Our guide to plays and musicals coming to New York stages and a few last-chance picks of shows that are about to close. Our reviews of open shows are at nytimes.com/reviews/theater.
Previews and Openings
‘AMERICAN SON’ at the Booth Theater (in previews; opens on Nov. 4). In Christopher Demos-Brown’s unsettlingly current play, a mixed-race couple, anxious for news of their missing son, confronts a Florida police officer. Directed by Kenny Leon, the drama stars Steven Pasquale and Jeremy Jordan, two actors best known from musical theater, and — Gladiators, rejoice! — Kerry Washington.
‘DOWNSTAIRS’ at the Cherry Lane Theater (previews start on Nov. 7; opens on Nov. 18). Sibling revelry. In Theresa Rebeck’s new play for Primary Stages, Tim and Tyne Daly portray a brother and sister under the same roof. When Tim’s Teddy moves into the basement of the home owned by Tyne’s Irene and her husband, Gerry (John Procaccino), what family secrets and mold will he unearth? Adrienne Campbell-Holt directs.
‘EVE’S SONG’ at the Public Theater (in previews; opens on Nov. 7). There is danger outside Deborah’s house and inside it, too. In this Public Theater play by Patricia Ione Lloyd, directed by Jo Bonney, Deborah (De’Adre Aziza) tries to shelter her children — a queer daughter and an awkward son — from a violent world. It may be closer than she thinks.
‘KING KONG’ at the Broadway Theater (in previews; opens on Nov. 8). This Broadway ingénue arrives with a roar. Based on the 1933 movie, the new musical, with songs by Eddie Perfect, a score by Marius de Vries and a book by Jack Thorne, is about a guy, a girl and one enormous gorilla puppet.
‘A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM’ at the Public Theater (in previews; opens on Nov. 2). The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit has taken its fairy forests to prisons, homeless shelters and senior centers and now returns to Lafayette Street. Jenny Koons directs an imaginative production of this woodland comedy. Nine actors play fairies, mortals and some very rude mechanicals.
‘NATURAL SHOCKS’ at WP Theater (in previews; opens on Nov. 8). With a title borrowed from “Hamlet” and a theme wrested from the headlines, Lauren Gunderson’s new play, directed by May Adrales, stars Pascale Armand as a woman preparing for a tornado that may not be all it seems. In April, Gunderson made the play available to any group that wanted to host a reading to fund-raise for gun control. This is its professional premiere.
‘THE THANKSGIVING PLAY’ at Playwrights Horizons (in previews; opens on Nov. 5). Thanksgiving: a nearly 400-year-old tradition that originally involved a meal of deer, corn and shellfish, and a chance for the children of today to reinscribe some heartwarming colonial narratives. In Larissa Fasthorse’s satire, a quartet of more-progressive-than-thou teaching artists tries to create a more perfect pageant. Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs.
‘USUAL GIRLS’ at the Black Box Theater in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theater (in previews; opens on Nov. 5). Ming Peiffer’s semi-autobiographical play at the Roundabout Underground stars Midori Francis as Kyeoung, an Asian-American girl growing up in a world that doesn’t seem to want her — or wants her for some very wrong reasons. Tyne Rafaeli directs a cast that includes Jennifer Lim, Ryann Redmond and Raviv Ullman.
‘WAITING FOR GODOT’ at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (previews start on Nov. 2; opens on Nov. 3). Vladimir, Estragon and the occasional moldy carrot return to their leafless tree in the Druid’s production of Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece, part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. Garry Hynes directs a cast that includes Garrett Lombard, Aaron Monaghan, Rory Nolan and Marty Rea. Let’s go.
‘OKLAHOMA’ at St. Ann’s Warehouse (closes on Nov. 11). Your honey lamb and you have only a few more chances to see Daniel Fish’s radical and immersive reimagining of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. When Ben Brantley and Jesse Green reviewed it, both gave it a critic’s pick, with Green writing that for the most part Fish “is audacious in ways that feel dead-on and delightful.”
‘ON BECKETT’ at the Irish Repertory Theater (closes on Nov. 4). In this almost-solo show, Bill Irwin, scholar and clown, interrogates his relationship with the craggy playwright Samuel Beckett. Through Irwin’s performance of excerpts from the works he has spent a whole career wrestling with, the show, Ben Brantley writes, “illuminates the notoriously opaque writings of Beckett without ever betraying their ineffable heart.”
‘RAGS PARKLAND SINGS THE SONGS OF THE FUTURE’ at Ars Nova (closes on Nov. 10). A hard-travelin’ bard departs our neck of the solar system. In this inventive, poignant folk opera, written and performed by Andrew R. Butler, Rags appears onstage at an underground club on Earth and tells us, wrenchingly, about America 250 years from now. Directed by Jordan Fein, this musical is both a stealthily political show and an outright toe tapper.
‘SAKINA’S RESTAURANT’ at the Minetta Lane Theater (closes on Nov. 11). Get your orders in now. Audible’s revival of Aasif Mandvi’s one-man, many-entree show about a family-run Indian restaurant, which first premiered 20 years ago, finishes its run. “At its funniest, which is often also its most uncomfortable, it has gained a new resonance,” Elisabeth Vincentelli wrote of Kimberly Senior’s production.
‘WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME’ at New York Theater Workshop (closes on Nov. 4). In this visceral show, the playwright Heidi Schreck attempts to recreate a speech she delivered in American Legion halls as a teenager. The result is both a constitutional law seminar and a memoir of her family’s history with domestic violence. Ben Brantley called it “an endlessly open-ended conversation.”
Source: Read Full Article