Below is a day-by-day selection of New York theater that is scheduled to open in November, organized by opening date.* That includes six more Broadway shows, two of them reopening hits — Book of Mormon and Harry Potter – and Jersey Boys is returning Off-Broadway. Two of the Broadway shows are among the half dozen plays by Black playwrights opening this month, including a new one from two time Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage, and a play by Alice Childress that was originally scheduled to debut on Broadway in 1957.
Each title below is linked to a relevant website. Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Black or Blue.. Off Off Broadway: Green. Theater festival: Orange. Immersive: Magenta. Puppetry-Brown, Online only-grey
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Signature)
A revival of Anna Deavere Smith’s artistic response to the Rodney King police beating, in which she interviewed over 350 Los Angelinos and presented a cross-section of them on stage. The play, which was initially a solo show that Smith performed, is “reimagine(d)”… for five performers and collaborators, with some updating as well.
Tammany Hall (Soho Playhouse)
A site-specific, immersive theater experience created and directed by Darren Lee Cole (Fleabag, Killer Joe) and Alexander Wright about the 1929 New York City mayoral contest between James Walker and Fiorella LaGuardia, in the very building that served as district headquarters for the Democratic machine.
Morning Sun (Manhattan Theater Company)
A new play by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) tells the story of 50 years in one woman’s life , starring Blair Brown, Edie Falco and Marin Ireland.
The Visitor (Public Theater)
A new musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (the Pulitzer-winning team of Next to Normal) and Kwame Kwei-Armah based on the movie about a widowed economics professor (David Hyde Pierce) who befriends Tarek, a drummer (Ahmad Maksoud) and Zainab, a jewelry maker (Alysha Deslorieux) and become swept into their struggle to stay in an America that they have made their home.
The Book of Mormon
The Eugene O’Neill Theater
Opened: March 24, 2011
Reopening: November 5, 2021
Director: Jason Moore and Trey Parker
Twitter feed: @BookofMormonBWY
This musical by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (book), the creators of South Park, and Robert Lopez, one of the composer-lyricists for “Avenue Q” (music and lyrics) and Frozen (both movie and musical), is about both the founder of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and modern disciples. It is outrageous, irreverent in one way, but also deeply reverent to (even while parodying) the best traditions of the Broadway musical.
My review of The Book of Mormon: Ridiculing Religion, Worshiping The Great White Way
MaxLive The Neuroverse festival (NY Live Arts, Onyx Studio, The Invisible Dog)
A three-day live arts festival “pushing the limits of intelligence” — exploring innovations in neuroscience, artificial intelligence and human-machine collaboration.
Generation Rise (New Victory)
The latest from Ping Chong and Company: They grew up in a global pandemic. They came into their own amidst renewed calls for racial justice. In their own words, Black, Latinx and Asian American teens bridge identities, cultures and lived experiences to share who they are and what they want in the world.
No Pants in Tucson (The Anthropologists at A.R.T./NY)
The play draws upon blatantly bigoted state laws from the 19th and 20th centuries that made it illegal for women to wear pants in public
Preparedness (Bushwick Starr at HERE)
In Hillary Miller’s play, the faculty of a moribund arts department I forced to undergo self-defense training. As the afternoon unravels into chaos, these educators discover the costs of a divided community.
On the Beauty of Loss (Vineyard Theater)
Created by Jared Mezzocchi, a pioneer practitioner and theorist in digital theater, the show on Zoom is an introspective live digitally-based multimedia performance that explores how the emergence of social technology has shifted the ways humans collect memories and comprehend grief.
The Indigo Room (La MaMa)
Timothy White Eagle takes his audience into a healing place: the belly of a whale, or La Balaine, where the whale and inhabitants breathe as one,
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: Jack Thorne
Director: John Tiffany.
