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Broadway 2017-2018 Preview Guide

 

Harry Potter, Olaf the snowman and Spongebob Squarepants all plan to perform on Broadway this season, as will Michael Moore, Mark Rylance and Elizabeth McGovern; new plays by Ayad Akhtar and Tracy Letts; and revivals of My Fair Lady, M. Butterfly, and Carousel.

Below is a list of Broadway shows that have nailed down their opening dates and/or theaters for the 2017-2018 season. This list, which is organized chronologically by opening date, will be updated periodically, because the schedule is sure to change – shows will be added, especialy in the Spring; some will drop out; opening dates will be delayed or moved up. If theater is evanescent, this list is even more so.

 

JUNE

1984

Theater: Hudson
Author: Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan
Director: Robert Icke
First Preview: May 18, 2017
Opening: June 22, 2017
Cast: Reed Birney, Tom Sturridge, and Olivia Wilde
Website:
Twitter feed: @RevisedTruth
Stage adaptation of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel

Marvin’s Room

Theater: American Airlines
Author:  Scott McPherson.
Directors: Anne Kauffman, Whitney White.
First Preview: June 8
Opening: June 29
Cast: Janeane Garofalo, Lili Taylor, Celia Weston
Website
Twitter feed: @RTC_NYC 

The play by Scott McPherson (who died in 1992 at age 33) that was turned into the 1997 star-studded film. “Estranged sisters Lee and Bessie have never seen eye to eye. Lee is a single mother who’s been busy raising her troubled teenage son, Hank. Bessie’s got her hands full with their elderly father and his soap opera-obsessed sister. When Bessie is diagnosed with leukemia, the two women reunite for the first time in 18 years.”

 

 

AUGUST

The Terms of My Surrender

Theater: Belasco

Author: Michael Moore

Directors:  Michael Mayer and Noah Racey

First Preview: July 28

Opening: August 10

Cast: Michael Moore

Website

Twitter feed: @MooreBroadway

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

 

Prince of Broadway

 

Theater: Samuel J. Friedman

Author: David Thompson

Directors: Harold Prince and Susan Stroman

First Preview: August 3

Opening: August 24

Cast:

Website

Twitter feed: @MTC_NYC 

A look at the career of director and producer Harold Prince through musical numbers from shows he helmed, including West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Evita, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, The Phantom of the Opera.

 

 

OCTOBER

 

Time and the Conways

 

Theater: American Airlines

Author: J. B. Priestley

Director: Rebecca Taichman

First Preview: September 14

Opening: October 10

Cast: Elizabeth McGovern

Website

Twitter feed: @RTC_NYC

A revival of a play that was last on Broadway in 1938. Elizabeth McGovern will play Mrs. Conway, who in 1919 Britain, is full of hope at her daughter’s lavish 21st birthday celebration. Jump 19 years ahead, and the Conways’ lives have transformed unimaginably

 

M. Butterfly

Theater: TBA

Author: David Henry Hwang

Director: Julie Taymor

Opening: October 26

Cast: Clive Owen

Website

Twitter feed:

Owen will play a married French diplomat in China who carries on a 20-year affair with a mysterious Chinese opera singer—all without realizing that the singer is a man. Producers said the author will introduce “new material inspired by the real-life love affair between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Chinese opera singer Shi Pei Pu that has come to light since the play’s 1988 premiere.”

 

NOVEMBER

 

Junk

Theater: Vivian Beaumont

Author: Ayad Akhtar

Director: Doug Hughes

First Preview: October 5

Opening: November 2

Cast: Steven Pasquale

Website

Twitter feed: @LCTheater

 

From the Pulitzer winning author of Disgraced. Set over 30 years ago, “Junk” – as in “junk bonds” — is a play about “how money became the only thing of real value.”

 

The Band’s Visit

Theater: Ethel Barrymore

Authors: Itamar Moses, book; David Yazbek, songs.

Director: David Cromer

First Preview: October 7

Opening: November 9

Cast: TBA

Website

Twitter feed: @TheBandsVisit

The widely acclaimed Off-Broadway musical moves to Broadway! Based on the 2007 independent film, it follows an Egyptian police band that arrives in the wrong town Israel to play a concert.

My review when it was Off-Broadway.

 

 

DECEMBER

 

Once on this Island

Theater: Circle in the Square

Authors: Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty

Director: Michael Arden,

First Preview: November 9

Opening: December 3

Cast:

Website

Twitter feed: @OnceIslandBway 

A revival of the musical about Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the Caribbean island. When their divided cultures threaten to keep them apart, Ti Moune, guided by the island gods, sets out on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

 

 

Spongebob Squarepants

Theater: Palace

Author: Kyle Jarrow and Tina Landau

Director: Tina Landau

First Preview: November 6

Opening: December 4

Cast:

Website

Twitter feed: @SpongeBobBway

New musical based on the hit Nickelodeon cartoon series

The score features original songs from a mix of classic and contemporary artists, including Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, John Legend, Panic! at the Disco, and the late David Bowie.

 

The Children

Theater: Samuel J. Friedman

Author: Lucy Kirkwood

Director: James Macdonald

First Preview: November 28

Opening: December 14

Cast: Francesca Annis, Ron Cook, Deborah Findlay

Website

Twitter feed: @MTC_NYC

In a remote cottage on the lonely British coast, a couple of retired nuclear engineers are living a very quiet life. Outside, the world is in utter chaos following a devastating series of events. When an old friend turns up at their door, they’re shocked to discover the real reason for her visit.

 

Farinelli and the King

Theater: Belasco

Author:  Claire van Kampen

Director: John Dove

First Preview: December 5

Opening: December 17

Cast: Mark Rylance

Website

Twitter feed: @FarinelliBway

 

Mark Rylance plays King Philippe of Spain who is entranced by Farinelli, one of the greatest celebrities of his time – a castrato “with a voice so divine it has the power to captivate all who hear it.”

 

 

MARCH

 

The Minutes

Theater: TBA

Author: Tracy Letts

Director: Anna D. Shapiro

First Preview: February 6, 2018

Opening: March 8, 2018

Cast:

Website

Twitter feed:

“A town’s proud history, the legend of a local hero, the coveted privilege of reserved parking: nothing is sacred during the town council meeting at the heart of Tracy Letts’ new play.”

 

Escape to Margaritaville

Theater: Marquis

Authors: Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley

Director: Christopher Ashley

First Preview: February 16

Opening: March 15

Cast: Paul Alexander Nolan, Alison Luff as Rachel and Lisa Howard

Website

Twitter feed: @buffettmusical 

 

 

APRIL

 

My Fair Lady

 

Theater: Vivian Beaumont

Authors: Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

Director: Bartlett Sher.

First Preview: March 22

Opening: April 19

Cast: TBA

Website

Twitter feed: @LCTheater

 

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Theater: Lyric

Author: Jack Thorne

Director: John Tiffany.

First Preview:

Opening: April 22

Cast: TBA

Website

Twitter feed: @HPPlayNYC

 

 

A play written by Jack Thorne based on an original story by him, directory John Tiffany and Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling “While an adult Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. “

 

Sometime in Spring

 

Carousel

Theater: TBA

Author: Rodgers and Hammerstein

Director: Jack O’Brien

First Preview: March 23, 2018

Opening: TBA

Cast: Jessie Mueller, Joshua Henry, Renee Fleming

Website

Twitter feed:

 

Frozen

Theater: St. James Theater

Author: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Jennifer Lee

Director: Michael Grandage

First Preview: TBA

Opening: TBA

Cast:  Caissie Levy (Elsa), Patti Murin (Anna), Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf), John Riddle (Hans) and Robert Creighton (Duke of Weselton)

Website

Twitter feed: @FrozenBroadway

 

Check out last season’s Broadway guide

Broadway 2016-2017

Also:

What Broadway Shows Should I See? Top 10 Suggestions.

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June 2017 New York Theater Openings

Below is a preview  of the shows opening on New York stages in June — including the first two shows of the 2017-2018 Broadway season — organized chronologically by opening date. Each show title is linked to a relevant website.

Keep in mind that some of the hottest theater this month is at the summer theater festivals (which I’m not listing below, with one exception.)
Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple, blue or black. Off Off Broadway: Green.

