Some of the shows opening in October. Click on any photograph to see it enlarged.
October is one of the three busiest theater months in New York, with some 40 shows opening sometime this month on Broadway, Off-Broadway or Off-Off Broadway. This comes to at least one for each day of the month, although the schedule is more chaotic than that. 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. (Consider this a work in progress.)
Color key: Broadway: Red or Grey*. Off Broadway: Black or Blue. Off Off Broadway: Green.
October 1, 2014
Tail!Spin! (Lynn Redgrave Theater at Culture Project)
*King Lear (NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts)
*The Country House (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)
Blythe Danner stars in an adaptation by Donald 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.
Riding The Midnight Express with Billy Hayes (Barrow Street Theatre)
Port Authority (DR2 Theatre)
Sleepy Hollow (The Players Theatre)
*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Barrymore Theatre)
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
The Killing of Sister George (TACT at the Beckett)
Jewish Chronicles (Soho Playhouse)
*It’s Only A Play (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre)
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.
Lying (Interart Theater)
*While I Yet Live (Primary Stages)
Kinky Boots star Billy Porter turns playwright, writing about his family in Pittsburgh.
Jacuzzi (Ars Nova Theater)
Found (Atlantic Theater Company)
Sweet, Sweet Spirit Three (The Theater at the 14th Street Y)
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion (Union Square Theatre)
Going Once, Laughing Twice (St. Luke’s)
*On The Town (Lyric Theatre)
Three sailors spend a day on leave in New York City, meeting some great dames in a revival of the musical by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
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.”
Powwow Highway (HERE Arts Center)
*The Belle of Amherst (Westside Theatre)
Joely Richardson(“Nip/Tuck,” Side Effects) portrays poet Emily Dickinson in this one-woman show made famous by Julie Harris.
My Son the Waiter, a Jewish Tradgedy (Triad Theatre)
*Excuse My Dust (SoHo Playhouse)
In homage to the writer Dorothy Parker, who once wrote that she wanted her epitaph to read “Excuse my dust”) Jennifer Engstrom explores New York’s most celebrated wit, by writing and performing scenes involving characters from five of Parker’s short stories.
Brownsville Song (b-side for tray) (LCT’s Claire Tow Theater)
Billy & Ray (Vineyard Theatre)
That’s film director Billy Wilder and novelist Raymond Chandler: The play, written by Mike Bencivenga and directed by Garry Marshall (Happy Days, etc.), is about their contentious collaboration on the noir film based on Chandler’s novel, “Double Indemnity.” The four-member cast includes Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell in “Mad Men”) as Wilder and Larry Pine as Chandler.
James Dickey’s famous novel of a traumatic trip down a river in the South is adapted by Sean Tyler
Fortress of Solitude (Public Theater)
Jonathan Lethem’s coming-of-age novel about 1970s Brooklyn is adapted by songwriter Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and bookwriter Itamar Moses, and features an 18-member cast that includes Kyle Beltran, Adam Chanler-Berat, and André De Shields.
*Disgraced (Lyceum Theatre)
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.
Shatter (Urban Stages)
Miss Julie (Gene Frankel Theatre)
Hereafter Musical (The Snapple Theater Center)
The Last Ship (Neil Simon Theatre)
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.
Shut Up, Sit Down and Eat (Snapple Theater Center)
The Brightness of Heaven (Cherry Lane Studio Theatre)
Father Comes Home From The War 1,2, &3 (Public Theater)
Lips Together Teeth Apart (Second Stage)
*The Real Thing (American Airlines Theatre)
Henry is a successful writer who is attempting to balance his professional and personal lives in this comedy about marriage and betrayal.
Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal are both making their Broadway debuts in this second Broadway revival of Stoppard’s play.
Click for a preview guides to the entire Broadway Fall 2014 Season and the Off-Broadway Fall 2014 Season.
*Grey with asterisks mean Broadway shows to which I’ve been invited past the opening.