultuous lives and love affairs of the women employed as shorthand typists in a busy solicitor’s office in 1930’s London

Ode to Joy. Produced by Rattlestick Productions at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Opening February 27.
This play written and directed by Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, The Dying Gaul) tells the story of love, heartbreak, addiction, and illness through the eyes of Adele, an audacious painter and her destructive relations with Mala and Bill, her two lovers.

This list is provided by The League of Off Broadway Theatres and Producers.  20at20 is a promotion by the Off-Broadway Theater Alliance. The descriptions of the shows come from the shows themselves; nothing is guaranteed in advance of course, which is why I review.

* Asterisks are next to those shows to which I have been invited (and plan) to review as of this writing.

Winter Theater Festivals in New York City 2014

Winter theater festivals in New York: COIL, Under the Radar, American Realness, Frigid Festival

Winter theater festivals in New York: COIL, Under the Radar, American Realness, Frigid Festival

January is the month for theater festivals in New York – more than at any time other than the summer – and the stars are out this year in them: Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson, Star Trek’s Captain William Kirk, and Rodney King (“Can we get along”) 

These are characters in some of the many offerings, which tend toward the avant-garde and the international. Where else can you attend a show in a taxicab? (See “Take Me Home” in the Other Forces Festival, below.)

Many of the productions are more reliably classified as performance art, often incorporating more dance and music and….noodling around… than anything resembling traditional theater. The ticket prices are also a lot cheaper than traditional theater.

APAP2014The reason for these festivals, which have arisen within the last decade to fill what was previously a fallow period, is the presence of the thousands of attendees from throughout the nation at the annual convention of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, or, as it’s known this year, APAP/NYC 2014, running from January 10th-14th.

There are several changes this year. The Public Theater’s new Festival Lounge at 425 Lafayette St. will serve as the official late-night “hub” for four of these festivals. Many of the venues are, for the first time, in Brooklyn.

Special Effects

Jan 9 – 12

The Wild Project

195 East 3rd Street

NickLehaneChimpanzeeI put this first because it’s new this year, and it only runs for four days. It has a listed Twitter feed — @pform — but as of this writing no Tweets. My favorite of the shows, based on descriptions on this festival’s website, is Chimpanzee, in which puppeteer Nick Lehane presents an aging, isolated chimpanzee who “pieces together the fragments of her childhood raised with humans.”



Performance Space 122
Friday, Jan 3 – Sun, Jan 19

Twitter feed: @PS122

In the words of the festival organizers” full of contemporary, textured, global, local, contemplative, grounded, rigorous, and always very live performance.”

Of the  offerings this year, seven are explicitly labeled theater (although sometimes “performance” or “theater, dance, performance”:

Tyson v AliTyson vs. Ali
With the help of “new-media stagecraft”, the boxers (both video footage and flesh-and-blood performers) spar with one another for nine rounds.
3LD Art & Technology Center
80 Greenwich Street

Steve Mellor performs show by Mac Wellman based on his short stories, A Chronicle Of The Madness Of Small Worlds.
The Chocolate Factory
5-49 49th Ave
Long Island City, Queens

ShatnerAsteriskAn Evening with William Shatner Asterisk
Remixing video of William Shatner as Captain Kirk in Star Trek, and mixing it with live performance.
New Ohio Theatre
154 Christopher St.

House of Dance
Tina Satter’s highly stylized theatrical take on a dance competition.
Abrons Arts Center
486 Grand Street

Bronx Gothic
In Okwui Okpokwasili’s “partially true” solo show, two 11-year old girls pass secret notes in the sex-saturated 1980’s.
Danspace Project
131 E. 10th Street

The Angola Project
Solo performances by Jeremy Xido about his journey attempting to finance a film, while constructing a movie in real time from fragments of film
The Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen Street

Have I No Mouth
From Dublin’s Brokentalkers theater,  actual mother and son Ann Cannon and Feidlim Cannon attempt to piece together the truth in the aftermath of a family tragedy.
 Baryshnikov Arts Center
450 W 37th Street


Public Theater

Wed, Jan 9 – Sun, Jan 20

Twitter: @UTRFestival

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, which makes it the Grandaddy of New York’s January theater festivals, this year UTR offers 16 works of cutting-edge theater. Performances, unless otherwise indicated, are at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street.

The Record

In this piece by Brooklyn’s 600 Highwaymen theater company, 45 strangers come together for 61 minutes to show us who they are.

El Año en Que Nací

Argentinian Lola Arias tells the story of eleven Chileans born under Pinochet’s dictatorship who take to the stage to reconcile Chile’s troubled past. In Spanish with English supertitles.
La MaMa
74 E 4th Street


I Stole Your Dad

John Hodgman of The Daily Show with John Stewart  offers what sounds like a stand-up routine – – observations on “how to dress like a young and relevant person, fax machines and other obsolete technology, marihuana and Downton Abbey” etc. etc.

The Room Nobody Knows

Kuro Tanino (formerly a psychiatrist), offers a dreamlike world of two brothers hidden deep within Tokyo’s metropolis. In Japanese with English supertitles.
Japan Society
333 E 47th Street

Helen & Edgar

Edgar Oliver, a regular storyteller at The Moth, tells the story of his strange childhood in Savannah, Georgia and his mother’s struggle with madness.


Andrew Ondrejcak presents the last meal prepared and consumed by the King and his concubines during the collapse of Babylon.

Sacred Stories

Toshi Reagon performs four concerts at Joe’s Pub. Sheand BIGLovely are doing one performance of The Temptation of St. Anthony and Zinnias, an opera by her mother Bernice Johnson Reagon  and Robert Wilson, on Sunday, January 19.

