What Theater to See Memorial Day Weekend 2020

Some shows are “opening” over the next few days but this Memorial Day weekend is a good time to catch up on theater that’s still “running” (though not for long) and worth your time.

These recommendations, organized chronologically by “closing” date, are not all that’s available this weekend. For more listings check out my Calendar of May 2020 Theater Openings. and my overview of ongoing series and platforms, Where To Get Your Theater Fix Online

from The Sentinels

The Sentinels
MCC Theater
Closes today May 23

A half-hour play written by Matthew Lopez in which Katrina Lenk, Denée Benton, and Priscilla Lopez portray three women meet every September to catch up on each other’s lives and to remember the husbands they lost on 9/11.

Our Lady of 121st Street
LAByrinth Theater
Starts May 23 at 8pm, available for 24 hours.

A reading of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s play about a dozen quirky characters on a street in Harlem, directed by Elizabeth Rodriguez, featuring Bobby Cannavale, Laurence Fishburne and original cast members

92y cast of Love, Loss and What I Worte

Love, Loss and What I Wore (92y)
Closes May 25

The resurrection of this decade-old play by Nora and Delia Ephron about women and fashion turns, with five actresses including Rose O’Donnell and Carol Kane, turns out to be a surprisingly good fit

Mad Forest 9

Mad Forest
Sunday May 24 at 5, and Wednesday May 27 at 3

Bard College’s splendidly glitchy production of “Mad Forest,” Caryl Churchill’s fascinating avant-garde drama about the 1989 Romanian Revolution, is the first live play I’ve seen since the shutdown that attempts a full staging via Zoom. Rather than just reading the stage directions, the twelve actors enact them – a mother slaps her son; friends share a piece of chocolate; a couple hug one another; the members of a wedding party get into a massive group brawl — although each of the actors, all undergraduates at Bard, are performing  remotely from locations across the country where they are sheltering. Suggesting new paths forward for online theater.

Megan Hilty and the Yankees
Megan Hilty and the Yankees

Bombshell in Concert 
Closes May 27

A first-ever streaming of the 2015 concert of the songs from the show-within-the-show (a musical about Marilyn Monroe) from the TV series Smash.


Streetcar Named Desire
National Theater
Closes May 28

Gillian Anderson plays Blanche DuBois with Ben Foster as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby as Stella in this production of Tennessee Williams play filmed live on stage at the Young Vic in 2014. I saw this production on stage at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2016. The set is odd, like a department store’s living room display under construction; the acting is intense.

5_apple family on zoom
Clockwise from top left: Jay O. Sanders, Maryann Plunkett, Sally Murphy, Laila Robins, and Stephen Kunken in the livestreamed world premiere of the Apple Family Play, What Do We Need To Talk About?, written and directed by Richard Nelson.

What Do We Need To Talk About?
The Public Theater
Closes June 28

The fifth play by Richard Nelson about the Apple Family, a brother and three sisters in Rhinebeck, New York, this is the first one specifically written for Zoom. It is beautiful and sad, funny and moving, terrifically acted, and perfectly timed – a precise reflection of our sudden new era.


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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