20 theater shows to see this winter
Classics, new musicals, wild experiments---so many reasons to come in from the cold.
Thu Dec 1 2011
Untitled Feminist Show
Untitled Feminist Show
Come for the naked chicks, stay for the savage deconstruction of feminist ideology. Young Jean Lee has mocked the Asian identity-politics play, the black identity-politics play, historical drama and Shakespearean tragedy. Now the ferociously talented writer-director goes after her own vagina. Jan 12--28. Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 W 37th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (youngjeanlee.org). $25.
Gob Squad's Kitchen
German performance collective Gob Squad reconstructs Pop Art icon Andy Warhol's avant-garde films to investigate the shaky boundaries between artificiality and authenticity, the past and the present, glossy surfaces and murky interiors. Jan 19--Feb 5. Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St between Astor Pl and E 4th St (publictheater.org). $60--$70.
How I Learned to Drive
New York's first revival of the 1997 Paula Vogel coming-of-age memory play stars Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me If You Can) and Elizabeth Reaser (of the Twilight franchise). The Second Stage Theatre production is helmed by the excellent Kate Whoriskey. Previews start Jan 24; opens Feb 13. Second Stage Theatre, 305 W 43rd St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (2st.com). $75.
After her smart and affecting 100 Saints You Should Know, playwright Kate Fodor returns with this timely and bittersweet comedy about love in the age of Zoloft. Meena is a romantically unfulfilled woman who takes part in an experimental trial for a cutting-edge antidepressant. Ethan McSweeney directs the Primary Stages world premiere. Jan 24--Mar 3. 59E59, 59 E 59th St between Madison and Park Aves (primarystages.org). $35--$65.
Playwright Gabe McKinley used to work for The New York Times, so we should assume he has some inside dope for this story, a thinly veiled fictional retelling of the 2003 Jayson Blair scandal. Jay, a fast-rising black reporter at the Times, finds his journalistic dreams going down in flames with charges of plagiarism. This Atlantic Theater Company production is being produced off-site at the Signature Theatre Company while its Chelsea home continues being renovated. Jan 25--Mar 11. Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space, 555 W 42nd St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (atlantictheater.org). $65.
One of Broadway's most notorious musical disasters (it even inspired a book about flops called Not Since Carrie...) returns Off Broadway in a revised revival. The MCC Theater production of the horror-laced tuner is directed by Stafford Arima and stars Molly Ranson as a socially awkward teen with a lot on her mind. Previews start Jan 31; opens Mar 1. Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St between Bleecker and Hudson Sts (mcctheater.org). $89--$149.
We would walk ten miles in a snowstorm to see F. Murray Abraham do dinner theater, but luckily, we won't have to travel that far. The forceful, magnetic performer (one of the best Shylocks we've ever seen) plays the title role in Bertolt Brecht's seldom-produced history lesson about science, power and political survival. Brian Kulick directs. Feb 1--Mar 11. Classic Stage Company, 136 E 13th St between Third and Fourth Aves (classicstage.org). $75.
Merrily We Roll Along
In the past decade, there have been revivals of nearly every major musical by composer-lyricist god Stephen Sondheim. Now comes one of the trickiest: This 1981 high-concept, reverse-chronological look at friendship, getting older and selling out. Although Merrily tanked on Broadway after only 68 performances, the score is simply thrilling—packed with jubilant fanfares, heartbreaking ballads, breathless patter numbers and, of course, the jaw-dropping lyrics. Can director James Lapine rescue the work, even in an Encores! concert version? He'll have plenty of help from stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Colin Donnell. Feb 8--19. New York City Center, 131 W 55th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (nycitycenter.org). $25--$115.
Death of a Salesman
Although this revival of the Arthur Miller 1949 classic will run through the spring, you will want to get your tickets early; it's going to be a very hot ticket. And no surprise: Legendary director Mike Nichols has the awesome Philip Seymour Hoffman as capitalist casualty Willy Loman. Linda Emond and Andrew Garfield costar as Linda and Biff, respectively. Previews start Feb 13; opens Mar 15. Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W 47th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave (telecharge.com). Note: Tickets will go on sale Dec 17. $46.50--$131.50.
Latin pop star Ricky Martin is rabble-rousing Che, Michael Cerveris is Juan Pern, and Argentine warbler Elena Roger is Eva in the first Broadway revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's landmark 1979 musical. Michael Grandage directs the bombastic tale of love, power and revolution in South America. Previews start Mar 12; opens Apr 5. Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway at 46th St (evitaonbroadway.com). $75--$155.