Category Archives: Theatre listings

OFF-oFF THE (4th) WALL:  NEW SHOWS ANNOUNCED, 4/8–4/14, 2024 ·

Discovering the vibrant landscape of Off and Off-Off Broadway reveals a tapestry of diverse narratives and artistic innovations that defy conventional norms. Here’s a glimpse into the upcoming performances that promise to captivate audiences with their unique storytelling and creative prowess.

Off and Off-Off Broadway Shows

  1. Scarlett Dreams (Drama) blends reality and fantasy when a VR fitness app transports a woman into a mysterious virtual world. Previews began April 6 with Opening Night set for April 15 at Greenwich House Theater (27 Barrow St, New York, NY). Written and Directed by S. Asher Gelman, the cast features Brittany Bellizeare, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Caroline Lellouche, and Boris Anthony York.–Jim Byk/Shane Marshall Brown/Nina Marie Ward
  2. Winesday: The Wine Tasting Musical (Musical, Comedy) opens May 8 at The Jerry Orbach Theater at The Theater Center (216 W 42nd St, New York, NY). A hilarious look at a group of women who use a book club or yoga class as an excuse to indulge in wine and share their lives. Each scene is paired with a wine tasting for the audience. Book & Lyrics by Jenne Wason, Music by Joseph Benoit, Directed by Jamibeth Margolis, Musical Director Alec Bart. Starring Dawn Cantwell, Jennifer Diamond, Debra Thais Evans, Shannen Hofheimer, and Amanda Lea Lavergne–Joe Trentacosta
  3. Lighthouse Series at SoHo Playhouse (April 18 – May 5) (230 Thompson St, New York, NY) This competition showcases new works by NYC up-and-coming talents. Each night features a group of short plays. Winners move on to the next round and an overall winner is chosen for a full production in 2025. Visit https://www.sohoplayhouse.com/lighthouse-series for the full lineup.–David Gibbs
  1. Awkward Teenage Years (Comedy Storytelling) FRIGID New York and Pale Girl Productions (Will Clegg and Grant Bowen, producers) bring you a night of hilarious true stories about the agonies and triumphs of adolescence. Storytellers share their experiences with first loves, academic struggles, finding your tribe, and navigating the awkward journey of growing up. Hosted by Will Clegg, this month’s lineup features Adam Selbst, David Hu, Hamdan Azhar, Bailey Swilley, and more. Catch it on Wednesday, May 1st at 7:30 PM at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009). Tickets are $15 and available online at https://www.frigid.nyc/event/6897:26/ –Emily Owens
  2. Redemption Story (Drama) The Associates Theater Ensemble presents a new drama by Peregrine Teng Heard, directed by Sarah Blush. Set in a 1971 Los Angeles diner, Redemption Story explores themes of alienation, complicated family dynamics, and self-discovery. Connie Lee, a faded actress haunted by past mistakes, is forced to confront them when a young man enters the diner. Redemption Story runs May 4-19 at the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre at the A.R.T./New York Theatres (502 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019). Press performances are Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, May 5 at 7:30 PM, with opening night on Monday, May 6 at 7:30 PM. The show runs approximately 100 minutes with no intermission.–Emily Owens
  3. In the Common Hour (Abstract, Phantasmagoric Multimedia Performance Piece) The New Stage Theatre Company (NTSC) presents “In the Common Hour,” an abstract and phantasmagoric multimedia performance piece conceived and directed by Ildiko Nemeth from an original text by Marie Glancy O’Shea, developed in collaboration with the ensemble. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Crossed Destinies series, the play explores the unspoken anxieties and desires of a group of travelers stranded at a Route 66 motel. Known for their bold visuals and dark humor, NTSC promises a unique theatrical experience. “In the Common Hour” runs April 19 to May 4 at New Stage Performance Space (36 W. 106th Street).—Jonathan Slaff

Note: While not technically Off-Off Broadway, the new musical Guns & Powder is also worth mentioning.

7. Guns & Powder (Musical)

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee – Producing Artistic Director; Michael Stotts – Executive Director) brings you a brand new musical based on the incredible true story of African American twin sisters, Mary and Martha Clarke.

Disguised as white men in the unforgiving landscape of the 1890s Texas Wild West, Mary and Martha embark on a daring adventure to save their family’s home. Their journey confronts them with complex issues of race, the enduring strength of family bonds, and the pursuit of self-discovery.  Runs April 4 – May 5, 2024 at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, New Jersey). Opening Night: April 14.–Emily Owens

Be part of Off and Off-off’s vibrant landscape!

(Gemini, Perplexity, and Chat GPT provided writing for this article.)

ABSOLUTELY EVERY SHOW IN THE NEW YORK CITY 2024 IN SCENA! ITALIAN THEATER FESTIVAL, 4/29-5/13! ·

(via Emily Owens)

The 11th annual In Scena! Italian Theater Festival, NYC’s premiere festival of Italian theater taking place in all five boroughs of NYC, April 29-May 13. Performances will take place at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU (24 West 12th Street New York, NY 10011-8604), Casa Belvedere (79 Howard Ave, Staten Island, NY 10301), Culture Lab LIC (5-25 46th Ave, Queens, NY 11101), Center For Italian Modern Art (421 Broome St 4th floor, New York, NY 10013), The Brick Aux (628 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211), The Atelier at Theaterlab (357 W 36th St. 4th floor, New York, NY 10018), BAAD (2474 Westchester Ave, Bronx, NY 10461), NOoSPHERE Arts (520 Kingsland Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222), and Playwrights Downtown (440 Lafayette St 4th floor, New York, NY 10003). 

