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November 2014 Openings Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway

Three Broadway shows — The River, Side Show and A Delicate Balance – are opening in November, as are some two dozen Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway# plays and musicals.   This makes for tough choices or a severely hectic schedule for avid theatergoers, especially since five of the shows are opening on November 16th alone – and four more the very next night!

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions of most of the shows. 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.)

Color key: Broadway: Red or Gray✫. Off Broadway: Blue or Light Blue✫. Off Off Broadway: Green.

* Asterisks are next to those shows to which I have been invited (and plan) to review as of this writing.(This will likely change as the month progresses.)

November 3

*The Oldest Boy (Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater)

Sarah Ruhl’s latest play tells the story of Tenzin, the toddler son of an American woman (to be played by Celia Keenan-Bolger) and a Tibetan man (Joel de la Fuente) who is recognized as the reincarnation of a high Buddhist teacher

November 5

*Wiesenthal (Acorn Theatre)

Written by and starring Tom Dugan, the play tells the true story of Simon Wiesenthal, more than 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice.

November 6

*Sticks and Bones (The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center)

With a cast that includes Richard Chamberlain, Holly Hunter and Bill Pullman, the New Group opens its 20th Anniversary season with the first major New York revival of David Rabe’s Tony Award-winning play Sticks and Bones, “a savage and savagely comic portrait of an average American family pulled apart by the return of a son from the Vietnam War.”

You Got Older (HERE Arts Center)

Directed by Anne Kauffman, and featuring Reed Birney and Brooke Bloom: Mae comes home to take care of Dad.

The New York City Icon Plays: Love in Irish Pub (Quinn’s Bar)

Eight short plays presented in a real Times Square area Irish Bar

Powerhouse (New Ohio Theatre)

The life of idiosyncratic composer and electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott, whose  compositions were used in countless Looney Tunes cartoons of the 1940s and 1950s.

November 11

Lost Lake (MTC at New York City Center – Stage 1)

A new play by David Auburn ( Proof): Veronica (Tracie Thoms) rents a lakeside property and is pulled into the problems of its owner (John Hawkes).

November 12

*Grand Concourse (Playwrights Horizons)

Called to a life of religious service, Shelley is the devoted manager of a Bronx soup kitchen, but lately her heart’s not quite in it. Enter Emma: an idealistic but confused young volunteer, whose recklessness pushes Shelley to the breaking point.”

Written by Heidi Schreck and directed by Kim Fagan, the play features a four-member cast that includes Bobby Moreno, who was so amazing in The Year of the Rooster.

November 13

Lypsinka! The Trilogy (The Connelly Theater)

 

November 16

*The River (Circle in the Square Theatre)

A trout fisherman in a remote cabin tries to hook a woman into some night-time fishing. Two words: Hugh Jackman.

*Our Lady of Kibeho (Signature Theatre,The Irene Diamond Stage)

Katori Hall (The Mountaintop) is inspired a true story: In 1981, a village girl in Rwanda claims to see the Virgin Mary. Ostracized by her schoolmates and labeled disturbed, everyone refuses to believe, until others start to see her as well.

The Erlkings (Theatre Row- Beckett)

A look at the perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre.

Tamburlaine, Parts I and II (Polonsky Shakespeare Center)

The Elizabethan play by Christopher Marlowe, edited and directed by Michael Boyd, starring John Douglas Thompson

Major Barbara (The Pearl)

November 17

*Side Show (St. James Theatre)

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.

Punk Rock (MCC Theater)

Simon Stephens (who adapted The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) writes about a group of highly-articulate 17-year-old British private school students preparing for their A-Level mock exams, while hormones rage.

Straight White Men (Public Theater)

Young Jean Lee, an innovative downtown playwrights, “defies expectations with a conventionally structured take on the classic American father-son drama….When Ed (Austin Pendleton) and his three adult sons come together to celebrate Christmas, they enjoy cheerful trash-talking, pranks, and takeout Chinese. Then they confront a problem that even being a happy family can’t solve….what is the value of being a straight white man?”

Blank! The Musical (New World Stages)

“Each night, a talented ensemble takes to the stage—with no script, no rehearsal, and no idea what will happen—to perform a brand-new smash hit musical… that you help to create!”

November 18

By The Water (NY City Center – Stage II)

The play by Sharyn Rothstein looks at the effect of Hurricane Sandy on one family.

November 19

Allegro (CSC)

This revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s least known musical, written after their success with Oklahoma and Carousel, follows the life of a physician named Joe Taylor, Jr.

November 20

A Delicate Balance (Golden Theatre)

Glenn Close returns to Broadway in a cast that includes John Lithgow and Martha Plimpton in another one of Edward Albee’s caustic Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpieces, about a long-married couple who 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,” holds great promise to repeat the feat.

Pitbulls (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre)

Keith Josef Adkins, a playwright best-known as the founding artistic director of New Black Fest,writes about a pariah named Mary in a small black community in rural Appalachia — pitbull country – who is viewed suspiciously when a pitbull is killed on the Fourth of July.

On A Stool At The End Of A Bar (59E59 Theaters – B)

November 23

*A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations) (Signature Theatre)

Sam Shepard’s “dark, fragmented, modern-day take” on Oedipus Rex

Me, My Mouth and I (Cherry Lane)

Written and performed by Joy Behar.

November 24

Self Made Man: The Frederick Douglass Story (Arclight Theater)

Frederick Douglass arrives back to his place of birth where he is planning to murder his former owner. But first he tells us his life story.

* 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.)

✫Grey means Broadway shows, and light blue means Off-Broadway shows, to which I’ve been invited past the opening.

#The list includes only a small selection of the shows Off-Off Broadway, with an emphasis on those running more than two weeks and with official openings.

For a look at the whole season, check out Fall 2014 Broadway Preview Guide and Off-Broadway Preview Guide

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About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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