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October 2017 New York Theater Openings

 

Bruce Springsteen makes his Broadway debut in a show that combines memoir with rock n roll, and that relatively few of his fans will be able to see. It is one of three shows opening on Broadway in the month of October. Off-Broadway Joe Papp is making a debut of sorts — as a character.

There are new plays opening in October about life under a dictatorship; under siege; in a world of total environmental disaster; and in prison (there are two prison plays opening Off-Broadway); as well as plays about life as an addict, and on the autism spectrum. There are also comedies about widowhood and overeating. Popular shows by Harvey Fierstein, David Henry Hwang and Stephen Adly Guirgis are getting new productions.

Below is a selection of openings in October, organized chronologically by opening date. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

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September 2017 New York Theater Openings

Sex and violence — also sex, drugs and rock n roll — are the subjects of several shows opening Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway in September (There are no Broadway openings.) But the month also introduces plays about the very old, and for the very young.

Below is a selection of openings in September, organized chronologically by opening date. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

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Off Broadway Fall 2017 Guide

Off-Broadway in the Fall promises a homoerotic dystopia (“A Clockwork Orange”); a revival of Harvey Fierstein’s breakthrough play starring Michael Urie (“Torch Song”); bio-dramas about a transgender etiquette teacher (Charm) and Public Theater founder Joe Papp (“Illyria”), as well as a debate among Thomas Jefferson, Dickens and Tolstoy about religion (“Discord.”)  There are hip makeovers of Shakespeare, Sophocles and Jane Austen;  an immersive visit to a Korean pop music factory by the same theater that developed The Great Comet; and plays by Julia Cho, Caryl Churchill, Amy Herzog,Rajiv Joseph, Sarah Ruhl, Simon Stephens, John Patrick Stanley, Anna Ziegler (two!), and Stephen Adly Guirgis (three!)

 

 

Unlike Broadway (See my Broadway 2017-2018 Preview Guide),  Off-Broadway is full of theaters/theater companies that present whole seasons of original or originally interpreted work.  That’s why my Off-Broadway preview below largely groups shows according to the theaters that are producing them, most of which offer subscriptions and/or memberships. I list the theaters in order of my preference for them (determined by such factors as their recent track record, the promise of the new season, and by my overall experience interacting with them as theatergoer and as critic.)

I’ve put a red check mark —  — besides a handful of shows opening in the Fall about which I’m especially excited, or intrigued, or at least notably hopeful.

(The asterisk *, explained more fully at the bottom, indicates those theatrical empires that have both Broadway and Off Broadway venues.)

PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS

416 W. 42nd St. Twitter: @PHNYC

Annie Baker’s “The Flick” is one of six plays that originated at Playwrights Horizons that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The theater offers new plays and musicals that are consistently worthwhile, in an environment that feels dedicated both to the theater artists and the theatergoers.

For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday

August 18, 2017 – October 01, 2017  Opens September 12.

A play by Sarah Ruhl: “Playing Peter Pan at her hometown children’s theater is one of Ann’s fondest, most formative memories. Now, 50 years later, Neverland calls again, casting her and her siblings back to this faraway dreamscape where the refusal to grow up confronts the inevitability of growing old.”

The Treasurer

September 06, 2017 – October 22, 2017

A play by Max Posner, directed by David Cromer: “Ida Armstrong is broke, lonely, and fading fast. And she’s spending all of her children’s money, forcing her son to assume the unwanted role of The Treasurer: an arrangement that becomes untenable the more he questions his devotion to her.”

 

THE PUBLIC THEATER

425 Lafayette Street and in Central Park. Twitter: @PublicTheaterNY

Having originated both Hamilton and Fun Home, the Public is on a roll, the latest of many in the successful downtown empire that Joe Papp created half a century ago. (One of the plays this season is about Papp!) The Public is so popular these days that members have been complaining that their membership doesn’t guarantee tickets to the Public shows they want to see.

Public Works’ As You Like It

September 2 – September 5.

It’s now a Labor Day weekend tradition, to stage a Shakespeare play as a spectacular employing some 200 professional and amateur actors at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Shaina Taub has composed the songs for this musical version of Shakespeare’s  tale “of faithful friends, feuding families and lovers in disguise.”

