With summer now behind us, and weekend getaways becoming less and less doable, it might be time to start exploring some different avenues as far as entertainment options go; and what better “avenue” to explore than the Great White Way? It’s true that many New Yorkers tend to stay away from the Times Square Theater District on general principle; but whether you’re a diehard theater connoisseur, or the in-laws are just in town, there’s really no better place in the world than New York if you’re craving a top-tier theatrical experience (Port Authority doesn’t count!), and Broadway is the Big Apple’s dramatic epicenter. Here are a few great recommendations for Broadway and Off-Broadway plays and musicals to check out this fall.
This Tony Award winning musical, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, (the genius behind Avenue Q, which recently moved off-Broadway) features a cast made up primarily of people of color, and tells the story of the American Revolution through the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. This isn’t so much a work of musical theater as it is a cultural phenomenon, and tickets have been really hard to come by but keep the faith.
Based on Bret Easton Ellis‘ bloody ode to 1980s excess and materialism, the gore-filled stage production of American Psycho isn’t for the the faint of heart. The production is notable for its slick presentation, and has been criticized for being light on substance (kinda like Patrick Bateman himself), but if spectacle is what you’re looking for, you’ll think director Rupert Goold‘s take on this cultural touchstone is a scream.
Eugene O’Neill‘s posthumously-produced masterpiece about an American family in crisis has been retooled and reimagined by director Jonathan Kent, and is currently enjoying a critically acclaimed run at the Roundabout Theater. The ensemble cast includes dramatic heavyweights Michael Shannon, Gabriel Byrne, John Gallagher, Jr., and Jessica Lange; and although it’s over 3 hours long, the play has been described as “riveting from start to finish.”
This highly experimental, interactive solo show is novel for the fact that the actors who perform it only perform it once, and aren’t permitted to see the script until they walk out onto the stage. So far, a who’s who of acting talents have tackled the role, reinterpreting Iranian playwright and political prisoner Nassim Soleimanpour‘s text with each new performance.
If you’ve ever wondered why Shakespearean actors don’t usually get sloshed before a performance, check out the Drunk Shakespeare Society’s boozy version of Macbeth at Roy Arias Stages. At the start of each performance, one lucky actor will take at least 5 shots of whiskey (or as many as it takes), before stumbling irreverently into lead roles that have tongue-tied some of the greatest (sober) thespians of our time. The production has been known to veer pretty far from the original text, so if you’re a purist, then this might not be for you. For everyone else, this a great, fun way to see Shakespeare! Tickets are available here.
Ellen McLaughlin has a knack for re-contextualizing and reinvigorating Greek tragedy for a modern audience. The actor and dramatist brings a contemporary adaptation of Euripides’ The Trojan Women to the Flea Theater, which opened September 24th.