What's playing in NYC?
February 9, 2011 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Looking for some NYC theater recommendations.

We're heading down to New York for Presidents Weekend (18-21 Feb) and I was hoping to catch a show. Looking through the TDF website... well, I'm stumped. Do the locals or insiders have any recommendations? On- or off-Broadway is fine. My girlfriend's not much of a theater geek, so I'm thinking a comedy or light drama would be ideal.
posted by backseatpilot to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Avenue Q is still playing off-Broadway.

Lombardi (on-Broadway, play, not a musical) is quite excellent.

That Championship Season (starring Brian Cox, Jim Gaffigan, Chris Noth, Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland) begins previews tonight.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:48 AM on February 9, 2011

I looked over the list of what was at the booth last week, here are some musicals I think you might enjoy:

La Cage Aux Folles- musical version of "The Birdcage", Harvey Fierstein will be in the cast by the time you get to town
Avenue Q- light, fun musical, off-Broadway
American Idiot- rock musical featuring Green Day songs, could be fun if you enjoy their music, especially since Billie Joe Armstrong has joined the cast.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:50 AM on February 9, 2011

Best answer: The Divine Sister (playing in the West Village)
posted by mkultra at 8:54 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

This comedy by the Atlantic sounds fun. It's playing in the Village, looks like, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre at 121 Christopher St.

(Hint: if you have never been to Greenwich Village, go during daylight and find the place first.)
posted by Danf at 9:07 AM on February 9, 2011

Gruesome Playground Injuries at Second Stage was good for both drama and comedy and it closes Feb 20
posted by rmless at 9:13 AM on February 9, 2011

Man if I was in your shoes, I'd go see "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" at the Roundabout Theatre. Starring Olympia Dukakis!

The original play was a flop, and so was the revival, effectively ending Tennessee Williams' streak of huge successes. And then the movie! It was adapted into the film Boom! starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in 1968, which was also a catastrophe and was a blight on the careers of everyone involved. It's not even on DVD! (John Waters claims it as one of his favorite films.)

Anyhow the reviews for this new "Milk Train" production have been thoroughly mixed, but not all bad, I would give my eyeteeth to see it for the history alone, and to see an Oscar-winner in the part.
posted by hermitosis at 9:32 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

"Next to Normal" is a really exceptional Broadway show, both in quality and nature. I can't recommend it highly enough!
posted by Salamandrous at 9:36 AM on February 9, 2011

"Next to Normal" is a really exceptional Broadway show, both in quality and nature. I can't recommend it highly enough!

It totally is exceptional, but it closed last month!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:42 AM on February 9, 2011

Probably can't go wrong with The Importance of Being Earnest.
posted by dzot at 10:05 AM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Two great off-Broadway shows are
The Blue Man Group and Stomp.

They are both great shows. Both shows are all over the world now,
but these off-Broadway theatres are the original venues where they started.
And they are in Greenwich Village, which is great night life for after the show.
posted by Flood at 10:12 AM on February 9, 2011

If you want to see something new/fresh and not something that's been on Broadway for years, your best bet is to check out listings on Time Out for the time you'll be here. There will be reviews, or possible just a small blurb explaining the basic gist of whatever it is.

I think the hot ticket right now is Spiderman on Broadway.

I wouldn't pay to see anything Off-Broadway that used to be on Broadway for years - it'll be no better than seeing it on a national tour or a regional revival.

If I were you, or hell, if I were me and I had the money, I would go see Geoffrey Rush in Diary of a Madman at BAM. Or the new revival of Three Sisters at Classic Stage Company.

For venues that tend to always have something interesting going on, I'd suggest New York Theatre Workshop or St. Ann's Warehouse (they do lots of different types of entertainment, though, not just theatre). I also like P.S. 122, though their work tends to be a lot more experimental.

If you're interested in the history of theatre in New York, it would be great to see something at Cherry Lane, which was started by Edna St. Vincent Millay and the Provincetown Players and became the epicenter of non-Broadway New York theatre for pretty much the entire 20th century. If you've heard of an American playwright that wrote anything since like 1925, they've had something staged there.
posted by Sara C. at 11:21 AM on February 9, 2011

Billy Elliot is supposed to be good and looks like it shows up consistently at TDF. Avenue Q is great, especially if you're in the mood for a comedy.
The buzz about Spiderman has been bad. The reviews have been awful, the opening has been pushed back many many times and there have been some serious injuries that have shaken up the cast (and caused stars to leave the production). I mean, if you want to go see a $65 million train wreck, by all means go. But here's an article that quotes the reviews.
posted by blueskiesinside at 11:53 AM on February 9, 2011

loved jersey boys!
posted by sabh at 12:44 PM on February 9, 2011

Mod note: few comments removed - less judgeme, more helpme. If you can't help being rude, please email your rude comments directly to the OP, thank you
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:48 PM on February 9, 2011

posted by jchaw at 4:35 PM on February 9, 2011

Seconding Billy Elliot if you want the typical Broadway musical experience.

In fact, I'm glad blueskiesinside mentioned it because I'd wanted to see it when it opened and couldn't afford to go. Now that it's available from the TKTS booth and I'm unemployed, I'll have to keep that in mind next time I want to splurge on big spectacular entertainment. Maybe I'll take myself for Valentine's Day.

The only thing that would inspire me to go see Spiderman would be the bragging rights years from now when someone at some cocktail party says, "Did you know that there was once a Broadway musical based on Spiderman?", or in case it becomes one of those notorious flops like Carrie. Then again, who knows? Maybe it'll be fun.
posted by Sara C. at 4:51 PM on February 9, 2011

Response by poster: Excellent! I bought tickets for The Divine Sister. Diary of a Madman also sounds great, but the girlfriend wasn't too interested. Thanks!
posted by backseatpilot at 5:36 PM on February 9, 2011

I see it's resolved but for future eyes... Milk Train is pretty solid as is The Whipping Man at MTC/City Center.
posted by TravellingCari at 5:48 PM on February 9, 2011

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