Below is a day-by-day calendar of theater opening* in November, a month that features six new Broadway shows, four of them musicals, as well as some exciting theater-adjacent events, such as the opening of the Museum of Broadway on November 15th, which undoubtedly will offer a decided contrast to the three plays that happen to be opening that night Off-Broadway — about a summer camp for Nazis, a group home for men convicted of sex crimes, and the aftermath of an assault.
Two of those plays are written by well-known playwrights, Bruce Norris and Bess Wohl, and they’re not alone: Other familiar writers with new work this month Off-Broadway include Will Arbery (opening Nov 14), Quiara Alegría Hudes (Nov 6), Suzan-Lori Parks (16), Sarah Ruhl (21) – and Noel Coward (21)! The Coward play is new to us anyway, having never been produced before in the United States.
And then there are the names we soon will know,
The calendar is organized chronologically by opening date*, but we must consider the dates subject to change, because COVID-19 is ongoing and unpredictable. (It’s also in the nature of New York theater these days that new shows pop up at the last minute.)
Each title below is linked to a relevant website.
Broadway: Red 🟥. Off Broadway: Blue 🟦. Off Off Broadway: Green 🟩.
Digital or Hybrid Theater: Yellow 🟨 Theater festival: Orange 🟧. Immersive: Silver ⬜️ .
Puppetry: Brown 🟫 Opera: Purple🟪
🟦Parade (New York City Center)
In this concert version of the roadway musical with a Tony-winning book by Alfred Uhry and a Tony-winning score by Jason Robert Brown based on the infamous true story, Ben Platt portrays Leo Frank, the Southern Jewish factory superintendent who in 1913 was accused of murdering a 13-year-old employee, tried, convicted, appealed, and abducted from prison and lynched.
🟧Gotham Storytelling Festival (Kraine’s)
Now in its eleventh year, the festival runs through November 8th. It starts tonight with “Funny Never Gets Old: The Storytelling Show”from Carole Montgomery, the producer of the Showtime series ‘Funny Women of A Certain Age.’
🟦Where the Mountaint Meets the Sea (MTC at City Center)
A Haitian immigrant embarks on a journey from Miami to California on a unique road trip. Years later, his son makes the same trip, but in reverse. Written by Jeff Augustin with music by the Bengsons.
🟩Merciful Delusions (Theatre Row)
Four one-act plays by Tennessee Williams: Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry, The Lady of Larkspur Lotion, The Case of the Crushed Petunias, Hello From Bertha.
🟨The Nurse Antigone (Theater of War Productions)
A starry-cast reads Sophocles’ Antigone as a way to prompt a discussions about challenges faced by nurses. This is a free event, on Zoom, The 13-year-old company has been combining readings with discussions of hot button issues from its start, and started doing it online in 2020; last month, The Suppliants Project Ukraine, was its first hybrid production.
🟥Almost Famous (Bernard B. Jacobs Theater)
Book by Cameron Crowe; Music by Tom Kitt; Lyrics by Crowe and Kitt
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
A musical based on Crowe’s 2000 semi-autobiographical movie about a teenage rock journalist who goes on tour with a rock group in the early 1970s. First preview was October 3.
🟪Don Carlo (Metropolitan Opera)
Verdi’s opera about doomed love among royalty set against the backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition. David McVicar’s monumental production, created for the Met premiere of the original French version in the 2021-2022 season, returns, now sung in Italian with a different cast.
🟨Fukt (The Tank and online)
Personal playful story by Emma Goldman-Sherman about moving on from trauma.
🟩Vatican Falls (The Tank)
Based on factual accounts of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, Frank J. Avella’s play stars Ace Young (American Idol, Grease, Hair) as a survivor who plots revenge.
🟫Marvelous Metamorphosis (La Mama)
The show uses puppetry, song and dance to present the bizarre and beautiful transformations in our world like caterpillar to butterfly, polliwog to frog
🟩Mrs. Loman (The Tank)
Playwright Barbara Cassidy creates a sequel to “Death of a Salesman,” imagining what could happen to Linda Loman after Willy commits suicide.
