With Be More Chill at the Signature Theatre taking the theatre community by storm, Here’s a look at what’s coming off Broadway and what we think will be the sure fire must sees.
Days to Come: The Beckett Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street. This is staged by the Mint Theater Company who is on a role with producing some really excellent revivals. Days to Come, is a rare revival written by Lillian Hellman and starring the wonderful Mary Bacon, Janie Brookshire, Larry Bull, Chris Henry Coffey, Dan Daily, Ted Deasy, Roderick Hill, Betsy Hogg, Kim Martin-Cotten, Geoffrey Allen Murphy, with Evan Zes and directed by J.R. Sullivan. In previews, opens August 26th.
Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties: Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street. Meet five different women named Betty: one rich, one lonely, one charismatic, one lovelorn, and one who keeps working on her truck. Oh, and one has decided to stage a production of that play-within-a-play by… that old English guy, what’s his name? Ah, forget it. In Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties, five women collide at the intersection of rage, love, and the “thea-tah,” provoking each other to take a look in the mirror and face the person they didn’t know they could be. This New York premiere comedy invites us all to be a little braver, live a little louder, laugh a little harder, and unleash our inner Betty. Written by Jen Silverman, directed by Mike Donahue and staring Dana Delany (Betty 1), Lea DeLaria (Betty 4), Adina Verson (Betty 2), Ana Villafañe (Betty 3), and Chaunté Wayans (Betty 5). Previews start August 16th, opens September 12th.
The True: Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd. Street. When it comes to Dorothea “Polly” Noonan – a blunt, profane, decades-long defender of Albany’s Democratic Party machine – politics is only personal, especially now that her hero, “mayor for life” Erastus Corning II, is battling for party control while at the same time fighting the fiercest primary challenge of his life. The True is an intimate portrait of the bounds of love, loyalty, and female power in the male-dominated world of 1977 patronage politics.Written by Share White, directed by Scott Elliot and starring. Austin Cauldwell (as Bill McCormick), Edie Falco (as Dorothea Noonan), Glenn Fitzgerald (as Howard C. Nolan), Michael McKean (as Erastus Corning II), John Pankow (as Charlie Ryan) and Peter Scolari (as Peter Noonan). Previews start September 4th, opens September 20, 2018
**Girl from the North Country: Public Theater, 425 Layette Street. The Public Theater presents the North American premiere of Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country, featuring the songs of Bob Dylan. Girl from the North Country originally premiered at London’s Old Vic. The show stars Todd Almond (as Elias Burke), Jeannette Bayardelle (as Mrs. Neilson), Stephen Bogardus (as Nick Laine), Sydney James Harcourt (as Joe Scott), Caitlin Houlahan (as Kate Draper), Robert Joy (as Dr. Walker), Marc Kudisch (as Mr. Burke), Luba Mason (as Mrs. Burke), Tom Nelis (as Mr. Perry), David Pittu (as Reverend Marlowe), Colton Ryan (as Gene Laine), Kimber Sprawl (as Marianne Laine), and Mare Winningham (as Elizabeth Laine), with Matthew Frederick Harris, John Schiappa, Rachel Stern, and Chelsea Lee Williams. Previews start September 11th, opens October 1, 2018
Final Follies: Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street. To honor A.R. Gurney, Primary Stages kicks off its 2018-2019 season with a uniquely curated selection of three one-act plays: The Love Course, The Rape of Bunny Stuntz and the titular Final Follies. The Love Course, an observation of the culminating meeting of an undergraduate romantic literature course, co-taught by two of academia’s most eccentric professors; The Rape of Bunny Stuntz, an enigmatic story of an overburdened woman anxiously trying to keep her personal life from the throes of chaos while leading a rowdy community meeting; and the titular Final Follies, the last chapter in Gurney’s oeuvre of short plays examining WASP life in America, about a forlorn Manhattanite searching for the key to adulthood in the most truly, and literally, adult place imaginable. Directed by David Saint, starring Betsy Aidem (as Professor Carroway/Wilma), Colin Hanlon (as Nelson/Mike), Mark Junek (as Walter), Piter Marek (as Professor Burgess/Howie), Greg Mullavey (as Grandfather), Rachel Nicks (as Tanisha/Sally), and Deborah Rush (as Bunny Stuntz). Previews start September 12, opens October 2nd.
On Beckett: Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 West 22nd Street. Bill Irwin can’t escape Samuel Beckett. He has spent a lifetime captivated by the Irish writer’s language. In this intimate 90-minute evening, Irwin will explore a performer’s relationship to Beckett, mining the physical and verbal skills acquired in his years as a master clown and Tony Award-winning actor. Irwin’s approach to the comic, the tragic, to every side of Beckett’s work – including Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and Texts for Nothing – will allow audiences to experience the language in compelling new ways. Whether you’re encountering the Nobel Prize winner’s writing for the first time, or building on a body of Beckett knowledge. Staring Bill Iriwn, with Finn O’Sullivan. Previews start September 26th, opens October 3rd.