Black Out

BlackoutUTRPhilippe Saire’s multimedia dance performance that “contemplates the randomness of mortality in a world of genocide, disease, epidemics, and senseless violence.”
La MaMa
74 East 4th Street


Valentijn Dhaenens pays tribute to “2,500 years of oration,” which I hope means making speeches.  In Dutch, French, German, and English with English supertitles.

Rodney King

Roger Guenveur Smith, who previously presented a solo show of Black Panther Huey Newton, now presents the life of Rodney King, the man whose beating at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department, captured on video, sparked the Los Angeles riots.

JDX – a public enemy

An update on Ibsen’s An Enemy of The People from Belgian theater company tg STAN. In Dutch with English supertitles

Blessing the boats: the remix

Rhodessa Jones reimagines the late Sekou Sundiata’s blessing the boats, a multimedia show telling the story of “a man wrestling with illness and mortality.”

Brand New Ancients

Kate Tempest celebrates the divine in ordinary people in a performance that “blurs the lines between poetry, theater and live music” and is infused with the rhythm of hip-hop.
St. Ann’s Warehouse
29 Jay Street
DUMBO, Brooklyn

The Baroness Is The Future

Incantation and dance are used to explore the life of  poet and sculptor Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, whom Dadaist Marcel Duchamp called “the future.”


A looping video of a live performance of the re-enactment of the final scene from the film Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. (Warhol for the 21st Century?)


“Mary Shelley’s monster has a mate and they are pissed!”

The Freeman Space
181 Freeman Street
Greenpoint, Brooklyn


Jan 8 – 19

Twitter: @Prototypefest

Bills itself as the “premiere festival of opera-theatre and music-theatre,” it is now in its second year. It includes seven works for this year


Influenced by traditional Hindustani and Western classical music, this opera tells the story of a woman in Pakistan who is raped and brings her attackers to justice.

Baruch Performing 
Arts Center
55 Lexington Ave.

Have A Good Day!

10 cashiers at a shopping center.

HERE Art Center
145 6th Avenue

Paul's Case, an opera adapted from a Willa Cather short story

Paul’s Case, an opera adapted from a Willa Cather short story

Paul’s Case

An opera adapted from Willa Cather’s short story about a boy’s journey from Pittsburgh to New York.

HERE Art Center
145 6th Avenue

Visitations: “Theotokia” and “The War Reporter”

In Theotokia, the mother of God taunts and seduces a man taunted. In The War Reporter, journalist Paul Watson struggles to rid himself of nightmares.

Roulette Theatre
509 Atlantic Avenue

Angel’s Bone

Two fallen angels are held captive by a cunning couple hungry for wealth and fame.

Trinity Church
74 Trinity Place


Indie pop rock band Sky-Pony presents four themed performances inspired by the FOUR HUMORS of the Classical World.

HERE Arts Center


For one performance only Elizaveta performs her fusion of opera, pop, jazz, and soul.

Joe’s Pub


Jan 10 – 26


The Incubator Project
St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery
131 East 10th Street

All performances are at The Incubator Project, or at 440 Studios.

Take Me Home


Three audience members take a taxi through the streets of New York.

Performed in a taxi

I Am An Opera

 Joseph Keckle mixes opera arias with storytelling.

She Is King

Laryssa Husiak reenacts three interviews with tennis legend Billie Jean King.

Blue Wizard/Black Wizard

Dave Malloy, creator of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, is behind this “philosophical musical fantasia” masquerading as “ritualistic sporting event.”


Abrons Arts Center

466 Grand Street
Jan 9 – 19

Twitter: @AmericanRealnes

Some 20 works, primarily dance, although theater is certainly an accent in some of these works.


Kraine Theater

February 20 – March 3

Twitter: @FrigidNewYork

30 shows! A festival of indie theater “where artists are chosen by lottery, and 100% of ticket sales are returned to artists!”

Off-Broadway Spring 2014 Guide

Kung Fu, a new play by David Henry Hwang about Bruce Lee, at Signature Theater

Kung Fu, a new play by David Henry Hwang about Bruce Lee, at Signature Theater

Off Broadway this season, David Henry Hwang is telling the story of Bruce Lee in Kung Fu. Frank Langella plays King Lear. Actress  Linda Lavin and playwright Nicky Silver pair up again, as they did hilariously in The Lyons, for a new comedy, Too Much Sun.  Caryl Churchill offers 57 scenes in 110 minutes with 16 actors playing more than 100 characters in Love and Information, her play critiquing modern society’s information overload.

Starring Off-Broadway Spring 2014: (left to right, top to bottom) Jessica Hecht, Cherry Jones, Linda Lavin, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nina Arianda, Charles Busch

Starring Off-Broadway Spring 2014: (left to right, top to bottom) Jessica Hecht (Stage Kiss), Cherry Jones (When We Were Young And Afraid), Linda Lavin (Too Much Sun), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Village Bike), Nina Arianda (Tales from Red Vienna), Charles Busch (The Tribute Artist)

Churchill’s play is especially apt for Off-Broadway. Every season, there’s always an overload of choices Off-Broadway. In the next few months, we can choose between musicals about middle-aged sex and about climate change, plays about war and a family falling apart and about a Satanic sock puppet, new works of theater starring Cherry Jones, Jessica Hecht, Nina Arianda, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Charles Busch, two new plays by the last two recipients of the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Quiara Alegría Hudes and Ayad Akhtar.

Are there must-sees? I’ll tell you — once I see them.

Broadway is much easier – 40 theaters, about 40 new shows a year with clear-cut opening dates, mostly in November and April, striking logos, high-powered publicists and marketers, and usually a familiar or a familiar story, or both.

