December 2014 Openings Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway

Two Broadway shows — The Illusionists and The Elephant Man – are opening in December, as are a handful of Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway# plays and musicals.

(The bulk of the openings this season occurred in October and November.)

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

Nothing, of course, is guaranteed about any of these shows, even those that seem the most promising. (This is why I write reviews.)

Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: 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.

December 2

Disenchanted (Theatre at St. Clements)

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

December 4

*The Illusionists (Marriot Marquis Theater)

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

 A Christmas Memory (DR2 Theater)

The Irish Repertory Theater production of a new musical based on the short story by Truman Capote, starring Alice Ripley.

December 5

The Asphalt Christmas (Theatre Row – Lion)

“The Bells of St. Mary’s meets The Exorcist in this outrageous satire that celebrates Hollywood Christmas movies, with a nod to the Carol Burnett Show. It’s the story of St. Celestine’s convent school’s annual Christmas pageant…”

December 7

*The Elephant Man (Booth Theater)

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 heartthrob Bradley Cooper a chance to show his inner beauty. (The deformity is not actually depicted. The audience is asked to imagine it.)

Peer Gynt (Alchemical Theatre Laboratory)

The Immediate Family theater troupe cuts down Ibsen’s sprawling four-hour opus to ninety minutes: “Peer Gynt is a Norwegian boy enamored of folktales about trolls, giant reindeer, and emperors wealthy beyond imagining. As he grows up, his gift for spinning fanciful lies takes him on many adventures all over the world, but he soon loses sight of his true self within the fantasies he creates.”

December 8

*The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop)

Ayad Akhtar, the author of Disgraced on Broadway, has written a play about bout an American stockbroker (portrayed by Justin Kirk) who is kidnapped and tortured in a remote area of Pakistan, and negotiates to save his life.

December 10

Horse Girls (The Cell)

“Twelve-year-old Ashleigh rules the Lady Jean Ladies, South Florida’s most exclusive horse club. News that her family’s stables are being sold and their horses killed for meat throws the Ladies into crisis in this dark comedy…”

December 11

All That Dies and Rises (IATI Theater)

“a theatrical experiment in the tradition of Grotowski and Meyerhold, finding ecstatic movement in the text of August Strindberg, Franz Kafka, Gertrude Stein and Charles Bukowski”

December 14

Soul Doctor (Actor’s Temple Theatre)

The musical about the guitar-strumming, folksong-composing rabbi, Shlomo Carlebach, and his unlikely friendship with Nina Simone, Soul Doctor had a brief run on Broadway, with a different cast.  My review of the Broadway production.

*Every Brilliant Thing (Barrow Street)

A play by Duncan Macmillan well-received in the UK: “1. Ice cream, 2. Water fights, 3. Things with stripes, 4. Christopher Walken’s voice, 5. Rollercoasters. In Every Brilliant Thing, a young boy attempts to ease his mother’s depression by creating a list of all the best things in the world. Everything worth living for. Through adulthood, as the list grows, he learns the deep significance it has on his own life.”

December 15

*Pocatello (Playwrights Horizons)

Written by Samuel Hunter, who just won one of the McArthur “genius” awards and whose past plays I love, Pocatello has a cast of nine featuring T.R. Knight as Eddie, who manages an Italian chain restaurant in Pocatello, Idaho — “a small, unexceptional American city that is slowly being paved over with strip malls and franchises.”

December 18

Beware of Young Girls (59E59 – B)

“Singer and storyteller, Kate Dimbleby, accompanied by Naadia Sheriff on piano, explores the extraordinary songbook and story of cult favorite Dory Previn. The queen of 70’s confessional songwriters, Previn sang songs of emancipation and sweet revenge.”

#The list includes only a small selection of the shows Off-Off Broadway, only those running more than two weeks and with official opening dates. There are some greatly promising shows that fit neither of these criteria. One I’m planning to see this month, for example, is Send For The Million Men.

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

Author: 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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