Autumn in New York

I am often asked for theatre suggestions from friends travelling to New York. One of my favorite times on the East Coast is now – cooler weather, changing leaves, new plays opening…  This year, I only have two recommendations based on personal experience from seeing them in London, but I read a lot of theatre news and I’m greatly intrigued by a few other new openings.  If you’re going to New York in the coming months, check out these possibilities:

The Ferryman 

Laura Donnelly and Paddy Considine  in The Ferryman

Laura Donnelly and Paddy Considine
in The Ferryman

I was fortunate to see this new play written by Jez Butterworth (Tony nomination in 2011 for Jerusalem) during its multiple-award-winning run in London.  Set in 1981 in rural Northern Ireland, the play is a sprawling epic about a family that draws from the revolutionary history and myths of the Irish nation. The leads from the original production — Paddy Considine as the head of the household, and Olivier Award winner Laura Donnelly as his sister-in-law — make their Broadway debuts.  Get your tickets soon before the inevitable rave reviews make it really difficult!

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The second personal recommendation (actually two, since its two parts are each a full length play – you can see a matinee then evening, as I did, or see the two parts on totally separate days) — is this completely fun and stunningly stagecrafted Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

The story picks up years after Hogwarts when Harry is now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

The critically acclaimed play opened in London in 2016 and has won 22 major theatre awards in the UK and opened last Spring on Broadway.  If you can get tickets, it’s a lot of fun.

harry potter

So ends the personal recommendations.  But these are three  more I would check out:

The Thanksgiving Play

The Thanksgiving Play at Playwrights Horizon

The Thanksgiving Play
at Playwrights Horizon

Fast emerging playwright Larissa FastHorse has intrigued me for quite a while and her new play, featuring Jenny Bareilles (sister of singer/writer/actress Sara Bareilles) is now in previews at Playwrights Horizon and opens November 5 for a limited run.

I even have a promo code for you for this one from Ticket Central (not sure how long it will work) that came with this description:

 

A side-splitting satire with topical, timely themes  In Larissa FastHorse’s new comedy, well-intentioned white teaching artists scramble to create an ambitious “woke” Thanksgiving pageant……as part of an “All School Turkey Trot”
…that celebrates Native American Heritage Month
…and satisfies their lofty artistic impulses…and quells their white guilt.
Gobble up savings and enjoy $10 off Tier 1 seats with code TTPTC2.

 

American Son  

Kerry Washington and Steve Pasquale

Kerry Washington and Steve Pasquale

 

This one sounds good to me and has great talent:

In the early hours of the morning, an African American woman (played by Scandal star Kerry Washington) anxiously seeks information at a Florida police station about her teenage son who went missing the night before. The gripping new drama American Son (now in previews, opens November 4), taps into a parent’s worst fears in contemporary America. Caught up in the current national racial divide, the mother and her estranged white husband (Steven Pasquale) confront a rookie police officer (Jeremy Jordan) and the overconfident lieutenant in charge (Eugene Lee).

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

The buzz is positive on this one and the artists behind it are strong:  Two-time Tony award nominee Jeff Daniels plays Atticus Finch, the Alabama lawyer who fights for social justice in Harper Lee’s 1960s classic To Kill a Mockingbird (starts November 1, opens December 13). Relevant in the face of racial tensions, the new stage adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is by Aaron Sorkin (Oscar-winning writer of The Social Network and multiple Emmy award winner for The West Wing). The cast includes Celia Keenan-Bolger, Will Pullen, Gideon Glick, Frederick Weller, Gbnega Akinnagbe, Stark Sands, Neal Huff, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and LaTanya Richardson Jackson . The Scott Rudin and Lincoln Center Theater coproduction is directed by Bartlett Sher.

So, there are a few ideas for a lovely autumn evening in New York.  If you see something you enjoy, let me know!

 

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