Off-Broadway is more chaotic, more spread out, more numerous (some 200 theaters/theater companies, depending on how you count) less publicized – and, most serious theatergoers will tell you,  Off Broadway has far richer and more diverse offerings.It is also less expensive. (48 shows Off-Broadway will charge just $20 from January 21 to February 9 as part of the annual 20at20 promotion.)

One thing Off-Broadway offers that Broadway does not* are residential theaters that nurture theater artists and new work. The best way I can think of to preview shows opening Off-Broadway this season is to present the offerings within each of these theaters, starting with the ones I like the most, have the best track record lately, and treat theatergoers well. One advantage of these theaters is that you can become a member/subscribe.

Of course, there is never a guarantee, and some terrific shows pop up in unlikely places.


416 W. 42nd St.

Twitter: @PHNYC

Stage Kiss

February 7 – March 23

Jessica Hecht, who created one of my favorite magical stage moments of 2013 in The Assembled Parties, stars with Dominic Fumusa in Sarah Ruehl’s new play about two actors with a history thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930s melodrama.

Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra

March 28 – May 11

In Kirk Lynn’s new play directed by Ann Kauffman, Carla agrees to marry Reggie on one condition: to break down any walls between them, they’ll reenact their individual sexual histories with one another

Fly By Night: A New Musical

May 16 – June 29

Set during the blackout of 1965, a melancholy sandwich-maker encounters two entrancing sisters in this darkly comic rock fable.


signature_01480 West 42nd Street

Twitter: @signaturetheatr

Begun with a focus on the work of a single playwright each season, Signature has expanded , thanks to its new building. And thanks to corporate underwriting, all tickets for the initial runs are $25.

Kung Fu

DavidHenryHwangFebruary 4 to March 16

Cole Horibe (So You Think You Can Dance) stars as Bruce Lee in David Henry Hwang’s new theater piece blending dance, Chinese opera, martial arts and drama to depict Lee’s journey from troubled Hong Kong youth to martial arts legend.

The Open House

February 11 – March 23

A new play by Will Eno that hints at being about a family.


February – March

This new play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins focuses on family confrontation in an old Arkansas plantation after the death of the patriarch and the discovery of a gruesome relic and a surprise visitor.


The theater had a stellar fall season, with Fun Home, The Good Person of Szechuan and the Apple Family Plays.

public_01Twitter: @PublicTheaterNY

Under The Radar

January 8-19

Taking advantage of the relatively fallow period right after the holidays, the Public has presented this festival of new, mostly experimental theater from around the world for ten years. This year’s 16 offerings include shows performed (with English super-titles) in Spanish, Japanese, Dutch (two!), French, and German, but mostly English.  Roger Guenveur Smith, who previously had a one-man show about Huey Newton, now presents Rodney King (remember: “Can we all get along?)

Antony and Cleopatra

February 18-March 17

William Shakespeare’s play edited and directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company transposes the action to 18th century Saint-Domingue on the eve of revolution.

Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

March 14-March 23

Suzan-Lori Parks presents a three-part play about a slave during the Civil War. PART 1 introduces us to Hero, a slave who must choose whether or not to join his master on the Confederate battlefield. In PART 2, a band of rebel soldiers test Hero’s loyalty as the cannons approach. PART 3 finds Hero’s loved ones anxiously awaiting his return

 A Second Chance

March 18-April 13

A musical about a recent widower and a divorcée who meet in mid-life, not trusting that they can find love again.

The Civilians’ The Great Immensity 

TheGreatImmensity1April 8-April 27, 2013

A musical about climate change might sound…well-meaning…if it were in hands other than among the most exciting theater artists in town — writer and director Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson), the leading lights of The Civilians theater company, which has a track record of socially-conscious, theatrically thrilling “investigations.” Phyllis uncovers a mysterious plot surrounding the upcoming international climate summit in Auckland. As the days count down to the Auckland Summit, Phyllis must decipher the plan and possibly stop it in time.


Claire Tow Theater is Lincoln Center’s cutting-edge venue, where tickets are routinely $20.

LincolnCenterlogoTwitter: @LCTheater

Stop Hitting Yourself

January 15 to February 23

The Austin-based theater collective Rude Mechs describes its show as part Pygmalion, part Busby Berkley, part self-help lexicon, borrowing from the plots of 1930’s musicals to dig deep into the contemporary conservative dilemma.

 The City of Conversation

April 10 – June 22

Anthony Giardina’s play, directed by Douglas Hughes, follows a political hostess from the Carter Administration up through the Obama Presidency. This is at the larger (but still Off-Broadway) Mitzi Newhouse.

AyadAkhtarThe Who and The What

May 31- July 13

Ayad Akhtar, who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his first play Disgraced, returns to Lincoln Center’s  Clare Tow Center for this play about Zarina, an outspoken writer who clashes with her traditional father and sister over her book about women and Islam.


new_york_01Twitter: @NYTW79

 Love and Information

LoveandInformationlogoFebruary 4 – March 23

Caryl Churchill returns for her seventh American premiere at New York Theatre Workshop with a theatrical kaleidoscope exploring more than a hundred characters as they try to make sense of what they find out, in this play that was first produced at the Royal Court Theatre in 2012.



A grim adult-take on the classic fairy tale, by French heater-maker Joël Pommerat


vineyard_01108 East 15th Street

Twitter: @VineyardTheatre


Feb 12 – March 23

Alexandra Silber

Alexandra Silber

Alexandra Silber, whom I loved in She Loves Me and may wind up being the “discovery” of the season, will star in Victor Lodato and Polly Pen’s musical about a women whose husband is away at war.

