Below is a calendar of theater opening* in New York in November, featuring the return to the stage of Danny DeVito, Diane Wiest, Priscilla Lopez, James Monroe Iglehart and Christopher Abbott (that’s him atop Aubrey Plaza, making her stage debut.) There are new plays or musicals telling the life stories of Alicia Keys, Graciela Daniele, and Qui Nguyen’s parents, as well as revivals of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, and Spamalot. Michael John LaChiusa has written a new musical for Lincoln Center, Bill T. Jones a hybrid theater/dance piece for the new Perelman Performing Arts Center (PACNYC), and Barry Manilow has finally brought his long-gestating musical to Broadway; it’s one of the two musicals opening in New York this month about Jews during the Nazi era.
It’s also one of the three shows opening on Broadway. But Broadway musicals aren’t restricted to Broadway stages this month, or even Off or Off-Off. The songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Rodgers and Hart are re-interpreted through Black voices at two different concert halls. There is also a concert of songs by Hal Prince’s collaborators, which were just about every major Broadway composer of his time. And then of course, the largest gathering of Broadway performances is on the street — for the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
This calendar is organized chronologically by opening date*, but we must consider the dates subject to change, thanks to the continuing 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 🚍
🟦Poor Yella Rednecks (Manhattan Theater Club)
In this play that is something of a sequel to Qui Nguyen’s memorable 2016 play about his parents, “Vietgone,” a young Vietnamese family attempts to put down roots in Arkansas, a place as different from home as it gets
October 10 – November 26
🟦American Century: American Blues (Irondale)
These five little-known one-act plays by Tennessee Williams will be performed consecutively in a series of spaces at Irondale Theater for a FREE evening of theater,
Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry
The Dark Room
The Case of the Crushed Petunias
The Long Stay Cut Short, or, The Unsatisfactory Supper
and Ten Blocks on the Camino Real
October 27 – November 26
🎶 Pal Joey (City Center)
An Encores concert version of the Rodgers and Hart musical about a heel, turned in this adaptation into a Black jazz singer in 1940s Chicago.
🟥I Need That (Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater)
Danny DeVito stars in Theresa Rebeck’s comedy about somebody who never throws anything out, and never leaves his house. Co-starring his eldest daughter Lucy DeVito and Ray Anthony Thomas
October 13 – December 23
🟧Geoff Sobelle’s FOOD (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
Part of BAM’s 40th annual Next Wave festival, a dinner party at which audience members sit at a very large table for what is described as “a meditation on how and why we eat.”
Nov 2 – 18
🟦Sabbath’s Theater (New Group at Signature)
John Turturro co-adapts and Philip Roth’s novel and stars as a 64-year-old lecherous retired puppeteer who considers the people who he has lost.
🟫🟧2023 La MaMa Puppet Festival (La MaMa ETC)
Puppetry has been an integral part of La MaMa since 1962. This year’s festival includes four world premieres, a Puppet Slam (nine short new works) and an art exhibition.
Motel by Dan Hurlin – November 2-12
Sounding the Resonant Path by Tom Lee – November 2-5
The Healing Shipment by Maria Camia – November 3-5
Jump Start: A Presentation of Works in Progress * – November 3-11
La MaMa Puppet Slam – November 7-8
Daydream Tutorial by Maiko Kikuchi – November 9-12
Tricyckle by Les Sages Fous – November 10-12
The Pact by Aaron Haskell – November 16-18
La MaMa Kids: Go Home Tiny Monster by The Gottabees – November 4-5
La MaMa Kids: Woods by Puzzle Theatre – November 11-12
🟧Gotham Storytelling Festival (Under St. Marks)
Now in its twelfth year,
November 3 – 11
🟩Tragedy Plus Time (Soho Playhouse)
Ed Byrne’s solo show is a love letter to his brother Paul who died last year at an early age.
November 4 – 12
🟦Watch Night (PacNYC)
In this “immersive exploration of justice and forgiveness in the face of deadly rage,” co-Conceived, directed, and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, a reporter visits the site of an unspeakable tragedy in search of a story ready made for Hollywood – only to find that history repeats itself.
🟩Flawless (Theater for the New City)
A family’s youngest daughter takes center stage as her father cares for his wife of over 50 years, who now has Alzheimer’s.
🎶The Sound of (Black) Music (Alice Tully Hall)
Gospel, funk, soul, and Afrobeat come together in this concert of the songs in Rodgers and Hammerstein musical the Sound of Music.
🟩Arcadia (Bedlam at West End Theater)
A revival of Tom Stoppard’s play that takes us back and forth between the centuries and explores the nature of truth and time,
October 27 – December 10
🟥HARMONY (Ethel Barrymore)
A musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman based on the fascinating true story of The Comedian Harmonists, a German singing group in the 1930s made up of Jews and Gentiles that was so popular that the Nazis tolerated them…for a time. It took Manilow and Sussman twenty-five years to get this show to New York. My review of Harmony when it was Off-Broadway.