June 1

The Government Inspector (Red Bull  at The Duke)

Michael Urie stars in Nikolai Gogol’s satire of small-town corruption, adapted by playwright Jeffrey Hatcher

Sweetee (Signature Center)

OOB

“An outcast minister leads a young street singer and a ragtag band of orphans as they struggle to make music and find their place in the world amid the bigotry and poverty of the 1930’s south.”

June 5

The End of Longing (MCC at The Lucille Lortel)

A play written by and starring Matthew Perry: “An alcoholic, an escort, a self-diagnosed neurotic and a well-intentioned dimwit walk into a bar… Broken and deeply flawed, they find their lives irreversibly entwined no matter how hard they try to break free of one another

June 6

Animal (Atlantic Theater Company, Stage 2) 

OOB

A darkly comic play by Clare Lizzimore
“Her husband thinks she needs time; her psychiatrist suggests positive thinking. But then Rachel’s visions start”

Somebody’s Daughter (Second Stage Uptown)

A play by Chisa Hutchinson. Alex is a fifteen year old Asian-American girl going to extremes to get her own mother to notice her.

June 7

Cost Of Living (MTC at City Center Stage I)

A play by Martyna Majok (“Ironbound”) about the realities of facing the world with physical disabilities. “Truck driver Eddie is struggling to rebuild a relationship with his estranged wife Ani and Jess is trying to navigate the day-to-day with John, her new boss in a job that she desperately needs.”

June 8

Woody Sez (Irish Rep)

The life and music of Woody Guthrie

June 12

Bella : An American Tall Tale (Playwrights Horizons) 

Book, music and lyrics by Kirsten Childs (Bubbly Black Girl
As a wanted woman of mythic proportions looks to begin life anew out west, Bella takes us on the trip of a lifetime to escape her scandalous past and bounce into the arms of her awaiting Buffalo Soldier.

Julius Caesar (Shakespeare in the Park)

Public Theater artistiShakespeare’s play of politics and power, last seen in the Park 17 years ago.

June 13

Expecting Isabel (TBG Theatre) 

OOB

A comedy by Lisa Loomer about the adventures of a New York couple trying to have a baby—by any means necessary

Invincible (59 E 59)

Part of Brits Off-Broadway, the play by Torben Betts pits Emily and Olive, who have decided to downsize and shift their middle- class London lifestyle to a small town , against the new neighbors Dawn and Allan whom they have invited over, in “a disastrous evening of olives, anchovies, Karl Marx and abstract art” where class and culture collide

June 15

Attack of the Elvis Impersonators (Theatre Row)  OOB

A satire by Lory Lazarus (author of “Courage the Cowardly Dog.”) “When Drac Frenzie, a burnt-out world famous heavy metal icon decides to save himself from self-destruction by impersonating Elvis, a miracle occurs — which leads him to not only saving himself, but also the world.”

June 20

Fulfillment Center (MTC at NY City Center)

Deirdre O’Connell, Bobby Moreno, Frederick Weller and Eboni Booth star in a play by Abe Koogler. Four lonely lives come together in the search for fulfillment at a giant online retailer’s shipping center in the New Mexico desert.

June 22

1984-logo

1984

A stage adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, starring Tom Sturridge, Olivia Wilde and Reed Birney.

 

The Traveling Lady (Cherry Lane)

A play by Horton Foote directed by Austin Pendleton. An intrepid woman who journeys to a small town in 1950’s Texas to reunite with her husband upon his release from prison.

June 26

The Crusade of Connor Stephens (Jerry Orbach Theater )
A teenage recruit of a conservative Texas megachurch kills the six-year-old granddaughter of the preacher before killing himself. The girl’s parents are a gay couple. The family must come to terms with this act of violence that thrusts them into a national debate.

June 29

Marvin’s Room (American Airlines Theatre) 

Broadway

Janeane Garofalo makes her Broadway debut, co-starring Lili Taylor and Celia Weston, in the play by Scott McPherson (who died in 1992 at age 33) that was turned into the 1997 star-studded film. “Estranged sisters Lee and Bessie have never seen eye to eye. Lee is a single mother who’s been busy raising her troubled teenage son, Hank. Bessie’s got her hands full with their elderly father and his soap opera-obsessed sister. When Bessie is diagnosed with leukemia, the two women reunite for the first time in 18 years.”

Me The People (The Triad) OOB

Subtitled “The Trump America Musical”

May 2017 New York Theater Openings

May is a month when Broadway is on the brain, but not on the stage. Theatergoers focus on the Tonys and many other theater awards, but there are more than a dozen Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows opening this month.

Below is a schedule of May theater openings organized chronologically by opening date. Each show title is linked to a relevant website.

Color key: Broadway: Red. (none this month)  Off Broadway: Purple, blue or blackOff Off Broadway: Green.

May 1

Baghdaddy (St. Luke’s Theater)

Inspired by a true story, Baghdaddy? is a new musical comedy, presented as a support group for the mid-level spies who started the Iraq War.

It has mercifully shortened its title since the time I saw the 2015 production (“Who’s Your Baghdaddy, or How I Started the Iraq War.”)

May 2

Ski End (Piehole at Ohio Theatre)

An abandoned ski shop becomes the center of the universe. A group of urbanites finds itself stuck in a flood-damaged building with a makeshift skate ramp, dead birds, and the tattered banner of a final blowout sale. From these clues they ritualistically reanimate a bygone world of Ski, until they incite a cosmic force

 

May 4

Pacific Overtures (Classic Stage Company) 

George Takei stars in a revival of the musical by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman about a samurai and a fisherman who are caught up in the westernization of the East, at a time when Commodore Matthew Perry sailed to Japan on a U.S. mission to open trade relations at any cost.

Marry Harry (The York Theater Company) 

A new musical. “On a block in the East Village where graffiti comes to life, mannequins dance, and angels sing, big-dreaming cook Harry and frustrated real estate agent Sherri meet — and sparks fly.”

Happy Days with Dianne Wiest

Happy Days (Theatre for a New Audience)

The Yale Rep’s production of Beckett’s play, starring Dianne Wiest

 

May 7

Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (Second Stage at Tony Kiser)

A musical about a sleep-deprived single mom who struggles to work as a video game music composer. Unexpectedly, she is contacted across time by the famous polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton. Inspired by her music, he shares his epic Antarctic journey with her in video and song

May 10

Arlington (St. Ann’s Warehouse)

A “strange and tender love story” written and directed by Enda Walsh (best-known in New York for Once and Lazarus.) “Isla waits in a waiting room in a tower as a man watches her, documents her every move and pulls her dreams from her.”

a previous production

Seven Spots on the Sun (Rattlestick) 

This play by Martin Zimmerman tells the story of a doctor of a war-torn and plague-ravaged village who discovers that his touch can cure the plague. A meditation on mourning, redemption, and revenge.

 

May 15

Venus (Signature) 

A revival of Suzan-Lori Parks’ play based on the true story of Saartjie Baartman, who left her home in southern Africa for a better life, and became a star on the 19th century London freak show circuit for the size of her posterior.

May 16

Chinasa Ogbuagu as Abasiama; Hubert Point-Du Jour as Ukpong in Sojourners (from earlier production)

Sojourners/Her Portmanteau (New York Theatre Workshop) 

Performed in repertory, these two chapters of Mfoniso Udofia’s sweeping, nine-part saga, The Ufot Cycle, chronicle the triumphs and losses of the tenacious matriarch of a Nigerian family. Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Here’s my review of Soujourners when it was produced by Playwrights Realms, in which I write “Given the promise of such an ambitious and potentially exciting project, one makes allowances for some of the awkwardness of this first production, which would have been more effective with a clearer and more streamlined unfolding of the essential story…”

Derren Brown: Secret (Atlantic) 

Mind-reading, suggestion and psychological illusion at the hands of UK’s Derren Brown.

 

May 21

Hamlet (Sheen Center)

The play stars Arian Moayed (The HumansBengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), and is accompanied by an original score.  “Set in Persia a hundred years ago, on the eve of World War I, Waterwell’s Hamlet weaves passages of Farsi translation into the English of Shakespeare’s masterpiece of crisis and identity. In it, a traditional way of life is being threatened by an evolving world, the land is being threatened by encroaching foreign interests, and a young man finds himself uprooted and torn between opposing customs, values and codes.”