Too Much Sun

May – June

Linda Lavin stars in this play by Nicky Silver directed by Mark Brokaw (the same team that created The Lyons), about Audrey Langham – a celebrated actress – who unravels completely while preparing for a new production of Medea, and descends on her married daughter, who is not happy to see her.


roundabout_01111 West 46th Street

Dinner With Friends

January 17 – April 13

A revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Donald Margulies, directed by Pam MacKinnon (…Virginia Woolf?, Clybourne Park), about two couples drifting apart. Heather Burns,Marin Hinkle, Darren Pettie and Jeremy Shamos star.

Cutie and Bear

“available only to subscribers and donors”

Bekah Brunstetter’s new play about the relationship between a married man and a broke young woman


second_01Twitter: @2STNYC 

The Happiest Song Plays Last  

HappiestsongsPlayLastLogoFebruary 11 – March 23

This is the concluding play in the trilogy written by Quiara Alegría Hudes, who received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the second in the series, Water by the Spoonful. Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Happiest Song focuses again on cousins Elliot and Yaz,  who have long searched for their place in the community, and now discover the joy in coming home again and the comfort of family, both by blood and by love. It features the music of Nelson Gonzalez.

Sex With Strangers

(dates unclear)

Written by Linda Eason and directed by David Schwimmer, the play follows star sex blogger and memoirist Ethan as he tracks down his idol, the gifted but obscure novelist Olivia, discovering they both crave what the other possesses.


csc_01136 East 13th Street

Twitter: @ClassicStage

A Man’s A Man

AMansAManlogoJanuary 10 – February 16

Justin Vivian Bond stars in this anti-just-about-everything farce by Bertolt Brecht as innocent dockworker Galy Gay in British Colonial India who is enlisted into Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, “dismantled like a car” and reassembled into the ultimate fighting machine.

The Heir Apparent

David Ives (Venus in Fur) adapts Jean-François Regnard‘s comedy about Eraste, who stands to inherit his uncle’s vast fortune, but his uncle refuses to die, and indeed plans to wed Eraste’s fiance! Eraste enlists a servant Crispin for help.


rattle_01Address: 224 Waverly Place, although many of its shows are now presented at the Cherry Lane Theater.

Twitter: @RattlestickNY

RattlestickplaywrightsSpring2014The Correspondent

January 29 – March 16

Ken Urban’s play focuses on a husband grieving the loss of his wife who hires a dying woman to deliver a message to her in the afterlife. Soon after, sure enough, he begins receiving letters from his dead spouse.

Ode to Joy

February 12 – March 30

This play written and directed by Craig Lucas (Prelude to a KissThe Dying Gaul) tells the story of love, heartbreak, addiction, and illness through the eyes of Adele, an audacious painter and her destructive relations with Mala and Bill, her two lover

The Few

April 16 – May 31

In this play by Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale),  Bryan returns to the newspaper he started but abandoned four years ago, and things have changed.  His former lover is filled with rage, his new coworker is filled with incessant adoration, and his paper is filled with personal ads.


MCCTheaterLogoat The Lucille Lortel Theatre
121 Christopher St

Twitter: @MCCTheater

Hand to God

February 19 – March 20

In Robert Askins’ comedy, a foul-mouthed sock puppet named Tyrone teaches the students at the Christian Puppet Ministry about dark urges. This was a hit at Ensemble Studio Theatre several seasons ago.

The Village Bike

May 21 – June 28

Maggie Gyllenhaal will start in this play by Penelope Skinner, directed by Sam Gold, about a pregnant woman whose husband is ignoring her needs. So she buys a used bike that takes her further than she ever expected she’d go.

MTC THEATER* At City Center

mtc_01131 West 55th Street

Twitter: @MTC_NYC

Tales From Red Vienna

February 26 – April 27

Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur) and Kathleen Chalfant (Wit) star in this play by David Grimm, directed by Kate Whoriskey, about a woman who has lost her husband in World War I, and with him, her financial security, so she turns to the oldest profession

When We Were Young and Unafraid

May 22 – August 10

Cherry Jones stars in this play by Sarah Treem, directed by Pam MacKinnon, as a woman who has founded an underground women’s shelter in the early 1970s, with unintended consequences.



410 West 42nd St.

This is a theater company that resides in Theatre Row, the non-profit building that normally rents out to commercial Off-Broadway productions. Scott Elliott is the founding artistic director.


IntimacyJanuary 14 – March 8

Thomas Bradshaw’s new play presents three families in a well-manicured, multi-racial American town when secrets and sexual desires suddenly explode.


April 13 – June 1

Sharr White (The Other Place, Snow Geese has written a new play about Emma (Megan Mullally) who 20 years ago walked out on her husband, cowboy-poet Ulysses (Nick Offerman), in the middle of the night. Now, hearing he’s in dire straits, she tracks him down in the wilds of Colorado


The Tribute Artist (Primary Stages at 59E59, January 21 – March 16, 2014) In his new play, Charles Busch portrays an out-of-work female impersonator who takes on the identity of the landlady of his Greenwich Village townhouse when she dies in her sleep.