Measure for Measure

September 17 – November 5, 2017

The innovative avant-garde theater company Elevator Repair Service adapts Shakespeare’s play about “impossible moral choices in 17th century Vienna” using athletic theatricality and Marx-Brothers-inspired slapstick.

Tiny Beautiful Things

Strayed/Vardalos

Strayed/Vardalos

September 19 to November 12.

Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) plays Sugar, an anonymous online advice columnist in a Vardalos’ stage adaptation of the book of the same name by Cheryl Strayed. Directed by Thomas Kail (Hamilton.) This an encore presentation. My review of the play when it was presented last year.

Oedipus El Rey

October 3 to November 19. Opens October 24.

Playwright Luis Alfaro has set this Greek tragedy in South Central LA and recast the hero as “a troubled Latino whose dreams of controlling his own destiny soar above the barbed wire of the prison where he’s spent his life.”

Office Hour

October 17 – December 3, 2017

Julia Cho’s new play about a teacher who compels her 18-year-old student to attend her office hours to discuss his violently obscene work.”The isolated young student in her office has learned one thing above all else: that for the powerless, the ability to terrify others is powerful indeed.”

Illyria

October 22 – November 26

Richard Nelson (the Apple Family plays and the Gabriels) directs his play about the 1958 fight by Public Theater founder Joseph Papp  over free Shakespeare productions in Central Park.

 

The Winter’s Tale

November 26 – December 17

The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit production of Shakespeare’s play, directed by Lee Sunday Evans

 

 

NEW YORK THEATER WORKSHOP

79 East 4th Street. Twitter: @NYTW79

NYTW got much attention two years ago for presenting David Bowie’s musical “Lazarus,”   and last year for its “Othello” with movie stars Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo. Its fare has ranged from the innovative and tuneful — “Hadestown” — to the cutting edge and incomprehensible — “Fondly, Collette Richland”

Mary Jane

Amy Herzog, Anne Kauffman

September 6, 2017—October 15, 2017

Written by Amy Herzog and directed by Anne Kauffman. “During a rain-drenched summer in New York City, an indefatigable single mother navigates the mundane, shattering and sublime aspects of caring for a chronically sick child.” Stars Carrie Coon.

Hundred Days

November 15, 2017—December 31, 2017

A musical about having only 100 days to live.

Three exciting-sounding new plays for which NYTW has not provided the dates as of yet:

An Ordinary Muslim, by Hammaad Chaudry, directed by Jo Bonney

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, by Caryl Churchill, directed by Rachel Chavkin

The House That Will Not Stand by Marcus Gardley, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz

SIGNATURE

480 West 42nd Street. Twitter: @signaturetheatr

As the first New York theater to win the Regional Tony Award, the Signature now has some solid proof of what has been clear to its patrons for years.  What has distinguished this theater is not only its track record, but its commitment to keep the price of all tickets for initial runs to $30.

With the recent expansion of both their facilities and their mission, some longtime subscribers have had to adjust to the introduction of work by more untested playwrights. This is the second season under new artistic director Paige Evans, who headed Lincoln Center’s LCT3. Signature’s founding artistic director James Houghton died in August, 2016. This season looks more exciting in the Spring.

The Red Letter Plays: Fucking A

August 22  – October 1, 2017 

Suzan Lori Park’s first of two plays based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Christine Lahti portrays an abortionist trying to free her son from prison

The Red Letter Plays: In The Blood

August 29 – October 8, 2017

Hester La Negrita is a penniless mother of five condemned by the men who love her.

Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train

October 3 – November 12

The first of this season’s plays at the Signature by Stephen Adly Guirgis: “Angel Cruz is a 30-year-old bicycle messenger awaiting trial for the death of the leader of a religious cult. Inside Rikers Island, a terrified Angel is befriended by a charismatic serial killer named Lucius Jenkins. Lucius has found God.” Directed by Mark Brokaw.

Spring:

Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo: Homelife & The Zoo Story

Paradise Blue by Dominique Morisseau

Our Lady of 121st Street by Stephen Adly Guirgis

A new play by Stephen Adly Guirgis

 

AtlanticTheaterlogoATLANTIC THEATER

On The Shore of the Wide World

August 23 – October 8, 2017

A play by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) about nine months that changed the lives of a family.

