Concluding Dec. 13
The Erlkings (Off-Broadway at The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row). Nathaniel Sam Shapiro's The Erlkings is directed by Saheem Ali. According to producers, it "explores the inner lives of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the perpetrators of the Columbine High School Massacre. The play uses real quotes from researched material left by the boys- journal writings, school assignments, chat room conversations, home videos - and combines it with original scenes, dramatizing the glimpses of recorded information that they left behind. The Erlkings (Die Erlkönige) posits that insight can be found into the violent American psyche that continues to rear its ugly head in our schools, through the dramatic exploration of the emotions and encounters experienced by the two boys." Visit ErlkingsThePlay.com.
Concluding Dec. 14
Love Letters (Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre). The Broadway revival of A.R. Gurney's Love Letters currently stars Emmy Award-winning actors Alan Alda and Candice Bergen. Love Letters, according to press notes, is a "disarmingly funny and unforgettably emotional portrait about the powerful connection of love. Two friends, rebellious Melissa Gardner and straight-arrow Andrew Makepeace Ladd III have exchanged notes, cards and letters with each other for over 50 years. From second grade, through summer vacations, to college, and well into adulthood, they have spent a lifetime discussing their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, and victories and defeats. But long after the letters are done, the real question remains: Have they made the right choices or is the love of their life only a letter away?" Visit LoveLettersBroadway.com.
Allegro (Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company). Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's Allegro, a musical exploration of an Everyman, features George Abud, Alma Cuervo, Elizabeth A. Davis, Claybourne Elder, Malcolm Gets, Maggie Lakis, Megan Loomis, Paul Lincoln, Jane Pfitsch, Randy Redd, Ed Romanoff and Jessica Tyler Wright. "Follow the story of Joe Taylor, Jr. from cradle to early manhood in this loving and wise exploration of America’s coming of age, as seen through the eyes of a young physician learning about the mysteries of life and death," press notes state. "Discover this little-known jewel of a show, long considered Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most personal and groundbreaking work of musical theatre." Visit ClassicStage.org. Punk Rock (Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre). Punk Rock, the school-set 2009 drama by Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time playwright Simon Stephens, features Douglas Smith, David Greenspan, Annie Funke, Noah Robbins, Pico Alexander, Lilly Englert, Colby Minifie, Will Pullen and Sophie Shapiro. According to MCC Theater, "In a private school outside of Manchester, England a group of highly-articulate seventeen year-olds flirt and posture their way through the day while preparing for their A-Level mock exams. With hormones raging and minimal adult supervision, nothing can mask the underlying tension that becomes increasingly pronounced as the clock ticks towards the ultimate dismissal." Visit MCCTheater.org.
Our Lady of Kibeho (Off-Broadway at the Irene Diamond Stage at the Pershing Square Signature Center). The world premiere of Our Lady of Kibeho, a new play by Olivier Award winner Katori Hall, includes Starla Benford, Jade Eshete, Danaya Esperanza, Niles Fitch, Kambi Gathesha, Brent Jennings, Joaquina Kalukango, Mandi Masden, Owiso Odera, Nneka Okafor, Stacey Sargeant, T. Ryder Smith, Irungu Mutu, Angel Uwamahoro and Bowman Wright. Here's how the production is billed: "In 1981, a village girl in Rwanda claims to see the Virgin Mary. Ostracized by her schoolmates and labeled disturbed, everyone refuses to believe, until the impossible starts happening again and again. Skepticism gives way to fear, faith, and fate, causing upheaval in the school community and beyond." Visit SignatureTheatre.org.
Major Barbara (Off-Broadway at The Pearl Theatre). The Pearl Theatre Company and the Gingold Theatrical Group join forces to present George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara, which features Pearl Resident Acting Company members Robin Leslie Brown, Bradford Cover, Dan Daily and Carol Schultz. They are joined by guest artists Becky Baumwoll, Hannah Cabell, Cary Donaldson, Richard Gallagher and Alec Shaw. In Major Barbara, press notes state, "when the charming weapons-manufacturer Andrew Undershaft goes toe-to-toe with his passionate daughter Barbara, a Major in the Salvation Army, over his 'ill-gotten' fortune, it leads to the wager of the century. She is determined to save his soul—he is determined to open her eyes to a wider world. Their confrontation will knock their entire family’s moral compass up, down, and sideways, never to be the same again." Visit PearlTheatre.org.
Sticks and Bones (Off-Broadway at The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center). The New Group revival of David Rabe's Vietnam War-themed Sticks and Bones stars Richard Chamberlain, Holly Hunter and Bill Pullman with Nadia Gan, Morocco Omari, Ben Schnetzer and Raviv Ullman. The New Group bills Sticks and Bones as "a savage and savagely comic portrait of an average American family pulled apart by the return of a son from the Vietnam War. Ozzie and his wife Harriet are overjoyed to see their eldest son David again, but the furies that haunt David begin to overwhelm them and their happy-go-lucky younger son Rick, forcing Ozzie to make a stand for the values he can’t bear to let go. This production features Chamberlain as Father Donald, Gan as Zung, Hunter as Harriet, Omari as Sergeant Major, Pullman as Ozzie, Schnetzer as David and Ullman as Rick." Visit TheNewGroup.org.
Straight White Men (Off-Broadway at the Public Theater). Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton stars in the New York premiere of playwright Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men, which also features Gary Wilmes, Pete Simpson and James Stanley. According to the Public, "In the New York premiere of Straight White Men, unpredictable downtown writer/director Young Jean Lee presents a traditionally structured take on the classic American father-son drama. When Ed and his three adult sons come together to celebrate Christmas, they enjoy cheerful trash-talking, pranks, and takeout Chinese. Then they confront a problem that even being a happy family can’t solve: when identity matters, and privilege is problematic, what is the value of being a straight white man?" Visit PublicTheater.org.