Hurricanes, snowstorms, just waiting on the plague of locusts this month. I'm headed off to London for some theater this month for my birthday (hope I don't bring any bad weather luck with me). But if you're looking for some New York theater recommendations for friends and family, this is my monthly report.
...Out of Towners/Tourists/Once a Year Theater Goers
Glengarry Glen Ross: Al Pacino might be the biggest name in the cast but I hear Bobby Cannavale steals the show as the leading player Ricky Roma in this, the second most famous play about salesmen. Pacino plays the struggling old timer, Shelly Levene. The David Mamet play might be something non-theater folks will know from the 1992 James Foley film staring Al Pacino (as Ricky Roma), Jack Lemmon, and Alec Baldwin. Expect swearing and machismo. Prices are quite high for this show with a good deal of the theater being sold as premium seating but you can give standing room tickets a try for a cheaper option.
The Other Josh Cohen: This is the last weekend! A must see
feel-good, rom-com of sorts.
Affordable tickets are available.
Neil Diamond-style music with catchy tunes and comic lyrics. My interview with the co-creator and star here.
Annie: See October recommendations.
Newsies: See October recommendations. Discount tickets here.
...The More Adventurous, But Not Too Too Weird
The Mystery of Edwin Drood: An unusual who-done-it murder mystery and musical where the audience gets a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure ending. Audiences members get to participate in selecting certain actions for the characters and everyone votes on the ending. In the style of a Victorian music hall show, this unfinished Dickens novel comes to life with the likes of Mildly Bitter favorite Will Chase, Stephanie J. Block, Jessie Mueller, Broadway legend Chita Rivera.
The Performers: If you can handle a certain amount of bawdy language, some simulated sexual acts and sexy clothing then you might enjoy this new play by David West Read. Starring Cheyenne Jackson as porn star Mandrew Rod-dick and Henry Winkler (the Fonz!) as porn legend Chuck Wood, this quick 90 minute play is about relationships, intimacy, and who we want to go home to at the end of the day. It also stars Ari Graynor, Alicia Silverstone, and Daniel Breaker. Despite its setting at the Adult Film Awards in Las Vegas it is a lot more sweet than salty. And it's quite funny. Cheyenne Jackson is shirtless and pants-less for a lot of the opening scene and that is worth the price of admission.
See October recommendations. Winner of Best Musical. My review of the
Off-Broadway version of this show here.
...Snobs/Theater Aficionados/Those Who Like It Weird
Mies Julie: Award winning production of the August Strindberg play adapted by a South African theater troupe. It gained a lot of attention at the recent Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As St. Ann's Warehouse reopens in its new location in DUMBO, Mies Julie is the work that will launch the new season. A contemporary setting in post-apartheid South Africa breathes new life into this well known classic play.
The Whale: A morbidly obese gay man and the oddball collection of people in his life, The Whale shows off beautiful writing, a strong acting ensemble, smart direction and a huge heart. My review here.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: See October recommendations. My review here. Discount tickets here.
Wooster Group's Hamlet: See October recommendations. Extended for a few more performances. A truly unusual Hamlet that will have you thinking more about the artifice of cinema and theater than Hamlet itself. Another terrific performance by Scott Shepherd.
And for those advance purchases you might want to be making...
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof will be coming to Broadway in December. It stars everyone's favorite president Ben Walker (Vampire Hunting Lincoln or Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and film star Scarlett Johannson. Discount tickets are available here.
I'm also really excited for previews to start in January for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella starring Laura Osnes (Bonnie & Clyde) and Santino Fontana (Sons of the Prophet).