Describe The Night

Playwright Rajiv Joseph

November 10 – December 24

Set in Russia over the course of 90 years,  Rajiv Joseph’s new play traces the stories of seven men and women connected by history, myth and conspiracy theories.

 

 PRIMARY STAGES

The theater company takes up residence this season at the Cherry Lane in the West Village

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord

September 19 – October 22, 2017

Three historical figures who wrote their own version of the gospels debate religion, literature and marriage.

Pride and Prejudice

Kate Hamill and Mark Bedard in Pride and Prejudice at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, which is co-producing its transfer to Primary Stages.

November 7 – December 15, 2017

Kate Hamill (Bedlam’s Sense and Sensibility) adapts and stars in this playful adaptation of Jane Austen’s tale of outspoken Elizabeth Bennet and the aloof Mr. Darcy.

LINCOLN CENTER THEATER*

@LCTheater

LincolnCenterlogoThe shows at Lincoln Center’s Off-Broadway venues are inexpensive (especially at the Claire Tow theater, where initial-run tickets cost $20) and often rewarding.

After The Blast

October 7 to November 19. Opens October 23.

A play by Zoe Kazan “set in the wake of total environmental disaster, when the human population has retreated underground”

The Wolves

November 1 to January 7, 2018. Opens November 20.

Sarah DeLappe’s play about a teenager girls soccer team is being encored in a new venue. My old review of The Wolves.

ROUNDABOUT* LAURA PELS

The empire that is now Roundabout includes three Broadway theaters, and that’s where most of the attention is focused, mostly on star-studded revivals, especially musicals.  But its fourth building houses two Off-Broadway theaters (one of them a tiny “Black Box” theater.) It is in its Off-Broadway facility that Stephen Karam’s The Humans originated, which went on to Broadway and Tony love. The Roundabout’s “Underground” series discovers new playwriting talent, with tickets priced at $25.

The Last Match

September 28 – December 24, 2017. Opens October 24.

A new play by Anna Ziegler  about two tennis greats who are facing off in the match of their lives

Too Heavy for Your Pocket

September 15 – November 19, 2017. Opens October 5.

Jiréh Breon Holder’s play takes place in Nashville in 1961, when 20-year-old Bowzie Brandon gives up a college scholarship to join the Freedom Riders.

MCC THEATER

Address: The Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street. 

Twitter: @mcctheater

Charm

August 31 – October 8. Opens September 18 

A play by Philip Dawkin. “When Mama Darleena Andrews– a 67-year-old, black, transgender woman — takes it upon herself to teach an etiquette class at Chicago’s LGBTQ community center, the idealistic teachings of Emily Post clash with the very real life challenges of identity, poverty and prejudice faced by her students. Inspired by the true story of Miss Gloria Allen

 

School Girls, Or The African Mean Girls Play

November 2 – December 10
Rebecca Taichman (Tony winner for Indecent) directs Jocelyn Bioh comedy about a fight over the Miss Universe pageant in Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school.

CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY

136 East 13th Street Twitter: @ClassicStage

Its 50th anniversary season is heavy on Shakespeare in the Fall, but in the Spring branches out to Tennessee Williams as well as an original play by Terrence McNally about Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russe,and the first major New York revival of Carmen Jones, Oscar Hammerstein’s adaptation of the opera by Bizet with an all African-American cast.

As You Like It

September 13-October 22

Shakespeare’s comedy, with music by Stephen Schwartz, set in the Jazz Age.

The Stowaway

November 5 – 19

This play geared to children is “inspired by the plays and language of Shakespeare.” By Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, which uses puppetry and live music,

Fiasco Theater’s Twelfth Night

November 29-January 6

SECOND STAGE THEATER*

Second Stage will launch its first Broadway season at the Helen Hayes in Spring 2018, the fourth “non-profit” to produce theater both on and Off Broadway. I’m hoping this will encourage them to become literally more inviting to independent New York critics.

Torch Song

Michael Urie stars in the play that made its author and first star Harvey Fierstein famous, in a production directed by Moisés Kaufman.  “It’s 1979 in New York City and Arnold Beckoff is on a quest for love, purpose and family.”