All shows will be performed in Italian with projected English supertitles.

 

THE GENESIS OF REGENERATION (GENESI DEL RIGENERO) 

Written & Performed by Beppe Allocca

Directed by Beppe Allocca and Roberta Provenzani

An exhilarating storytelling that through biblical stories, fashion writers and artisans tells the origins of the rag-pickers (cenciaioli), the artisans from Prato (Tuscany) who have been recycling used clothing since 1850.  

Tue 4/30 at 7pm @ Casa Belvedere, Sun 5/5 at 7:30pm @ Culture Lab LIC & Fri 5/10 at 8pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo Running Time: 65 min

 

SCIARA – PRIMA C’AGGHIORNA

Written by Luana Rondinelli, Directed by Giovanni Carta

Performed by Luana Rondinelli and I Musicanti (Gregorio Caimi – chitarra, Enzo Toscano – violoncello, Debora Messina – singer)

Produced by I Musicanti

The compelling human and judicial story of Francesca Serio, the first woman to denounce the mafia and mother of Salvatore Carnevale, the trade unionist barbarously killed by the mafia on May 16, 1955. 

Wed 5/1 at 7pm @ Center for Italian Modern Art & Fri 5/3 at 8pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU Running Time: 73 min

 

THE GREAT MAGIC (LA GRANDE MAGIA)

Adapted from the original play by Eduardo De Filippo and directed by Rosario Sparno

Performed by Luca Iervolino, Antonella Romano & Rosario Sparno

Costumes by Alessandra Gaudioso, Magic Tricks Coach Massimiliano Foà

Produced by Casa del Contemporaneo

“Everything that happens before your eyes is just an illusion” On the 40th anniversary of one of the most important Italian playwrights Eduardo De Filippo’s death, Rosario Sparno presents his own adaptation for only three actors of “The Great Magic”, the 1948 wonderful play by De Filippo about theatrical illusion and obsessional delusion. 

Thu 5/2 at 7pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU & Sat 5/4 at 7:30pm @ Culture Lab LIC Running time: 66 min

 

HELP WANTED – SINGLE FEMINIST MOTHER OF A TEENAGE BOY LOOKS FOR SUPPORT (AAA CERCASI SOSTEGNO PER MADRE SINGLE E FEMMINISTA CON FIGLIO MASCHIO E ADOLESCENTE) 

Written & Performed by Monica Faggiani

Using the Stand-up style, the protagonist tells her story and her challenges as a feminist and as a mother of a teenage son. 

Sat 4/27 at Villa Charities in Toronto, Fri 5/3 at 6pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU & Sat 5/4 at 2pm @ The Brick Aux Running Time: 70 min

 

LIKE A LITTLE GRAIN OF SAND (COME UN GRANELLO DI SABBIA)

Written & Directed by Salvatore Arena and Massimo Barilla

Performed by Salvatore Arena

Set Design by Aldo Zucco, Original Music by Luigi Polimeni

Lighting Design by Stefano Barbagallo

Historical Consultants Giuseppe Gullotta & Nicola Biondo

Produced by Mana Chuma Teatro 

At the age of 18, Giuseppe Gulotta is forced to confess to the murder of two policemen in a small barracks in Alcamo. The crime hides an unspeakable mystery: statesmen who deal with neo-fascist groups, arms trafficking and drugs. In order to cover up the silence, any scapegoat would do. Through the “human” story of Giuseppe (but also those of Salvatore and Carmine – the other designated scapegoats) the play attempts to give justice to its personal dimension, that of a life nearly entirely taken away for dreadful reasons. The performance is the last chapter of the quadrilogy A Sud della Memoria that Mana Chuma has devoted to the contemporary history of Southern Italy. 

Mon 5/6 at 8pm @ Theaterlab & Fri 5/10 at 6pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU Running Time: 65 min

 

OPERA BUFFA!

By and With Maria Cassi and Leonardo Brizzi

Produced by Compagnia Maria Cassi 

Presented by Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU

Small “musical” jokes through musical gags, catchphrases, human and non-human tics, passing through musical arrangements ranging from jazz to classical and popular music. An almost mimed performance, as per Maria Cassi’s tradition, assisted for the occasion at the piano by Maestro Brizzi.

Tue 5/7 at 7pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU

 

THE VISIT (IL COLLOQUIO)

Written & Directed by Edoardo Di Pietro

Performed by Renato Bisogni, Alessandro Errico, Marco Montecatino

Assistant Director Ceciclia Lupoli, Costume Design by Federica Del Gaudio

Organization Martina Di Leva

Produced by Collettivo lunAzione

The visit is inspired by the admission system for weekly meetings with inmates at the Poggioreale prison in Naples. The tragicomic show presents situations experienced by women queuing to enter prison: a perpetual wait in daring and tense conditions, which outlines a symbolic humanity, crushed by the apparent impossibility of change. The actors were an integral part of the creative phase through a stage writing process and by participating in a series of interviews with women who have experienced or are experiencing deep ties with the penal institution. 

Wed 5/8 at 8pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU & Thu 5/9 at 7:30pm @ BAAD Running Time: 60 min

 

PERSONA METROPOLITANA

Written by Annachiara Vispi & Giulia Macrì

Performed by Valentina Ghelfi and Giulia Macrì

Music & Composition Lorenzo Saini

Presented in collaboration with Dominio Pubblico

This is Giulia. Like 55% of us, Giulia lives in a city. It is predicted that by 2050, almost 70% of us will live in a city – two thirds of the people on the planet. Giulia wonders if we’ll all fit. Giulia doubts it. A piece for an actor and a dancer set on an imaginary Rome metro carriage / Paris RER line / New York subway / seat on the Tube / last Dart home. In cities we feel invisible, Giulia thinks. Or free.

