Theater This Weekend October 23-25: 5 Must-See Shows Before They Close

These five highly recommended plays opened earlier this week, most of them ending this weekend, all of them worth seeing. There are other, terrifically-sounding shows that are actually opening this weekend, listed in my day-by-day monthly calendar  including a modern opera called dwb (driving while black), a stage adaptation of The War of the Worlds, Tonya Pinkins in Moliere in the Park’s School for Wives, and the Olivier Awards. But the ones below I’ve seen and adored.

Jason Dirden and Nikiya Mathis in Skeleton Crew

Skeleton Crew
Last showing  7 p.m.  Saturday 10/24
A reading by most of the original cast of this play by Dominique Morisseau, the compelling final play in her Detroit trilogy, which focuses on the struggles of a group of Detroit auto workers at a plant that is in danger of shutting down.“Know what’s left…?” one of the characters says. “The soul…I’m running on soul now.”  Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the production features original cast members Jason Dirden, Wendell B. Franklin, Nikiya Mathis, and Adesola Osakulumi, along with new cast member Caroline Clay. This worked on stage when I saw it, and the spot-on rhythmic dialogue also works well on Zoom, although there are now inventive video clips in-between the scenes.

Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Available through Saturday October 24  (2 and 8 p.m.)
Will Arbury’s play, a Pulitzer Finalist, tells the story of a reunion of graduates of a small conservative Catholic school in Wyoming. It was fascinating at Playwrights Horizons, and, believe it or not, I found it even better as a Zoom play.  (How Heroes of the Fourth Turning became a vision of what theater can be online. Director Danya Taymor Q and A) Now Jeremy O. Harris (playwright of Slave Play), serving as producer, is bringing back the online production.

Death of a Salesman
Available through Sunday 10/25
The 1999 Tony-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s tragedy, starring Brian Dennehy under the direction of Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls, was captured on film in 2000 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre for Showtime. It’s now being streamed as a fundraiser for the Actors Fund.

Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy

Live streaming every evening through October 24, then available on demand from October 25 to November 2, 2020 – the day before Election Day 2020. Tickets are $20.20

As I wrote in my review, Sarah Gancher’s play about Russian trolls trying to sway the American Presidential election is not just funny and frightening, well acted, well-designed and imaginative staged. It’s also extremely timely. (An article yesterday: “Feds say Russia and Iran have interfered with the presidential election“)

That Kindness: Nurses In Their Own Words
available at BAM through November 3
A play by Eve Ensler (who now calls herself V) of interwoven monologues performed by a starry cast, based on interviews with nurses. In my review, I didn’t find it a perfect play, but it’s illuminating and moving.


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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