After Hurricane Sandy, downtown theaters offer $20 tickets

As power returns to lower Manhattan, 13 Off-Broadway shows—including four-star plays Don't Go Gentle, The Other Josh Cohen and Through the Yellow Hour—offer $20 seats.

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Photograph: Copyright Notice: Karen Almond

As TONY's Helen Shaw wrote about this week, Sandy did a real number on the downtown theater scene. Now that power is being restored, many shows are struggling to get back on their feet and recover their losses. This week you have a great way to help them—and help yourself in the process. In the spirit of communal recovery, many newly reopened shows are offering discounted tickets for all performances through Sunday, November 11: just $20 for shows that would ordinarily cost twice or three times that. Among the offerings are the feel-good musical The Other Josh Cohen, the sordid Through the Yellow Hour and four, count 'em, four new shows at the Public Theater (Giant, Sorry, The Twenty-Seventh Man and Wild with Happy). Below is a list of participating productions. You can buy tickets to all of them (except Checkers) via offbroadway.com, using the discount code "SANDY." Act fast—and get Off on a bargain.

Checkers

  • Price band: 2/4

Anthony LaPaglia and Kathryn Erbe play Richard and Pat Nixon in a new bioplay by Douglas McGrath (Bullets Over Broadway), which looks at the scandal-dogged politico's career-saving 1952 TV speech. Terry Kinney directs a cast that features, among others, Lewis J. Stadlen and Robert Stanton.

  1. Vineyard Theatre 108 E 15th St, between Union Sq East and Irving Pl
  2. Sun Dec 7
More info

Don't Go Gentle

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

The title of Stephen Belber’s Don’t Go Gentle is neatly packed. It alludes, of course, to Dylan Thomas’s famous villanelle “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” with its invocation that those facing death should “rage against the dying of the light.” And going gentle—going soft—is exactly what Lawrence (Michael Cristofer), a retired widower with stomach cancer, seems to be doing in the play. After decades as a righteously merciless judge, he takes on pro bono legal work for a young black woman, Tanya (the compelling Angela Lewis); soon he is treating her and her strapping teenage son, Rasheed (Maxx Brawer), like the children he never had. This does not sit well with the aimless, resentful children that he did have: Amelia (Jennifer Mudge), a stagnant housewife, and Ben (David Wilson Barnes), a jobless divorcé with a history of drug abuse. Read the rest of the review.

  1. Lucille Lortel Theatre 121 Christopher St, between Bleecker and Hudson Sts
  2. Sat Nov 3 - Sun Nov 4
More info

Falling

  • Rated as: 2/5
  • Price band: 2/4

It makes sense that Deanna Jent’s semiautobiographical play started out as an essay. The dysfunctional-family drama, which centers on the mother of a severely autistic 18-year-old, has an oddly detached quality—kind of like a matriarch who routinely dulls her problems with wine. At first, Tami (Julia Murney, consistently strong) and Bill (Daniel Pearce) seem to have everything under control with the hulking Josh (Daniel Everidge, nicely underplaying the illness), who giggles like a two-year-old when he plays with feathers or watches Curious George DVDs. Unfortunately, he also has tantrums like a toddler, and at 200-plus pounds, he can do a lot of damage, both physically and emotionally. Read the rest of the review.

  1. Minetta Lane Theatre 18 Minetta Ln, between Sixth Ave and MacDougal St
  2. Sun Jan 4
More info

Fuerza Bruta

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

This visually impressive dance-rave thrill ride from Buenos Aires—half techno party, half avant-garde mood piece—includes a glum urban everyman on a treadmill, wet girls flopping onto a plastic ceiling and lots of angry stomp-dancing. Neither director Diqui James nor his energetic ensemble seems to care much about what it all means.—David Cote

  1. Daryl Roth Theatre 101 E 15th St, at Union Sq East
  2. Until Sun Jan 5
Buy tickets

Giant

  • Price band: 3/4

Based on Edna Ferber’s sprawling 1952 novel about greed, lust and oil in postwar Texas, Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson's ambitious new musical comes to the Public Theater after an acclaimed run in Washington, D.C. Staged by Michael Greif (Rent), Giant will be yet another chance to see if the talented but often difficult LaChiusa has found the right subject for his considerable musical gifts. The very promising cast includes Bobby Steggert, Kate Baldwin and Michele Pawk.

  1. Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Until Sun Dec 16
More info

The Golden Land

  • Price band: 3/4

The National Yiddish Theatre–Folksbiene, now 97 years young, delves into Jewish immigrant history (both at the turn of the 20th century and the World War II era) with a revival of Zalmen Mlotek and Moishe Rosenfeld's 1985 musical. Bryna Wasserman directs the bilingual (Yiddish-English) production.

