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Posted: Mar 02, 2020
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By: Jennifer Friedel

The Best Pieces of Theater On Stage This Spring

We’re bringing you what’s the best on stage now – and opening soon. And, you’ll notice not all of them are on Broadway, because, honestly, what’s the point of living in NYC if you don’t take advantage of all there is to see, or have the chance to say, oh I remember when I saw that before…. (all the Tony nods). So, here’s our latest on and off-Broadway round-up.

01

Chicago

The Ambassador Theatre - Ongoing

01

If you’ve never seen Chicago (which is the longest-running American musical in Broadway history), and are a Housewives fan, get tickets to see Erika Jayne razzle-dazzle as Roxie Hart through March 29. The play has opened roles to guest performers including other Housewives and celebs (you too can fall down the IMDB rabbit hole later!). If you don’t know about the play itself or haven’t seen the movie, sultry music and choreography create the story of two rival murderesses in jail during the 1920s. The competing ladies (one a nightclub star, the other a chorus girl) create some jailhouse drama prime for a Netflix binge.

02

Lungs

Brooklyn Academy of Music - Opens March 25, Closes April 19, 2020

Lungs

The Crown’s Claire Foy and Matt Smith reunite in the timely play, Lungs. Following a critically acclaimed sold-out run in London, Duncan Macmillan’s performance crosses the pond to bring audiences the raw (read: a roller coaster of emotions from hysterical to heart-wrenching) portrayal of a couple deciding whether or not to start a family, with climate change, political unknowns and overpopulation being of concern. The theme probably hits close to home for many, and for those it doesn’t, the intimate portrayal of the couple’s struggle is still relatable.

03

72 Miles to Go

Roundabout Theatre Company/Laura Pels Theatre (Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre) - Closes May 3, 2020

72 Miles to Go

Roundabout Theatre Company/Laura Pels Theatre (Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre) - Closes May 3, 2020

Those are the miles between a recently deported mother, now in Nogales, Mexico and her husband and children in Tucson, Arizona. The play, a premiere from Juilliard playwright Hilary Bettis (The Americans) and Jo Bonney (director of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cost of Living) captures the love, struggle, and strength of the family over a 10-year period.

04

The Visitor

Public Theater - Opens March 24, Closes May 10, 2020

04

Opening this month is The Visitor, based on the 2007 acclaimed indie film. It’s a stirring story of a widower who befriends undocumented Syrian and Senegalese immigrants in post-9/11 NYC. The musical leads you through an array of emotions as the group faces the realities of navigating their lives and their shared love of music and family. At the helm is Tony and Pulitzer Prize winners Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, and the cast includes Alysha Deslorieux, a Hamilton national tour and Once On This Island alum, and Tony winner David Hyde Pierce.

05

Beetlejuice

Winter Garden Theatre - Closes June 6, 2020

Beetlejuice

Ok, we were skeptical of this one too, but people are really into it! So, check out Beetlejuice a fun, weird musical homage to an old school favorite. The funny lines, catchy music, and Tim Burton-esque design, as well as keeping Beetlejuice front and center, and audience-aware, makes for a perhaps surprisingly engaging show.

06

Plaza Suite

Hudson Theatre - Previews begin March 13, Opening April 13, Closing July 12, 2020

Plaza Suite

Hudson Theatre - Previews begin March 13, Opening April 13, Closing July 12, 2020

Marking their first return to Broadway together since 1995, four-time Golden Globe (+ two Emmy’s) winner Sarah Jessica Parker and two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick star in the first-ever New York revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite. Broken into three acts, the real-life husband and wife play three married couples in different seasons of their relationships, in a pretty hysterical and real look at love and marriage.

07

Company

Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - Previews begin March 2, Opening March 22

07

In its fourth Broadway revival (yes, you read that correctly), Company is back. Following an acclaimed run in London’s West End, this revived production is heading to New York again. But, as in London, it will be the first gender-reversed production on Broadway. The leading male role of Bobby was changed to a female lead, Bobbie, offering a fresh take on the play and its storyline. Other characters were also switched around, allowing for the inclusion of a gay couple as well. The multiple Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical stars veteran Patti LuPone who never disappoints as well as Tony Award and Grammy Award winner Katrina Lenk. A tale as old as time, 35-year-old Bobbie can’t avoid the question, “When are you getting married?” “Why can’t you find the right person?” sending her on a journey exploring what it means to be single, married, and just living life in New York City.

08

Caroline, Or Change

Roundabout Theatre Company/Studio 54 - Opens March 13

Caroline, Or Change

Another not-to-be-missed revival is Caroline, or Change, led by West End veteran and award-winning Sharon D. Clarke who makes her New York debut. Set in Louisiana in 1963 focusing around an African American maid working for a Jewish family, the musical explores how even the smallest of changes can have a great impact. The story is loosely based on Tony Kushner’s life, who wrote the music and script, complemented by music by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, who blends genres from spiritual to blues and folk to Jewish Klezmer music.

09

Diana

Longacre Theatre - Previews begin March 2, Opens March 31

Diana

Longacre Theatre - Previews begin March 2, Opens March 31

We may never get up close and personal with Meghan Markle, but we can take this opportunity to be mini Royalists and delve into the life of Prince Harry’s mother, Diana. Directed by Christopher Ashely, who won a Tony for his work on Come From Away and choreographed by Kelly Devine who did the musical staging for Come From Away (which if you haven’t seen, go!), the show’s music and script were written by Tony Award winners as well. We’re all pretty familiar with the story – an everyday girl is thrust into the spotlight and a rigid formal life, and it’s rocky, to say the least. Diana’s interviews and books informed the story, and the show is centered around the struggles of her personal life and the Diana-Charles-Camilla love triangle. It also shows the aftermath of her leaving – or trying to leave - the royal family behind.

10

To Kill a Mockingbird

Sam S. Shubert Theatre - Ongoing

10

Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin’s play has garnered rave reviews since its 2018 launch. And now, with headliner Ed Harris replacing Jeff Daniels through April 19, followed by Greg Kinnear on April 21, the new-ish adaptation is still going strong. Tackling, with rawness, prejudice, racism and justice and (in)tolerance in the American South, the play, as Jeff Daniels noted in a Variety interview, is “a stronger punch to the chin,” especially in today’s climate. Sorkin re-envisioned the trial, and how Atticus and his children’s characters are addressed. And, did you know despite winning the Pulitzer Prize, and never being out of print, the book is still being banned and withdrawn from required readings as recently as last year? Kind of makes us want to support the play even more.


11

Ain't Too Proud

mperial Theatre - Ongoing

Ain't Too Proud

Backed by award-winning players - both for the play, and naturally, the music itself, Ain’t Too Proud is another fun musical that takes you on the road of The Temptations’ rise to fame. The show also addresses personal and political obstacles that threatened the group. The story is one of loyalty, family, determination, and even betrayal, all set to some of the group’s well-known hits and other Motown classics you surely know and love.


12

Hamilton

Richard Rogers Theatre - Ongoing

Hamilton

Richard Rogers Theatre - Ongoing

Just see it already. I’m sure by now you know all the songs anyway. AND it’s going to be a movie with the original cast, and who doesn’t love a good comparison? There are several lotteries to enter, with tickets starting at just $10. So, at least try your luck on those if the regular priced tickets are still out of reach.

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