Building the Wall (New World Stages)

A play by Pulitzer winner Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All The Way, the movie Hacksaw Ridge) says of his anti-Trump play: “I wrote this in a white-hot fury. We no longer live in a world that is business as usual — Trump has made that very clear —and if theater is going to remain relevant,we must become faster to respond. We cannot hope to be useful if we can’t respond until 18 months after the fact. It is not a crazy or extreme fantasy. It’s very solidly grounded in current American law, and Trump’s rhetoric, and his most recent executive orders.”

cast and playwright

The Whirligig (New Group at Signature) 

Written by Hamish Linklater and featuring a cast that includes Norbert Leo Butz, Zosia Mamet and Jonny Orsini. When, after much time away, Kristina is back in Berkshire County, word spreads fast that she and her ex-husband are caring for their estranged, ailing daughter Julie. Broken-hearted and giddy with love and confusion, surprising visitors from Julie’s complicated past practically trip over each other to reach the young woman they thought they’d lost years before

 

May 23

cast

Can You Forgive Her? (Vineyard)

A play by Gina Gionfriddo (Becky Shaw; Rapture, Blister, Burn) about Miranda, drowning in debt and on the run from a date threatening to kill her, who is offered a safe haven by a couple on Halloween night.  “But is the promise of a better life a treat or a trick?”

May 25

The Boy Who Danced on Air (Abingdon) 

A new musical of a modern-day love story set in rural Afghanistan.

 

 

 

 

April 2017 NY Theater Openings

The 14 shows opening on Broadway in April — one-third of all the shows for the entire Broadway season — include seven musicals and seven plays. There are two hit plays Off-Broadway transferring to the Great White Way, four revivals, four musicals based on movies. and a sequel to a play written 138 years ago. The stars on stage include Bette Midler, Allison Janney, Kevin Kline, Phillipa Soo and Adam Chaler-Berat, Laurie Metcalf, Christian Borle, Corey Cott and Laura Osnes, Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon.

And all that’s just on Broadway. There are almost a dozen more intriguing shows Off-Broadway and Off Off Broadway opening in the month of April.

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

Color key: Broadway: RedOff Broadway: Purple or BlueOff Off Broadway: Green.

To look at the Spring season as a whole, check out my Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide and my Off Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide

APRIL 2

The Play That Goes Wrong

play-that-goes-wrong-logoBroadway Theater: Lyceum
Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields
Director: Mark Bell
Cast: Matthew Cavendish, Bryony Corrigan, Rob Falconer, Dave Hearn, Henry Lewis, Charlie Russell, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields, Greg Tannahill, and Nancy Zamit.
Olivier Award-winning comedy about an amateur university production that goes hopelessly awry

Twitter: @BwayGoesWrong

Buy tickets to The Play That Goes Wrong

APRIL 3

Amelie

amelie-logoBroadway Theater: Walter Kerr
Written by Dan Messé (music), Nathan Tyson (lyrics), Craig Lucas (book)
Director: Pam MacKinnon
Cast: Phillipa Soo and Adam Chanler-Berat
A musical adaptation of the  2001 film, which starred Audrey Tautou as a shy waitress with a wild imagination.

@AmelieBroadway

Buy tickets to Amelie

APRIL 4

Daniel’s Husband (Primary Stages at Cherry Lane)

In this play by Michael McKeever, Daniel longs to be married and Mitchell does not.  A turn of events forces both men to face the consequences of their opposing views, and they learn that they are living in a world where fundamental rights aren’t always so fundamental

The Lightning Thief (MCC at Lortel)

A stage adaptation of the best-selling novel by Rick Riordan. The Greek gods are real, and they’re ruining Percy Jackson’s life. As a son of Poseidon, Percy has newly discovered powers he can’t control, monsters on his trail, and he is on an epic quest to find Zeus’s lightning bolt and prevent a war between the gods

APRIL 5

Present Laughter

present-laughter-logoBroadway Theater: St. James

Playwright: Noël Coward
Director: Moritz von Suelpnagel
Cast: Kevin Kline

Revival of the 1940s comedy about the tribulations of a popular matinee idol.

@laughteronbway

Buy tickets to Present Laughter

 

Gently Down The Stream (Public Theater)

In this play by Martin Sherman (Bent, The Boy From Oz), Harvey Fierstein portray Beau, an expatriate pianist living in London, who meets the younger Rufus, an eccentric young lawyer, at the dawn of the Internet dating revolution.

 

APRIL 6

War Paint

war-paint-logo
Theater: Nederlander
Writers: Book by Doug Wright; music and lyrics by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie
Director: Michael Grief; choreographer: Christopher Gattelli
Cast: Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole
Musical based on the rivalry of cosmetics titans Helena Rubenstein (LuPone) and Elizabeth Arden (Ebersole)

 

@warpaintmusical

Buy tickets to War Paint

APRIL 9

The Profane (Playwrights Horizons)

In this play by Zayd Dohrn, Raif Almedin is a first-generation immigrant who prides himself on his modern, enlightened views. But when his daughter falls for the son of a conservative Muslim family in White Plains, he discovers the threshold of his tolerance.

APRIL 12

In and Of Itself (Daryl Roth Theater)

Created and performed by magician Derek DelGaudio: ” a modern allegory that explores new ways of seeing the unseeable, as memories from yesterday are blended with inexplicable events witnessed today and secrets imagined for tomorrow…”

oslo-logo

APRIL 13

Oslo

Broadway Theater: Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center
Playwright: J.T. Rogers
Director: Bartlett Sher
Cast: Jennifer Ehle, Daniel Jenkins, Jefferson Mays and Daniel Oreskes
Transfer of Lincoln Center Theater’s Off-Broadway production of the play about the top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization that culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords.

My review of “Oslo” Off-Broadway

 

@LCTheater

Buy tickets to Oslo

APRIL 17

 Groundhog Day

groundhog-day-logoBroadway Theater: August Wilson
Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, book by Danny Rubin
Director: Matthew Warchus
Cast: Andy Karl
A musical adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray film about a cynical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, PA, when he finds himself caught in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day again and again…and again. Will he ever unlock the secret and break the cycle?

 

@Groundhogdaybwy

Buy tickets to Groundhog Day

APRIL 18

Indecent


Playwright: Paula Vogel
Director: Rebecca Taichman

A behind-the-scenes look at the true story of the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance” — “a play seen by some as a seminal work of Jewish culture, and by others as an act of traitorous libel,” in part because of its lesbian lovers.

My review of Indecent Off-Broadway

 

@IndecentBway

Buy tickets to Indecent

Rebel in the Soul (Irish Rep)

Larry Kirwan’s play examines the opposition by the Irish party leader and the Archbishop of Dublin to Dr. Noel Browne, who was elected to the Irish Parliament in 1948 with the aim of ridding Ireland of tuberculosis. “The ensuing crisis  brought down the government and changed Irish life forever.”

APRIL 19

The Little Foxes

Theater: MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman
Playwright: Lillian Hellman
Director: Daniel Sullivan
Cast: Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon

The fifth Broadway production of the 1930 drama about a ruthless Southern belle.

Buy tickets to The Little Foxes

 APRIL 20

Hello, Dolly

Hello Dolly logoBroadway Theater: Shubert
Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Michael Stewart
Director: Jerry Zaks, choreographer Warren Carlyle
Cast: Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce

Tweeter feed: @HelloDollyBway

The fifth Broadway production of the 1964 musical about a matchmaker who sets out to find a match for herself at the turn of the 20th century.

Buy tickets to Hello, Dolly

Pressing Matters (Theatre Row)

Six quirky stories by Jennifer Jasper

APRIL 22

The Assignment (ART/NY)

A play by Camilo Almonacid based on the friendship between a woman who founded a youth violence prevention program after her teenage son was murdered by street violence, and a man who found education and rehabilitation while serving 17 years in prison for manslaughter.

 APRIL 23

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory logoBroadway Theater: Lunt-Fontanne
Written by David Greig (book), Marc Shaiman (music & lyrics), Scott Wittman (lyrics), Roald Dahl (novel)
Director: Jack O’Brien
Cast: Christian Borle as Willy Wonka
When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.

