15 Off-Broadway Shows Not to Miss April 14–May 1

Off-Broadway News   15 Off-Broadway Shows Not to Miss April 14–May 1
 
Catch Kate Bornstein, Dianne Wiest, and Max von Essen, among others.
Dianne Wiest in <i>Happy Days</i>
Dianne Wiest in Happy Days Joan Marcus

April 14: The Mint Theater Company revives The Lucky One, the 1919 play by Winnie-the-Pooh author and playwright A.A. Milne. The story follows the rivalry between two brothers, which results in a long overdue confrontation. The production, helmed by Jesse Marchese, marks the first revival in New York since its 1922 Broadway debut. Performances begin April 14 at the Beckett Theater at Theatre Row ahead of a May 18 opening.

McN_PlayBill_Pride_KateBornstein_NEW12907.jpg
Kate Bornstein Eric McNatt

April 14: Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre transforms into the vast and snowy Antarctic for Q Theatricals’ high-tech musical adventure Ernest Shackleton Loves Me. GrooveLily electro-violinist Valerie Vigoda stars as a single mom who is unexpectedly thrown into an adventure with a famous polar explorer, played by Priscilla Queen of the Desert’s Wade McCollum. The show is written by Memphis playwright and lyricist Joe DiPietro with direction by Obie winner Lisa Peterson; it features music composed by Brendan Milburn and lyrics by Vigoda. Performances run April 14–May 14.

April 16: Singer-songwriter Steve Earle makes his New York stage debut in the Soho Rep staging of Richard Maxwell’s Samara. Artistic director Sarah Benson directs the new work, which was commissioned by the adventurous Off-Broadway company. Performances began April 4 ahead of an April 16 opening at the newly opened Mezzanine Theatre at the A.R.T./New York Theatres.

April 21: Join trans trailblazer Kate Bornstein as she re-envisions the gender system in an evening of her favorite anecdotes, trials, and tribulations, and inspiring tales of advocacy. Kate Bornstein: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us combines stand-up comedy with theatrical monologue. Runs April 21–30 at La MaMa’s The Club.

April 21: Olivier Award-winning illusionist Derren Brown makes his American debut at the Atlantic Theater Company with Derren Brown: Secret. Brown’s shows have played sold-out runs on the West End; his latest offering draws on his signature blend of mind control, suggestion, showmanship, and illusion. Performances begin April 21 ahead of a May 16 opening.

April 21: Best-selling Russian crime fiction writer Boris Akunin takes on the Bard in a new adaptation of Hamlet, titled Hamlet. A Version. Akunin’s adaptation illuminates a contemporary international political issue: how to eradicate the old to make way for the new. Performances run through May 7 at the Theatre at St. Clements with direction by Irina Gachechiladze.

April 22: Playwright Mfoniso Udofia brings the first two chapters of her sweeping, nine-part saga, The Ufot Cycle, to the stage at New York Theatre Workshop. Sojourners and Her Portmanteau, which are running in repertory at the downtown theatre, chronicle the triumphs and losses of Abasiama, the tenacious matriarch of a Nigerian family. With direction by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, performances begin April 22 ahead of a May 16 opening.

April 23: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker returns to the Signature Theatre with her latest work, The Antipodes, directed by Lila Neugebauer. Similarly to Baker’s earlier play, John, of which very little was revealed prior to beginning performances, the description for The Antipodes simply reads: “A play about people telling stories about telling stories.” Performances began April 4 prior to an April 23 opening.

April 23: Oscar winner Dianne Wiest stars in the Yale Repertory staging of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at Theatre for a New Audience. Wiest plays Winnie, buried up to her waist and sinking into the earth. James Bundy directs the show at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn; performances begin April 23 ahead of a May 4 opening.

April 24: The Public Theater’s touring production of Twelfth Night arrives at the downtown theatre for a free run following a three-week tour of correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and community centers. Saheem Ali directs an interpretation of the classic play set to the rhythms of house, Cuban, and ‘90s beats.

Max von Essen
Max von Essen Joseph Marzullo/WENN

April 25: Cherry Lane Theatre wraps up its 2017 Mentor Project with Jocelyn Bioh’s play Nollywood Dreams, in which the playwright was paired with award-winning writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The story follows Ayamma, who dreams of leaving her job at her parents’ travel agency and making it big in 1990s Nollywood—the Nigerian film industry. Directed by Saheem Ali, performances run April 25–May 6.

April 25: The Signature Theatre debuts the newest work by resident playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, Venus. Directed by Lear deBessonet, the play follows the real-life journey of Saartjie Baartman, the unfortunate star of 19th century London’s freak show circuit. Performances begin April 25 ahead of a May 15 opening.

April 26: The Sol Project, a New York-based theatre initiative dedicated to raising the visibility of Latinx playwrights, pairs up with the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater for the world premiere of Martín Zimmerman’s Seven Spots on the Sun. Set in a Latin-American village, the play details stories of loss, miracles, and redemption. Directed by Weyni Mengesha, performances begin April 26 at the Rattlestick ahead of a May 10 opening.

April 27: Tony nominee Max von Essen stars as Captain Alfred Dreyfus in a limited engagement of The Dreyfus Affair at BAM Fisher. Written by Eve Wolf and directed by Donald T. Sanders, the multi-media production shines a light on the controversial conviction and false arrest of Dreyfus in 1894. A highly decorated French Jewish officer, the consequences of his imprisonment were felt for decades in the political landscape in France and the rest of the world. The Ensemble for the Romantic Century production continues through May 7.

May 1: Set in a church basement, Baghdaddy follows a support group for those who started the war with Iraq. Formerly titled Who’s Your Baghdaddy?, the new musical received critical acclaim when it debuted in New York in 2015, and returns with much of the original cast and a new addition: Spongebob star Ethan Slater. Performances began April 6 ahead of a May 1 opening at St. Luke's Theater.

This list contains only a selection of Off-Broadway productions and is not meant to be comprehensive. Visit Playbill.com's Off-Broadway listings for more information throughout the season.

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