Sartre’s No Exit at the Pearl Theatre Company from Feb. 25

Between Riverside and Crazy… by Stephen Adly Guirgis is about an ex-cop and recent widower and his ex-con son’s struggle to hold on to their rent-stabilized apartment. (May, Atlantic Theater Company)

*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), and the Roundabout Theater Company. Their Broadway offerings are listed in my Broadway Spring 2014 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 Flea, Labyrinth Theater, and LaMaMa ETC


 New York Theatre Opening Night Calendar


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

Broadway Spring 2014 Season Guide

BroadwaySpring2014logosActOnelogo“Theater is not so much a profession as a disease, and my first look at Broadway was the beginning of a lifelong infection,” Moss Hart wrote in his memoir Act One, which has been adapted for the Broadway stage 55 years after it was published, 52 years after Hart’s death. He is only one of the theatrical luminaries making a return engagement on Broadway in the Spring of 2014.

 NeilPatrickHarrisasTonyhostIt has been about decade since Neil Patrick Harris — Mr. Broadway to millions because of his hosting duties for the Tony Awards — has actually starred in a Broadway show, 11 years for Idina Menzel, and 30 for Diahann Carroll. All three return in Spring 2014 — along with Denzel Washington and Alan Cumming, Sutton Foster and Estelle Parsons.


All The Way

There are also many familiar names making their Broadway debuts, from Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame to pop star Carly Lee Jepson of “Call Me, Maybe,” as well as  Fran Drescher, James Franco, Zach Braff, Michelle Williams, and Debra Messing, who, thanks to her role in Smash, many already consider a Broadway baby.

Familiar names making their Broadway debuts are not limited to people:  the films Aladdin, Rocky, The Bridges of Madison County, and Bullets

Adam Jacobs


Over Broadway are all being adapted for Broadway this season, and several favorites are returning, including Les Miserables and Cabaret. Act One will star Tony Shalhoub and Santino Fontana.

Below are details about the 20 plays and musicals that have opening dates and theaters in Spring, 2014, listed chronologically by their opening dates.  You know the drill: There is no guarantee that any of these will actually happen. Indeed, the only guarantee is that the schedule will change — many additions, some subtractions. I  will update periodically. 



Stephen Sondheim Theater


First Preview: November 21, 2013

Opening: January 12, 2014

Music and Lyrics by: Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil

Book by: Douglas McGrath

Director: Marc Bruni

Cast: Jessie Mueller, Jake Epstein, Anika Larsen, Jarrod Spector

Beautiful tells the true story of Carole King’s stellar songwriting career, beginning as a teenage hitmaker, her partnership with her first husband Gerry Goffin, her relationship with Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, her rise as a singer/songwriter.

My review of Beautiful


American Airlines Theatre


First Preview: December 20, 2013

Opening: January 16, 2014

Written by Sophie Treadwell

Director: Lyndsey Turner

Cast: Rebecca Hall

“Inspired by the infamous 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder, Machinal is a gripping drama by American journalist and playwright Sophie Treadwell. For Young Woman (Hall), a stenographer in the industrial, male-dominated world of the 1920s, life is nothing like she hoped it would be. Restless and unfulfilled in a passionless marriage and unwanted motherhood, she finds her only joy in the form of an illicit love affair. But when reality sets in and she must return to her routine existence, she’ll go to any lengths to regain her freedom.”

My review of Machinal

outsidemullingarlogoOUTSIDE MULLINGAR

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre


First preview: January 2, 2014

Opening: January 23, 2014

Closing: March 16, 2014

Cast: Debra Messing, Brian F. O’Byrne

Debra Messing plays an eccentric Irishwoman who is trying to make a romantic connection with her shy neighbor (Brían F. O’Byrne). Written by John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, Moonstruck).


bronxbomberslogoBRONX BOMBERS

Circle in the Square


First Preview: January 10, 2014

Opening: February 6, 2014

Written and directed by Eric Simonson

Cast: Peter Scolari, Tracy Shayne, C.J. Wilson, Christopher Jackson, Francois Battiste, Chris Henry Coffey, Bill Dawes, Keith Nobbs, John Wernke

The third in a series of sports plays, this one is about the Yankees. My review of The Bronx Bombers, with a slightly different cast, when it was Off Broadway.

My review of Bronx Bombers on Broadway


BridgesofMadisonCountylogoGerald Schoenfeld Theatre


First preview: January 13, 2014

Opening: February 20

Director: Bartlett Sher

Cast: Kelli O’Hara, Steven Pasquale

Twitter: @BridgesBroadway

Francesca Johnson, a small-town 1960s Iowa housewife who has a brief but intense affair with Robert Kincaid, a photographer from National Geographic. Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood played the lead roles in the 1995 film.

My review of the Bridges of Madison County

MARCH, 2014

allthewaylogoALL THE WAY

Neil Simon Theater


First Preview: February 10, 2014

Opening: March 6, 2014

By Robert Schenkkan

Director: Bill Rauch

Cast: Bryan Cranston, Michael McKean, Brandon J. Dirden

Cranston (Breaking Bad) plays LBJ, from 1963, when an assassin’s bullet catapults him into the presidency through the his first year of office, handling civil rights legislation and the beginning of the Vietnam War. Playwright Schenkkan won the Pulitzer Prize for The Kentucky Cycle, a marathon set of plays which took a grim view of the violent founding of the American West.

My review of All The Way


rockylogoWinter Garden

Opening: March 13 2014

Written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (score), Thomas Meehan (book)

Director: Alex Timbers

Cast: Andy Karl and Margo Seibert

Twitter: @RockyonBroadway

The new stage production based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name.

My review of Rocky


aladdinlogoNew Amsterdam

Twitter: @Aladdin

First Preview: February 26, 2014

Opening: March 20,2014

Based on the 1992 Disney animated movie, Aladdin tell the story of a poor street kid who falls in love with a princess, is imprisoned but discovers the secrets of a magic lamp.

