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Dutch Masters Review: Black Meets White on Subway

In “Dutch Masters,” a new play written by Greg Keller and directed by Andre Holland, a young black man meets a young white man on the subway, with unexpected results. In “Dutchman,” the 1964 play by LeRoi Jones (soon to change his name to Amiri Baraka), a young black man meets a white woman on the subway, with unexpected results.
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April 2018 New York Theater Openings

The nine shows opening on Broadway in the month of April include four musicals and five plays – the old ones among the most beloved (Carousel, My Fair Lady) or respected (by Eugene O’Neill, George Bernard Shaw, Tom Stoppard), the new nes among the most anticipated (Harry Potter, Mean Girls.).

But Off-Broadway is generating excitement this month too — with, for example, a one-two punch at the Public, of a new musical by Quiara Alegria Hudes (In The Heights) and a new play by Lynn Nottage (Ruined, Sweat.) and the debut of new plays at Playwrights Horizons by up-and-comers Lindsey Ferrentino and Clare Barron

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.
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Bedlam’s Pygmalion: Pics and Review

Has My Fair Lady turned its source material, Pygmalion, into an outdated curiosity?

Bedlam dares you to compare, deliberately mounting its production of George Bernard Shaw’s century-old play Off-Off Broadway at the same time as the fourth Broadway revival of the 60-year-old Lerner and Lowe musical adaptation is in previews at Lincoln Center.

With its usual verve, the acclaimed downtown company puts on a good show, in the process demonstrating that, if Pygmalion is not as mellifluous as My Fair Lady, it retains the sharp social satire that the musical largely drops. And Bedlam adds an extra layer that is pointed.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Is God Is Review: Relentless Afropunk Revenge

In “Is God Is,” when twin sisters Racine and Anaia hear from their mother for the first time in 18 years, it is to urge them to find and kill their father – as revenge for the fire he set that scarred all three of them. “Make your daddy dead, dead. And everything around him you can destroy, too.” The sisters obey, traveling cross-country and going on a killing spree.

That’s more or less the plot, but it doesn’t explain what’s beneath the carnage. This play by Aleshea Harris, running at the newly renovated Soho Rep through March 31 in a well-acted world premiere production, is an intriguing if sometimes disconcerting mix of genres and allusions and tones that marks a noteworthy Off-Broadway debut of a playwright we’ll be hearing from.
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Terminus Review: Haunted by a Past of Racism and Stifled Love

Eller (Deirdre O’Connell) is losing her mind, and thus lives in two worlds on stage in “Terminus,” a lyrical, Southern Gothic stew of a play by Gabriel Jason Dean running through March 10 at Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop. In one of her worlds, it is 1994, and Eller, 65, resides in a soon-to-be-condemned shack by the railroad tracks in rural Attapulugus, Georgia with her biracial grandson Jaybo (Reynaldo Piniella), 17, who takes care of her as best he can. The other world is in Eller’s head, populated by family long gone — people whom she abandoned or who abandoned her – a ghastly past full of racism, stifled love, hidden homicide, chanting ghosts, a train-flattened nail in the shape of a cross, a gold-leafed Bible opened to a prophetic page, and a noose.

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The Jester and the Dragon Review: Weird Finger Puppet Show That Turns Surprising

I went to The Tank for a show that wasn’t playing until the next night; I’d gotten the dates mixed up. So, since I’d made the trip, I asked if there was anything else playing in the theater. That’s how I wound up watching what looked like a children’s show told with finger puppets, worn by an oddly distracted performer who seemed to have carpal tunnel syndrome. Her hands would shake uncontrollably, she’d take off the puppets, and retreat to a basin of water in which she placed her arms to relax them.  What, I thought, have I gotten myself into?

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Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Review: Comic Aftermath of A Breakup

Joni (Sarah Chalfie) right before she gets dumped by her rock star boyfriend Noah (Roland Lane). (She thinks he is about to propose.)

Joni (Sarah Chalfie) right before she gets dumped by her rock star boyfriend Noah (Roland Lane). She thinks he is about to propose.

Joni’s rock star boyfriend Noah breaks up with her on stage in front of an arena full of his fans at the beginning of “Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill,” an often fun, over-the-top comedy by Steph Del Rosso at the Flea Theatre about the wincing aftermath of the breakup. The title is meant to describe what Joni tries to do after being dumped – fill the sudden holes in her life.
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February 2018 New York Theater Openings

No shows are opening on Broadway in February, but there are many snippets of Broadway musicals all on one stage — a 25th anniversary celebration of Encores! concert series creates a new musical out of old musicals. (See February 7.)

It’s not the only show with a starry cast. So is a revival of Edward Albee’s first hit, altered late in life.

Off-Off Broadway, there are provocative plays about lynching, drone warfare, and gender transition; Off-Broadway about a right-wing takeover of the working class (in Europe), and a political power play (in DC).  Martyna Majok has written “Queens”; Sarah Burgess has written “Kings.” Eve Ensler brings to the stage her memoir about surviving a life-threatening illness; Martin McDonagh imagines an executioner who’s been forcibly retired.

Below is a selective list of (no Broadway), Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and festival offerings in February, organized chronologically by opening date, with each title linked to a relevant website.

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January 2018 New York Theater Openings

Just one Broadway show is opening this month,  but January is as usual one of the most robust months for theater in New York, thanks in large part to the January theater festivals.

Together these festivals offer more than 100 shows; most are experimental, often hybrids that redefine what theater is; many are difficult to describe; some run only for one or two performances

Below is a selective list of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and festival offerings in January, organized chronologically by opening date (or, for a festival show, the first performance), with each title linked to a relevant website. Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Black or Blue.Off Off Broadway: Green. January theater festival*: Orange

Below that, links to the home pages of seven of the festivals.

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Mabou Mines Fiddles with Tennessee Williams: Pics, Review of Glass Guignol

In its forty-seventh year, Mabou Mines is inaugurating its first permanent home, the ninety-nine-seat Mabou Mines Theater in the East Village, with a newly devised piece called Glass Guignol: The Brother and Sister Play, a riff on Tennessee Williams that presents passages from four of his plays, most prominently The Glass Menagerie. But to summarize the piece in such a straightforward way fails to capture the elusiveness of the work by this celebrated avant-garde theatre company. Glass Guignol makes the recent, critically bludgeoned, experimental The Glass Menagerie directed by Sam Gold on Broadway feel like a production for the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

Full review on HowlRound