Sat 5/11 at 6pm @ NOoSPHERE Arts & Sun 5/12 at 3pm @ Playwrights Downtown Running Time: 60 min

 

THE SECOND COMING OF JOAN OF ARC (GIOVANNA D’ARCO – La rivolta)
Written by Carolyn Cage, Translated by Edy Quaggio
Directed by Ester Tatangelo and Luchino Giordana
Performed by Valentina Valsania

Assistant Director Giulia Cosentino, Music by Arturo Annecchino

Lighting Designer Diego Laboni, Set Design by Francesco Ghisu

Costume Design by Ilaria Capanna
Produced by Hermit Crab Production
Giovanna returns to share her story with contemporary women, unmasking through documents the misogyny of the male leaders of the Church, State and Army. A teenager fleeing from a violent and alcoholic father, from a destiny of wife and mother, which had already marked her mother and sister. Giovanna dies for the right to wear men’s clothes, she is a rebel, irreverent, more cunning than her judges, unrepentant and unswervingly faithful to her own vision.

Sat 5/11 at 8:30pm @ NOoSPHERE Arts & Sun 5/12 at 8pm @ Theaterlab

Running Time: 75 min

 

NOW ON BROADWAY: NEW SHOWS ROUNDUP (MARCH 21ST – APRIL 6TH, 2024) ·

The recent arrival of a powerful new production:

On Broadway:

The Who’s Tommy (Rock Musical):  Opened Thursday, March 28th, 2024 at the Nederlander Theatre. This new production of the iconic rock opera by The Who, with music and lyrics by Pete Townshend and book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff, tells the story of a deaf, blind, and mute young man named Tommy who overcomes his limitations and becomes a pinball champion. Directed by Des McAnuff.

Reception of The Who’s Tommy, from critics:

  • “The new staging by Des McAnuff is a marvel of theatrical invention, bursting with color, energy, and sheer rock-and-roll exhilaration.” – The New York Times
  • “While the story itself might feel a tad dated, the power of The Who’s music and the show’s undeniable theatricality make this a thrilling night out.” – Variety

Looking Ahead (April 7th – June 6th, 2024)

Eight exciting productions are on the horizon for the next two months! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming to Broadway and Off-Broadway:

Broadway:

  • The Outsiders (Musical):Opens Thursday, April 11th at the Shubert Theatre. This highly anticipated stage adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s classic coming-of-age novel, with music and lyrics by Justin Paul and Pasek F. Benj and book by Idris Elba and Johan Larson, follows the rivalry between the Greasers and the Socs, two teenage gangs in 1960s Tulsa, Oklahoma. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.
  • Lempicka (Play):Opens Sunday, April 14th at the Golden Theatre. This captivating play by Elaine May explores the life and art of Tamara de Lempicka, a Polish Art Deco painter known for her bold portraits and flamboyant lifestyle. Directed by Michael Blakemore.

Off-Broadway:

  • Agreement (Drama):Opens Thursday, April 11th at Irish Arts Center. A timely drama by Vanessa Garcia about a married couple navigating the complexities of international adoption. Directed by Jaime Castañeda.
  • King Lear (Play):Opens Wednesday, April 17th at The Public Theater. Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about an aging king who divides his kingdom amongst his daughters with disastrous results. This new production stars Oscar nominee Ruth Negga as King Lear. Directed by Oskar Eustis.
  • Mad Hatter Musical (Musical):Opens Tuesday, April 30th at New York Theatre Workshop. A world premiere musical based on the life of Lewis Carroll and the fantastical world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Featuring music by Rachel Carvin and book and lyrics by Melissa James Gibson. Directed by Moisés Kaufman.

Plus, three more shows to tantalize your theatrical taste buds!

  • Soft Power (Comedy):Opens Friday, May 3rd at Playwrights Horizons (Peter Jay Sharp Theater). A hilarious new satire by Tanya Saracho about a struggling American theater company that attempts to win back international funding with a controversial play. Directed by Mark Wing-Davey.
  • Cry, Wolf (Drama):Opens Monday, May 13th at MCC Theater (The Newman Theater). A powerful drama by Rajiv Joseph that explores themes of race, privilege, and the complexities of friendship on a college campus. Directed by Kimberly Gee.
  • Facsimile (Play):Opens Tuesday, May 28th at The Atlantic Theater Company (The Linda Gross Theater). A thought-provoking play by Deborah Zoe Laufer that examines the ethics of artificial intelligence and the nature of human connection. Directed by Trip Cullman.

Remember, this is just a glimpse into the vibrant theater scene that awaits! Stay tuned for more updates on exciting new shows and don’t forget to check your local listings for the latest information.

(Article written with Gemini and Perplexity.)

OFF-oFF THE (4th) WALL:  NEW SHOWS ANNOUNCED, 3/25-4/2, 2024  ·

Discovering the vibrant landscape of Off-Off Broadway reveals a tapestry of diverse narratives and artistic innovations that defy conventional norms. Here’s a glimpse into the upcoming performances that promise to captivate audiences with their unique storytelling and creative prowess.

Off and Off-Off Broadway Shows

    1.  Laura Benanti: Nobody Cares The Tony Award winner presents her own story, a comedic gem infused with original music created alongside Todd Almond. Directed by Annie Tippe, the show stars Laura Benanti alongside “Inner Demons” Barrie McLain and Chelsea Lee Williams. This captivating production delves into Benanti’s illustrious career, from her early days as an ingenue to her current status as a seasoned performer.