My review of Aladdin


lesmislogoImperial Theater


First Preview: March 1, 2014

Opening: March 23, 2014

Written by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Herbert Kretzmer

Director: Laurence Connor and James Powell

Cast: Ramin Karimloo, Will Swenson, Nikki M. James, Caissie Levy, Andy Mientus

Cameron Mackintosh returns to Broadway with the 25th-anniversary production of Les Misérables, with new orchestrations.

My review of Les Miserables


MothersandSonslogoJohn Golden Theater

First Preview: February 23, 2014

Opening: March 24, 2014

Written by Terrence McNally

Director: Sheryl Kaller

Cast: Tyne Daly:

The play is about a mother who pays a surprise visit to the New York apartment of her late son’s ex-partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son.

My review of Mothers and Sons


IfThenlogoFirst Preview: March 4, 2014

Opening: March 27, 2014

Written by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey

Director: Michael Greif

Cast: Idina Menzel

On the verge of turning 40, Elizabeth moves to New York City, the ultimate city of possibility, intent on a fresh start – new home, new friends, and hopes for a resurgent career.

My review of If/Then

APRIL, 2014


raisininthesunlogoEthel Barrymore Theatre

First preview: March 8, 2014

Opening: April 3, 2014

Closing: June 15, 2014

Director: Kenny Leon

Cast: Denzel Washington, Diahann Carroll, Anika Noni Rose

A revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s drama about the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the African-American Younger family.

My review of A Raisin in the Sun


RealisticJoneseslogoLyceum Theater

Twitter: @RealisticBway

First Preview: March 13, 2014

Opening: April 6,2014

Director: Sam Gold

Cast: Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Marisa Tomei, Tracy Letts

Playwright Will Eno  (Middletown; Title and Deed; Thom Pain (based on nothing)) makes his Broadway debut in this comedy about two suburban couples who have become new neighbors and discover they share more than a surname.

 My review of The Realistic Joneses


bulletsoverBroadwaylogoSt. James Theater

Twitter: @bulletsoverbway

First Preview:March 11, 2014

Opening: April 10, 2014

Director: Susan Stroman

Cast: Zach Braff, Vincent Pastore, Helene Yorke, Betsy Wolfe

A musical adaptation of Woody Allen’s Academy Award-nominated film, about a playwright whose first taste of success comes with mobsters and a domineering diva attached.


ActOnelogoLincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater


First preview: March 20, 2014

Opening: April 17, 2014

James Lapine directs his own adaptation of Moss Hart’s classic autobiography that chronicles his struggle to escape poverty and forge a career in the theater, which led to his collaboration with George S. Kaufman and culminated in his first great success, Once in a Lifetime.


Theatre: Longacre Theatre


First Preview: March 22, 2014

Opening: April 17, 2014

Written by John Steinbeck

Director: Anna D. Shapiro

Cast: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester

A Broadway revival of John Steinbeck’s classic novel/play.


American Airlines Theatre


First Preview: March 28, 2014

Opening: April 20, 2014

Written by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley

Director: Leigh Silverman

Cast: Sutton Foster

Violet tells the story of a young woman’s quest for beauty amidst the image-obsessed landscape of the 1960s.” This revival was part of the new Encores Off-Center series.


VelocityofAutumnlogoBooth Theater

First Preview: April 1, 2014

Opening: April 21, 2014

Written by Eric Coble

Director: Molly Smith

Cast: Estelle Parsons, Stephen Spinella

“The Velocity of Autumn swirls around Alexandra, a 79-year-old artist in a showdown with her family over where she’ll spend her remaining years. She’s barricaded herself in her Brooklyn brownstone with enough Molotov cocktails to take out the block. Her youngest son manages to work his way into the place.


hedwigandtheangryinchlogoBelasco Theatre


First preview: March 29, 2014

Opening: April 22, 2014

Neil Patrick Harris stars in this rock musical about a transgender singer’s quest to find her other half.


Samuel J. Friedman Theater


First preview: April 1, 2014

Opening: April 23, 2014

Written by Harvey Fierstein

Directed by Joe Montello

Based on actual events and set in 1962, Casa Valentina focuses on a Catskills resort which caters to a very special clientele—heterosexual men whose favorite pastime is dressing and living as women.


caberetlogoStudio 54


First preview: March 21, 2014

Opening April 24, 2014

Closing: August 31, 2014

Cast: Alan Cumming, Michelle Williams

Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s Tony Award-winning production (Best Revival, 1998) returns, starring Alan Cumming in his Tony-winning role as Emcee opposite Michelle Williams, making her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles, the clueless American singer in Berlin before World War II.

New Year’s Eve in New York 2014 Last Minute Plans

TimesSquareonNewYearsEveA list of shows, parties, concerts, intimate dinners, cruises and outdoor events you can still do on New Year’s Eve 2014 in New York City.

More than a billion people watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, which is another way of saying that much of the world celebrates by watching TV.But more than a million souls are standing in the streets of New York City’s theater district.  I used to think the New Year wouldn’t arrive unless I was there to watch it. One New Year’s Eve, I was actually invited to the roof of the tower, and even got one of the light bulbs that made up the ball. I still have that bulb; here’s a picture of it:


Special, right?

Times have changed. The ball this year, we’re told, is made up of 2,688 Waterford crystal panels and, instead of being lowered by hand, they now use electricity. However, the electricity this year will be supplied by six volunteers pedaling Citi bikes. Only in New York.

This year, Justice Sonia Sotomayor will serve as the “special guest” to drop the New Year’s Eve ball at midnight.

2014 New Year's Eve Waterford Crystal Installation

Most people celebrate at home or at the home of a friend or family member, according to a survey by the AP. Only eight percent say they plan to go out.

