Showtime! – NY Shows You Don’t Want To Miss
Heading to the Big Apple for the holidays? Here’s a guide of what not to miss — many with Jewish connections.
Alice Burdick Schweiger
Special to the Jewish News
Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations traces Detroit’s R&B group the Temptations from the streets of the Motor City to the top of the charts. The electrifying musical score includes their legendary hits “My Girl” and “Just My Imagination.” The show recently broke box-office records in Washington, D.C. Previews begin Feb. 28, 2019, and the show opens March 21. At the Imperial Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
All My Sons, a revival of Arthur Miller’s drama about greed and ethics, stars Annette Bening and Tracy Lets. Directed by Gregory Mosher. The Keller family’s son goes missing while serving in World War ll. Meanwhile, the father’s secret — that he shipped defective aircraft parts during the war — emerges. Previews begin April 4; the show runs April 22 through June 23. At the American Airlines Theatre. (800) 982-2787.
American Son takes place at a Florida police station in the middle of the night. Starring Kerry Washington, Jeremy Michael Jordan and Steven Pasquale, it’s the gripping tale of two parents, their missing biracial teenage son who was last seen at a late-night traffic stop and their worst fears while exploring who we are as a nation. Runs through Jan. 27. At the Booth Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
Beetlejuice stars Alex Brightman and is based on the 1988 Geffen Company motion picture. A couple hire an exorcist to remove a naughty pair of ghosts from their new house. (The film was directed by Tim Burton and starred Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder.) Previews begin in March; the show opens April 25. At the Winter Garden Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
Choir Boy tells the moving story of a prep school for boys dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One student waits years to become the leader of the gospel choir, but can he make it singing in his own key? Previews begin Dec. 12; the show runs Jan. 8 through Feb. 17. At the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, a comedy, takes place just after the conclusion of William Shakespeare’s first tragedy, Titus Andronicus. Set during the fall of the Roman Empire, the show stars Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin. Ann Roth is the costume designer. Previews begin March 5; the show opens April 11 and runs through Aug. 4. At the Booth Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song, starring Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl and written by Harvey Fierstein, is directed by Moises Kaufman. Arnold wants a husband, a child and a pair of bunny slippers that fit. But a visit from his overbearing mother reminds him that what he needs is respect. Through February. At the Hayes Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
Ink, set in London 1969, tells the story of Rupert Murdoch, who turned a struggling paper, The Sun, into a must-read. He brings on rogue editor Larry Lamb who recruits an unlikely team of underdog reporters. Directed by Rupert Goold, previews begin April 2 and the show opens April 24. At the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
King Kong is a contemporary musical adaptation based on the 1932 novel. A young actress and a maverick filmmaker wander through the bustling streets of 1930s New York City while a 2,000-pound gorilla is brought to life by an innovative mix of robotics, puppetry and stagecraft. Starring Christiani Pitts and Erik Lochtefeld. At the Broadway Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
King Lear, Shakespeare’s classic about a king who decides to retire and divide his kingdom among his three daughters, stars Glenda Jackson, Elizabeth Marvel, Jayne Houdyshell, Ruth Wilson and Pedro Pascal. Previews begin Feb. 28 and the show opens April 4. Directed by Sam Gold. At the Golden Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
Kiss Me Kate, a revival, stars Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase. Two divorced performers star opposite each other in a musical version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Directed by Scott Ellis, previews begin Feb. 14, the show opens March 14 and runs through June 2. At Studio 54. (212) 239-6200.
Network, starring Bryan Cranston and Tony Goldwyn, is based on the classic 1976 iconic film by Paddy Chayefsky. Howard Beale is a news anchor who isn’t pulling in viewers and unravels during his final broadcast. But then ratings soar and Beale becomes the biggest thing on TV. Runs through March 17. At the Belasco Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
The Cher Show tells the musical history of the pop star’s career. Book by Rick Elice and music by various composers. Three different actresses play her — the kid starting out, the glam star and the icon. Oak Park native and four-time Tony Award-winner Jeffrey Seller (Rent, Hamilton) is one of the producers. Jarrod Spector plays Sonny Bono. Opened Dec. 3. At the Neil Simon Theatre. (877) 250-2929.
