Philosophy for Gangsters (Off-Broadway at The Beckett Theatre). Liz Peak and Barry Peak's Philosophy for Gangsters, which is billed as "an irresponsible comedy about ideas, honor, and messy deaths," features Michael Brusasco, Kyle Robert Carter, David Demato, Shabazz Green, Bruno Iannone, Leajato Amara Robinson, Courtney Romano, Tally Sessions, Deborah Tranelli and Tom White. In Philosophy for Gangsters, press notes state, "Mafia heiress Callie Rizzoli has her MBA. She’s bringing modern business efficiencies to her Family operation. But when she kidnaps a philosopher and he shoots to number one on the FBI’s 'Most Wanted List,' things start to get hilariously complicated." Visit PhilosophyForGangsters.com.
Concluding March 2
Machinal (Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre). Golden Globe nominee Rebecca Hall portrays real-life murderer Ruth Snyder in Roundabout Theatre Company's new Broadway production of Sophie Treadwell's Machinal, where she is joined by Tony Award nominees Suzanne Bertish and Michael Cumpsty and Drama Desk nominee Morgan Spector. Here's how the play is billed: "Inspired by the infamous 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder, Machinal is a gripping drama by American journalist and playwright Sophie Treadwell. It's America's Golden Age, a time of happiness, freedom and prosperity – or is it? For the Young Woman (Hall), a stenographer in the industrial, male-dominated world of the 1920s, life is nothing like she hoped it would be. Restless and unfulfilled in a passionless marriage and unwanted motherhood, she finds her only joy in the form of an illicit love affair. But when reality sets in and she must return to her routine existence, she’ll go to any lengths to regain her freedom. A groundbreaking work in the landscape of American theatre, Machinal is a riveting look at the danger that can come from a life unlived." Visit RoundaboutTheatre.org.
Almost, Maine (Off-Broadway at the Gym at Judson). The Transport Group's production of John Cariani's Almost, Maine is directed by Jack Cummings III. In addition to playwright Cariani, the cast features Donna Lynne Champlin, Kevin Isola and Kelly McAndrew. "It's winter in Almost, Maine," according to press notes. "Salty waitresses, lost visitors, tough and not-so–tough women and men crack open some beer, start their snowmobiles, pitch a tent, and gather under the northern lights to try to make sense of this strange thing called love. Funny, sexy, sad, and ever-searching, the people of Almost, Maine are stalked by dreams and fears alike as they ante up again and again determined to get past the 'almost' to capture the real. Love is local and the world is strange in this midwinter night’s dream." Visit TransportGroup.org.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Off-Broadway at Kazino). Dave Malloy's critically praised musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 features David Abeles as Pierre, Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Blake DeLong as Bolkonsky/Andrey, Amber Gray as Hélène, Nick Choksi as Dolokhov, Grace McLean as Marya D, Ashkon Davaran as Balaga, Phillipa Soo as Natasha, Lucas Steele as Anatole and Shaina Taub as Princess Mary. The cast also includes Catherine Brookman, Josh Canfield, Ken Clark, Lulu Fall, Luke Holloway, Azudi Onyejekwe, Mariand Torres and Lauren Zakrin. Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, according to producers, "invites you to join Tolstoy's brash young lovers for an evening you'll never forget, as vodka flows and passions ignite in Dave Malloy's electropop opera, ripped from a slice of 'War and Peace.'" Visit TheGreatCometof1812.com.
Breakfast With Mugabe (Off-Broadway at The Lion Theatre on Theatre Row). Inspired by news accounts that Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president, once sought treatment from a white psychiatrist, Breakfast With Mugabe is directed by David Shookhoff. The cast features Ezra Barnes (Andrew Peric), Michael Rogers (Robert Mugabe), Rosalyn Coleman (Grace Mugabe) and Che Ayende as the family’s loyal bodyguard (Gabriel).Playwright Grace, according to press notes, "illuminates the tension between modern ideas and ancient beliefs, and questions how a man who was once oppressed becomes an oppressor. Breakfast With Mugabe is ultimately about a country in crisis, the complex nature of the mind, and the evil of absolute power. It is a powerful reminder of the lasting impact of colonialism and dictatorships on the millions who still struggle under these oppressive conditions." Visit BreakfastWithMugabe.com.