 

Buy tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

APRIL 24

Anastasia

Broadway Theater: Broadhurst
Music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Terrence McNally
Director: Darko Tresnjak
Cast: Christy Altomare, Derek Klana, Ramin Karimloo, Mary Beth Peil, John Bolton, and Caroline O’Connor
Inspired by the 1997 film about a young woman who may be the last surviving member of the Russian royal family. The score includes songs from the movie, including the Oscar- nominated “Journey to the Past,” plus an entirely new score from the Tony Award-winning team.

@AnastasiaBway

Buy tickets to Anastasia

APRIL 25

Six Degrees of Separation

Broadway Theater: Barrymore
Playwright: John Guare
Director: Trip Cullman
Cast: Allison Janney, John Benjamin Hickey,   Corey Hawkins
Revival of the 1990 drama about a young con man who is embraced by wealthy New Yorkers after passing himself off as Sidney Poitier’s son.

@SixDegreesBway

Buy tickets to Six Degrees of Separation

APRIL 26

Bandstand

bandstand-logoTheater: Bernard Jacobs
Music by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker
Director/Choreographer: Andy Blankenbuhler
Cast: Laura Osnes and Corey Cott
This “big-band musical” chronicles a mismatched band of WWII veterans who join forces to compete in a radio contest.

@BandstandBway

Buy tickets to Bandstand

 

Her Opponent (Jerry Orbach)

A re-staging of excerpts of the 2016 presidential
debates with gender-reversed casting.

April 27

A Doll’s House, Part 2

a-dolls-house-logoTheater: Golden
First Preview: April 1, 2017
Opening: April 27, 2017
Playwright: Lucas Hnath
Director: Sam Gold
Cast: Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, Condola Rashad.
Sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s play, following up after Nora has left her husband and children.

Buy tickets to A Doll’s House, Part 2

@DollsHousePart2

March 2017 NY Theater Openings

Six shows are opening on Broadway in March, more than a dozen Off-Broadway, and plenty Off-Off Broadway as well, with a mix of exciting new work — by John Leguizamo, Lynn Nottage, and David Byrne, among others — and plays and musicals familiar enough to be called classics — by Sondheim, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, and two each by William Inge and Eugene O’Neill, as well as a timely adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy of the People.  Indeed, there are several starkly relevant plays about issues — an oil spill, an economically challenged community, a community responding to tragedy,  a politician in trouble, a martyr, and a dictator.

Fan favorites such as Sally Field,  Danny DeVito, Bobby Cannavale, Abigail Breslin and Lindsay Mendez are gracing New York stages in shows opening in March.

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

Color key: Broadway: RedOff Broadway: Purple or BlueOff Off Broadway: Green.

To look at the Spring season as a whole, check out my Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide and my Off Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide

March 1

Sweeney Todd 1

Sweeney Todd (Barrow Street)

This intimate staging of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s gory musical originated in Harrington’s, London’s oldest working pie and mash shop. The Barrow Street Theatre has been transformed to replicate the pie shop – theatergoers can even order a meal before the show.

 all-the-fine-boys-for-calendar-isabelle-fuhrman-abigail-breslin
All the Fine Boys (New Group at Signature)

Fourteen-year-old best friends Jenny (Abigail Breslin) and Emily (Isabelle Fuhrman) are hungry for knowledge and experience, and in suburban South Carolina in the late ’80s, experience is readily found with older boys

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Bull in a China Shop (LCT)

A comedy by Bryna Turner that follows Mary Woolley and her partner Jeannette Marks through 40 years in a New England seminary as they reform and revolutionize women’s education at the height of the suffrage movement.

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Dolphins and Sharks (Labyrinth Theater at Bank Street)

Pernell Walker of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” stars in this play by James Anthony Tyler about a group of workers in a Harlem print shop struggling for a living wage and a dignified life.

March 2

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Significant Other (Booth)

Gideon Glick, Barbara Barrie and Lindsay Mendez star in this transfer of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2015 Off-Broadway hit about a gay bachelor looking for love in the big city, watching as one (female) friend after another gets married.

March 8

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The Outer Space (The Public Theater)

At Joe’s Pub. Ethan Lipton tells the musical story of two human beings who buy an old spaceship, leaving the noise, pollution and overpriced rents of Earth for the vast beauty and treacherous terrain of the final frontier.

March 9

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie (Belasco)

Sally Field, Joe Mantello, Finn Witrock, Madison Ferris star in the eighth production of Tennessee Williams play on Broadway.

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The Moors (Playwrights Realm at The Duke)

Jen Silverman’s new play about 19th-century novel-writing sisters.

March 12

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Come from Away (Schoenfeld)

A new musical that explores the lasting connection forged between a group of travelers whose planes were diverted to a small Newfoundland town on Sept. 11, 2001.

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The Emperor Jones (Irish Rep)

Eugene O’Neill’s play about Brutus Jones, who, following a prison break in the United States, sets himself up as monarch of a Caribbean island. When the Natives rebel after years of exploitation, Jones journeys into darkness.

March 13

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The Light Years (Playwrights Horizons)

From the theater company The Debate Society: “Behold The Spectatorium: an audacious, visionary 12,000-seat theater designed for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 by Steele MacKaye, the now-forgotten theatrical impresario around whom this haunted, 40-year love story spins.”

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Enemy of the People (The Barrow Group)

This adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic gains new currency thanks to the president’s recent remarks. The play is about a scientist who discovers an environmental catastrophe in his town that nobody wants to hear about.

March 14

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Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP at McGinn/Cazale)

While navigating the unsettling waters of young adulthood, twin sisters return home to find their father in a moment of crisis. Featuring songs by Brooklyn indie-rock duo The Bengsons.

March 15

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Joan of Arc: Into the Fire (Public)

A rock concert version of the French heroine by David Byrne, directed by Alex Timbers, the team that put together Here Lies Love.

March 16

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The Price (Roundabout at AA)

A revival of Arthur Miller’ 1968 drama about two estranged brothers who reunite to sell their the remainder of their parents’ estate. Danny DeVito makes his Broadway debut in a four-member cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Hecht and Tony Shalhoub

Spill (Ensemble Studio Theater)

A theatrical exploration of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest oil spill in history, based on over 200 hours of interviews

March 19

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Cry Havoc (Bedlam at New Ohio)

A solo performance piece by Stephan Wolfert, whorecounts his own experiences of military service, weaving his personal narrative with lines from some of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches.

March 20

How to Transcend a Happy Marriage (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)

A new play by Sarah Ruhl:  Two married couples discuss a younger acquaintance–a polyamorous woman who also hunts her own meat. Fascinated, they invite this mysterious woman and her two live-in boyfriends to a New Year’s Eve party, which alters the course of their lives.

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Church and State (New World Stages)

A “serious comedy” by Jason Odell Williams: Three days before his bid for re-election in North Carolina, a Republican US senator makes an off-the-cuff comment to a blogger that calls into question the politico’s belief in God

March 23

Miss Saigon (2) Jon Jon Briones and company

Miss Saigon (Broadway)

The first Broadway revival of the 1991 musical.An American soldier named Chris marries Kim in Vietnam before departing for the US. Three years later, he returns to find Kim still alive and raising Tam, a boy he fathered. With the Viet Cong closing in on the city and two women wanting the only place in his heart, Chris has big decisions to make.

Angry Young Man (Urban Stages)

A British comedy by Ben Woolf about a Middle Eastern surgeon who immigrates to London, running afoul of both white nationalists and liberal hypocrites.

March 26

Sweat 11

Sweat (Studio 54)

Broadway transfer of the hit Public Theatre production of Nottage’s drama about blue-collar workers facing economic meltdown in Reading, Pennsylvania

Come Back, Little Sheba/Picnic (Transport Group at The Gym at Judson)

Two plays by William Inge in repertory

Picnic: When a gorgeous drifter Hal arrives in a small Kansas town, no one is prepared. He brings with him the possibilities and promises — some true some false — of a life with real options.

Come Back, Little Sheba  In an old and cluttered house in the middle west in their middle age, a couple lives one day to the next: Lola, breathless with fear of silence and solitude, and Doc a recovering alcoholic. Into their tired lives comes Marie, their boarder, so flush with the riches of her youth that they can no longer deny how they spent their own.