MTC* At City Center

131 West 55th Street Twitter: @MTC_NYC

The theater has recovered from the public criticism of a couple of seasons ago that it lacks diversity in its offerings, but this “club” is still not especially welcoming to non-subscribers or independent professional critics.

 

The Portuguese Kid

September 19 – November 26. Opens October 24.

John Patrick Shanley directs his new romantic comedy about a habitually widowed woman (Sherie Rene Scott) who pays a visit to her second-rate lawyer (Jason Alexander), intending to settle her latest husband’s affairs.

 

Actually

October 31 – December 3

Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51) explores the issue of consent on  campus. “At a raucous party during their freshman year at Princeton, Tom and Amber connect in ways that seem innocent enough at first. But as things progress, they find themselves in murky territory.”

OTHER  HIGHLIGHTS

KPOP (Ars Nova)

September 5 – October 7, 2017

The world-conquering success of Korean pop music is the subject of this new immersive theatre piece in the theater that developed “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.” The show, about a new record label on the eve of its launch, is put together by the theater companies Ma-Yi and  the Woodshed Collective, the latter of which did an amazing show called Empire Travel Agency, a kind of on-the-town spy-murder mystery.

A Clockwork Orange (New World Stages)

September 2 – January 6, 2018.  Opens September 25

A stage adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novel, best-known for the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film, about a teenage hoodlum in the near future who is arrested, and brainwashed to be submissive by the authorities.

Downtown Race Riot (The New Group)

Chloe Sevigny stars in In Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s play as a strung-out, free-wheeling single mom whose son Pnut and his Haitian best friend Massive wrestle with their obligation to join rioters in Washington Square Park in 1976 attacking any people of color they can find.

 

Other companies worth checking out:

St Ann’s Warehouse

Vineyard Theatre

Rattlesticks Playwright Theater

Mint Theater

Mayi Theater Company

Playwrights Realm

There are also commercial shows put together by independent producers that appear in theaters for rent, such as:

Cherry Lane Theatre
Daryl Roth Theatre
Gym at Judson
Lucille Lortel Theatre
New World Stages
Orpheum Theater
The Players Theatre
Snapple Theater Center
Theatre Row – The Acorn
Union Square Theater
Westside Theatre

*THE ASTERISK: Off-Broadway AND Broadway

*Just to complicate matters, several of the resident theaters also present shows on Broadway –  Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theater Company (MTC), the Roundabout Theater Company., and starting this season, Second Stage Theatre, which has bought the Helen Hayes. Their Broadway offerings are listed in my Broadway 2017-2018 Preview Guide.

What Is Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway?

Off-Broadway theaters, by definition, have anywhere from 99 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 are some terrific Off-Off Broadway theaters, sometimes confused for Off-Broadway. These include (but are not limited to) The FleaLabyrinth Theater, and LaMaMa ETC.

Monthly Calendar of Openings

Because there are so many shows Off-Off Broadway, and their runs are so limited, I include them in my monthly theater preview calendar (along with Broadway and Off Broadway openings) posted near the beginning of each month.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information about Off-Broadway, go to  The League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers (aka The Off-Broadway League).  This should not be confused with the Off-Broadway Alliance, which is a separate organization (though they should probably merge, no?)

August 2017 New York Theater Openings: Hal Prince, Michael Moore…and More

Michael Moore and Harold Prince have the month all to themselves, more or less,  at the center of the two Broadway shows opening this month. It’s unusual to have any shows open on Broadway in August. Usually, it’s a month filled with festival fare — but, for the first time in 20 years, there will be no  New York International Fringe Festival this August, thus minus its 200+ shows. Still, there are three other (much smaller) theater festivals opening this month, one of them new.

Below, shows with August openings arranged chronologically by opening date.Click on any title to get to its website.

Color key: Broadway: RedOff Broadway: blue. Off Off Broadway: Green. Theater festival: Orange

August 2

A Parallelogram (Second Stage Theater)

A new play by Bruce Norris, the author of Clybourne Park, stars Celia Keenan-Bolger as a woman who can see her future.

