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the Object Lesson
Photograph: Joan Marcus

You have to see these five Off Broadway shows before they close

By David Cote
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While there are plenty of Broadway shows you can catch in April or even in June, Off Broadway’s best offerings often play limited runs. Case in point: Here’s a handful of shows we highly recommend that you might consider getting to in the next three weeks. After that, they’re history.

The Object Lesson
What is it? Master performer Geoff Sobelle navigates a roomed crammed top to bottom with boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff in this immersive delight.
When does it close? Mar 19
What did our reviewer say? “[T]he droll and deft Sobelle…digs through wreckage and pulls out surprising items from boxes, monologuing on meaning and provenance. If you didn’t catch this startlingly original show when it premiered at BAM three years ago…treat yourself to this limited run.”

Frontiéres sans Frontières
What is it? Three kids in an unidentified refugee camp learn survival tips in this darkly satirical piece at the Bushwick Starr.
When does it close? Mar 25
What did our reviewer say? “Phillip Howze's exciting piece is actually a savage burlesque, a clear-eyed bouffon treatment of war…Dustin Wills directs an incredible cast. Rachel Leslie, Mitchell Winter and Ceci Fernandez are crackerjack commedia performers, and Emma Ramos should win a prize for this.”

Villa
What is it? Three women on a committee debate the specifics of a memorial dedicated to the site of a horrific torture facility.
When does it close? Apr 1
What did our reviewer say? “A masterful realist with a talent for scene selection, Calderón has an effortless way of devising a concrete conversation (a family reunites, actors rehearse, a committee meets) that bleeds red with political and metaphysical implications.”

Linda
What is it? British actor Janie Dee stars as a successful businesswoman trying to fight the invisibility of women over 50.
When does it close? Apr 2
What did our reviewer say? “Penelope Skinner’s [play] raises important questions with bracing rhetorical force, and Lynne Meadow’s MTC production has two huge assets: Walt Spangler’s stunner of a rotating set, which helps create cinematic montage effects, and, especially, Dee’s superb turn as the title character, at once indomitable and vulnerable.”

Wakey, Wakey
What is it? Death and dying are the subjects of Will Eno’s ruefully funny and weirdly compelling new play, which features an utterly magnetic performance by Michael Emerson.
When does it close? Apr 2
What did our reviewer say? “January LaVoy, ever radiant with a touch of mystery, arrives late as a caregiver, and here Emerson shifts into an elderly man actually facing his final minutes. You know how great actors have the ability to age decades right before your eyes? That happens here, and it's a pure astonishment.”

Follow David Cote on Twitter: @davidcote       

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