Catch this limited engagement from May 9 to June 2, 2024, spanning 18 performances only, at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane, New York City). Press inquiries are handled by Chris Boneau, Michelle Farabaugh, and Angela Yamarone of Audible Theater.

For those unable to attend in person, a recording of the live performance will be available globally on Audible as an Audible Original starting May 9, 2024–Michelle Farabaugh

  1. A Final Toast by Michele A Miller

The world premiere of “A Final Toast” by Michele A Miller, directed by Kathy Curtiss and presented by Renaissance Now Theatre & Film, unfolds at the Chain Theatre (312 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10018) from May 10 to 26, 2024. This poignant comedy delves into the intricate dynamics of families dealing with mothers entering dementia, featuring a stellar cast including Jana Robbins as Blanche, Jolie Curtsinger as Ella, Diane J Findlay as Carol, and Sachi Parker as Alice.–Jonathan Slaff

  1. Issue #9 by Briana Bartenieff

Making its world premiere, “Issue #9” written and directed by Briana Bartenieff, with music composed by J.H. Greenwell, takes the stage at Theater for the New City (155 First Ave.) from April 4 to 21. This horror musical unfolds a tragic tale fueled by adolescent bullying and the obsession with unattainable beauty ideals, leading to revenge and family tragedy.–Jonathan Slaff

  1. The Miser by Molière (adapted by David Chambers)

Experience the re-imagined version of Molière’s “The Miser,” adapted by David Chambers and directed by Lucie Tiberghien. Presented by Molière in the Park, this comedic masterpiece is set at LeFrak Center in Brooklyn, from April 27 to May 19, 2024. Delve into the absurdities and timeless truths of Harpagon’s world, brilliantly portrayed by a talented cast including MaYaa Boateng, Alana Raquel Bowers, Francesca Faridany, Lisa Gorlitsky, Lakisha May, Daniel Pearce, and Calvin Leon Smith.David Gibbs

  1. Segal Center Spring 2024 Season

The Segal Center at CUNY Graduate Center presents a vibrant lineup for Spring 2024, featuring events, readings, film screenings, and discussions around theatre and performance.  Highlights include celebrations of Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek, The New Black Fest, Robert Lyons and the Ohio Theatre, Rasaboxes, Nehad Selaiha, Jon Fosse, Marvin Carlson, World Voices On Migration, and the Segal Center Film Festival.  All events are free and open to the public–Frank Hentschker 

  1. Works & Process Presents Experiments in Opera: The Lives and Dreams of Nikola Tesla

Join Works & Process for an evening of opera in development, “The Lives and Dreams of Nikola Tesla,” featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo. This event, held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Peter B. Lewis Theater (1071 Fifth Avenue, NY), offers a glimpse into the creation of this new opera by Phil Kline and Jim Jarmusch, exploring Tesla’s life and inventions in a post-apocalyptic New York City.

Tickets: $35 to Choose-What-You-Pay URL works and process ON Works & Process worksandprocess.orgMichelle Tabnick 

Be part of Off-off’s vibrant landscape!

(Gemini, Perplexity, and Chat GPT provided writing  for this article.)

LEN CARIOU IN SEA DOG’S POIGNANT “TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE” (March 1-23) ·

(via DARR Publicity; Photo: Jeremy Varner)

Broadway legend Len Cariou, Sweeney Todd himself, joins Sea Dog Theater‘s Artistic Director Chris Domig (their friendship echoes Morrie & Mitch!) for a poignant journey in “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Mitch Albom‘s bestseller comes alive onstage, March 1-23, as a journalist reconnects with his ailing professor, finding life’s wisdom in their weekly talks.  Domig, touched by the pandemic’s impact on the elderly, discovered this timeless tale and knew just who to play Morrie: his good friend Cariou. Don’t miss this heartwarming production at St. George’s Church! (March 1-23, 209 E. 16th St., $35+

Visit: More info at https://www.seadogtheater.org

(Blurb written with Chat GPT and Bard)

NOW ON BROADWAY: SUNDAY, JANUARY 22 – SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 (NEW SHOWS ROUNDUP) ·

(Bard, the large language model from Google AI, provided information, insights, and materials for this article.)

ON BROADWAY:

Days of Wine and Roses

About: The new musical explores alcoholism’s grip on a married couple, based on the Oscar-winning film.

Opened at: The show is playing at Studio 54 and opened on January 28, 2024.

Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James (photo by Joan Marcus)

White Rose: The Musical:

  • About: An inspiring true story of teenage resistance against Nazi Germany, sung with uplifting melodies and powerful messages.
  • Opened at: Tony Kiser Theatre (334 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036) on Thursday, January 25, 2024.
  • Reviews:
    • Positive: Marilyn Stasio (Variety) highlighted the catchy music, uplifting message, and strong performances. Frank Rizzo (New York Theatre Guide) appreciated the historical accuracy and emotional impact of the musical.

White Rose: The Musical production shot

OFF-BROADWAY:

Jonah:

  • About: A suspenseful mystery unfolds at a prestigious boarding school as a student encounters a classmate shrouded in secrets.
  • Opened at: Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theatre (416 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036) on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.
  • Reviews:
    • Positive: Naveen Kumar (TheaterMania) commended the suspenseful plot, engaging performances, and exploration of teenage self-discovery. Roma Torre (New York Post) praised the play’s intelligence, sharp dialogue, and captivating mystery.