🟦Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Lucille Lortel)
Aubrey Plaza and Christopher Abbott star in a revival of John Patrick Shanley’s play about two desperate people in the Bronx who strike up a conversation in a bar.
October 30 – January 7
🟦Sad Boys in Harpy Land, (Playwrights Horizons)
Alexandra Tatarsky’s complex solo performance whimsically explores identity and madness: A young Jewish woman thinks she is a small German boy who thinks he is a tree. E The first of three solo works in a series at Playwrights Horizons in rotation this month. (See November 20)
November 2 – 26
🎶 Broadway Close-Up: Party at the Princes (Merkin Hall)
A concert of songs by producer and director Hal Prince’s Broadway collaborators: Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Bock & Harnick and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
🟦Waiting for Godot (Theater for a New Audience)
Beckett’s play irected by Arin Arbus and featuring Michael Shannon and Paul Sparks
November 4 – December 3, 2023.
🟦War Words (NYRep at ART/NY)
A “docu-play” in the words of the men and women who served in the U.S. Military during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
November 10 – December 17
🟦Scene Partners (Vineyard Theater)
Dianne Wiest stars as 75-year-old Meryl, who ditches ice-cold Milwaukee for sunny Los Angeles, hell-bent on becoming a movie star in this play by John J. Caswell (Wet Brain) directed by Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown)
October 27 – December 17
🟦A Good Day to Me Not To You (Waterwell at Connelly)
In this solo play written by Lameece Issaq (Food and Fatwa), a dental lab tech in her forties tech gets fired, loses her apartment, and moves into St. Agnes Residence, a woman’s rooming house run by nuns
🟦Make Me Gorgeous (Playhouse 46 at St. Luke’s)
Wade McCollum stars in Donald Horn’s play telling the true story of Kenneth Marlowe, who was variously “a private hairdresser to the stars; the madam of a notorious gay prostitution ring in Hollywood; an author; a hustler; a female impersonator….” a Christian missionary, a mortuary cosmologist, etc who in the end transitioned to a woman.
November 10 – December 31
🟥Spamalot (St James)The first Broadway revival of the 2005 Tony-winning musical “lovingly ripped from the film classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail” with everything from “flying cows to killer rabbits, British royalty to French taunters, dancing girls, rubbery shrubbery, and of course, the lady of the lake, with Christopher Fitzgerald as Patsy, James Monroe Iglehart as King Arthur, Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer as The Lady Of The Lake, Ethan Slater as The Historian/ Prince Herbert,Jimmy Smagula as Sir Bedevere, Michael Urie as Sir Robin, Nik Walker as Sir Galahad
🟦Hell’s Kitchen (Public Theater)
Loosely based on Alicia Keys’ personal experiences featuring her sons, with book by Pulitzer finalist Kristoffer Diaz, music supervision by Grammy and Emmy winner Adam Blackstone,
October 24 – January 7
🟦Mind Mangler:A Night of Tragic Illusion (New World Stages)
Starring the people who brought you The Play That Goes Wrong, etc, Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer ,the show is based on a character originally created in Magic Goes Wrong by Penn Jillette, Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields and Teller.
November 10 – March 3
🟦The Gardens of Anuncia (Lincoln Center)
A new musical by Michael John LaChiusa, directed and co-choregraphed by Graciela Daniele, whose early life story in Juan Peron’s Argentina is the inspiration for the show. Starring Priscilla Lopez.
October 19-December 31
🟦Amid Falling Walls (National Yiddish Theater folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage)
A musical put together from firsthand accounts from Holocaust victims and survivors, expressed through their own poetic verses and melodies.
November 14 – December 10
Amusements (Playwrights Horizons)
A solo show by comedian Ikechukwu Ufomadu, one of the three in the Playwrights Horizons series.
November 8 – December 20
School Pictures (Playwrights Horizons)
Writer and performer (and former tutor) Milo Cramer paints intimate musical portraits of ten NYC students fighting to get into competitive schools. One of the three solo works in the series at Playwrights Horizons.
November 8 – December 3
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The 97th edition begins at 8:30 am (a half hour earlier than usual) and will feature Cher, and performances by Broadway’s “& Juliet,” “Back to the Future: The Musical,” “How To Dance In Ohio,” “Shucked” and “Spamalot,” with a special appearance by Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells of “Gutenberg! The Musical!”
🟩Til Death (Abingdon Theater at Theater Row)
Judy Kaye in Elizabeth Coplan’s play described only as: “One mother’s choice unveils a family’s long-buried secrets.”
November 19-December 23
This selection of plays in this month is organized chronologically by opening night, but includes 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 November but don’t open until December 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, NYU Skirball, and now PAC NYC at the World Trade Center site technically exist outside Broadway/Off-Broadway/Off-Off Broadway classifications; I list them as Off-Broadway, even though most have more than 500 seats.)