Theater in New York doesn’t end when the Broadway season does.
Patti LuPone, Tony Shalhoub, Mary-Louise Parker and Alicia Silverstone are all treading the New York boards this month, and there are new plays by Simon Stephens (Curious Incident) Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park), Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger), Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns), Douglas Carter Beane, Melissa Ross, Jesse Eisenberg, There are six shows opening on June 11th alone, which must be a record. There’s even a play opening on the same night as the Tony Awards. And let’s not forget the many summer theater festivals that are going on this month — with show too numerous to list here. (So I have a separate preview about New York’s summer festivals.)
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.
June 1, 2015
Composition…Master-Pieces…Identity (Connelly Theater)
David Greenspan’s solo show “brings to life two ‘lectures’ and a ‘play’ by Gertrude Stein.” (The quotation marks are his.)
The Spoils (The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center)
Jesse Eisenberg writes and stars in another play, this one about a man who sets out to win back his grade school crush after he finds out she is marrying another grade school classmate, who has become a banker.
Heisenberg (The Studio at Stage II City Center)
Written by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) this play stars Mary-Louise Parker as a woman who spots a much older man in a London train station, and plants a kiss on his neck.
The Twentieth-Century Way (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre)
Based on a little-known incident in LA history, this play by Tom Jacobson explores the collision of reality and fantasy as two actors juggle various roles to entrap homosexuals for “social vagrancy” in the public restrooms of 1914 Long Beach. I reviewed this when it appeared at the 2010 New York Fringe Festival, calling it “a dazzling display, and occasionally dizzying. By the end, though, The Twentieth-Century Way‘s confusions seem integral to its many satisfactions.”
Hey Jude (The Cell at Urban Stages)
Anna’s losing it, her husband Henry’s already lost it and her son Jude is just plain lost. Identity is a slippery slope in this family drama, when a matter of life and death unhinges its members and challenges their basic beliefs.
Injunction Granted (Metropolitan Playhouse)
“Capital vs. Labor, with clowns.” A re-creation of a social drama devised by the Work Projects Administration in 1937, with “a special coda…bringing the play into the next century.”
The Old Masters (The Flea)
Ben, “an artist turned teacher and expectant father, serendipitously discovers an old friend’s paintings – an old friend who mysteriously disappeared 4 months ago. As the art world falls under the spell of his friend’s work and life story, Ben is left to wonder: what about me?”
Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait (Rattlestick at Gym at Judson)
Written and Directed by Daniel Talbott. In a not so distant future where children have never known a world without war, resources are vanishing and what’s left is controlled by minuscule factions
10 Out Of 12 (SoHo Rep)
A play by Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns), “10 out of 12” is set during the technical rehearsals for a new play
Guards at the Taj (Atlantic Theater Company)
In this new play by Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) directed by Amy Morton, Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed play to imperial guards in 1648 India, who watch from their post as the sun rises for the first time on the newly-completed Taj Mahal , and are then asked to do something they consider unthinkable.
A Midsummer Nights Dream (Masterworks Theater Company at 47th Street Theatre)
Office Politics (June Havoc Theatre)
When a white male co-worker makes an off-the-cuff racially insensitive remark to his boss’s black female assistant, what seems like a harmless joke snowballs, suddenly catapulting the ad sales office of a women’s magazine into turmoil.
CONSENT (The Back Box Theatre at Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center)
A natural athlete and former pro-NFL player, Ron married his high school sweetheart and achieved early success as an award-winning architect. Now a chance encounter with Kurt, a sexy young law student, pushes Ron’s boundaries and seduces him into the murky waters of consent.
Debutaunt (Atelier Roquette)
“An interactive dance-based experience in which audience members are invited to attend a debutante ball. ”
Devil and the Deep (Theater East)
A musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
Gordy Crashes (IRT Theatre)
Superstorm Sandy has driven Gordy out of his apartment and into a dizzying blur of other people’s couches…Over the next three days, Gordy will see the true extent of the storm’s devastation
The Qualms (Playwrights Horizons)
This play by Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park) introduces a couple into “an alcohol-fueled party for swingers, only to find themselves at odds with the idea of free love and, suddenly, each other.”
Preludes (Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theatre)
From the creators of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, PRELUDES is a musical fantasia set in the hypnotized mind of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. After the disastrous premiere of his first symphony, the young Rachmaninoff suffers from writer’s block. He begins daily sessions with a therapeutic hypnotist, in an effort to overcome depression and return to composing
The Tempest (Public Theater – Delacorte)
The opening of Shakespeare in the Park
Ghost Stories: The Shawl and Prairie Du Chien (Atlantic Stage 2)
A revival of two plays by David Mamet. Shawl is the story of a bereaved woman who consults a small-time mystic for guidance. In Prairie du Chien, a railroad car speeding through the Wisconsin night is the setting for a story of obsessive jealousy, murder and suicide.
Gloria (Vineyard Theatre)
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s play about an ambitious group of editorial assistants at a notorious Manhattan magazine, who hope for a starry life of letters and a book deal before they turn thirty.
Significant Other (Laura Pels)
Jordan would love to be in love, but that’s easier said than done. So until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close-knit girlfriends. With Gideon Glick, Lindsay Mendez, Barbara Barrie, John Behlman.
Shows For Days (Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E Newhouse)
Michael Urie and Patti Lupone star in Douglas Carter Beane’s new play about a young man’s first experiences in the theater.
Happy Days (The Flea)
Brooke Adams and Tony Shalhoub star in Beckett’s classic play about a woman buried in the ground.
Of Good Stock (MTC – NY City Center Stage I)
In a new play by Melissa Ross, Heather Lind, Jennifer Mudge, Alicia Silverstone portray the three Stockton sisters, who are witty, brilliant, beautiful – and a total mess, thanks to the legacy of their complicated novelist father.