Jonah production shot

Noteworthy upcoming openings:

  • Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy: This satirical comedy about Russian trolls working in a disinformation factory opens on February 3 at the Vineyard Theatre.
  • The White Chip: This dark comedy about an alcoholic theatre director’s journey to recovery opens on February 1 at the MCC Theater.
  • Jonah: This intriguing play about teenage desire and deception opens on February 1 at the Roundabout Theatre Company.

 

RICHARD MAXWELL: ‘SAMARA’ (ONLY THROUGH MAY 14–REVIEW FROM NEW YORK) ·

By Bob Shuman

Richard Maxwell, a two-time Obie winner, has written a new drama—an anti-Western, set in deli milk crates (the imaginative scenic design is by Louisa Thompson)—that seems to miss home and identity.  Cultures have been taken away—and are mourned–in this piece—which has a poetry reading-, outside concert-like feel, especially given the inclusion of music by Steve Earle (and the mesmerizing uilleann pipes of Ivan Goff). Here, rain is being awaited, murders have taken place, and Maxwell finds himself meditating on being a father and raising children—he’s wiser, finding different ways to consider masculinity now.  Sam Shepard and Faulkner come to mind as reference points, but this really is more spiritually minded than its violence would indicate, and it could only be American, Americana.  So much is owed to the playwright Irene Fornes, in terms of the short scenes and unconscious inspirations, that one might suspect Maxwell was working with her workshop exercises. Maybe this hip, but less up-tight Maxwell, also owes something to his director, Sarah Benson (another Obie winner), and her clean direction, yet both have worked on harsher pieces, unrelenting ones: Samara, which could be referring to “tranquility,” stands in contrast to a similarly titled Maxwell play, The Good Samaritans—recently shown at Abrons Arts Center in February–a cold European-like concept work, important and brutal.  Here the lights are colored (Matt Frey designed them)—and even blink, while the other work showed the dead light of fluorescent tubes. 

The impulse of this reviewer is to say that Maxwell might be working artistically with the country’s return to nationalism.  As long ago as 2008, Split Britches wrote Miss America, in which they knew the nation was changing.  Today, an election has emphasized that it has.  The notion of thinking about this country’s past, earlier than the twentieth century, may be on the artistic mind, especially of course, given the success of Hamilton.  Instead of plays examining paralysis, new worlds of picaresque adventure may be inviting the imagination.  Maxwell might be hoping to make America remember itself again.

SAMARA

by Richard Maxwell
directed by Sarah Benson
with original music by Steve Earle

featuring:  Becca Blackwell, Vinie Burrows, Steve Earle, Roy Faudree, Ivan Goff, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Matthew Korahais, Paul Lazar, Jasper Newell, and Anna Wray

Set Design by Louisa Thompson; Costume Design: Junghyun Georgia Lee; Lighting Design: Matt Frey; Sound Design: Palmer Hefferan; Props: George Hoffmann and Greg Kozatek; Fight Director: J. David Brimmer; Choreographer: Annie-B Parson; Production Stage Manager: Rachel K. Gross; Assistant Stage Manager: Joanna Muhlfelder; Design: Studio Usher

Press:  John Wyszniewski, Rachel Shearer | Blake Zidell & Associates

Presnted at: Mezzanine Theatre
A.R.T./New York Theatres
502 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019

Visit Soho Rep: http://sohorep.org/samara

Photo Credits: Julieta Cervantes

Top: Vinie Burrows and Becca Blackwell; BottomL Jasper Newell 

‘THE NEW YORKER’ THEATRE LISTINGS, 5/1 PLAYDECK ·

Openings and Previews

In previews. Opens May 9.

3/Fifths

James Scruggs conceived and wrote this interactive piece, which transforms the theatre into a dystopian theme park called SupremacyLand, celebrating white privilege.

READ MORE »

3LD Art & Technology Center

Downtown

In previews. Opens April 24.

Anastasia

Darko Tresnjak directs this new musical, by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty, and Lynn Ahrens, drawn from the 1956 and 1997 films about the Russian Grand Duchess.

READ MORE »

Broadhurst

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens April 23.

The Antipodes

The playwright Annie Baker (“The Flick”) returns, with a piece about storytelling, directed by Lila Neugebauer and featuring Josh Charles, Phillip James Brannon, and Josh Hamilton.

READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

 

April 27. Closing soon

Babes in Toyland

Kelli O’Hara, Bill Irwin, Lauren Worsham, and Christopher Fitzgerald appear with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in the 1903 musical, conducted by Ted Sperling.

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Carnegie Hall

Midtown

Opens April 26.

Bandstand

Corey Cott and Laura Osnes play a war veteran and a widow who team up to compete in a radio contest in 1945, in this swing musical by Robert Taylor…

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Jacobs

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens April 23.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Christian Borle plays Willy Wonka in this musical version of the Roald Dahl tale, featuring new songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and a book by David Greig.

READ MORE »

Lunt-Fontanne

Midtown

 

In previews.

Derren Brown: Secret

Brown, an Olivier-winning British performer known for his feats of mind-reading and audience manipulation, presents an evening of “psychological illusion.”

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Atlantic Theatre Company

Chelsea

 

In previews. Opens April 27.

A Doll’s House, Part 2

Lucas Hnath’s play, starring Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, and Condola Rashad, picks up years after Ibsen’s classic leaves off, with the return of its heroine, Nora.…

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Golden

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens May 7.

Ernest Shackleton Loves Me

In this new musical by Joe DiPietro, Brendan Milburn, and Valerie Vigoda, a put-upon single mother (Vigoda) embarks on an Antarctic adventure with the famous explorer.

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Tony Kiser

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens May 4.

Happy Days

Theatre for a New Audience stages James Bundy’s Yale Rep production of the Beckett play, starring Dianne Wiest as a chatterbox half-buried in a mound of sand.