🟦My Broken Language (Signature)
A stage adaptation of Quiara Alegría Hudes’s memoir about growing up in North Philly the daughter of a Jewish atheist hippie who left the picture early and a Puerto Rican Santera, and listening to the stories from the women on the Puerto Rican side of her family, with their lived-in bodies, heartwarming peculiarities, ceaseless traumas and tragedies,and endless resilience. (My review of her memoir.)
🟦You Will Get Sick (Roundabout’s Laura Pels)
In Noah Diaz’s play, a young man is shocked to receive a life-changing diagnosis. Overwhelmed, he turns to a stranger for help,
🟦Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (Transport and NAATCO at Connelly)
A revival of Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, featuring a cast of Asian-American actors, about a contented middle aged couple whose equilibrium is shattered by an alcoholic sister, an anxious couple, and a four-time divorced daughter
🟦Good Enemy (Audible at Minetta Lane)
When Howard (Francis Jue) surprises his college-aged daughter with a visit, he is forced to face the truth of their relationship and the rift between them— one caused by Howard’s hesitance to confront memories of his past as a young man in China. A play by Yilong Liu, directed by Chay Yew.
🟦Only Gold (MCC)
In this dance musical, a princess, a queen, and a clockmaker’s wife rebel against tradition as the men in their lives chase dreams they abandoned in their youth.
🟦Catch As Catch Can (Playwrights Horizons)
In this play by Mia Chung performed by three Asian-American actors in multiple roles, two families deep in blue-collar New England, the Phelans and the Lavecchias welcome home a prodigal son, setting off a crisis that reshapes their lives
🟦Where We Belong (Public Theater)
In her solo piece, Native American Madeline Sayet moves to England to study Shakespeare, and contemplates two countries that have failed to reckon with their continuous support of colonialism; she finds reprieve in the journeys of her Native ancestors who had to cross the ocean in the 1700s to assist her people.
🟩The Wildly Inappropriate Poetry of Arthur Greenleaf Holmes (The Tank)
Gordon Boudreau portrays the (fictitious) 16th century libertine poet Arthur Greenleaf Holmes, with hits such as “Ode to an Extremely Provocative Knothole,” the prepubescent lament “Mother, Will My Stones Drop?,” and his crowning achievement “I Built My Love a Menstrual Hut.”
🟥Kimberly Akimbo (The Booth)
Music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Jessica Stone, choreographed by Danny Mefford
Cast: Victoria Clarke, Justin Cooley, Steven Boyer, Bonnie Milligan
The Broadway transfer of an Off-Broadway musical, based on Lindsay-Abaire’s 2003 play, about a teenager with a rare terminal disease that makes her appear to be in her seventies, which focuses on her relationship with another misfit in her school. In my review of this off-beat musical Off Broadway, I wrote “the awkward, wry, tacitly sorrowful but explicitly exuberant relationship that slowly develops is the heart of the musical. The droll, touching, beautifully sung performances by the actors who portray them – Victoria Clark, the 62-year-old, Tony-winning Broadway veteran, and Justin Cooley, who at 18 is making an impressive Off-Broadway debut – makes the heart beat sweetly.” First preview was October 12.
🟦Romeo and Juliet (The Acting Company at New Victory)
Shakespeare’s tragedy set in the American South. (Performed in repertory with The Three Musketeers)
🟦The Three Musketeers (The Acting Company at New Victory)
Alexandre Dumas’s action-packed adventure is recreated as a work of Black imagination, mashing up up waltz with spoken word and high court drama with high fashion hip-hop. (Performed in repertory with Romeo and Juliet.)
⬜️12th Night An Immersive Experience (Emit Theater at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109)
An interactive show for young audiences and families, adapted from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
🟥Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & The Pool (Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center)
Written and performed by Mike Birbiglia
Directed by Seth Barrish
Another solo by a comic storyteller who was last on Broadway talking about being a new father. This one is being described as “a coming-of-middle-age story about when life takes a dive – into a highly-chlorinated YMCA pool. The first preview was October 28. Closing: January 15, 2023
🟪Angel of the Amazon (Sheen Center)
Written by composer-librettist Evan Mack, this opera is based on the true story of Sister Dorothy Stang. In 2005 this radical American 73 year old nun was murdered by assassins hired by the owner of a logging company. Her work with the peasant farmers was deemed a threat. Her sacrifice launched a global movement to save the rainforest and plant trees around the world.