“It’s so much more fun to stay home,” Anderson Cooper, the New Year’s Eve host on CNN, said recently. “I don’t know anybody who has a fun time at a party at New Year’s Eve. That’s why I work on New Year’s Eve.”

For the eight percent who haven’t made plans yet, here are some ideas:


The New Year’s Eve tradition in Times Square began in 1904 with a rooftop celebration to greet the New Year. Three years later, they started lowering a ball.

From the  the organizers comes this overview of New Year’s Eve in Times Square, so you know what is in store for you if you decide to stand at the Crossroads of the World for New Year’s Eve

3 p.m. Revelers start arriving late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. By approximately 3:00 PM., the Bowtie of Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts. between Broadway & 7th Ave.) is fully closed to traffic.

6:00 PM to 6:03 PM
 Lighting and Raising the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball

6:03 PM to 6:13 PM 
Opening Ceremonies – Chinese Cultural Performance, Panda Dance

6:20 p.m. Times Square 2013 Hats, Balloons and Scarves
The Times Square Alliance sanitation crew clad in bright red uniforms begins to distribute tens of thousands of fun handouts to the Times Square revelers

The schedule goes on like this in ten-minute increments and includes Countdowns by hosts including Anderson Cooper, performances by Miley Cyrus, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Blondie, Icona Pop, Jencarlos Canela, El Dasa and Rodney AtkinsMelissa Etheridge sings both Uprising of Love and John Lennon’s Imagine. There is also a trailer of The Amazing Spider-Man 2™, featuring Times Square footage.

11:15 PM to 11:18 PM
 The Associated Press Presents 2013 News Reel Highlights

11:59 The Sixty-Second Countdown


Open Table lists 497 restaurants in Manhattan alone with “New Year’s Eve offers” Most of them offer a choice of seatings – either earlier in the evening, so that you can make it in time elsewhere for the stroke of midnight, or party-hat-equipped seatings that lead up to midnight, where you can often turn on a TV so that you can watch the ball drop in Times Square. Open Table enables you to look for one in your neighborhood.


Only eight of the 32 shows currently on Broadway will be offering performances on New Year’s Eve — and seven of those eight will be matinees. (The lone show at night is Macbeth, which is at Lincoln Center and thus away from the madness that is Times Square and the theater district on New Year’s Eve.)

But, as you can see in the schedule below, almost every show has performances on Monday (a day when almost all shows are usually dark), and 11 have added matinees on Monday. There are also shows on New Year’s Day, and a heavy schedule for the rest of the week.

Keep in mind it will be the last chance to see several of these shows.  Forthcoming closings:

Closing 1/2/2014: 700 Sundays

Closing 1/4: Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark

Closing 1/5: Annie; First Date;

Closing 2/16: Twelfth Night, Richard III

Closing 2/23: The Glass Menagerie




Show Running Time Theatre



After Midnight 90min Brooks Atkinson

2:00 & 7:30

Annie 2h 15min Palace


Beautiful: The Carole King Musical 2h 15min Stephen Sondheim


Betrayal 90min Barrymore



Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays 2h 15min Imperial


The Book of Mormon 2h 30min Eugene O’Neill



Chicago 2h 30min Ambassador

2:30 & 8:00

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella 2h 20min Broadway

1:30 & 7:00

First Date 90min Longacre



A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder 2h 20min Walter Kerr



The Glass Menagerie 2h 15min Booth


Jersey Boys 2h 30min August Wilson



Kinky Boots 2h 25min Hirschfeld


The Lion King 2h 30min Minskoff


Macbeth 2h 45min Vivian Beaumont


Mamma Mia! 2h 30min Broadhurst


Matilda The Musical 2h 40min Shubert

2:00 & 8:00


Motown the Musical 2h 45min Lunt-Fontanne

2:00 & 7:30

Newsies 2h 15min Nederlander



A Night with Janis Joplin 2h 15min Lyceum

2:00 & 7:00

No Man’s Land 2h 0min Cort
Once 2h 30min Jacobs


Outside Mullingar Samuel J. Friedman
The Phantom of the Opera 2h 30min Majestic

2:00 & 8:00

Pippin 2h 35min Music Box

2:30 & 8:00

Richard III 2h 50min Belasco
Rock of Ages 2h 15min Helen Hayes


Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark 2h 45min Foxwoods

2:00 & 8:00

Twelfth Night 3h 0min Belasco


Waiting for Godot 2h 15min Cort


Wicked 2h 45min Gershwin

2:00 & 8:00







Show Running Time Theatre






After Midnight 90min Brooks Atkinson


2:00 & 8:00

2:00 & 8:00


Annie 2h 15min Palace




2:00 & 8:00

1:00 & 6:30

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical 2h 15min Stephen Sondheim