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Polonsky Shakespeare Center

Brooklyn

 

In previews. Opens April 20.

Hello, Dolly!

Bette Midler stars as the turn-of-the-century matchmaker Dolly Levi, in the Jerry Herman musical from 1964, directed by Jerry Zaks and featuring David Hyde Pierce.

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Shubert

Midtown

 

Opens April 19.

The Little Foxes

Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon trade off roles night to night in Manhattan Theatre Club’s revival of the 1939 Lillian Hellman drama, directed by Daniel Sullivan.

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Samuel J. Friedman

Midtown

 

In previews.

The Lucky One

The Mint revives A. A. Milne’s 1922 play, directed by Jesse Marchese, about two brothers whose enmity erupts when one of them lands in legal trouble.

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Beckett

Midtown

 

Opens May 3.

Mourning Becomes Electra

Target Margin stages Eugene O’Neill’s dramatic trilogy, which resets Aeschylus’ “Oresteia” in New England just after the Civil War. David Herskovits directs.

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Abrons Arts Center

Downtown

 

In previews. Opens May 4.

Pacific Overtures

John Doyle directs Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical from 1976, which recounts the opening of nineteenth-century Japan, starring George Takei as the Reciter.

READ MORE »

Classic Stage Company

Downtown

 

In previews. Opens April 30.

The Roundabout

As part of the “Brits Off Broadway” festival, Hugh Ross directs J. B. Priestley’s 1932 comedy, in which a man juggles his business foibles, his mistress, a…

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59E59

Midtown

 

In previews.

Seven Spots on the Sun

In Martín Zimmerman’s play, directed by Weyni Mengesha, a reclusive doctor in a town ravaged by civil war and plague discovers that he has a miraculous healing touch.

READ MORE »

Rattlestick

Downtown

In previews. Opens April 25.

Six Degrees of Separation

Allison Janney, John Benjamin Hickey, and Corey Hawkins star in Trip Cullman’s revival of John Guare’s play from 1990, about a young black con man who enters…

READ MORE »

Ethel Barrymore

Midtown

 

In previews.

Sojourners & Her Portmanteau

Ed Sylvanus Iskandar directs two installments of Mfoniso Udofia’s nine-part saga, which charts the ups and downs of a Nigerian matriarch.

READ MORE »

New York Theatre Workshop

Downtown

 

In previews. Opens April 27.

Twelfth Night

The Public’s Mobile Unit performs the Shakespeare comedy for free at its home base, after touring prisons, homeless shelters, and other local venues. Saheem Ali directs.

READ MORE »

Public

Downtown

 

In previews.

Venus

Suzan-Lori Parks’s play, directed by Lear deBessonet, is inspired by the life of Saartjie Baartman, a South African woman who became a nineteenth-century sideshow attraction because of her large…

READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

 

 

‘THE NEW YORKER’ THEATRE LISTING, 2/27 PLAYDECK ·

Opens March 1.

All the Fine Boys

Abigail Breslin stars in Erica Schmidt’s play at the New Group, in which two teen-age girls in nineteen-eighties South Carolina pursue their crushes and grapple with adulthood.

READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

Opens March 1.

Bull in a China Shop

Bryna Turner’s comedy, directed by Lee Sunday Evans for LCT3, follows forty years in the lives of the women’s-education pioneer Mary Woolley and her partner, Jeannette Marks.…

READ MORE »

Claire Tow

Uptown

 

In previews.

Come from Away

The Canadian duo Irene Sankoff and David Hein wrote this new musical, about a tiny Newfoundland town that was forced to accommodate thousands of stranded passengers on September 11, 2001.…

READ MORE »

Schoenfeld

Midtown

 

Through Feb. 26.

Escaped Alone

The Royal Court Theatre’s production of the Caryl Churchill comedy alternates between scenes of women chatting in a back yard and monologues recounting apocalyptic disasters.

READ MORE »

BAM Harvey Theatre

Brooklyn

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 21.

Everybody

In Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s latest work, a modern spin on the fifteenth-century morality play “Everyman,” the actor playing the main character is assigned by lottery each night. Lila Neugebauer…

READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

 

In previews.

The Glass Menagerie

Sally Field plays the redoubtable Southern matriarch Amanda Wingfield in Sam Gold’s revival of the Tennessee Williams drama, opposite Joe Mantello, as Tom.

READ MORE »

Belasco

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 23.

How to Transcend a Happy Marriage

Lincoln Center Theatre stages Sarah Ruhl’s play, featuring Lena Hall, Brian Hutchison, and Marisa Tomei, in which two married couples take an interest in a polyamorous woman.

READ MORE »

Mitzi E. Newhouse

Uptown

 

Opens Feb. 22.

If I Forget

The Roundabout presents Steven Levenson’s play, directed by Daniel Sullivan, about a professor of Jewish studies who clashes with his sisters on their father’s birthday. With…

READ MORE »

Laura Pels

Midtown

 

In previews.

Joan of Arc: Into the Fire

David Byrne and Alex Timbers follow up their Imelda Marcos disco musical, “Here Lies Love,” with this rock-concert retelling of the rise of Joan of Arc (Jo Lampert)…

READ MORE »

Public

Downtown

 

Opens Feb. 22.

Kid Victory

Liesl Tommy directs a new musical by John Kander and Greg Pierce, in which a teen-ager returns to his Kansas home town after a mysterious yearlong absence.

READ MORE »

Vineyard

Downtown

 

In previews.