🟦Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (New World Stages)
A second return of the musical in Yiddish with English and Russian subtitles, directed by Joel Grey and starring Steven Skybell as Tevye. I found it glorious when it debuted in 2018 and again in 2019
🟦Evanston Salt Costs Climbing (The New Group at Signature)
In this new play written by Will Arbery and directed by Danya Taymor (the team behind Heroes of the Fourth Turning), winters keep getting worse in Evanston, IL where salt truck drivers Peter and Basil battle the ice and snow and pass the time with jokes and stories. But what’s with this creeping sense of dread?
Museum of Broadway opens
The museum (at 145 West 45th Street, next to the Lyceum Theater), will feature a special exhibition of the work of long-time theater caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.
🟦Camp Siegfried (Second Stage)
In this play by Bess Wohl, and directed by David Cromer, two teenagers find themselves on a collision course with youthful passion and unbridled extremism during a summer on the cusp of World War II at Camp Siegfried, an actual summer camp on Long Island which taught Nazi ideology. Began October 25.
🟦Downstate (Playwrights Horizons)
In this play by Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park) directed by Pam McKinnon, four men convicted of sex crimes share a group home where they live out their days post-incarceration; a man shows up to confront his childhood abuser. Began October 28
🟩the bandaged place (Roundabout’s Black Box Theater)
Struggling to recover after an assault, Jonah realizes the only way to heal is by mending the relationships with his family in this play by Harrison David Rivers.
🟦Plays for the Plague Year (Public Theater)
On March 13, 2020, as theaters shut their doors and so many of us went into lockdown, Suzan-Lori Parks set out to write a play every day. This is the result, directed by Niegel Smith (artistic director of The Flea) Begins performances November 4. Update: Official opening canceled because of COVID>
🟥& Juliet (Stephen Sondheim Theater)
Book by David West Read
Directed by Luke Sheppard
Cast: Lorna Courtney, Paulo Szot, Betsy Wolfe, Stark Sands
A new story for Shakespeare’s tragic heroine and lovestruck teenager Juliet in which she chooses to live after Romeo dies, with a score featuring familiar pop songs from the last three decades such as “Since U Been Gone,” “Roar,” “Baby One More Time,” “Larger Than Life,” “That’s The Way It Is,” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
🟩Eleanor and Alice Conversations Between Two Remarkable Roosevelts (Urban Stages)
In this play by Ellen Abrams, starring Trezana Beverley as Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Bacon as Alice Roosevelt, the two friends, cousins, and rivals, one a Democrat, one a Republican – meet at eight crucial moments over the course of their lives. Begins November 13
🟩George Kaplan (New Ohio Theater)
George Kaplan is the name of the fictional spy that got Cary Grant in trouble in “North by Northwest.” Frédéric Sonntag turned the name into a dizzying comedy riffing on the way fiction interacts with political narrative and identity. The play has been popular in Europe, and now it’s been translated into English for the Bridge Production Group in the city where the misadventure (in the movie) began.
🟦BKBXKids! Asks Why (Broken Box Mime, Theater at the 14th Street Y)
Through embodied poetry, modern mime, and a dance party to process our feelings, the show lays the groundwork for conversations about racial justice. Target audience kids K-5 and their loved ones. Admission is free for anyone under 5.
⬜️The New Frame (Gibney Studio Y)
A free event for you to, well, immerse yourself in 14 different installations, performances, and games by top-notch “experience designers.” (Requires advance registration; this is a hot event, and, depending what time you sign up for, you’ll probably have to join a waitlist.)
🟩Cocoon (Gene Frankel Theater)
Four stories intertwine to explore different phases of romantic love. Written and directed by Katryna Gesait
Marjan Neshat (“English”) stars as a woman embarking on a journey to solve the mystery of her friend’s disappearance. Written by David Cale and directed by Leigh Silverman (the team behind Harry Clarke.) Starts November 3
🟨The Gett (Rattlestick and online)
A “gett” is a Jewish document written in Aramaic that Orthodox and Conservative Jews require for a divorce to be considered valid. This is undoubtedly a key to this play by Liba Vaynberg and directed by Daniella Topol, especially since it’s “produced in partnership with Congregation Beth Elohim.” (it’s being billed as “a tale of the dirty and the divine, drawing on everything from the Torah to bad sex”).
