16 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend
Our guide to plays and musicals coming to New York stages and a few last-chance picks of shows that are about to close. Our reviews of open shows are at nytimes.com/reviews/theater.
Previews and Openings
‘BE MORE CHILL’ at the Lyceum Theater (previews start on Feb. 13; opens on March 10). A favorite of some blissfully uncool young fans, this Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz musical about a teenager who swallows a potentially malevolent supercomputer is booting up on Broadway. Reviewing the Off Broadway production, Ben Brantley called it a “high-energy, high-anxiety musical.” Stephen Brackett directs.
‘BONNIE’S LAST FLIGHT’ at Next Door at New York Theater Workshop (previews start on Feb. 8; opens on Feb. 13). Keep yourself in a locked and upright position during the playwright Eliza Bent’s new show. A flight attendant prepares to work the friendly skies for the final time while the rest of the cabin crew is in turmoil. Under Annie Tippe’s direction, Bent appears as Mark Twain.
‘THE CAKE’ at City Center Stage I (previews start on Feb 12; opens on March 5). The playwright and television writer Bekah Brunstetter (“American Gods,” “This Is Us”) whisks up a play loosely inspired by bakers’ refusals to create cakes for gay weddings. For Manhattan Theater Club, Debra Jo Rupp portrays a woman with confectionary conflicts. Lynne Meadow directs.
‘DADDY’ at Pershing Square Signature Center (previews start on Feb. 12; opens on March 5). A co-production from the New Group and Vineyard Theater, Jeremy O. Harris’s poolside play cannonballs into the Signature Center. Under Danya Taymor’s direction, Ronald Peet stars as a young black artist, with Charlayne Woodard as his mother and Alan Cumming as his lover and father figure. There’s a gospel choir, too.
‘FIDDLER ON THE ROOF’ at Stage 42 (previews start on Feb. 11; opens on Feb. 21). Sunrise, sunset, swiftly moves the show. After a rave Off Broadway engagement, this National Yiddish Theater version of “Fiddler,” directed by Joel Grey, translates the text into Yiddish. (There are supertitles.) A tear-struck Jesse Green wrote that the prior production had “a kind of authenticity no other American ‘Fiddler’ ever has.”
‘FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME’ at Greenwich House Theater (in previews; opens on Feb. 12). It’s one thing to say, “Yes and …” But can you say it to a beat? And make it rhyme? This improvised hip-hop show, an early creation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail, returns for a month or two of ad-libbed rap. Joining the regular crew are occasional guest stars, including Miranda, Daveed Diggs and Christopher Jackson.
‘KISS ME, KATE’ at Studio 54 (previews start on Feb. 14; opens on March 14). Brush up on your Shakespeare and your Cole Porter, too, because the Roundabout is reviving this 1948 musical, a metatheatrical riff on “The Taming of the Shrew.” Under Scott Ellis’s direction, Kelli O’Hara stars alongside Will Chase, Corbin Bleu and Stephanie Styles. Has the show aged poorly or will it be just wunderbar?
‘THE LIGHT’ at the Susan & Ronald Frankel Theater at the Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space (in previews; opens on Feb. 10). In Loy A. Webb’s play about a marriage proposal gone awry, saying yes isn’t so easy. A two-character drama about the legacies of sexual trauma, this MCC show, the first in its new space, is directed by Logan Vaughn and stars McKinley Belcher III and Mandi Masden.
[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]
‘MARYS SEACOLE’ at the Claire Tow Theater (previews start on Feb. 9; opens on Feb. 25). Jackie Sibblies Drury, one of the theater’s most thrilling, form-flexing playwrights, returns with a new play set in the 19th century, now and points in between. Quincy Tyler Bernstine stars as a Jamaican woman with a lifetime of adventures and then some. Lileana Blain-Cruz directs.
‘MIES JULIE’ AND ‘THE DANCE OF DEATH’ at Classic Stage Company (in previews; opens on Feb. 10). Sex and spiritual violence inform these adapted August Strindberg plays, running in repertory at Classic Stage. Shariffa Ali directs Yaël Farber’s forceful adaptation of “Mies Julie,” which resets the action in post-apartheid South Africa. Conor McPherson’s take on “The Dance of Death,” about a marriage that will have couples counselors cowering in terror, is directed by Victoria Clark.
‘THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG’ at New World Stages (previews start on Feb. 11; opens on Feb. 20). After going right on Broadway for a year and a half, this spoof of very amateur dramatics arrives Off Broadway as intact as a show that destroys its own set can be. Though Ben Brantley occasionally found the comic chaos exhausting, he wrote that there’s “a wild, redeeming poetry in such anarchy.”
‘SEA WALL’/‘A LIFE’ at the Public Theater (in previews; opens on Feb. 14). In these twinned monologues by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne, men contemplate life, death and fatherhood. Tom Sturridge, who starred in Stephens’s “Punk Rock,” plays a photographer covering a family story in “Sea Wall.” Jake Gyllenhaal, who has performed in two Payne pieces, delivers a monologue originally drawn from Payne’s personal experiences in “A Life.” Carrie Cracknell directs.
‘THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN’ at the Irish Repertory Theater (in previews; opens on Feb. 12). Sean O’Casey, a great playwright of the Anglo-Irish renaissance, is reborn, courtesy of the Irish Rep. It will present all three of his major plays, beginning with this 1923 tragicomedy, directed by Ciaran O’Reilly. Set in the Dublin slums, it centers on a poet who perilously resembles an I.R.A. soldier.
‘BEHIND THE SHEET’ at Ensemble Studio Theater (closes on Feb. 17). Charly Evon Simpson’s moving drama about a controversial gynecologist has only a few appointments remaining. Colette Robert directs a drama inspired by J. Marion Sims, a physician who made his breakthroughs by experimenting on unanesthetized slave women. Ben Brantley wrote: “‘Behind the Sheet’ may be a quiet play. But its echoes are thunderous.”
‘EDDIE AND DAVE’ at Atlantic Stage 2 (closes on Feb. 17). Amy Staats’s semifactual tribute to the men of Van Halen plays its final power chords. In this gender-bent production, directed by Margot Bordelon, the rockers are portrayed by Staats and Megan Hill, which Ben Brantley said provides “a mind-bending glee in watching women taking on the extravagant guises of hot-dog rock ’n’ rollers.”
‘GOD SAID THIS’ at the Cherry Lane Theater (closes on Feb. 15). Leah Nanako Winkler’s Primary Stages play about a daughter returning home for her mother’s chemotherapy wraps up treatment. While Jesse Green noted that the director Morgan Gould’s production “feels like watching the action at a bumper car rink,” he was drawn to the drama’s “quiet moments of insight into character.”
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