The Light Years

The Debate Society’s latest piece, written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen and directed by Oliver Butler, is set at a theatrical spectacle at the 1893 Chicago World’…

READ MORE »

Playwrights Horizons

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 28.

Linda

In Penelope Skinner’s play, directed by Lynne Meadow for Manhattan Theatre Club, a senior executive pitches a radical idea to change how women her age are viewed.

READ MORE »

City Center Stage I

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 27.

The Moors

Jen Silverman’s play, a dark comic spin on Victorian novels, follows two sisters in the English countryside whose lives are upended by a governess and a hen; Mike Donahue…

READ MORE »

The Duke on 42nd Street

Midtown

In previews. Opens Feb. 19.

On the Exhale

Marin Ireland plays a professor whose life is upended by gun violence in Martín Zimmerman’s play, directed by Leigh Silverman for Roundabout Underground.

READ MORE »

Black Box, Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 23.

The Outer Space

Ethan Lipton wrote this musical, directed by Leigh Silverman and performed by Lipton and his three-person “orchestra,” about a couple who leave Earth in search of sustainable living in space.…

READ MORE »

Joe’s Pub

Downtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 27.

The Penitent

Neil Pepe directs a new play by David Mamet, in which a psychiatrist faces a professional and moral crisis when he refuses to testify on behalf of a patient in…

READ MORE »

Atlantic Theatre Company

Chelsea

 

In previews.

The Price

Mark Ruffalo, Danny DeVito, Jessica Hecht, and Tony Shalhoub star in the Roundabout’s revival of the 1968 Arthur Miller play, about a man who returns to his childhood…

READ MORE »

American Airlines Theatre

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 17. Opens Feb. 21.

See Reverse

Broken Box Mime Theatre presents short works of modern mime, covering everything from political protest to film noir.

READ MORE »

A.R.T./New York Theatres

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens March 2.

Significant Other

Joshua Harmon’s angsty comedy moves to Broadway, starring Gideon Glick as a gay New Yorker searching for a life partner as his female friends keep finding husbands. Trip Cullman…

READ MORE »

Booth

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 28.

The Skin of Our Teeth

Theatre for a New Audience stages Thornton Wilder’s 1942 comic allegory, which traces humankind from prehistory to twentieth-century New Jersey and beyond. Arin Arbus directs.

READ MORE »

Polonsky Shakespeare Center

Brooklyn

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 23.

Sunday in the Park with George

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the pointillist master Georges Seurat and Annaleigh Ashford is his muse, in a limited run of the 1984 Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical.

READ MORE »

Hudson

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 28.

Sundown, Yellow Moon

WP Theatre and Ars Nova present Rachel Bonds’s play, featuring songs by the indie duo the Bengsons and starring Lilli Cooper and Eboni Booth, as twins who return home…

READ MORE »

McGinn/Cazale

Uptown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 9.

Sunset Boulevard

Glenn Close returns to the role of Norma Desmond in the 1993 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, based on Billy Wilder’s classic portrait of Hollywood desuetude. Lonny Price directs.…

READ MORE »

Palace

Midtown

 

In previews.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet…

London’s Tooting Arts Club transfers its version of the Stephen Sondheim musical thriller, staged in an immersive pie-shop environment where the audience is served pie and mash.

READ MORE »

Barrow Street Theatre

Downtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 28.

The View UpStairs

This new musical by Max Vernon, directed by Scott Ebersold, revisits the New Orleans gay bar that was the site of a deadly arson attack in 1973.

READ MORE »

Lynn Redgrave

Downtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 27.

Wakey, Wakey

Michael Emerson (“Lost”) and January LaVoy star in the latest existential comedy by Will Eno (“The Realistic Joneses”), directed by the playwright.

READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

(Read more)

http://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/theatre/

 

‘NEW YORKER’ THEATRE LISTINGS, FEB. 13 & 20 PLAYDECK ·

OPENINGS AND PREVIEWS

Previews begin Feb. 14.

All the Fine Boys

Abigail Breslin stars in Erica Schmidt’s play at the New Group, in which two teen-age girls in nineteen-eighties South Carolina pursue their crushes and grapple with adulthood.

READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

 

Feb. 8-12.

Big River

Encores! presents this 1984 musical version of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” with songs by the country singer Roger Miller. Lear deBessonet directs.

READ MORE »

City Center

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 11.

Bull in a China Shop

Bryna Turner’s comedy, directed by Lee Sunday Evans for LCT3, follows forty years in the lives of the women’s-education pioneer Mary Woolley and her partner, Jeannette Marks.…

READ MORE »

Claire Tow

Uptown

 

Previews begin Feb. 18.

Come from Away

The Canadian duo Irene Sankoff and David Hein wrote this new musical, about a tiny Newfoundland town that was forced to accommodate thousands of stranded passengers on September 11, 2001.…

READ MORE »

Schoenfeld

Midtown

Opens Feb. 15.

Escaped Alone

The Royal Court Theatre’s production of the Caryl Churchill comedy alternates between scenes of women chatting in a back yard and monologues recounting apocalyptic disasters.

READ MORE »

BAM Harvey Theatre

Brooklyn

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 16.

Evening at the Talk House

The New Group stages Wallace Shawn’s play, in which a playwright and a group of actors reunite ten years after a flop. The cast features Shawn, Matthew Broderick, John…

READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 21.

Everybody

In Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s latest work, a modern spin on the fifteenth-century morality play “Everyman,” the actor playing the main character is assigned by lottery each night. Lila Neugebauer…

READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

 

Opens Feb. 8.

Fade

Primary Stages presents Tanya Saracho’s play, directed by Jerry Ruiz, about the friendship of two employees of Mexican heritage at a Hollywood studio, a writer and a janitor.

