September 2023 New York Theater Openings

Below is a calendar of theater opening* in New York in September: Leslie Odom Jr is returning to Broadway in a revival of a play by Ossie Davis, and rock star Melissa Etheridge is bringing her solo show to Broadway, while Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom is bringing her solo show Off Broadway, where Annie Baker’s latest play features such New York stage stalwarts as Marylouise Burke, Mia Katigbak and Kristine Nielsen

This calendar is organized chronologically by opening date*, but we must consider the dates subject to change, thanks to the vagaries of COVID-19.

Each title below is linked to a relevant website. 

Key: Broadway: Red 🟥. Off Broadway: Blue 🟦. Off Off Broadway: Green 🟩.

Digital or Hybrid Theater: Yellow 🟨. 
Theater festival: Orange  🟧. 
Puppetry: Brown 🟫.
Staged Reading 📖
Immersive and/or site-specific: Silver ⬜️ 
Opera: Purple🟪. Concert 🎶 Out of town 🚍

September 1

🟩Isaac’s Eye (Garret Theater at Greek Cultural Center’s Astoria Playhouse)
A revival of a play about Isaac Newton written ten years ago by Lucas Hnath, who has since been recognized as one of America’s most adventurous playwrights (A Dolls House, Part 2; Dana H)
Through Sept 17

September 6

🟩Relapse: A New Musical (Theatre Row)
Four people in group therapy navigate their way back to mental health.
Sept 2 – 23

🟦The Writing on the Stall (Soho Playhouse)
Caitlin Cook’s solo show with lyrics based on bathroom graffiti she has observed over the years
Sept. 6-9, 13-16, 20-23 at 9PM

September 7

🟦The Creeps (Playhouse 46 at St. Luke’s)
Written and performed by Catherine Waller, the show tells the story of a bizarre group of malformed misfits living and surviving in a derelict building lorded over by a mysterious, oppressive doctor
Sept 1 – Nov 5

September 8

🟫The Heart of the Matter Circus and Pageant (Bread & Puppet Theater at Old Stone House)
Continuing a tradition begun in 1970, Peter Schumann’s Bread and Puppet Theater (recently profiled in the NY Times), will bring to Brooklyn for a single day its stilt dancers, paper maché beasts of all sizes, and a riotous brass band to make a raucous, colorful spectacle of protest and celebration.

September 9

🎶 The Lieutenant (York)
A  Musical in Mufti concert version of the 1975 Broadway musical about Lieutenant William Calley from a novice soldier to his 1971 court-martial, centering on the infamous My Lai massacre of innocent civilians in 1968. 
Through Sept 17

September 12

🟦Infinite Life (Atlantic)

Five women in Northern California sit outside on chaise lounges and philosophize about the complexity of suffering, and what it means to desire in a body that’s failing you, in this new play by Annie Baker (Circle Mirror Transformation, The Flick)
Aug 18 – Oct 8

🟫Psychic Self-Defense (HERE)
Audiences are led to a tiny proscenium theater, where a curtain opens with fanfare… and then another… and then a further curtain… and then the curtains keep opening and closing, revealing and concealing characters, objects and scenes. Created by Normandy Sherwood as part of Basil Twist’s Dream Music Puppetry Programs at HERE.
through Sept 30

September 14

🟦Death, Let Me Do My Show (Lucille Lortel)
From Rachel Bloom, the co-creator and star of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” “comes a one woman musical comedy that is definitely NOT about the ever-present spectre of death. Rachel Bloom’s new show is filled with raunchy and escapist material that will in NO way explore the pandemic and all the tumultuous events that ensued in her personal life. NOTHING will stop Rachel from partying like it’s 2019!”
Sept 6 – 30

🟦alt-Hamlet (Players Theater)
The play is an adaptation of Shakespeare, but also, says playwright Suzanne Willett, “my response to the Dodd Supreme Court decision…an indictment of the legally imposed restrictions on women’s bodies.”
September 7 – 24

September 17

🟦Swing State (Audible at Minetta Lane)
When a widow in rural Wisconsin notices that her dead husband’s toolbox is missing, she places a call to the local authorities, unwittingly setting off a series of events that will forever reverberate through the small community, in this new play written by Rebecca Gilman and directed by Robert Falls.
Sept 8 – Oct 28

September 18

🟦Job (Soho Playhouse)
In this two-character play by Max Wolf Friedlich starring Peter Friedman and Sydney Lemmo, a tech worker suspended due to a viral video seeks to have her job reinstated.
September 6 – October 15 

🟩 9 Kinds of SIlence (PlayCo at 122CC’s Second Floor Theatre)
Written and directed by Abhishek Majumdar, the play is set in a military tent on the shore of a country that is winding down a multi-year war, telling the story of a mother whose job is to receive returning soldiers, and a son (hers or somebody else’s) returning from combat. 
Sept 7 – 30.

🟦Dracula A Comedy of Terrors (New World Stages)
In the treacherous mountains of Transylvania, a meek English real estate agent takes a harrowing journey to meet a new and mysterious client
September 4 – January 7

September 19

🟩Bettinger’s Luggage (AMT)
In this play by Al Tapper based on a true story, Lou Bettinger runs a luggage store on the Lower East Side that he plans to pass on to his son George, but George has other plans — to be a standup comedian. 
through Oct 26

September 21

🟦20 Seconds (at Signature)
A solo show written and performed by Thomas Sweitzer, who recounts through song the story of his childhood, the son of a schizophrenic father.
Sept 10 – Oct 21

September 22

🟦Mary Gets Hers (Playwrights Realm at MCC)
Inspired by the work of Hrotsvitha, a 10th century dramatist and canonist, Emma Horwitz’s play focuses on an abandoned orphan named Mary who resists being saved by two hermits during the Plague
Sept 11 – Oct 7

September 27

🟥Purlie Victorious (Music Box Theater)
Leslie Odom Jr (pictured with Kara Young) returns to Broadway after his Tony-winning turn in Hamilton for this first Broadway revival, directed by Kenny Leon, of Ossie Davis’ 1961 comedy about a traveling preacher in the Jim Crow-era South
First preview September 7

September 28

🟥Melissa Etheridge: My Window (Circle in the Square)
The Grammy and Academy Award winning rock star offers tales of her childhood in Kansas and her groundbreaking career highlights
Sept 14-Nov 19

🟪Nabucca (Met)

Giuseppe Verdi’s classic opera about the ruler of ancient Babylon returns to the Met. Baritone George Gagnidze makes his Met role debut as the imperious king Nabucco, alongside soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska reprising her turn as his vengeful daughter Abigaille. 

*Opening Night

I organize this list by opening night, but include the dates when a show’s run starts and ends (when available.)
Opening night is usually not the same as the first performance on Broadway and Off-Broadway. There is usually a “preview period” that can last days or weeks, sometimes months. But professional reviews are forbidden from being published until opening night, which is why 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. (Shows that begin previews in September but don’t open until October will be featured in next month’s calendar.) 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 🟦 and 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.)
(Lincoln Center has separate Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway theaters. Several of the city’s performing arts centers, such as The Shed, Little Island, Park Avenue Armory and NYU Skirball, technically exist outside Broadway/Off-Broadway/Off-Off Broadway classifications; I list them as Off-Broadway, even though they have more than 500 seats.)

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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