August 3

Curvy Widow (Westside Theater)

Nancy Opel stars in a musical comedy “based on a true story” as a 50-year-old widow going back into the dating pool.

August 6

summer shorts 59e59

Summer Shorts, Series B (59E59 Theater)

Plays by Neil LaBute; Chris Cragin-Day; Lindsay Craft and Andrew Leeds

August 7

Corkscrew Theater Festival (Paradise Factory)

Running Aug 7 – Sept 3, this new summer theater festival features five world premieres and five readings performed in repertory over four weeks.

August 10

The Terms of My Surrender (Belasco)

Michael Moore makes his Broadway debut in what promises to be a stand-up routine to take down Trump.

A Never-Ending Line (Players Theater)

A song cycle with music by Jaime Lozano and lyrics by nine women lyricists. “Inspired by his upbringing in a strong matriarchy, Lozano conceived the show as a tribute to the women in his life. The songs, performed by a company of four, explore the unique challenges women face in society today on the journey to find happiness, love, and meaning in their lives. ”

August 17

Come Light My Cigarette (Theater at St. Clement’s)

A new musical about a young actress who “is driven to confront the two most turbulent relationships in her life—her father, with whom she shares a volatile and shameful past, and her ex-lover, a powerful and controlling woman who was instrumental in making her a success.”

August 24

Prince of Broadway (MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman)

Musical numbers from shows in which Hal Prince served as a producer or director, such as “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cabaret,” “Follies” and “Sweeney Todd.”

Directing Jonathan Bank
    Sets Vicki R. Davis
    Costumes Andrea Varga
    Lights Zach Blane
    Sound Jane Shaw
    Props Joshua Yocom
    Dialects & Dramaturgy Amy Stoller
    Casting Stephanie Klapper, CSA
    Production Stage Manager Pamela Edi

The Suitcase Under the Bed (Mint Theater at Theater Row)

An evening of four one act plays by Irish playwright Teresa Deevy (1894-1963), directed by Jonathan Bank.

August 27

Nathalie Ellis-Einhorn in I.M. LOST!

Dream Up Festival  (Theater for The New City)

The eighth annual festival will run August 27 – September 17, featuring more than 25 plays, 12 of them world premiere, four musicals, four on LGBTQ themes. One play comes from Iceland, “Guilty,”  about an infamous 19th century crime there. Another,”I.M. LOST!” is an “interactive clown show” based on interviews with clowns.

August 30

Inanimate (The Flea)

Nick Robideau’s play is about a woman who is in love with a Dairy Queen sign.  The play “explores objectum sexuality, feeling like an outsider, listening to your heart and finally, finding your tribe.”  But what’s most significant is that it’s the premiere play in the new million-dollar digs of The Flea, one of the consistently best Off-Off Broadway theaters in the city.
Here’s a video I put together of The Flea when they broke ground on the new building four years ago:

July 2017 New York Theater Openings

This is an unusual month for New York theater: While there are no shows opening on Broadway, and few Off-Broadway, there is plenty to see – the annual summer theater festivals, such as the New York Musical Festival, NYMF 2017, which starts on July 10; FREE theatrical concerts like the weekly Broadway in Bryant Park, countless Shakespeares in the parks; and some one-off theater festivals, such as the month-long Soulpepper on 42nd Street — the 20-year-old Canadian theater company’s presentation of ten of its popular plays.

Color key: Broadway: RedOff Broadway: Purple, blue or black. Off Off Broadway: Green. Theater festival: Orange

July 5

Kim’s Convenience (Soulpepper at Signature)

Kim’s Convenience, “the most successful new Canadian play of the last decade, is set in a family-run Korean variety store. This is one of the 10 shows presented by Soulpepper on 42nd Street.

 

July 6

Of Human Bondage (Soulpepper at Signature)

“W. Somerset Maugham’s epic tale of lustful obsession and the pursuit of art is adapted for the stage for the first time anywhere. “

July 7

To To or not to T

To T or Not To T (Hot Festival)

Queer/transgender Tamil-Sri LankanAmerican artist D’Lo contemplates  passing as a cisgender, straight, male, person of color. This is one production in a festival at Dixon Place that bills itself as “the longest-running LGBTQ festival in the world”

July 10

Pipeline (Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse)  

A mother’s hopes for her son clash with an educational system rigged against him in a new play by Dominique Morisseau (Skeleton Crew).

