11 Off-Broadway Shows That Kick Off in the New Year

News   11 Off-Broadway Shows That Kick Off in the New Year
What’s beginning (and who’s starring) Off-Broadway January 1-17, 2017.
Harriet Walter
Harriet Walter Donmar Warehouse

Yours Unfaithfully
The Mint Theater returns Off-Broadway with the world premiere of Yours Unfaithfully, Miles Malleson’s 1933 never-before-produced comedy about the price of free love. The story takes a peek behind the closed doors of an open marriage, and stars Tony nominee Max von Essen, Todd Cerveris, Mikaela Izquierdo, Elisabeth Gray, and John Hutton. With direction by Jonathan Bank, performances began December 27 at the Beckett Theater at Theatre Row and continue through February 18. The production will officially open January 26.

Under the Radar Festival
The Public Theater launches its 13th annual Under the Radar Festival January 4 featuring a host of innovative artists from all over the world. The 12-day event, which has become well-known for showcasing cutting-edge and genre-defying theatre works, takes place in different venues throughout the city

WIll Swenson and Laura Osnes
WIll Swenson and Laura Osnes

A highlight of the festival is the Blueprint Specials, the revival of a collection of lost Frank Loesser musicals commissioned by the U.S. Army during World War II. The musicals are being presented in association with the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and will be staged on the interior hangar deck of the museum—a real-life U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. Tony nominees Laura Osnes and Will Swenson star.

Other productions on offer include La Mélancolie des Dragons at The Kitchen Theatre by French artist Philippe Quesne—“a three-dimensional poem,” featuring a band of longhaired metalheads in a snowy forest; Top Secret International, an algorithmic-based interactive theatre experience staged in the Egyptian Wing of the Brooklyn Museum by renowned German theatre-maker Rimini Protokoll; and In the Name of Semelah, a multimedia show at the Asia Society in which Indonesian artists Eko Nugroho and Wayang Bocor present the story of how Islam came to Java.

The Dork Knight
Jason O’Connell explores his obsession with Batman in his new solo play, The Dork Knight, beginning January 6. Presented by Abingdon Theatre Company, the Sense & Sensibility actor masters a range of different bat personas in the comedic solo piece. Featuring direction by Tony Speciale, performances run through January 29 at the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre.

Made in China
Wakka Wakka’s Made in China, a puppet musical about consumerism, human rights, and American/Chinese relations, receives its New York premiere at 59E59 Theaters beginning January 10. The show is inspired by true events and recounts the story of a shopping-obsessed woman who finds a cry-for-help note written by someone in a Chinese labor camp. Performances continue through February 19.

Orange Julius
Basil Kreimendahl’s Orange Julius debuts at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater January 10 in a co-production with Page 73. After being poisoned by Agent Orange in the jungles of Vietnam, veteran Julius is dying. The memory play, which delves into his childhood memories and war movie fantasies, follows his relationship with his trans adult child, Nut. Directed by Dustin Wills, the cast is made up of Jess Barbagallo, Stephen Payne, Mary Testa, Irene Sofia Lucio, and Ruy Iskandar. The play will officially open January 22, and is scheduled to run through February 12.

Dascha Polanco and Selenis Leyva
Dascha Polanco and Selenis Leyva Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Tell Hector I Miss Him
Atlantic Theater Company presents the world premiere of Paola Lázaro’s Tell Hector I Miss Him beginning January 11. The new play by the Puerto Rican-born actor and playwright is set in Old San Juan with a cast that includes Orange Is the New Black co-stars Dascha Polanco and Selenis Leyva. “Tell Hector I Miss Him unmasks a community built on the law of respect that keeps getting washed away but refuses to drown,“ read Atlantic production notes. Directed by David Mendizábal, the debut production is set to officially open January 23 and will run through February 12.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane
The Brooklyn Academy of Music kicks off its winter season January 11 with a 20th anniversary revival of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane from acclaimed Irish theatre company Druid. Garry Hynes, who won a Tony Award for directing the play on Broadway, returns to helm the dark comedy, and Druid co-founder Marie Mullen, who won a Tony for her performance as Maureen in the original production, now takes on the fearsome older role of Mag. Aisling O’Sullivan, Marty Rea, and Aaron Monaghan complete the cast. Performances continue through February 5.

Fringe of Humanity
Primitive Grace Theater Ensemble debuts Paul Calderon’s Fringe of Humanity January 11. In his newest work, about a motley crew of filmmakers on a project in a Third World country, Calderon draws on his numerous years of real-life film acting experience. Performances run through January 28 at Access Theater, with direction by the playwright. The cast is made up of Calderon, David Zayas, William Rothlein, Rebecca Nyahay, Luke Smith, Alex Emanuel, Jakob Von Eichel, Jessica Damouni, Feliz Ramirez Greg Prosser, and Nixon Cesar.

Lucas Hedges, Ari Graynor, Stefania LaVie Owen, and Justice Smith Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Following an acclaimed London premiere, Anna Jordan’s play Yen debuts Off-Broadway January 12. Starring in the MCC production are Manchester by the Sea‘s Lucas Hedges and The Get Down’s Justice Smith. The young screen stars play two brothers who spend their days streaming porn and playing video games without adult supervision. Completing the cast are Ari Graynor and Stefania LaVie Owen. Directed by Trip Cullman, the play will open January 30 and is scheduled through February 19 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

The Tempest
Acclaimed director Phyllida Lloyd returns to St. Ann’s Warehouse January 13 with her staging of The Tempest, starring Harriet Walter, set against the backdrop of women in prison. “The premise was to take the most voiceless group you might imagine—women prisoners; refugees from our culture, if you like; people without any access to the internet even—and watch them electrify an audience with nothing but Shakespeare’s language,” commented Lloyd in a press statement. The Donmar Warehouse transfer culminates the director’s acclaimed trilogy of all-female Shakespeare productions. The show will officially open January 18 and continue through February 19.

Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band
Award-winning Off-Broadway company Ma-Yi Theater stages the world premiere of Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band, a rock musical inspired by Henrik Ibsen’s classic 1876 drama. The show is created by Michi Barall and Jack Tamburri, who also directs, with music by Paul Lieber and Matt Park. Performances begin January 17 and continue through February 11 at the Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T./New York Theatres.


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