March 27

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Latin History for Morons (Public)

Inspired by the near total absence of Latinos in his son’s American history class, John Leguizamo embarks on a frenzied search through 3,000 years of history  to find a Latin hero for his son’s school project

March 30

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The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)

Bobby Cannavale stars as Yank in this 1921 play written by Eugene O’Neill.

February 2017 NY Theater Openings

Broadway this month will see the opening of two starry musical  revivals by two of the reigning composers of musical theater — Stephen Sondheim (86) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (68) — while Off-Broadway pays tribute to Jerry Herman (85) and Kurt Weill (1900-1950), and presents a new musical by John Kander (89.)

Meanwhile, Off-Off Broadway is showcasing the work of one of New York’s hottest musical composers, Dave Malloy (41), best-known for the hit Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812., which also started Off-Off-Broadway.

The month will also see the opening of new plays by (among others) Brandon Jacob-Jenkins, David Mamet,  Tanya Saracho,and  Will Eno, and new productions of plays by Tracy Letts and Wallace Shawn.

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple or Blue. Off Off Broadway: Green.
To look at the Spring season as a whole, check out my Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide and my Off Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide

February 1

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Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose (Davenport)

Ed Dixon recounts how he came to know and admire character actor George Rose, who acted with such luminaries as Katherine Hepburn and Noel Coward.

February 8

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Jonah and Otto (Lost Tribe at Theater Row)

Over the course of a single day, two men  – one 26, the other 62; different in every way – share their solitude and unfold their secrets.

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Fade (Primary Stages at Cherry Lane)

A comedy by Tanya Saracho about the burgeoning friendship between Lucia and Abel, two Latinos of Mexican descent working at a ruthless Hollywood studio

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Big River (Encores at City Center)

The Encores concert version of the Tony-winning musical based on Mark Twain’s novel “Huck Finn.”

February 9

The Mother of Invention (Abingdon at June Havoc)

James Lecesne’s unflinching and comedic look at how one family deals with the effects of Alzheimer’s.

Sunset Boulevard (Palace Theatre)

Glenn Close stars in a revival of the 1994 musical based on the 1950 Billy Wilder movie about a faded Hollywood silent film goddess who tries to make one last comeback. This production was seen in a spring 2016 revival in London.

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The Object Lesson (New York Theatre Workshop)

In what’s becoming its signature activity, NYTW has physically transformed their theater once again, this time turning it into a giant storage facility.  allowing audiences to roam and poke through the clutter.

February 10

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Crackskull Row ( Irish Rep)

Rasher Moorigan has a secret that only his mother knows. Tonight  – for the first time in over thirty years – mother and son spend May Eve together in a wreck of a house down the backlanes of Dublin

February 12

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Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: (York)

Kurt Weill’s theater songs are presented in the York’s “Musical in Muftis” series (a short run), in a blend of music and story, spanning twenty years, from Von Hindenburg and Hitler in Germany to Roosevelt and Truman in the U.S.

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Beardo (Pipeline)

Beardo, which takes place in St. John’s Lutheran Church in Greenpoint,  is a “Russian indie rock musical” with music by Dave Malloy ( Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.) “This New York premiere explodes the mad inner workings of Rasputin, the infamous mystic who sexed his way to the fall of the Russian monarchy.”

Ring Twice For Miranda (NY City Center Stage II)

A man known only as Sir rules with a vengeance, but it’s Miranda, a chambermaid, who adds intrigue to his life. When Elliot, the butler, is fired, she flees with him in defiance onto the frightening streets. All must soon make critical decisions with imperfect facts to guide them, since little in their world is as it appears.

February 15

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Man From Nebraska (Second Stage)

A revival of the play by Tracey Letts, directed by David Cromer, starring Reed Birney (The Humans) as Ken, a middle aged man from Nebraska, who suddenly finds he’s lost his faith, along with his sense of purpose. He goes on a wild adventure to find it. Along the way he encounters a world vastly different from his own, filled with chance meetings and romantic encounters that shake him to the core.

February 16

Wallace Shawn, from the National Theater production.

Wallace Shawn, from the National Theater production.

Evening at the Talk House (New Group at  Signature)

The New Group at Signature) by Wallace Shawn with Matthew Broderick, Jill Eikenberry, John Epperson, Larry Pine, Wallace Shawn, Claudia Shear, Annapurna Sriram, Michael Tucker.  Shawn takes on theater itself with this acerbic and stealth political comedy about theater artists who  have a reunion at their old hangout, the Talk House, to reminisce about the show they made a decade ago — except most are no longer theater artists. There’s been “a decline in the theatergoing impulse.”

February 19

On The Exhale (Roundabout)

A play by Martin Zimmerman (Netflix’s Narcos) starring Marin Ireland as a liberal college professor inexplicably drawn to a weapon used in a senseless act of violence.

February 21

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Everybody (Signature)

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s new play is a modern version of Everyman, a famous morality play about Christian salvation from the 15th century. I have no idea what he’s doing with it, but he was very clever in a play called Octoroon, which was his take on an 19th century melodrama, and both provocative and thoughtful in his play Gloria

February 22

If I Forget (Roundabout)

A new play by Steven Levenson (“The Language of Trees,” “The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin”) that tells the story of the bickering reunion of liberal Jewish studies professor Michael Fischer with his two sisters to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday shortly before 9/11.

DC production of Kid Victory

DC production of Kid Victory

Kid Victory (Vineyard)

The latest collaboration between John Kander and Greg Pierce. “Seventeen-year-old Luke returns to his small Kansas town after a wrenching one-year absence. As his friendship grows with the town misfit, Emily, his parents realize that in order to truly find their son, they must confront some unnerving truths about his disappearance.”

February 23

City Center

Sunday in the Park with George (Hudson Theater)

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford star in this
transfer of the New York City Center‘s fall 2016 concert version of the Pulitzer-winning Sondheim and Lapine 1984 musical about pointillist painter George Seurat. It marks the re-launching of the Hudson Theater (built in 1903) as the 41st Broadway house.

Linda (MTC at City Center)

Penelope Skinner’s play is about a successful woman whose pitch to change the way the world looks at women of a certain age winds up making her fight for her own relevance.

February 24

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The View UpStairs (Lynn Redgrave Theater)

A young fashion designer from 2017 buys the abandoned space that was the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant ’70s gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

February 26

Dear World (York)

Tyne Daly stars in the York’s “Musical in Mufti” (short run) of Jerry Herman’s musical based on the Madwoman of Chaillot.

February 27

Wakey, Wakey (Signature)

Will Eno’s play “challenges the notion of what really matters and recognizes the importance of life’s simple pleasures.” The downtown playwright  who made his Broadway debut recently with the abstruse The Realistic Joneses has his admirers; I’m not yet one of them.

The Penitent (Atlantic)

A new play by David Mamet. “A renowned psychiatrist is asked to testify on behalf of a young patient. When he refuses, his career, ethics and faith are thrown into question.”

Nibbler (The Amoralists at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre)

A play by Ken Urban that takes place in the summer of 1992 in Medford, New Jersey, when Adam and his gang of friends face life after high school.  But then the fivesome encounter a mysterious visitor from another world, and their lives are forever changed

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Bull In A China Shop (LCT)

A comedy by Bryna Turner that follows Mary Woolley and her partner Jeannette Marks through 40 years in a New England seminary as they reform and revolutionize women’s education at the height of the suffrage movement.

February 28

A Gravediggger’s Lullaby (TACT at Theatre Row)

A new play by Jeff Talbott about the life of Baylen, an honest, hard-working gravedigger who sweats and bleeds to support his small family

January 2017 Theater Openings Broadway, Off Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway

Two Broadway shows are opening this month, and fewer than a half dozen Off-Broadway, but January is as usual one of the most robust months for theater in New York.

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Billboards outside the Public Theater advertising Under the Radar, one of the winter theater festivals

That’s because there are more than 100 works of theater at some dozen winter theater festivals, although the shows, largely experimental, each run for only a handful of performances. (Check out my separate preview guide for Winter Theater Festivals in New York 2017)

This month also marks the debut of  the new theater complex at 53rd Street and Tenth Avenue run by the Alliance of Resident Theaters (A.R.T.), now home to a dozen acclaimed New York theater companies without buildings of their own. (See January 22 below for the theaters’ first two openings.)

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with each title linked to a relevant website. Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple or Blue. Off Off Broadway: Green.

To look at the Spring season as a whole, check out my Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide and my Off Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide.

January 8

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh

The Present (Ethel Barrymore)

Cate Blanchett makes her Broadway debut as (once) wealthy widow Anna Petrovna celebrating her 40th birthday in this new play based on Anton Chekhov’s first play Platonov, with the action transposed to the 1990s.

Mark Felt, Superstar (York)

mark-felt-at-yorkA jazzy musical about Mark Felt Deputy Director of the FBI, who revealed himself as Deep Throat, the secret source about Watergate who helped Woodward and Bernstein bring down President Richard Nixon.

 

January 14

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Mope (Ensemble Studio Theater) 

An examination of a country poisoned by toxic masculinity, hiding inside a comedy about guys who do porn.

January 15

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Made in China (59E59)

A topical puppet musical inspired by true events (!): “An isolated woman finds solace in shopping. After one of her big-box sprees, she finds a cry-for-help note, written by a woman in a Chinese labor camp, stuffed in a box of Halloween lights. Inspired into activism, she embarks on an odyssey of global proportions.”

January 17

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The Dork Knight (Abingdon at Dorothy Strelsin Theatre)

Jason O’Connell’s solo show tracing the ups and downs of his life through the prism of his love/hate relationship with the ‘Batman’ movies.

 

January 18

The Tempest

The Tempest (St. Ann’s Warehouse)

Donmar Warehouse’s all female staging of Shakespeare’s play, set in a woman’s prison, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and starring Harriet Walter. This is the last production of a splendidly theatrical trilogy by the same team, starting with Julius Caesar in 2013 and then Henry IV in 2015.

January 19

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Jitney (Samuel J. Friedman)

Broadway premiere of Wilson’s first play, the only work from his The American Century Cycle never previously seen on Broadway. Set in the early 1970’s, the story follows a group of men who drive unlicensed cabs or jitneys.

 

Born to Rise (Medicine Show Theater) 

A revival of the 1984 musical based on four 19th century novels by Horatio Alger, in which four poor but hopeful young New Yorkers make their way up the social ladder

 

January 22

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Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band (Ma-Yi at ART/NY Mezzanine Theater)

A rock ‘n’ roll remake of Ibsen’s classic verse drama

 

 

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The Great American Drama (New York Neofuturists at A.R.T./NY Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre)

An ever-changing theatrical experiment to test the validity of the American Dream. Through interviews & surveys, you’ll tell us how you like your theater and what would make you buy a ticket, and four Neo-Futurists will strive to deliver everything demanded of them.

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The Oregon Trail (Fault Line Theatre)

Jane and her family navigate the deadly perils of 1850s frontier life in a covered wagon as part of a game, while present day Jane navigates the different but all-too-real dangers of high school, college, and adulthood

January 23

Selenis Leyva and Dascha Polanco Tell Hector I Miss Him,

Selenis Leyva and Dascha Polanco Tell Hector I Miss Him,

Tell Hector I Miss Him (Atlantic)

The new play by Paolo Lazaro takes place in Puerto Rico,  and “unmasks a community built on the law of respect that keeps getting washed away but refuses to drown.” The cast includes Dascha Polanco and Selenis Leyva, who play Dayanara Diaz and Gloria Mendoza, respectively, in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black.

 

January 26

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The Liar (CSC)

David Ives adapts  Pierre Corneille’s 17th Century farce of mistaken identities and secrets, Le Menteur, directed by Michael Kahn. The charming Dorante cannot tell the truth and the manservant Cliton cannot tell a lie

January 31

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Yen (MCC) 

In Anna Jordan’s play,  Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), and Justice Smith (The Get Down) portray two brothers ignored by their mother, who are drawn into a world beyond what they know when their animal-loving neighbor Jenny takes an interest in their dog Taliban.

December 2016 New York Theater Openings

Four shows are opening on Broadway this month, three of them new musicals: “A Bronx Tale” marks the Broadway debut of Robert De Niro as a “co-director,” although Jerry Zaks is reportedly doing the heavy lifting.  “Dear Evan Hansen,”  a cult hit Off Broadway by the team of Pasek and Paul, is transferring to the Music Box.  And “In Transit,” another Off-Broadway hit, is co-written by Kristin Anderson-Lopez, who went on to compose the music with her husband Bobby Lopez for “Frozen.”

But some of the most thrilling theater in December is happening Off-Broadway — including “Othello” directed by Sam Gold, starring David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig; Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) in an adaptation of the bestseller “Tiny Beautiful Things” directed by Hamilton’s Tommy Kail; and “The Dead, 1904,” starring Boyd Gaines and Kate Burton, a re-creation of the dinner party at the center of James Joyce’s “The Dead,” in which theatergoers are among the dinner guests.

And then, this being December, there are Christmas plays up the wazoo — too numerous to include here.

Below is a selection of the plays, musicals and less easily categorized theater pieces opening in December, organized chronologically by opening date. Each title is linked to a relevant website. Also included are links to buy tickets (if you can’t get them at the box office.)

Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple or Blue. Off Off Broadway: Green.
To look at the season as a whole, check out Broadway Preview Guide 2016-17 and Off-Broadway Fall 2016

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December 1

A Bronx Tale (Longacre)

A Bronx Tale The Musical Pre-opening information; subject to change A Bronx Tale The Musical View More Images Longacre Theatre, (12/01/2016 - ) First Preview: Nov 03, 2016 Total Previews: Opening Date: Dec 01, 2016 Closing Date: Total Performances: Category: Musical, Drama, Original, Broadway A Bronx Tale The Musical tickets Official Website Opening Night Credits Production Staff Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President) Produced by Tommy Mottola, The Dodgers and Tribeca Productions Book by Chazz Palminteri; Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Glenn Slater; Musical Director: Jonathan Smith; Music arranged by Ron Melrose; Music orchestrated by Doug Besterman Directed by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks; Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo Scenic Design by Beowulf Boritt; Costume Design by William Ivey Long; Lighting Design by Howell Binkley; Sound Design by Gareth Owen; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Make-Up Design by Anne Ford-Coates Musical Supervisor: Ron Melrose Casting: Tara Rubin Casting; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Fight Coordinator: Robert Westley Cast Richard H. Blake Lorenzo Nick Cordero Sonny Ariana DeBose Jane Lucia Giannetta Rosina Bradley Gibson Tyrone Bobby Conte Thornton Broadway debut Calogero Hudson Loverro Broadway debut Young Calogero Athan Sporek Young Calogero Alternate Gilbert L. Bailey II Joe Barbara Michael Barra Broadway debut Jonathan Brody Ted Brunetti Brittany Conigatti Kaleigh Cronin Trista Dollison David Michael Garry Rory Max Kaplan Dominic Nolfi Christiani Pitts Broadway debut Paul Salvatoriello Broadway debut Joseph J. Simeone Joey Sorge Cary Tedder Kirstin Tucker Swings: Michelle Aravena, Gerald Caesar, Charlie Marcus, Wonu Ogunfowora and Keith WhiteThe Bronx Tale, about a youth in the Bronx who against the wishes of his father gets involved in organized crime,  began life as a one-man show written and performed by Chazz Palminteri. It was then made into 1993 directed by and co-starring Robert De Niro. De Niro is co-directing the musical with Jerry Zaks, marking De Niro’s Broadway directorial debut.

Tickets

Iluminate (New World Stages) 

ILUMINATE 2

Acrobatic dancing by performers wearing glow-in-the-dark costumes

My review of Iluminate  at a previous venue

Tickets

December 3

Sgt. Stubby (St. Lukes Theater)

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Subtitled “The Great American War Dog Musical,” the family-friendly show is inspired by the true story of a stray from New Haven, Connecticut who became a hero in World War I.

Tickets

December 4

Dear Evan Hansen (Music Box)

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A high school student pretends to have been best friends with a classmate who committed suicide in this musical by the songwriters of A Christmas Story: The Musical. This was a cult favorite Off-Broadway.  My review when it was Off-Broadway.

Tickets

The Illusionists (The Palace)

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On Broadway for the third holiday season in a row, The Illusionists will present magic from the early 20th century,

My review the first time around.

Tickets

Sing (Theatre at St. Clements)

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A South African and American Holiday Musical celebration starring and directed by Thula Dumakude.

December 5

The Babylon Line (Lincoln Center)

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A play by Richard Greenberg about a writer from bohemian Greenwich Village who commutes to Levittown to teach a creative writing class that includes one student that reawakens his own artistic impulses. The cast includes Josh Radnor and Elizabeth Reaser.

Tickets 

December 6

Rancho Viejo (Playwrights Horizons) 

Rancho Viejo

In Dan LeFranc’s comedy of anxiety and awkward neighbors, the residents of the (fictional) affluent suburb of Rancho Viejo drift from one gathering to the next, wrestling life’s grandest themes while fending off existential despair — set against the lustful, yearning strains of a distant bolero. The cast includes Mark Blum and Mare Winningham.

December 7

Tiny Beautiful Things (The Public) 

Tiny Beautiful Things for calendar

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.)

Tickets 

December 8

The Band’s Visit (Atlantic Theater)

the-bands-visit

This musical with a book by Itamar Moses (Fortress of Solitude) and music by David Yazbek (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), and directed by David Cromer (Our Town), with a cast including Tony Shalhoub and John Cariani, is an adaptation the 2007 film about an Egyptian Police Band that arrives in Israel to play a concert but is sent by mistake to a remote village in the middle of the desert.

Tickets

Anna Christie (The Wild Project) 

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Eugene O’Neill’s drama of a woman torn between the expectations of men and the secrets of her past, gets a timely retelling under the direction of Peter Roberts.

The Dead, 1904 (Irish Rep)

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Based on the novella by James Joyce, “The Dead,1904 is a new adaptation in which an audience of 40 guests will themselves attend the Misses Morkan’s holiday party, move from room to room with the actors, listen to the music, watch the dances, dine on a meal inspired by the menu in the novella, and observe the characters in their interactions.  The production will take place in an authentic Victorian mansion.” It stars Kate Burton and Boyd Gaines.

December 11

In Transit (Circle in the Square)

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I

Broadway’s first a capella musical — no orchestra — chronicles the intertwining lives of 11 subway riders. It was a  hit Off-Broadway in 2010. Co-written by Kristin Lopez-Anderson, now known for Frozen. Its 16-member cast includes Justin Guarini, Telly Leung and Erin Mackey.

Tickets

December 12

Othello (NY Theatre Workshop)

othello-for-calendar

 

Sam Gold directs David Oyelowo (Selma) in the title role and Daniel Craig (Betrayal, Spectre) as Iago in Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Tickets

December 14

Nina Conti In Your Face (Barrow Street Theater) 

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With handcrafted masks that transform audience members into “live puppets,” along with her sidekick, the “foul-mouthed” Monkey, Conti creates a hilarious new show nightly. This is ventriloquism for a new generation

Martin Luther On Trial (The Pearl)

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With Satan as the prosecutor and Luther’s wife for the defense, witnesses including Adolf Hitler, Sigmund Freud, Rabbi Josel, St. Paul, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Pope Francis take the stand. Even as 2017 marks 500 years since Luther ignited the Protestant Revolt against Rome, he continues to spark intense debate

December 19

Bright Colors and Bold Patterns (Barrow Street Theatre) 

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A one-man show written by and starring Drew Droege. “Josh and Brennan are about to get married in Palm Springs on a lovely Saturday afternoon. However, the night before becomes a drunken, drug-fueled scream riot, because their friend Gerry has arrived, furious that their invitation says “please refrain from wearing bright colors or bold patterns.”

November 2016 Theater Openings on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway

Three of the four Broadway openings  in November are for shows, with limited (holiday) runs, are rightly categorized more as entertainments than theater.  Ah, but the fourth…

Great Comet

The month offers new stage adaptations of two beloved movies, a rap take on Othello, Off-Broadway revivals of two big-time tuneful musicals,  and several exciting wholly original works of theater.

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

For a look at the entire season, check out Broadway Preview Guide 2016-17 and Off Broadway Fall 2016 Guide

November 2

Notes From The Field: Doing Time In Education (Second Stage)

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Drawn from interviews with more than 200 people, Anna Deavere Smith explores the personal accounts of students, parents, teachers and administrators caught in America’s school-to-prison pipeline, which pushes minors from poor communities out of the kristinchenowethintophatclassroom and into incarceration,

Kingdom Come (Roundabout Black Box)

Jenny Rachel Weiner’s comedy about two people who meet from an online dating site, who are both pretending to be somebody else.

My Love Letter to Broadway (Lunt-Fontanne)

Kristin Chenoweth in concert, for 12 performances.

November 3

Ultimate Beauty Bible (Page 73 at New Ohio)

Workaholic Danielle is forced to face her mortality,

Sweat (Public Theater)

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The much-praised play by Lynn Nottage, getting its New York premiere, about a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the line of a factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in the hard fight to stay afloat. “Sweat,”  winner of this year’s prestigious  Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for a play by a woman, is the result of two years of research in Reading, Pennsylvania, which the U.S. Census Bureau proclaimed the poorest city in America.

November 6

Finian’s Rainbow (Irish Rep)

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Melissa Errico stars in a reprised revival (translation: the Irish Rep has done it before) of this 1947 musical by Burton Lane and Yip Harburg about an Irishman who steals a leprechaun’s pot of gold and escapes with his daughter to the Jim Crow South.  The creative team intended this musical to be politically on the left, but its message feels nowadays something of an outdated muddle. The tunes, however, are terrific.

Homos, or Everyone In America (Labyrinth)

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Michael Urie and Robin De Jesús star in a play about an everyday couple confronted by a vicious crime.

November 7

“Master Harold”….And The Boys (Signature)

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A revival of Athol Fugard’s play, directed by the playwright, about  two black men and a young white boy who joke and dance together, “defying the brutalities of apartheid through their joyous love. But festering issues of family, race, and power are not so easy to ignore…”

November 8

Women of a Certain Age (The Public Theater)

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The third play, and culmination of, “The Gabriels” trilogy, which will be both set and open – and which the playwright will finish writing – on Election Day.

November 13

The Portal (Minetta Lane)

A man journeys through the desert and mountains on a path to personal discovery.

The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (Signature Theatre)

The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA the Negro Book of the Dead BY SUZAN-LORI PARKS DIRECTED BY LILEANA BLAIN-CRUZ

Subtitled, “AKA The Negro Book of the Dead,” Suzan-Lori Parks begins her Signature residency with a play that “explores and explodes archetypes of Black America.”

November 14

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Imperial)

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Josh Groban and Denee Benton star in this Broadway production of a much-praised musical adapting a sliver of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. My review when it was in its own home in the hip Meatpacking District.

November 15

Party People (Public Theater)

The complicated legacies of the original Black Panther Party and the Young Lords are explored in a play developed and directed by Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed), and starring the ensemble known as Universes (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and William Ruiz aka Ninja), in their Public Theater debut.

November 16

Terms of Endearment (59E59)

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Molly Ringwald stars in a play based on the novel by Larry McMurtry and the film by James L. Brooks  about the relationship between  a highly opinionated mother and her feisty daughter.

Othello: The Remix (The Westside Theater)

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An 80-minute spin on Shakespeare’s tragedy by the Q Brothers, rappers GQ and JQ.

November 17

The Dead Poets Society (CSC)

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Academy Award-winner Tom Schulman adapts his own screenplay of the Robin Williams/Robert Sean Leonard film for this play about an inspiring boarding school teacher, starring Jason Sudeikis.

A Taste of Things To Come (York)

Four women enter a Betty Crocker cooking contest in the hopes of changing their lives.

November 20

Sweet Charity (New Group at Signature)

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Sutton Foster stars in this revival on its 50th anniversary of the musical by Neil Simon, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields. Charity Hope Valentine, the dancehall hostess, is  a role famously associated with Gwen Vernon and Shirley MacLaine.

November 21

This Day Forward (Vineyard Theatre)

A comedy by Nicky Silver (The Lyons) about a woman who made a surprising confession on her honeymoon, causing all plans to fall apart. “Nearly 50 years later, her children wrestle with their past and a mother whose secrets are quickly fading along with her memory.”

November 22

Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science (Ethel Barrymore)

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Broadway is just one stop on the 50-city tour for this veteran anchor of TV cooking shows, who promises  comedy, talk show antics, multimedia presentations, music and puppets.

