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
‘THE DEAD, 1904’ at the American Irish Historical Society (in previews; opens on Nov. 29). Is your soul swooning? Is your stomach rumbling? The Irish Repertory Theater’s dinner theater adaptation of James Joyce’s novella, which The New York Times called “an unusually sparkling affair,” returns for another holiday season. The American Irish Historical Society, a stunning Upper East Side townhouse, once again plays host.
‘THE ILLUSIONISTS: MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS’ at the Marquis Theater (performances start on Nov. 23). Do your eyes deceive you? Very probably. These glitzy prestidigitators — not to be confused with the “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” crowd — have returned to Broadway with more patter, more magic, more questionable outfits. This incarnation includes the “America’s Got Talent” finalists Light Balance.
‘NOURA’ at Playwrights Horizons (previews start on Nov. 27; opens on Dec. 10). The Iraqi-American writer and actress Heather Raffo’s new play is set at a family Christmas dinner. A silent night? Unlikely. Raffo (“Nine Parts of Desire,” which The Times called an “impassioned theatrical documentary”) stars as Noura, an Iraqi matriarch who has resettled in New York City and is now trimming the tree.
‘THE PRISONER’ at Theater for a New Audience (previews start on Nov. 24; opens on Dec. 10). In Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne’s fable, developed at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord and seen at London’s National Theater, a young man sits outside a prison, forbidden to accept help from passers-by. A parable of incarceration, physical and otherwise, and eventual redemption, the piece stars Hiran Abeysekera.
‘THE TRICKY PART’ at the Barrow Group (previews start on Nov. 29; opens on Dec. 2). Seth Barrish directs the actor Martin Moran as he revives his autobiographical monologue, a story of the sexual abuse he experienced as an adolescent. When it premiered in 2004, Ben Brantley wrote, “there is surely some redemption in rendering chaos with this kind of clarity.”
‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WANDA JUNE’ at the Duke on 42nd Street (closes on Nov. 29). A man who went away to war and returned after a long absence is about to disappear yet again. In the spring, when the Wheelhouse Theater Company presented an Off Off Broadway production of Kurt Vonnegut’s update on “The Odyssey” for the Vietnam era, Laura Collins-Hughes described it as a “shaggy but zingingly relevant comedy.”
‘SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY’ at the Lucille Lortel Theater (closes on Dec. 9). The girls of Jocelyn Bioh’s hilarious and devastating comedy about colorism, directed by Rebecca Taichman, are again about to graduate. When the play, set in Ghana, had its premiere last fall, Jesse Green wrote that the “nasty-teen comedy genre emerges wonderfully refreshed and even deepened by its immersion in a world it never considered.”
‘THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING)’ at the Pershing Square Signature Center (closes on Dec. 9). A lonely, logorrheic man finally runs out of words as the Signature’s revival of Will Eno’s career-making early work ends its run. Ben Brantley found that in this word-drunk monologue, now starring Michael C. Hall and directed by Oliver Butler, “it’s Mr. Eno’s love for and grasp of rhythmic language that most impress here.”
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