🟦The Patient Gloria (St. Ann’s Warehouse)
In 1965, a psychotherapy patient named Gloria Szymanski consented for her sessions with three therapists to be recorded, without realizing they would be made public. Gina Moxley riffs on this true event in a wild satire na
🟥A Christmas Carol (Nederlander)
Jefferson Mays portrays some 50 characters in this adaptation of Charles Dickens beloved story, which he originally performed online during lockdown (My review of it in 2020; it was spectacular.) Begins. November 8, closes January 21, 2023.
🟦The Rat Trap (Mint at City Center)
The American premiere of a play that Noël Coward wrote when he was just 18 years old, tells the story of a newlywed couple looking towards a bright future together, but it’s not to be. Looking back on the play in 1937 in his autobiography, Present Indicative, Coward called it “My first really serious attempt at psychological conflict… When I had finished it, I felt, for the first time with genuine conviction, that I could really write plays.”
🟦Becky Nurse of Salem (Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse)
In this play by Sarah Ruhl, Deirdre O’Connell (Tony winner for Dana H) plays a modern-day descendant of the accused witch from The Crucible, Rebecca Nurse, in Massachusetts that still has witches. Directed by Rebecca Taichman. Began October 27.
🟦La Race (Working Theater at McGinn/Cazale Theater)
While Maxine is grappling with personal and professional setbacks, her best friend is scheming to have her run for local office in Far Rockaway. She begins to face the systemic issues that are affecting her community. A play by Bleu Beckford-Burrell that’s part of The End of the Line Anthology of works, dramatizing intersecting lives in Far Rockaway where Beckford-Burrell grew up.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
featuring Broadway performances
Lineup on NBC broadcast: Lea Michele and the cast of Funny Girl; A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical; The Lion King, Some Like It Hot
Lineup on CBS: “Moulin Rouge” and “SIX the Musical”
🟥KPOP (Circle in the Square)
Book by Jason Lim, score by Helen Park and Max Vernon
Directed by Teddy Bergman
Cast: Luna and 17 other performers making their Broadway debut (out of a cast of 21)
When I saw the show Off-Broadway in 2017, it was a look inside the Korean pop music phenomenon, and I loved it. (my review), The production took over the entire A.R.T./New York Theaters building as if it were a KPOP factory, and we went in small groups from room to room. For Broadway, the framing device is that a crew is making a documentary. Note; The official opening was originally scheduled for November 20, but delayed a week because of COVID in the company.
Opening night is usually not the same as the first performance on Broadway and frequently Off-Broadway as well. There is usually a preview period, where the creative team tries out the show before an audience, and opening night is when 1. the show is “frozen” (no more changes), and 2. the reviews are published/posted/broadcast; reviews are forbidden, indeed, from being published before then. (Off-Off Broadway shows often have no preview period or official opening night; they just start.) It can be hard to find the date of the opening night; productions rarely state it clearly on their websites. But I organize this calendar by opening night (when it exists and when I can find it) rather than first performance, as a way to support the continuing relevance of theater reviewing. Check out my essay: Broadway Opening Night. What It Means. How It’s Changed. 7 Facts to Clear Up The Confusion and Crystallize the Outrage.
What Is Broadway🟥, Off-Broadway🟦, Off-Off Broadway🟩?
Off-Broadway theaters, by definition, have anywhere from 100 to 499 seats. If a theater has more seats than that, it’s a Broadway house. If it has fewer, it’s Off-Off Broadway. (There is a more sophisticated definition, having to do with contracts, and more elaborate distinctions, having to do with ticket prices, number and location of theaters, length of runs, willingness to take artistic risks, etc.)
(Several performing arts venues in New York City, such as The Shed, Little Island and NYU Skirball, technically exist outside these classifications; I list them as Off-Broadway, even though they have more than 500 seats.)