Seen Everything On Broadway? Don't Miss These Off-Broadway Shows This Month!

News   Seen Everything On Broadway? Don't Miss These Off-Broadway Shows This Month!
 
Every month Playbill.com provides readers with essential knowledge for tackling the immenisty that is the Off-Broadway landscape, making it easier to find the perfect show. Here's our list of shows that should be on your radar.

For the classical theatre aficionado

BAM presents the Goodman’s Theatre’s revival of famed American playwright Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh. Directed by longtime helmer of O’Neill’s classic plays, Robert Falls, the show garnered critical acclaim and broke box-office records in its extended Chicago run. The epic 18-character drama set in a Greenwich Village saloon at the turn of the 20th century, stars Tony Award-winning stage and screen actors Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy. Performances run through March 15 at BAM's Harvey Theatre. Tickets start at $35. (Fore more information and to purchase tickets, click here. BAM Harvey Theatre is located at 651 Fulton St., Brooklyn.) 

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New plays that spark important conversations about today – from racism in the U.S. to the rapid growth in China.

Originally produced by Soho Rep in 2014, where it had two extensions and a sold-out engagement, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' widely-acclaimed new play An Octoroon returns Off-Broadway to the Theatre For a New Audience. Based on Dion Boucicault's powerful 19th century story, the OBIE-winning play explores themes of love, race and slavery in the American South. Sarah Benson returns to direct the production at its new Brooklyn home, where it is sure to continue to set tongues wagging. Benson has said in press statements that it is a play which forces "us to question our own assumptions about everything we think we know and trust." Performances run from Feb 14-March 8 at TFNA. Tickets start at $49. (For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Theatre For A New Audience is located at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn.) Tony winner Tonya Pinkins, star of Joel Drake Johnson's newest work, Rasheeda Speaking, told Playbill.com that it is "a play about a conversation that needs to be had. We talk about things that America doesn't want to talk about." Specifically, she is referring to the undertows of racism in today's society. Cynthia Nixon marks her directorial debut at the New Group in Johnson's Rasheeda Speaking, where the unspoken tensions of "post-racial" America are placed under the magnifying glass. Nixon is at the helm of an all-star cast featuring Pinkins, Dianne Wiest, Darren Goldstein and Patricia Connolly. The performances are stellar and the post-theatre conversation is sure to be heated. Performances run through March 22 at The New Group at Pershing Square Signature Center. Tickets start at $77. (For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Signature Center is located at 480 West 42nd St.) 

In The World of Extreme Happiness playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig looks at one of the largest human migrations in the world, from the Chinese countryside to the city. Directed by Obie Award winner Eric Ting, the Manhattan Theatre Club co-production received critical acclaim following its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago last year. Inspired by her own experiences of partially growing up in China, Cowhig's story questions a system that is ultimately enriching itself by destroying its own people. The talented cast features "Glee" actor Telly Leung and Chinglish star Jennifer Lim. The World of Extreme Happiness began performances Feb. 3 at MTC's New York City Center. Tickets are $85. (For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. New York City Center – Stage 1 is located at 131 West 55th St.)

 

Catch a rising star in her biggest role yet

Actress Christina Bianco (Forbidden Broadway) has garnered thousands of fans thanks to her hilarious YouTube impersonations of musical theatre legends Barbra Streisand, Bernadette Peters and Kristin Chenoweth, among others. Bianco takes on her biggest stage challenge yet in Application Pending, Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg's monologue play. Bianco plays over 40 characters in the laugh-out-loud comedy about the application process for an elite Manhattan kindergarten. Delivered by Bianco with expert comedic timing and talent, the show pokes loving fun at America's obsession with getting our children into the best schools money can offer. Application Pending plays the Westside Theatre through April 19. Tickets start at $79. (For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. The Westside Theatre is located 407 West 43rd St.) 

 

For a psychological stage thrill

Jennifer Haley's The Nether is a haunting contemporary thriller unlike any other. Winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn prize, the play garnered critical acclaim on London's West End where it played last year. Set in a dystopian future, in which many people spend their lives in a virtual playground known as the Nether, Hayley's unsettling tale questions the limits of our morality and walks the fine line between fantasy and reality. Starring Emmy Award winner Meritt Weaver from "Nurse Jackie" and directed by Anne Kaufman, The Nether will play MCC Theatre from through March 15. Tickets are $75. (For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. The MCC Lucille Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher St.)

 

A small musical with a big heart and even bigger talent

The Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning Keen Company present a rare revival of Andrew Lippa's early work John & Jen, which originally premiered Off-Broadway in 1995. The two-hander stars Broadway darling and Tony nominee Kate Baldwin (Big Fish, Finian's Rainbow) and rising star Conor Ryan (Cinderella). The emotional and intimate story spans over 40 years and looks at the complexities of relationships between brothers and sisters, parents and children. It's a musical about connections, commitments and the healing of the human heart. John & Jen will play The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row, through April 4. Tickets from $69. (For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. The Clurman Theatre is located at 410 West 42nd St.)

 

For the theatregoer with good intentions, but a short attention span…

Following the success of All in the Timing, the witty and devastatingly sharp David Ives (Venus in Fur, The Heir Apparent) returns to Primary Stages with the New York premiere of another collection of short plays titled Lives of the Saints. Proving himself to be the master of the short-form, Ives teams up yet again with Tony-winning director John Rando (On the Town) to present a collection of funny and unforgettable plays that explore religion, love, sex and politics. The production also reunites several of the actors from All in the Timing; the talented cast features Arnie Burton (Peter and the Starcatcher), Carson Elrod (All in the Timing), Rick Holmes (Peter and the Starcatcher), Kelly Hutchinson (Desire Under the Elms) and Liv Rooth (All in the Timing.) Performances run through March 27 at the Duke. Tickets are $70. (For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. The Duke is located at 229 West 42nd St.)

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