If you’re lucky enough to be in New York City this Winter, remember there’s more than concert and Knicks tickets to splurge on. For decades, New York City has been one of leading cities in the world for Theater. From revivals of iconic musicals such as M. Butterfly, to new, socially conscious Off-Broadway shows like Actually, New York City has a remarkable range of Theater experiences to choose from. Here, we’ve picked 10 Shows to See if You’re in New York City this Winter.
Lincoln Center Theater is bringing Sara DeLappe’s debut play The Wolves to the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater to open their fall season. Described as first-rate acting and theater that keeps you on the edge of your seat, The Wolves gives audiences a fly-on-the-wall perspective of a girls’ high school soccer team as they juggle their ambitions with the pains of growing up. At the heart of DeLappe’s Pulitzer Prize nominated play are the bonds of shared experience between a cast of complex and endearing characters. The Wolves is definitely a must-see this season.
There are very few Broadway shows that can make large splashes amongst the celebrity-driven musicals and “Blockbuster” style productions that take up much of the Theater swell. But there are a few compelling exceptions, including the independently produced show The Band’s Visit, which details the noble and unhinged journey of a touring Egyptian band that accidentally winds up stranded in a sleepy, provincial town in Israel. Crew and cast, led by original producer Orin Wolf and actors Tony Shaloub and Katrina Lenk, have managed to bring The Band’s Visit to its full, emotionally rejuvenating potential.
If you haven’t seen the classic Lerner and Loewe musical Brigadoon, what better time than this year, its 70th anniversary, under the leadership of amazing cast members such as Patrick Wilson (The Full Monty) and Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show)? The story is of two Manhattanites stranded in a mirage of a Scottish town which only appears once a century. NY City Center has brought together what critics are calling a “dream team” of production to provide audience members one of the best fantastical escapes on Broadway. But be warned, the deluxe concert staging of Brigadoon will only materialize briefly.
If you’re an audience member looking for a different kind of education, look no further than John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons. Leguizamo, otherwise known as a “human tornado” on stage, embarks on a quest to elevate his Latin heroes from untold histories. In just two hours, Leguizamo traces Latin influence from the Aztecs to Sonia Sotamayor, with several dance breaks in between. Led by his son’s impending history project, Leguizamo scours reference material to unearth the ammunition one needs to feel represented, visible. The aptly timed Latin History for Morons is one of the most authentic and inspired shows to catch this Winter.
Steve Martin was last seen on Broadway in the banjo-plucking Bright Star, and now he’s back as the writer of a cosmically driven comedy Meteor Shower, starring Amy Schumer and Keegan-Michael Key. This is Schumer’s Broadway debut, her presence already materializing in rapid ticket sales. Directed by Jerry Zaks, this tale of two couples at war is underscored by the astral event of a meteor shower, all while comedic, rapid fire dialogue takes place over dinner. Meteor Shower, bolstered by jack of all trades writer and composer Steve Martin and a starry cast, is definitely making itself known as the most illuminating show on Broadway.
Once you’ve given your all to be at the top of the game, where else is there to go? This question lies at the heart of Anna Ziegler’s new play The Last Match, which will appear on limited engagement at the famous Roundabout Theater. In The Last Match, a hot-headed star on the rise goes up against an aging All-American in the U.S Open semifinals. The Last Match has the high stakes backdrop of professional sports, but is ultimately a play about what keeps us striving for more. This classic sports rivalry, combined with humor, is a recipe for natural pathos and utmost enjoyment.
Lucy Kirkwood’s play The Children is one of the most thought provoking, rapturous events to take place on Broadway this season. When two retired nuclear physicists, holed up in their secluded cottage on the British coast, are visited by someone from their past, the trio is forced to unearth their baggage in order to asses the damage of the present. The Children, written in an attempt to discuss climate change, details the emotional atmosphere of three scientists who have no choice but to face the provocation of a dying Earth. Met incredible reception in London, it is now time for The Children to enlighten the thinking minds of Broadway.
M. Butterfly, under the direction and imagination of Julie Taymor, is every bit of memorable as the original. Back in 1986, M. Butterfly author David Henry Hwang was inspired by a story he found in the news. A French diplomat and his lover, a star of the Beijing Opera, sentenced to six years in French courts for spying. But the largest twist of M. Butterfly doesn’t lie there, and has never ceased to confront and confound audience members. Featuring the famous Clive Owen as Rene Gallimard and the 27 year old newcomer Jin Ha as Song Liling, Taymor’s M. Butterfly is a brilliant revival that deserves every packed theater it receives.
Anna Zeigler’s Actually, which opened this past Tuesday night in the smaller of the Manhattan Theater Club’s two spaces beneath City Center, could not be more better timed considering the onslaught of sexual misconduct that has come to light in the acting and theater industry. Placed on a dense, bare set, Actually engages audiences with questions of consent, honesty, and how character traits in accumulation eventually end up pushing against each other. Are we who we say we are? Or does everyone have the capability of acting outside of themselves? Actually is a rich and at times disturbing case study of law and human relation.
If Jersey Boys and West Side Story have a single, shared fate, it would be A Bronx Tale, where a young man is relentlessly torn by his loyalty and love of his father and his desire to be a powerful mob boss. Set in 1960’s Bronx and featuring a doo-wop score, A Bronx Tale is a streetwise musical that is expertly executed with the direction of Jerry Zaks and Robert De Niro. Based on the book Chazz Palminteri, whose life story is vital the musical’s pulse, A Bronx Tale wholeheartedly respects its roots without forsaking ambition and universality.