**Popcorn Falls: Davenport Theatre, 354 West 45th Street. Two-time Tony Award winner and Broadway favorite Christian Borle makes his New York directorial debut in James Hindman’s comedy about a small town with two actors playing over twenty roles in under ninety minutes. Welcome to Popcorn Falls, a small American town, whose only claim to fame – their namesake waterfall – has dried up. Now bankrupt, their last chance is a large grant that can only be used if the town produces a play in a week. Led by the Mayor and the local handyman, the enterprising townsfolk try to rise to the challenge and prove that art can save the world. Staring Adam Heller and Tom Souhrada. Previews start September 14th, opens October 8, 2018
Black Light: Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow Street. We loved Black Light at Joe’s Pub from February 12 to March 25, 2018, the Public Theater production of Black Light, created by Daniel Alexander Jones and starring his alter ego Jomama Jones, returns to off-Broadway for a limited engagement at the re-christened Greenwich House Theater. Previews start September 24th, opens October 10th.
Fireflies: Atlantic Theater Company – Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street. World premiere of Donja R. Love’s Fireflies, directed by Saheem Ali. Somewhere in the Jim Crow South, the sky is on fire. A pregnant Olivia’s fierce speech writing is the sole force behind her charismatic husband Charles and his successful Movement to galvanize people to march towards freedom. When four little girls are bombed in a church, Olivia and Charles’ marriage is threatened – as this tragedy and years of civil unrest leave Olivia believing that “this world ain’t no place to raise a colored child.” Starring Khris Davis (as Charles) and DeWanda Wise (as Olivia). Previews start September 26th, opens October 15th.
**Apologia: Roundabout Theatre Company – Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, 111 West 46th Street. Following an acclaimed run in London’s West End in 2017, Tony & Emmy Award winner Stockard Channing stars in Roundabout Theatre Company’s off-Broadway premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s Apologia, directed by Daniel Aukin. You do not mess with Kristin Miller. In the 1960s, she was a radical activist and political protester. Now a celebrated art historian, the publication of her memoir threatens to split her family apart. But Kristin has never been one to shy away from a fight. Apologia is a passionate, human and humorous clash of generations and beliefs—a lively look at yesterday’s rebels living in today’s reality. Stockard Channing (as Kristin Miller), Hugh Dancy (as Peter and Simon), Megalyn Echikunwoke (as Claire), Talene Monahon (as Trudi), and John Tillinger (as Hugh). Previews start September 27th opens October 16th.
**Mother of the Maid: Public Theater, 425 Layette Street. New York premiere of Jane Anderson’s Mother of the Maid, directed by Matthew Penn and starring six-time Academy Award nominee and three-time Tony & Emmy Award winner Glenn Close as the mother of Joan of Arc. Mother of the Maid tells the story of Joan of Arc’s mother, a sensible, hard-working, God-fearing peasant woman whose faith is upended as she deals with the baffling journey of her odd and extraordinary daughter. This riveting play is an epic tale told through an unexpected and remarkable new perspective and is a deeply moving drama about the glories and challenges of raising an exceptional child. Previews from start September 25th, opens October 17th.
**Ordinary Days: Clurman Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street. New York revival of Adam Gwon’s musical Ordinary Days, directed by Jonathan Silverstein. Ordinary Days, a refreshingly humorous and inspiring musical about making simple connections in a chaotic city, tells the story of four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect in unexpected ways as they search for success, happiness, love, and taxis. Previews start October 2nd, opens October 17th.
**Gloria: A Life: Daryl Roth Theatre, 20 Union Square East. A new play about Gloria Steinem as a symbol of past, present and future change, directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus and starring Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Christine Lahti. Gloria: A Life weaves together personal and history-changing moments of the past fifty years, from consciousness among a few women, to the majority tipping point of national and global consciousness that we are now witnessing. Starting with Gloria’s early adventures as a rare female reporter, the revelations of the play include stories of the people who inspired her and led her to inspire others. Previews start October 2nd, opens October 18th.
Plot Points in Our Sexual Development: Lincoln Center Theater – Claire Tow Theater, 150 West 65th Street. Theo and Cecily want to be honest about their sexual histories, but what happens when telling the truth jeopardizes everything? A contemporary queer love story, Plot Points in Our Sexual Development explores gender, intimacy, and the dangers of revealing yourself to the person you love. Starring Jax Jackson and Marianne Rendon. Previews start October 6th, opens October 22nd.
School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play: Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street. A special return engagement for Jocelyn Bioh’s hit comedy. Previews start October 16th, opens October 22nd.
India Pale Ale: New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street. This is the world premiere of India Pale Ale, written by Jaclyn Backhaus and directed by Lucille Lortel Award nominee Will Davis. In a small Wisconsin town, a tight-knit Punjabi community gathers to celebrate the wedding of a traditional family’s only son, just as their strong-willed daughter announces her plans to move away and open a bar. As they come together for feasts filled with singing and dancing, one generation’s cherished customs clash with another’s modern-day aspirations, and ghosts and pirates from the family’s past linger in everyone’s thoughts – until one sudden event changes everything. Previews start October 2nd, opens October 23rd.