Opened: April 22, 2018
Reopening, and reimagined: November 12, 2021
Twitter feed: @HPPlayNYC
A play written by Jack Thorne based on an original story by him, directory John Tiffany and Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling “While an adult Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. ” The production, which was presented in two parts previously (with separate admissions) will now be presented as a single performance. It’s not yet clear what the new running time will be. (My review of the two-part Potter)
Assassins (Classic Stage)
A revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Tony-winning musical that explores the lives of nine men and women who either killed or tried to killed one of the Presidents of the United States, With a cast of familiar New York stage actors including Judy Kuhn, Adam Chanler-Berat, Tavi Gevinson, Andy Grotelueschen, Steven Pasquale, Ethan Slater, Will Swenson; Wesley Taylor and Brandon Uranowitz….
Baby (Out of the Box Theatrics at Theater Lab)
Julia Murney stars in this revival of the Tony-nominated musical about three couples navigating the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy and early parenthood.
A Turtle on a Fence Post (Theater 555)
This musical is inpired by the story of political consultant Hank Morris’ time in prison as a result of a prosecution by Andrew Cuomo, a state attorney general who became New York’s governor.
Mornings at Seven (Theatre at St. Clement’s)
A starry revival of Paul Osborne’s 1938 comedy about four aging sisters living in a small Midwestern town in 1928 who being to question their lives. The cast includes Lindsay Crouse, Alma Cuervo, Dan Lauria, John Rubinstein, Tony Roberts
Jersey Boys (New World Stages)
A return of the Tony Award-winning musical about Frankie Valli and Four Season, four guys from Jersey who produced lasting musical hits in the 1960s like “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”
Medicine (St. Ann’s Warehouse)
Domhnall Gleeson stars as a hospital patient in Enda Walsh’s latest absurdist play, which features a jazz percussionist, two women named Mary, a very old man, and a giant lobster. In person through December 5, the show will also be live-streamed on November 21, 28 and December 5 at 5 p.m..
First preview: November 2, 2021
Opening: November 17, 2021
Book by Joe DiPietro; Music and lyrics by David Bryan
Directed by Christopher Ashley
Cast: Jeanna de Waal as Princess Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles,
Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles, Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth
In The Southern Breeze (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater)
In this play by Mansa Ra, a Black man’s existential crisis magically catapults him back through centuries of racially charged history to reveal the struggles he continues to face today.
Cullud Wattah (Public Theater)
2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize winner Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s Afro-surrealist play about three generations of Black women living through the current water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Directed by Candis C. Jones, the cast includes Crystal Dickinson and Lizan Mitchell.
Trouble in Mind
Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater
First preview: October 29, 2021
Opening: November 18, 2021
Writer: Alice Childress
Director: Charles Randolph-Wright
Alice Childress’s play, which premiered off-Broadway in 1955, follows a Black actress in rehearsals for a Broadway production and examines racism and ego in the theater world.
The Alchemist (Red Bull Theater at New World Stages)
Jeffrey Hatcher adapts Ben Jonson’s 17th century comedy: When a wealthy gentleman flees to the country, his trusted servant opens his house to a pair of con artists and sets up a den of criminal capitalism
Second Stage’s Helen Hayes Theater
First preview: November 3, 2021
Opening: November 23, 2021
Writer: Lynn Nottage
Director: Kate Whoriskey
Cast: Uzo Aduba, Ron Cephas Jones, Reza Salazar, Kara Young and Edmund Donovan.
A truck stop sandwich shop offers its formerly incarcerated kitchen staff a shot at reclaiming their lives, even as the shop’s callous owner tries to keep them under her thumb
August Wilson Theater
Returning: November 23
Writer: Jeremy O.Harris
Director: Robert O’Hara
The Old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation — or so it initially seems, with three interracial couples engaging in sexual gamesmanship. My review of the play Off-Broadway. My review on Broadway This is a return engagement of a play nominated for 12 Tonys (winning none) that initially ran at the John Golden from Sept. 10, 2019 through Jan. 19, 2020
*Opening night is usually not the same as first performance (there is usually a preview period, where the creative team tries out the show before an audience, and opening night is when the reviews appear), but the term is increasingly meaningless (most critics these days don’t even get invited until after “opening night”), and it’s especially meaningless this year, when the shows reopening have no preview period. Still, I am trying to uphold tradition here, before it disappears entirely. I am not listing shows that begin performances in November, but officially open in December.