Must-see in NYC?
October 1, 2009 2:33 PM   Subscribe

What are the absolute must-see plays or performances happening this month in New York City?

I'm going to be in NYC the last week of October. I go about twice a year and every time I'm there I try to see as much amazing theater as I can. However I'm out of the loop this season and don't know what's really great. (Last year I saw "Equus" "Fuerza Bruta" and "Black Watch." I enjoyed all of them.)

I shouldn't have any trouble getting tickets to even sold-out performances due to my business connections, but I don't know what is worth seeing, and I don't want to waste my few city evenings on anything mediocre. It doesn't have to be Broadway or even off-Broadway-- just truly memorable.

I heard "At Steady Rain" was 'meh,' but heard good things about "Our Town." What do you recommend? Thanks!
posted by np312 to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Carrie Fisher's one-woman show Wishful Drinking is pretty funny, particularly if you loved Star Wars (and as she herself said, "If you didn't see Star Wars... why are you here?" But no, it's funny even if you didn't love Star Wars). I really enjoyed Tracy Letts' new play (after August: Osage County) Superior Donuts; the story isn't perfect but it's very funny, lots of laugh out loud moments. The revival of Hair is probably this year's biggest musical ticket. Keep your eyes on the New York Times Theatre section; lots of stuff in previews now that will be opening in the next few weeks.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:39 PM on October 1, 2009

I'm looking forward to seeing Wishful Drinking, which is in limited run. I finally saw West Side Story last night and it was great. God of Carnage, which won a slew of Tonys, is in its closing weeks. Next to Normal is another I've heard nothing but good about.
posted by cmgonzalez at 2:57 PM on October 1, 2009

Next to Normal is fantastic. And I really want to see Superior Donuts.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:12 PM on October 1, 2009

I'm seconding Superior Donuts. I really enjoyed it, and the young man in it is going to be a star.

Our Town was really wonderful, and I've been recommending it to everyone. It's a fresh take on what used to think was a stale play.

Fela! is beginning previews on the 19th. It was completely awesome and fun Off-Broadway, and it's supposed to be much tighter now that it'll be on Broadway. If anything, an evening of Fela Kuti music can't be bad.

In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) is starting previews on the 22nd. I haven't seen it, but Sarah Ruhl is one of the best playwrights of her generation, and the play got great reviews when it ran in Berkeley.
posted by zerbinetta at 5:18 PM on October 1, 2009

In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)

I want to see that, too! (NY Times review of the Berkeley production.)
posted by ocherdraco at 5:54 PM on October 1, 2009

I know you're talking about live theatre, but if I were in NYC this month I would definitely be going to the New York Film Festival. May of the films being shown are unlikely to be getting anything close to a wide release, so this may be your only chance to see them on the big screen, if at all. And by all accounts most of the films fit your criteria that they be "memorable."
posted by brevator at 6:37 PM on October 1, 2009 is a very exhaustive list of reviews of what is playing in New York -- on Broadway, off-Broadway, and off-off-Broadway. (Disclaimer: I occasionally write for them.)

I think the responses to "what's the hot ticket" strongly depends on who you talk to, as we're all opinionated and opinions vary wildly. (Case in point: ochredraco's rave for Next To Normal above, vs. my own complete and utter disinterest in that work.) Although, I have indeed heard a lot about Superior Donuts and Our Town.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:17 AM on October 2, 2009

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