20 theater shows to see this winter

Classics, new musicals, wild experiments---so many reasons to come in from the cold.



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  • Krapp's Last Tape

  • Close Up Space

  • Photograph: Michael J. Lutch

    Porgy and Bess

  • The Road to Mecca

  • It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later

  • Photograph: Rob Kalmbach


  • Wit

  • World of Wires

  • Mission Drift

  • Richard III

Krapp's Last Tape

Krapp's Last Tape
The great English character actor John Hurt (most recently seen in Melancholia and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) reprises his turn in Samuel Beckett's monodrama about aging and regret. Last time we caught Hurt spooling through Krapp's memoirs on reel-to-reel, it was cinematically, in the Beckett on Film collection. Through Dec 18. BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St between Ashland and Rockwell Pls, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (bam.org). $25--$125.

Close Up Space
David Hyde Pierce stars as a harried (what else?) book editor in Molly Smith Metzler's publishing-world comedy, directed by Leigh Silverman. This Manhattan Theatre Club premiere also stars the delicious Rosie Perez and adorable Michael Chernus (In the Wake). Through Feb 5. Manhattan Theatre Club, 131 W 55th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (mtc-nyc.org). $80.

Porgy and Bess
Stephen Sondheim grumped about this revised version of the classic musical-operetta when it played Boston earlier this year. But despite fears that antihype would kill a Broadway run, it's coming to Broadway. Diane Paulus (Hair) directs the production, with a tweaked book by Suzan-Lori Parks. And when you see Audra McDonald as Bess, you'll know why nothing could have stopped this transfer. Previews start Dec 17; opens Jan 12. Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W 46th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave (porgyandbessonbroadway.com). $65--$135.

The Road to Mecca
Rosemary Harris, Jim Dale and Carla Gugino star in Athol Fugard's Ibsenesque drama about a reclusive artist and a conservative pastor who's determined to stick her in a nursing home. Gordon Edelstein directs the three-character play, set in South Africa and last seen in New York in 1988. Previews start Dec 17; opens Jan 17. American Airlines Theatre, 227 W 42nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (roundabouttheatre.org). $67--$117.

It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later
English stand-up monologuist Daniel Kitson offers a new show "about everything and nothing." Having seen his patented brand of brainy, neurotic, stutter-filled storytelling, that sounds about right. Jan 3--29. St. Ann's Warehouse, 38 Water St between Dock and Main Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn (stannswarehouse.org). $25.

Waterwell, one of TONY's favorite experimental ensembles, splices together the 1975 best-seller about a schoolteacher's dangerous sexual awakening and glam rock to create a theatricalized concert album. Jan 4--15. Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St between Astor Pl and E 4th St (publictheater.org). $20.

This acerbic medical drama was a critical and commercial hit Off Broadway in 1995, but it never came to Broadway—until now. Manhattan Theatre Club revisits Margaret Edson's tale of an English scholar (played by Cynthia Nixon) who tries to overcome the agonies and indignities of dying by meditating on John Donne, among other things. Previews start Jan 5; opens Jan 26. Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave (mtc-nyc.org). $57--$116.

World of Wires
Experimental dazzler Jay Scheib unveils the final installment of his multimedia performance trilogy Simulated Cities/Simulated Systems with this adaptation of World on a Wire, the 1973 sci-fi film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In it, a scientist who pioneered a groundbreaking reality-simulation system finds himself trapped in his own simulation. January 6--21. The Kitchen, 512 W 19th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (thekitchen.org). $20.

Mission Drift
One of New York's premier troupes creating ensemble-devised plays, the TEAM presents its latest theatrical brainstorm. This time, the "epic musical" offers audiences an overflowing grab bag of topics and tropes: the American West, atom bombs, Elvis, cowboys, boom-and-bust economics and plenty of gospel and country ballads. Jan 8--28. Connelly Theater, 220 E 4th St between Aves A and B (theteamplays.org). $25.

Richard III
Kevin Spacey, not seen on a New York stage since 2007's A Moon for the Misbegotten, takes on Shakespeare's villainous, "bunch-backed toad." This production of the bloody history play, directed by Sam Mendes, marks the final offering of the Bridge Project, a three-year partnership uniting BAM, London's Old Vic and Neal Street. Jan 10--Mar 4. BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St between Ashland and Rockwell Pls, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (bam.org). $30--$130.

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