READ MORE »

Cherry Lane

Downtown

In previews.

The Glass Menagerie

Sally Field plays the redoubtable Southern matriarch Amanda Wingfield in Sam Gold’s revival of the Tennessee Williams drama, opposite Joe Mantello as Tom.

READ MORE »

Belasco

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 15.

Good Samaritans

The downtown auteur Richard Maxwell remounts his 2004 play with music, in which the manager of a rehabilitation center has an affair with one of the addicts.

READ MORE »

Abrons Arts Center

Downtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 2.

If I Forget

The Roundabout stages Steven Levenson’s play, directed by Daniel Sullivan, in which a professor of Jewish studies clashes with his sisters on their father’s birthday. With…

READ MORE »

Laura Pels

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 14.

Joan of Arc: Into the Fire

David Byrne and Alex Timbers follow up their Imelda Marcos disco musical, “Here Lies Love,” with this rock-concert retelling of the rise of Joan of Arc (Jo Lampert)…

READ MORE »

Public

Downtown

 

In previews.

Kid Victory

Liesl Tommy directs a new musical by John Kander and Greg Pierce, in which a teen-ager returns to his Kansas town after a mysterious yearlong absence.

READ MORE »

Vineyard

Downtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 17.

The Light Years

The Debate Society’s latest piece, written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen and directed by Oliver Butler, is set at a theatrical spectacle at the 1893 Chicago World’…

READ MORE »

Playwrights Horizons

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 7.

Linda

In Penelope Skinner’s play, directed by Lynne Meadow for Manhattan Theatre Club, a senior executive pitches a radical idea to change how women her age are viewed.

READ MORE »

City Center Stage I

Midtown

Feb. 15-19.

A Man of Good Hope

South Africa’s Isango Ensemble adapts Jonny Steinberg’s book, which recounts a Somalian refugee’s journey to Johannesburg, in a marimba-infused co-production with the Young Vic.

READ MORE »

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House

Brooklyn

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 15.

Man from Nebraska

David Cromer directs a 2003 play by Tracy Letts (“August: Osage County”), about a Midwestern man (Reed Birney) who sets off on a quest to restore his sense…

READ MORE »

Second Stage

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 9.

The Object Lesson

Geoff Sobelle created this installation theatre piece, which transforms the space into a cluttered storage facility where audience members can roam and explore. David Neumann directs.

READ MORE »

New York Theatre Workshop

Downtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 19.

On the Exhale

Marin Ireland plays a professor whose life is upended by gun violence in Martín Zimmerman’s play, directed by Leigh Silverman for Roundabout Underground.

READ MORE »

Black Box, Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre

Midtown

 

In previews.

The Penitent

Neil Pepe directs a new play by David Mamet, in which a psychiatrist faces a professional and moral crisis when he refuses to testify on behalf of a patient in…

READ MORE »

Atlantic Theatre Company

Chelsea

 

Previews begin Feb. 16.

The Price

Mark Ruffalo, Danny DeVito, Jessica Hecht, and Tony Shalhoub star in the Roundabout’s revival of the 1968 Arthur Miller play, in which a man returns to his childhood…

READ MORE »

American Airlines Theatre

Midtown

 

In previews.

Ring Twice for Miranda

In Alan Hruska’s dark comic fable, directed by Rick Lombardo, a chambermaid serving an all-powerful master flees with a butler into the rough outside world.

READ MORE »

City Center Stage II

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 17. Opens Feb. 21.

See Reverse

Broken Box Mime Theatre presents short works of modern mime, covering everything from political protest to film noir.

READ MORE »

A.R.T./New York Theatres

Midtown

Previews begin Feb. 14.

Significant Other

Joshua Harmon’s angsty comedy moves to Broadway, starring Gideon Glick as a gay New Yorker searching for a life partner as his female friends keep finding husbands. Trip Cullman…

READ MORE »

Booth

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 14.

The Skin of Our Teeth

Theatre for a New Audience stages Thornton Wilder’s 1942 comic allegory, which traces humankind from prehistory to twentieth-century New Jersey and beyond. Arin Arbus directs.

READ MORE »

Polonsky Shakespeare Center

Brooklyn

 

Previews begin Feb. 11.

Sunday in the Park with George

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the Pointillist master Georges Seurat and Annaleigh Ashford is his muse, in a limited run of the 1984 Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical.

READ MORE »

Hudson

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Feb. 9.

Sunset Boulevard

Glenn Close returns to the role of Norma Desmond in the 1993 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, based on Billy Wilder’s classic portrait of Hollywood desuetude. Lonny Price directs.…

READ MORE »

Palace

Midtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 14.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet…

London’s Tooting Arts Club transfers its version of the Stephen Sondheim musical thriller, staged in an immersive pie-shop environment where the audience is served pie and mash.

READ MORE »

Barrow Street Theatre

Downtown

 

Through Feb. 25.

The Town Hall Affair

The Wooster Group revisits a 1971 debate over feminism which erupted among Germaine Greer, Norman Mailer, and other thinkers at New York’s Town Hall. Elizabeth LeCompte directs a…

READ MORE »

The Performing Garage

Downtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 15.

The View UpStairs

This new musical by Max Vernon, directed by Scott Ebersold, revisits the New Orleans gay bar that was the site of a deadly arson attack in 1973.

READ MORE »

Lynn Redgrave

Downtown

 

Previews begin Feb. 7.

Wakey, Wakey

Michael Emerson (“Lost”) and January LaVoy star in the latest existential comedy by Will Eno (“The Realistic Joneses”), directed by the playwright.

READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown