13 Shows Not to Miss Off-Broadway May 18–31

Off-Broadway News   13 Shows Not to Miss Off-Broadway May 18–31
New musicals, Tony-winning stars, world-premiere plays, and adaptations can be seen this month.
Jonathan Raviv and Troy Iwata in <i>The Boy Who Danced on Air </i>
Jonathan Raviv and Troy Iwata in The Boy Who Danced on Air

May 18: Matthew Perry makes his New York playwriting and acting stage debut with The End of Longing. The play received its world premiere on the West End last year—where it broke box-office records at the Playhouse Theatre—and arrives Off-Broadway in a revamped production from MCC Theater.

May 19: Kirsten Childs’ new musical Bella: An American Tall Tale kicks off at Playwrights Horizons with direction by Robert O’Hara. Set in the 1870s, the musical takes the audience on the trip of a lifetime through the Wild West, complete with a train robbery and buffalo soldiers. At the heart of this story is Bella, a young African American woman on the run, played Off-Broadway by Ashley D. Kelley.

Kirsten Childs Marc J. Franklin

May 19: Dan Daw, an Australian performer with cerebral palsy, brings his highly personal monologue piece—a combination of dance and theatre—to the U.S. stage for the first time. Directed by Graham Adey, performances of On One Condition are at SoHo Playhouse through May 26 only.

May 20: Clubbed Thumb kicks off its 22nd annual Summerworks festival of new plays with Ariel Stess’ The World My Mama Raised, directed by Kip Fagan. The play series has garnered a reputation for unearthing exciting new talent; past festivals included works by Sarah Ruhl, Gina Gionfriddo, Anne Washburn, and more. The World My Mama Raised plays through May 30, and Summerworks runs through July 1 at The Wild Project.

May 21: Waterwell’s dual-language adaptation of Hamlet —in English and Farsi—opens at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture. Leading a trio of Tony nominees is Arian Moayed in the title role alongside Sherie Rene Scott and Micah Stock as Gertrude and Horatio, respectively. Performances began May 10.

May 21: Hamish Linklater’s The Whirligig opens at the Signature Theatre in a production from The New Group. Norbert Leo Butz, Zosia Mamet, and Grace Van Patten are among the cast of the world-premiere play from the actor and playwright. Performances began May 4.

May 21: Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan’s new political drama Building the Wall opens at New World Stages. Set in 2019, the play imagines what might happen if the Trump administration carries out its campaign promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants. Performances began May 12.

May 21: Sweetee, Gail Kriegel’s musical about a bi-racial woman growing up during the era of Jim Crow, receives its New York premiere in the Ford Foundation Studio at the Signature Theatre. Two-time Emmy winner and five-time Tony nominee Patricia Birch directs a cast that includes Frozen’s Jelani Alladin and Jordan Tyson in the title role.

May 23: The New York premiere of Gina Gionfriddo’s Can You Forgive Her? opens at the Vineyard Theatre starring Amber Tamblyn in her Off-Broadway debut. The newest play from the two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist follows a woman on the run from a date threatening to kill her. Performances began May 4.

Can_You_Forgive_Her?_Vineyard_Production_Photos_2017_Amber Tamblyn and Frank Wood_HR.jpg
Amber Tamblyn and Frank Wood Carol Rosegg

May 23: Performances of Julius Caesar begin on the Delacorte stage in Central Park, kicking off the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park summer season. The theatre’s artistic director, Oskar Eustis, helms the Bard’s political masterpiece, with a cast that includes Gregg Henry in the title role, Nikki M. James as Portia, John Douglas Thompson as Cassius, and Eisa Davis as Brutus.

May 23: Second Stage Theatre launches its 2017 Uptown series at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre with the world premiere of Chisa Hutchinson’s play Somebody’s Daughter. Three generations of women find their identity in question in the new play, which was commissioned by 2ST as part of the Time Warner Commissioning Program.

May 25: Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne’s musical fable The Boy Who Danced On Air opens Off-Broadway in a production from Abingdon Theatre Company. The love story explores the dark underworld of Afghanistan’s bacha bazi, where wealthy men take in young boys from poor families and often abuse them. Performances began May 16.

May 30: Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables novel is adapted into a monologue play by Royal Family Productions, a company known for its original works. Catch a workshop presentation of the new solo show at Royal Family's performance space in Times Square through June 10 only. Anne of Green Gables: Part 1 is adapted and directed by Chris Henry with choreography by Lorna Ventura, and performed by Rocky Vega.

Flip through the production photos of The Boy Who Danced On Air below:


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