  1. Baruch Performing Arts Center 151 E 25th St, between Lexington and Third Aves
  2. Until Sun Jan 6
More info

The Other Josh Cohen

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The two writer-stars of The Other Josh Cohen, a very winning portrait of a loser, wear their musical like a comfy flannel shirt. Steve Rosen plays the title role: a menschy schlub, with a mustache as droopy as his romantic prospects, whose apartment has been robbed of everything but a single Neil Diamond CD. David Rossmer plays the title role as well, but a year later; his Josh, who narrates the show, is clean-shaven, fitter and happier. So we know from the start that, though the world may seem to conspire against him, Josh’s lot is bound to improve—a process that begins with a check for $56,000 that he receives by mistake in the mail. Will he cash it, or will decency stop him? What would Neil Diamond do? Read the rest of the review.

  1. SoHo Playhouse 15 Vandam St, between Sixth Ave and Varick St
  2. Until Sun Nov 11
More info

Sorry

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Writer-director Richard Nelson throws more political discord at the Apple family of Rhinebeck, New York, in the third play of his highly topical trilogy. (This one takes place—and opens—on Election Night.) Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders, J. Smith-Cameron and Jon DeVries reprise the roles they played in the previous two plays, That Hopey Changey Thing and Sweet and Sad.

  1. Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Until Sun Dec 2
More info

Stomp

  • Price band: 3/4

This shrewd garbage heap of clog dancing, prop comedy and chest-thumping percussion spins out impressive (if numbing) variations on vaudeville by way of English punk.—David Cote

  1. Orpheum Theater 126 Second Ave, between St. Marks Pl and E 7th St
  2. Fri Oct 24 - Wed Dec 31
Buy tickets

A Summer Day

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

“Nothing much happens here, it’s true,” says a young woman in Jon Fosse’s A Summer Day. “But that’s just what we wanted.” The same could be said of Fosse’s evanescent drama, which adapter-director Sarah Cameron Sunde unfolds like a burial shroud. A somber Karen Allen begins the play looking out of a window and down at the sea; soon she retreats to the sidelines, where she wistfully watches a younger version of herself (Samantha Soule) look out of the window and down at the sea. In the course of the play, in fact, all six characters spend time at that window, looking down at that sea, and their talk is no less spare and repetitive. Read the rest of the review.

  1. Cherry Lane Theatre 38 Commerce St, at Seventh Ave South
  2. Until Sat Dec 8
More info

Through the Yellow Hour

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Prolific, bewildering and uneven yet ever-questing, playwright Adam Rapp is as brave as he is foolish. That’s how he can fearlessly begin a play of broad imaginative scope, but be silly enough to think that he can finish it. So we have Through the Yellow Hour, a jagged survival thriller in which Islamofascists have invaded New York and are castrating men. Nurse Ellen (Hani Furstenberg) has been holed up in her partially bombed Lower East Side apartment for 52 days, hoping for her husband’s return. One day, she takes in a female infant from junkie mother Maude (Danielle Slavick), who Ellen hopes to trade for…well, it’s unclear what bargain our pistol-packing hero intends to strike. Yellow Hour is full of narrative feints and cryptic clues; it’s extravagantly grim and lurid, with heaps of violence, nudity and drug abuse. Gunfire crackles in the distance. Scenes spool out in crepuscular murk. For its first 75 minutes, this pulpy shocker has you by the short hairs. After that, though, it loses its grip. Read the rest of the review.

  1. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater 224 Waverly Pl, between Perry and W 11th Sts, second floor
  2. Until Sat Nov 10
More info

The Twenty-Seventh Man

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Barry Edelstein directs the world premiere of Nathan Englander's tale of imprisoned Yiddish writers who find warmth amid the gloom of Stalin's Russia, adapted from Englander's own short story. The heimische cast includes Ron Rifkin, Chip Zien and Noah Robbins.

  1. Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Until Sun Dec 16
More info

Wild with Happy

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

The season is young, but I predict the award for Scene Stealer of the Year will go to Sharon Washington as Aunt Glo, a braying, ghetto-fabulous busybody in a leopard-print tracksuit. Aunt Glo makes her first appearance in Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy mid-rant over her nephew’s decision to cremate his recently deceased mother, her sister (“Our people just don’t do that,” she protests). Popping suspicious pills and firing rubber bullets of folk wisdom, Glo barrels into her late sibling’s bedroom, berating a grief-numbed Gil (Domingo) while shamelessly ransacking the dead woman’s armoire, shoes and all. Glo is the flashiest zany in Domingo’s sweet but shaggy defense of fantasy as a balm against reality. Read the rest of the review.

  1. Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Sun Nov 23
More info


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