The Niceties: New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street. The Niceties, written by Eleanor Burgess and directed by Kimberley Senior. At an elite East Coast university, an ambitious young black student and her esteemed white professor meet to discuss a paper the college junior is writing about the American Revolution. They’re both liberal. They’re both women. They’re both brilliant. But very quickly, discussions of grammar and Google turn to race and reputation, and before they know it, they’re in dangerous territory neither of them had foreseen – and facing stunning implications that can’t be undone. Previews start October 12th, opens October 25th.
Eve’s Song: Public Theater, 425 Layette Street. This world premiere is written by Patricia Ione Lloyd and directed by Jo Bonney. Eve’s Song is a stunning, genre-bending new drama about the haunting of a black family in America. In the aftermath of a messy divorce and a daughter coming out as queer, Deborah is trying to keep things normal at home. But as black people continue to be killed beyond their four walls, the outside finds its way in, blurring the lines between family dynamics, politics, and the spirit world. How long can family dinners keep the dangers outside at bay? Filled with dark humor and boiling suspense, Eve’s Song examines our present racial climate through the eyes of a regular American family. Previews fstart October 23rd, opens November 7th.
Thom Pain (based on nothing): Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd. Street. Written by Will Eno and directed by Obie Award-winner Oliver Butler. This surreal and very real one-man show follows Thom Pain as he desperately, and hilariously, tries to save his own life…or at least make it into something worth dying for. Starring Michael C. Hall (as Thom Pain). Previews start October 23rd, opens November 11th.
**A Chorus Line – Gala Presentation: New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street. One night only, led by the musical’s original co-choreographer Bob Avian and original cast member Baayork Lee (who played Connie). In 1975, the stories of seventeen Broadway dancers were brought to life when A Chorus Line opened Off-Broadway. The musical was born of workshop sessions with actual Broadway dancers (eight of whom appeared in the original cast) who laid bare their personal stories and the challenges they faced in pursuit of their dreams. November 14th.
Wild Goose Dreams: Public Theater, 425 Layette Street. Written by Hansol Jung and directed by Leigh Silverman. Minsung is a “goose father,” a South Korean man whose wife and daughter have moved to America for a better life. Deeply lonely, he escapes onto the internet and meets Nanhee, a young defector forced to leave her family behind in North Korea. Amidst the endless noise of the modern world, where likes and shares have taken the place of love and touch, Minsung and Nanhee try their best to be real for each other. But after a lifetime of division and separation, is connection possible? Wild Goose Dreams is a strikingly original play with music about two people, from two cultures, forced to choose between family and freedom. Previews start October 30th, opens November 14th.
**Downstairs: Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street. Theresa Rebeck’s gripping new family drama, Downstairs, starring real-life siblings Tyne and Tim Daly, who will be appearing together on the New York stage for the first time ever. In Downstairs, Teddy is a bit lost and has found himself staying in his older sister Irene’s unfinished basement, which has infuriated her husband Gerry. As Irene and Teddy struggle with this less-than-ideal living arrangement, they quickly find themselves grappling with the burden of their family’s troublesome history. While trying to mend the past, the pair unearths a foreboding danger threatening to break the perilously thin bonds holding them together. Previews start November 7th, opens November 18th.
The Hard Problem: Lincoln Center Theater – Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, 150 West 65th Street. The New York premiere of Tom Stoppard’s The Hard Problem, directed by Jack O’Brien. Hilary is a young psychology researcher at the Krohl Institute for Brain Science where psychology and biology meet. If there is nothing but matter, what is consciousness? This is “the hard problem” facing science, and for Hilary the possibility of genuine altruism, without a hidden Darwinian self-interest, depends on the answer. Meanwhile she is nursing a private sorrow. She needs a miracle and is prepared to pray for one. Staring Eshan Bay, Adelaide Clemens, Nina Grollman, Katie Beth Hall, Chris O’Shea, Tara Summers, and Karoline Xu. Previews from October 25th, opens November 19th.
The Emperor’s Nightingale: Clurman Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street. The New York premiere of Damon Chua’s The Emperor’s Nightingale, directed by Chongren Fan. The Emperor’s Nightingale is an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Nightingale,” set in 18th-century China, bringing to light the youthful exploits of the future Emperor Qianlong who befriends a magical bird who helps him learn what he must do to be King. The play employs traditional Chinese lion dance, puppetry, and a pair of tigers and pandas to tell this fun, thrilling tale. Previews start November 26th, opens December 2nd.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. One of Dr. Seuss’ most loved (and loathed) characters returns to the New York stage for the 2018 Holiday season as How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical plays a limited engagement from December 13 to 30th.
**Blue Ridge: Atlantic Theater Company – Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street. The world premiere of Abby Rosebrock’s Blue Ridge, directed by Taibi Magar and starring Tony Award nominee Marin Ireland. A progressive high-school teacher with a rage problem retaliates against her unscrupulous boss and is sentenced to six months at a church-sponsored halfway house, where she attends to everyone’s recovery but her own. Set in Southern Appalachia, Blue Ridge is a pitch-dark comedy about heartbreak, hell-raising and healing. Previews start December 12th, opens January 7th.