2:00 & 8:00

2:00 & 8:00


Betrayal 90min Barrymore

2:00 & 8:00


2:00 & 8:00

2:00 & 7:00

Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays 2h 15min Imperial





The Book of Mormon 2h 30min Eugene O’Neill



2:00 & 8:00

2:00 & 7:00

Chicago 2h 30min Ambassador




2:30 & 8:00


Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella 2h 20min Broadway




2:00 & 8:00


First Date 90min Longacre


2:00 & 8:00

2:00 & 8:00


A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder 2h 20min Walter Kerr



2:00 & 8:00


The Glass Menagerie 2h 15min Booth


2:00 & 7:00


2:00 & 8:00


Jersey Boys 2h 30min August Wilson



2:00 & 8:00

2:00 & 7:00

Kinky Boots 2h 25min Hirschfeld


2:00 & 8:00


2:00 & 8:00


The Lion King 2h 30min Minskoff

2:00 & 8:00


2:00 & 8:00

1:00 & 6:30

Macbeth 2h 45min Vivian Beaumont

2:00 & 8:00



2:00 & 8:00


Mamma Mia! 2h 30min Broadhurst




2:00 & 8:00


Matilda The Musical 2h 40min Shubert



2:00 & 8:00


Motown the Musical 2h 45min Lunt-Fontanne




2:00 & 7:30


Newsies 2h 15min Nederlander


2:00 & 8:00

2:00 & 8:00


A Night with Janis Joplin 2h 15min Lyceum




2:00 & 8:00


No Man’s Land 2h 0min Cort




Once 2h 30min Jacobs




2:00 & 8:00

2:00 & 8:00

Outside Mullingar Samuel J. Friedman



2:00 & 7:00

The Phantom of the Opera 2h 30min Majestic




2:00 & 8:00

Pippin 2h 35min Music Box




2:30 & 8:00


Richard III 2h 50min Belasco



Rock of Ages 2h 15min Helen Hayes




2:00 & 8:00

3:00 & 7:30

Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark 2h 45min Foxwoods



2:00 & 8:00

2:00 & 8:00

Twelfth Night 3h 0min Belasco






Waiting for Godot 2h 15min Cort





Wicked 2h 45min Gershwin




2:00 & 8:00


I focus on Broadway because it’s the easiest to present — the schedule is put together by the Broadway League.

However, there are plenty of shows Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway with performances on New Year’s Eve, and certainly during the week. Some examples:

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 — which to my mind is the perfect theater piece to see on New Year’s Eve (the only disadvantage being that it is located in the theater district.) On many top ten lists, including my own. My review (when it was in a different venue)

Buyer & Cellar — on many top ten lists, and it’s in the Village, so you avoid the crowds. My review (when it was in a different theater)

What’s It All About: Bacharach Reconsidered, at New York Theatre Workshop

(A show that is sold out for New Year’s Eve and for most of its run, but is unique enough to be worth a mention: Queen of the Night, loosely based on Mozart’s “Magic Flute,”  will open New Year’s Eve for six weeks in the Diamond Horseshoe, a new theater created by Randy Weiner (who put together the immersive Macbeth “Sleep No More”) in the basement of the Paramount hotel, in the very space that had a thriving night spot of the same in the 1890s, billing itself as “a fusion of theater, music, circus, cuisine, design, and nightlife that welcomes guests into a wholly interactive entertainment experience.”)


New Year’s Eve Central website lists more than 100 New Year’s Eve parties at New York nightclubs 


The New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at The Cathedral Church of St. John, a tradition begun by Leonard Bernstein. A limited number of seats are available to the public for free.

Chita Rivera at 54 Below — $300 to $400 cover charge, but how can we not mention this?

Wynton Marsalis Septet at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Famed jazz musician Wynton Marsalis and his band offer two performances on New Year’s Eve.

The Fela! band at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Cast members from the Broadway production of “Fela!” continue to perform the music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Punch Brothers at Bowery Ballroom
“Progressive bluegrass” group

Gogol Bordello at Terminal 5

Andrew W.K. at Irving Plaza

Billy Joel and Ben Folds Five at Barclays Center

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at The Stand
Funny people Judah Friedlander (30 Rock), Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show), Dan St. Germain (Conan), Sherrod Small (Best Week Ever) and others make mirth, with a prix-fixe dinner.  th

New Year’s Eve Spectacular at Carolines on Broadway

Ring in the Swing at The Allen Room, Lincoln Center
The Pedrito Martinez Group and the Dominick Farinacci Swing Dance Octet. Open bar.

Roy Wood Jr. at Gotham Comedy Club
Stand-up comic Roy Wood Jr. (Roy on the TBS series Sullivan and Son) 


Big selling point of all these cruises — a close-up of the New Year’s Eve fireworks over the water. Most include a buffet, open bar, and dancing with a dj.

Circle Line Sightseeing New Year’s Eve Cruise

 $169, leaves from Pier 83, off West 42nd Street and 12th Avenue.
$250, leaves from South Street Seaport

Paddle Wheel Queen New Year’s Eve Cruise

 Boarding at Skyport Marina (23rd/FDR) at 9:45 p.m. for $165 per person

New York Water Taxi’s New Year’s Eve Cruise

 $120 include hor d’oeuvres, open bar, champagne toast, and music. Tickets are $120

Affairs Afloat New Year’s Eve Cruise

$162 for dancing and snacks  (early bird discounts available).

World Yacht New Year’s Eve Cruise

$350 for 3-hour cruise including a five-course sit-down dinner, champagne toast, premium open bar, party favors and music for dancing.

New Year’s Eve Family Cruise

$250 family packages ($90/adult, $45/kids 3-12) include sweets, treats and snacks, as well as soft drinks. Cash bar available.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise on Yacht Manhattan

 $350 to join just 39 other people  aboard a 1920s style yacht where formal-wear is encouraged.
The Kadampa Meditation Center in Chelsea, for just $25 for non-members, provides a way for you to “ring in the New Year “with compassion and beneficial intentions!” — hors d’oeuvres, meditation, and no alcohol.



New York Road Runners’  Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park

Shorewalkers Happy New Year’s Day Hike

Hike through the parks and shoreline in Upper Manhattan. Meet 12 noon at 178th street and Broadway at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. This might be the ultimately nebbishy thing to do — I actually did it once — but it’s a perfect excuse to go to sleep early on New Year’s Eve.

Know of anything else worth doing on New Year’s Eve? Let us know in the comments below.


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