Amerike The Golden Land (National Yiddish Theatre)

The story of an immigrant people, using  popular songs of the day, with stories “based on the lived experience of real immigrants “ In Yiddish with Russian and English supertitles.

Matthew McConaughey vs. The Devil (NYMF)

“A Faustian musical comedy that dares to ask the question, “How did Matthew McConaughey win an Academy Award?’ This is one of 20 full productions in New York Musical Festival (NYMF 2017) which runs through August 6

Opening Skinner’s Box (Lincoln Center Festival)

Britain’s Improbable theater company takes us on a tour of “great psychological experiments of the 20th century.” This is the first of five works from the Lincoln Center Festival that are identified as theater.

July 12

Assassins (Encores Off Center! NY City Center) 

A concert series production of the musical by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman about Presidential assassins and would-be assassins.

SAMSUNG CSC

True Right (Ice Factory Festival)

“A reimagining of Sam Shepard’s True West–featuring George and Jeb Bush, as played by two ethnic ladies.” One of the seven plays of this festival.

July 13

Hamlet (Public Theater)

Oscar Isaac as Hamlet, Charlayne Woodard as Gertrude and Keegan-Michael Key as Horatio. Directed by Sam Gold.

 

July 19

While I Was Waiting (Lincoln Center Festival)

Syrian playwright Mohammad Al Attar offers a portrait of Syria through one middle-class Damascus family who gather around the hospital bed of their son, who was beaten into a coma at a checkpoint. It is based on a true story.

This is one of three plays “opening” on this day (and running just a few performances) as part of Lincoln Center Festival,

Pete The Cat (TheatreworksUSA at Lucille Lortel)

This summer’s FREE summer offering of children’s theater is based on the book series of the same name by James and Kimberly Dean, and recommended for pre-K through third grade.

 

July 23

Money Talks (Davenport Theater

In this 95-minute musical comedy, Ben Franklin, the face on the $100 bill, is passed from a hedge fund manager, to a stripper, to a judge etc, trying to convince each of them to change their priorities before it’s too late.

Endangered (Davenport Theatre)

A musical about a social media savvy kid reporter and a group of endangered animals from around the globe who must survive an unexpected superstorm.

 

July 26

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Encores Off Center! NY City Center)

Concert version of Kirsten Childs’ 2000 musical is about “a young African-American dancer who finds her way from West Coast suburbia to Broadway, all while navigating the politics of race and gender in an attempt to uncover her own identity.”

 

July 31

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare in the Park) 

Directed by Lear de Bessonet and choreographed by Chase Brock, Shakespeare’s comedy will feature a starry cast including Annaleigh Ashford, Kyle Beltran, Danny Burstein, and Phylicia Rashad. FREE.

New York Musical Festival NYMF 2017 Preview

A ninth century Pope, a 21st century female Buddha,  Liberace with a notorious gangster, Errol Flynn with Fidel Castro, Matthew McConaughey with the devil, a Conquistador’s daughter with a Taino, and a female inmate string band from the 1930’s are among those featured in the 20 new musicals being given full productions at the 14th annual New York Musical Festival — NYMF 2017 — which runs from July 10 to August 6, 2017. Watch songs from six of them below, plus a seventh that will be presented as a concert. The videos were recorded during performances either at rehearsals or at an outdoor concert.

Besides the 20 full productions, NYMF 2017 will offer more than a dozen concerts and “beta musicals,” and 10 “readings” — new musicals in development. Use NYMF’s search-finder to help determine which of these many shows you might like.

Click on the titles below to get dates and details

A Wall Apart

A rock musical about a 30-year love story set against the backdrop of the Berlin Wall.

@NYReptheatre 

 

The Fourth Messenger

What if the Buddha were a woman, living in our times? Mama Sid is a modern-day “awakened one” with a worldwide following. But a determined young woman seeks to unearth Mama Sid’s mysterious past,

@FourthMessenger 

The Goree All-Girl String Band

The musical is inspired by the true story of six female convicts in 1938 Texas who taught themselves musical instruments in prison and became a radio sensation.