The Ferryman, set in rural Northern Ireland in 1981, is directed by Sam Mendes. The Carney farmhouse is full of activity with preparation for the annual harvest. But this year’s festivities will be interrupted by a visitor. The 30-plus member cast is mostly from the London production. At the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
The Lifespan of a Fact, about the publishing world of fact-checking, stars Daniel Radcliffe and Cherry Jones. Based on true events, an editor gives a young eager intern a big assignment involving fact-checking an unorthodox author. A showdown between fact and fiction begins. Runs through Jan 13. Written by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell and directed by Leigh Silverman. At Studio 54. (212) 239-6200.
The Prom, a joyful original musical, is about a lesbian who wants to attend her Indiana high-school prom with a girlfriend. Meanwhile, after a bad review on Broadway, a group of actors travel to Indiana to help her cause. One of the actors announces to the narrow-minded small towners, not only is he from New York, but he’s also Jewish! Starring Beth Leavel, Josh Lamon and Christopher Sieber, it’s written by Bob Martin. Music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Begulelin. At the Longacre Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
The Waverly Gallery, written by Kenneth Lonergan, is set in Greenwich Village. Sweet and feisty Jewish grandmother Gladys Green is a longtime owner of an art gallery and now suffers from dementia. The landlord she rents the space from owns the adjoining hotel and tells her family he is turning the gallery into a restaurant and she needs to vacate. Gladys has to rely on her family’s love, compassion and loyalty to try to keep the gallery. Directed by Lila Neugebauer, the play stars Elaine May, Michael Cera, David Cromer and Joan Allen. (Allen isn’t Jewish but her ex-husband, Peter Friedman, is and their daughter went to Hebrew school and had a bat mitzvah. Her current partner is also Jewish.) The show closes Jan. 27. At the John Golden Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
To Kill A Mockingbird, the story of racial injustice and childhood innocence, stars Michigan native Jeff Daniels and University of Michigan grad Celia Keenan-Bolger. Set in Alabama in the 1930s, it’s based on Harper Lee’s 1960 novel of the same title. Aaron Sorkin adapted the book for the new Broadway play. Directed by Bartlett Sher. Opens Dec. 13. At the Shubert Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
Tootsie, based on the film of the same name starring Dustin Hoffman, tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until a desperate stunt lands him a plum role on a soap opera. Music and lyrics are by David Yazbek. Directed by Scott Ellis, the show stars Santino Fontana, Lilli Cooper and Sarah Stiles. Previews begin March 29 and the show opens April 23. At the Marriott Marquis Theatre. (877) 250-2929.
True West, written by Sam Shepard, stars Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano. Two brothers are holed up in their mother’s home and wrestle with big issues and each other. Previews begin Dec. 27; the show opens Jan. 29 and closes March 17. At the American Airlines. (800) 982-2787.
Gloria: A Life traces the life and career of feminist Gloria Steinem, a remarkable woman and social and political activist. Steinem, whose father was Jewish but whose mother was not, was founding editor of New York magazine and co-founder of Ms. magazine. Gloria is played by Christine Lahti, who is from Birmingham and a U-M graduate. At the Daryl Roth Theatre. (800) 745-3000.
Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, is based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart — with some added new material. A trio of show-business friends fall apart and then come back together. Directed by Noah Brody, previews begin Jan. 12, the show opens Feb. 19 and closes April 7. At the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. (212) 719-1300.
The Hard Problem, a new play by Tom Stoppard, refers to the hard problem of consciousness. The play focuses on a psychology researcher at an institute for brain science, where psychology and biology meet. Runs through Jan. 6. At the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. (212) 239-6200.
The Other Josh Cohen is a delightful comedy starring David Rossmer and Steve Rosen as two versions of Cohen. The first Josh Cohen, from a year prior, is a schlumpy good-hearted loser who has just been robbed of everything except his Neil Diamond CD. The present-day Josh Cohen is slimmer and a talented musician, who is narrating the events of his year-younger self. Rossmer and Rosen wrote the book, music and lyrics. In one scene they reflect on the Cohen family tree, which includes dancing Chasids. Directed by U-M grad Hunter Foster. At the Westside Theatre. (212) 947-8844.