November 27

The Pigeon in the Taj Mahal (Irish Rep)

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A dark comedy about a lonely outsider forced to live on an abandoned campsite that is discovered one day by a lost bachelorette party.

October 2016 Theater Openings

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October is stuffed — to use the title of one of the many shows opening this month. There are seven shows opening on Broadway alone (eight if you count a concert with a week-long run.)  Three are classic plays, a fourth a revival of a beloved musical, a fifth derived from a beloved/classic movie musical.

Off-Broadway, there are revivals of shows by Rent composer Jonathan Larsen,

Holiday InnStudio 54Horton Foote on the centennial of his birth,  and playwright David Hare, as well as a first play by an insult comic (the one who wrote “Stuffed”) and a puppet parody of an old sitcom.

It’s a starry month too, with such familiar faces as Nathan Lane, John Goodman, John Slattery, Jefferson Mays, Holland Taylor and Robert Morse — and they’re all just in one show. Other shows star Diane Lane, Christian Borle, Corbin Bleu, Mary Louise Parker, Andrew Rannells, Rachel Weisz

Below is a selection of the plays, musicals and difficult-to-label theater pieces opening in October, organized chronologically by opening date. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

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

For a look at the entire season, check out Broadway Preview Guide 2016-17 and Off Broadway Fall 2016 Guide

October 2

Afterplay (Irish Rep)

Brian Friel revisits the lives of two of Chekhov’s enduring characters- Sonya, Uncle Vanya’s dutiful niece, and Andrey, the downtrodden intellectual brother of The Three Sisters. They meet by chance in a late night cafe in 1920s Moscow

 

October 3

That Golden Girls Show, A Puppet Parody (DR2)

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Miami’s four favorite girls reunite in this live puppet parody of the old TV series.

 

October 5

The Roads to Home (Primary Stages at Cherry Lane)

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A revival of this play by Horton Foote (on the Centennial of his birth) about three women in the 1920s who have all moved to Houston and are now grappling with the eternal question, “What is home?”

October 6

Holiday Inn, the New Irving Berlin Musical (Studio 54) 

Megan Sikora and Corbin Bleu

Megan Sikora and Corbin Bleu

A stage adaptation of the 1942 film that introduced White Christmas and other Irving Berlin hits.

 

Daddy Issues (Theatre at St. Clements)

Donald, a gay man in the 1980s, hires the ten-year-old kid from downstairs to play his son in order to get his own parents off his back.

October 7

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Stuffed (WP at McGinn/Cazale)

A first play by comedian  Lisa Lampanelli about four women — a bulimic, a compulsive eater, a confident overweight gal, and a chronically thin chick.

October 8

Simon Dawes Becomes a Planet (Access Theatre)

Equal parts fable, music hall panto, and modern farce about a boy born the size of a pea who grows to cosmic proportions.

October 9

Slumber (House of Yes)

A girl squad comprised of elite international circus performers and dancers on the last night of their lives….Who lives? Who dies? You decide.

The Folk Singer (Theatre for the New City)

A new musical about a young musician who wants to write songs as relevant today as those of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were in their heyday

October 10

Oh, Hello (Lyceum) 

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The comedy duo Nick Kroll and John Mulaney portray their alter egos  Gil Faizonand George St. Geegland, “outrageously opinionated, 70-something,  bachelors born and bred in New York.”

 

October 13

Heisenberg (Samuel J. Friedman)

The playwright of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time penned this play, which debuted Off Broadway last year, starring Mary Louise Parker.  “Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, Georgie spots Alex, a much older man, and plants a kiss on his neck. This electric encounter thrusts these two strangers into a fascinating and life-changing game.”

 

Chris Gethard: Career Suicide (The Lynn Redgrave Theater)

The solo show from the Edinburgh Fringe about Gethard’s experiences with mental illness, ethically questionable psychiatry, and finding hope in weird places

October 16

The Cherry Orchard (American Airlines Theater)

John Glover, Diane Lane, Joel Grey

John Glover, Diane Lane, Joel Grey

Diane Lane in Chekhov’s play about “a family on the edge of ruin—and a country on the brink of revolution.”

 

She Stoops to Conquer (TACT at Theatre Row)

The 18th century romantic play by Oliver Goldsmith that pits county manners against city snobbery.

October 18

Sell/Buy/Date (MTC Studio at Stage II)

sarah-jones

Sarah Jones (Bridge & Tunnel) portrays multiple characters in a new show inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry.

 

October 19

Love, Love, Love (RTC’s Laura Pels Theater)

A new play from Mike Bartlett (King Charles III, Cock.)  “London, 1967. Beatlemania is in full effect, the “Me” generation is in its prime and Kenneth and Sandra are in a world of  sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll….But what happens when they have babies of their own.”

 

October 20

The Front Page (Broadhurst)

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Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Sherie Rene Scott, Holland Taylor and Robert Morse star in the fifth Broadway revival of the 1928 comedy about old-time reporters who would do anything for a scoop. Even the supporting cast is hot — Lewis J. Stadlen, Dylan Baker, Micah Stock, Halley Feiffer, et al.

Tick…Tick…Boom (Keen Company at Theatre Row)

A revival of Rent composer Jonathan Larsen’s autobiographical musical, the story of an aspiring composer questioning his life choices on the eve of his thirtieth birthday.

 

Puffs (Elektra)

‘Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic” is a comedy about a young wizard named Wayne Hopkins and the Puffs–a group of well-meaning, loyal rejects with a thing for badgers.

 

October 21

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (Lunt-Fontanne)

The group that inspired “Jersey Boys” (which is closing in January) perform for a week their hits “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Oh, What A Night”

October 23

Plenty (Public Theater)

Rachel Weisz and Corey Stoll star in a revival of David Hare’s play about  Susan Traherne, a fiercely intelligent British secret agent flown into France during the second world war, who has trouble adjusting in the years after the war.

Not That Jewish (New World Stages)

From her show business family in the Bronx, to a WASP wedding, to her first step on a comedy club stage and life as a single mom, Monica Piper shares the milestones and moments that shaped her life with the same signature wit found in her writing on, “Roseanne” and “Mad About You.”

One Flea Spare (Sheen Center)

The 20th anniversary revival of this play by Naomi Wallace set in plague-ravaged 17th-century London, where a wealthy couple is preparing to flee their home when a mysterious sailor and a young girl appear sneaking into their boarded up house. They are all quarantined together for 28 days.

 

October 24

A Life (Playwrights Horizons)

After another breakup, Nate resorts to astrology. In this new play by Adam Bock,  “the answer he receives, when it comes, is shockingly obvious — and totally unpredictable.”

 

The Harvest (Lincoln Center Theater)

A new play by Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale) about a Mormon missionary who has bought a one-way ticket to the Middle East, but is confronted by his sister, who doesn’t want him to leave.

 

October 25

Vietgone (MTC City Center)

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The award-winning play by Qui Nguyen is a love story about a boy and girl who are refugees from the Vietnam War newly settled in a relocation camp inside Middle America.

 

October 27

Falsettos (Walter Kerr Theater)

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A revival of the 1992 Tony-winning musical about a middle-aged man named Marvin and his decision to leave his wife, Trina, for a man, Whizzer. “Falsettos” combined two early Off-Broadway musicals, the 1981 “March of the Falsettos,”  and the 1990 “Falsettoland.” The new production stars Christian Borle, Stephanie J. Block, Andrew Rannells, and Brandon Uranowitz.

 

The Babies (St. Lukes)

A musical about babies from the womb to preschool; “they sing and dance and tell you what they really think.”

 

Duat (Soho Rep at the Connelly)

“Two halves of a soul hunt through a hall of records.
A librarian breaks the seal of a mysterious archive.
A teacher and her class prepare the pageant to end all pageants.”

 

October 30

Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Booth Theatre)

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Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber star in a production from the Donmar Warehouse of the 1985 play about sexual intrigue in 18th century France.

Coriolanus (Red Bull at Barrow Street)

Shakespeare’s play, with some special relevance –” Economic inequality strains the social fabric. Debates rage throughout a nation riddled with dissension and distrust. It’s election year in Rome, 493 B.C.E., and as unscrupulous politicians manipulate public opinion, the hypocrisy and humiliation of political campaigns drive away the country’s finest….” — featuring a cast that includes the incomparable Patrick Page.