@GoreeMusical

Matthew McConaughey vs. The Devil

A musical that asks the question “How did Matthew McConaughey win an Academy Award?” The answer involves Lesli Margherita as Mephistophiles.

@M_MC_V_D

Temple of the Souls

A tale of forbidden love in Puerto Rico: Amada, the beautiful daughter of a Conquistador, and Guario, a young Taíno, meet in the magical rain forest

The Cadaver Synod: A Pope Musical

A musical based on a real albeit surreal “trial of the ninth century.” In the year 897 A.D., Pope Stephen VII dug up the rotting corpse of his predecessor, Pope Formosus, and placed it on trial. The defense was represented by a sputtering teenage deacon.

Camp Wanatachi

Two girls’ journey of sexual discovery within the unlikely setting of an all-female Christian summer camp

@CAMPWANATACHI 

It’s Canada Day! Soulpepper Theatre Invades New York

Canada Day, almost always on July 1st, is special this year for two reasons: 2017 marks Canada’s 150th anniversary. And it’s the first day of Soulpepper on 42nd Street.

Starting today through July 29, Soulpepper,  a 20-year-old theater company company based in Toronto, is taking over the Signature Theater Center and presenting 65 Canadian artists (63 of whom are making their New York stage debuts) in 10 shows — plays, musicals and cabarets. (see schedule below)

The kickoff event this afternoon was entitled True North: A Concert of Canada (which will be repeated tonight and Sunday), and featured 90 minutes of Canadian songs, starting with “Heave Away,” the kind of  traditional uptempo Celtic-flavored melody from Newfoundland that obviously influenced the score for “Come From Away,” the current Broadway hit that is the pride of Canada.

The toe-tapping Newfoundland music not of course the Sound of Canada. The Sound of Canada, judging from the Soulpepper concert, ranges from “The Hockey Song,” a folksy singalong about the national sport   to The Africville Suite, a classical jazz composition that pays homage to Africville, a black settlement near  the final stop on the Underground Railroad for escaped American slaves before the Civil War. that the City of Halifax demolished in 1960s. Also included in the concerts are songs by Leonard Cohen, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell and The Tragically Hip — yes, Canadians all. A slot was given to J.S. Bach, who was not in fact Canadian, but Bach’s Prelude in C was sung in a mashup with After With Goldrush by Neil Young, who is.

Soulpepper on 42nd Street

Mainstage Productions

Click on the titles for details and dates of performance.

Of Human Bondage

W. Somerset Maugham’s epic tale of lustful obsession and the pursuit of art is adapted for the stage for the first time anywhere.

Kim’s Convenience

The most successful new Canadian play of the last decade, Ins Choi’s “Kim’s Convenience” is set in a family-run Korean variety store. An ode to generations of immigrants who have made Canada the country that it is.

Adapted from Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Antholog. In a suspended moment during the burial of one who died too young, the dead come forth and share with us the unfiltered truth of their smalltown existence.

Ensemble Productions

Cage

Inspired by apes, Zen Buddhism, and the ideas of avant-garde composer John Cage, this experimental meditation on time, space, memory, and the human animal
Alligator Pie
Dennis Lee is called “Canada’s Father Goose”(also known for his lyrics to Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock). Five who grew up on his stories have made a musical out of them.
(Dennis Lee himself will give a reading on July 16. Click on “Reading” below.)

((Re)Birth: E.E. Cummings in Song

A whimsical musical celebration of the works of one of America’s great 20th century poets.

Crash
Written and performed by Pamela Mala Sinha.

After the loss of a loved one, a woman must face the shattering memories of a past trauma. Written and performed by Pamela Mala Sinha.

A Brimful of Ashes
Ravi and Asha Jain

Ravi Jain shares the stage with his real life non-actor mother, Asha, to tell each other’s side of Asha’s attempt to arrange Ravi’s marriage.

Concerts

TRUE NORTH: A CONCERT OF CANADA

NEW YORK – THE MELTING POT
A love letter from Toronto’s artists to the city of New York, it traces the contributions of immigrant cultures to the creation of the soundtrack of the 20th century right here in Manhattan.

Cabarets, Reading, Forums

Full Calendar