Four Broadway shows are opening in March, marking the return of Dame Helen Mirren after 14 years and Larry David’s first stage appearance since the eighth grade. Another 18 openings are happening Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. Some of the shows focus on real-life figures such as entertainers Josephine Baker and Joan Baez (and other folk singers); playwrights Eugene O’Neill and Henrik Ibsen; the father of the atom bomb, and the Queen of England. Judging by many of the plays and musicals, March is a month for love, sex, marriage and family.
Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.
Nothing, of course, is guaranteed about any of these shows, even those that seem the most promising. (This is why I write reviews.) There are always surprises.
Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple. Off Off Broadway: Green.
To check out the entire Spring 2015 season, see my Broadway and Off-Broadway preview theater guides.
Fashions For Men (Mint Theater)
First produced at Budapest’s National Theater in 1917. In 1922 it appeared on Broadway in an English translation, about a saintly haberdasher whose wife steals his last dollar and runs off with his top salesman,.
Abundance (TACT at The Beckett Theatre, Theatre Row)
The 1990 play by Beth Henley focuses on two mail-order brides who are lured to the plains of Wyoming by the promise of new beginnings.
The Mystery of Love and Sex (Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater)
In this new play by Bathsheba Doran, directed by Sam Gold, Tony Shalhoub and Diane Lane play the parents of a college-age daughter whom they try to convince to end a romantic relationship.
The Feast (Flea)
Matt and Anna’s relationship is going swimmingly, until the sewers under their apartment open up and begin to speak
Fish In The Dark (Cort Theatre)
A comedy about a death in the family by Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld, and the creator and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, who said he hasn’t acted in a play since the eighth grade. Will his humor translate to the stage? The huge advance sale says his fans are betting it will.
Woyzeck, FJF (New Ohio Theatre)
A modern classic by the 19th century German dramatist Georg Buchner, re-imagined as the story of a condemned man desperate to uncover the truth in a dangerous world.
O’Neill’s Ghosts (TBG Theater)
Set in 1950’s in the coastal Connecticut family home of Eugene O’Neill, as the famed playwright struggles to complete his autobiographical play Long Day’s Journey Into Night. He is forced to deal with his troubled, alcoholic son and his possessive wife.
The Liquid Plain (Signature Theatre – The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Stage)
On the docks of late 18th century Rhode Island, two runaway slaves plan a desperate and daring run to freedom in this play that continues the season of playwright Naomi Wallace.
The Audience (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre)
For 60 years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. The play imagines a series of sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive meetings between the Queen and everyone from Churchill to Cameron.
The always-fabulous Helen Mirren starred in the 2013 West End production, which got raves in the London press — but remember both critics and British audiences know (and care) more about British political history than U.S. theatergoers.
A Happy End (Abingdon Theatre Company)
In 1932, a Jewish family considers leaving Berlin amid the imminent rise of the Nazi Party, in this play by Iddo Netanyahu
Josephine and I (The Public Theater – Joe’s Pub)
Written and starring Cush Jumbo (The River, Julius Caesar), this solo show featuring jazz and ragtime interweaves a story of an ambitious young woman in modern times with the life of the Josephine Baker, the first African-American performer to rise to international prominence.
Long Story Short (Prospect Theater Company at 59E59)
Adapted from the two-character play An Infinite Ache by David Schulner, this musical covers a romance and 50-year marriage in 90 minutes and 17 songs.
Irreversible (Red Fern Theater Company at The Theater at the 14th Street Y)
Robert Oppenheimer and his brother Frank are desperately racing to beat the Nazis to the world’s first nuclear bomb in the throes of World War II, but when they finally see the power of their new weapon, the two men are torn apart in a battle between conscience and ambition.
On the Twentieth Century (American Airlines Theatre)
Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher star as a struggling Broadway producer who tries to get a former lover, now a Hollywood star, to sign a contract to star in his latest (and as yet un-conceived) play as they travel on the luxury train Twentieth Century Limited from Chicago to New York.
A musical based on the 1933 play Twentieth Century, which was made into a 1934 movie starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard, this musical comedy debuted on Broadway in 1979.
Posterity (Atlantic Theater Company)
In a new play by Doug Wright, Norway’s most celebrated sculptor is hired to create the last official bust of its most famous writer, but Henrik Ibsen proves to be an irascible, contentious sitter, as the two men wage war over both his legacy and his likeness
Placebo (Playwrights Horizons)
A new play by Melissa James Gibson about a woman working on “a placebo-controlled study of a new female arousal drug.”
Lonesome Traveler (59E59)
Nine singer/musicians dramatize key moments in the history of the American folk revival, portraying characters from Pete Seeger to Leadbelly to Joan Baez
I OF THE STORM (Playroom Theatre)
Richard Hoehler performs the debut of a new solo riff by RJ Bartholomew about an unlikely success story.
Possum Dreams (Shetler Studios Theatre 54)
A play about a married couple caught in the unraveling illusions that have held them together for eighteen years. “feels like a kinky, unhinged cousin to “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
The Heidi Chronicles (Music Box Theatre)
This 1989 play by the late and much missed Wendy Wasserstein follows the awakening of art historian Heidi Holland in a changing cultural and political landscape. The casting of Elisabeth Moss in the title role is both well-timed (Peggy and the rest of the characters of Mad Men are soon to depart) and intriguing.
Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova)
In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat, confronting inner demons, in this play by Bess Wohl (well-known actress as well as a playwright), directed by Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812; Three Pianos; Taylor Mac’s Lily’s Revenge).
Music Hall (TUTA Theater Chicago at 59E59)
A story about three fading performers who act, sing, and dance every night, and endure year after year.