Performances began 8/24; thru 10/7
A 2011 Pulitizer Prize finalist, this new comedy by Lisa D’Amour takes place in suburbia, where rootless neighborhood newcomers have a disturbing impact on the established couple next door. FYI: Cullum, known mostly for his musical-comedy work, played Holling Vincoeur on the quirky ‘90s series Northern Exposure; Ryan (Holly on The Office) received a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in Uncle Vanya; Schwimmer made his Broadway debut in 2006 in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. [ Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theater, 416 W. 42nd St., 212-279-4200; playwrightshorizons.org ]
Previews began 11/13; opens 12/4
Lush 19th-century bel canto opera meets 21st-century language and humor in Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally’s look at the 1835 Paris opening of Bellini’s I Puritani and the composer whose desire for greatness has eclipsed all else. FYI: This production reunites Neuwirth with Tony winner Walter Bobbie, who directed her in the revival of Chicago for which she received a 1997 Tony for Best Actress in a Musical; Pissoni played both horse and rider in the 2008 revival of Equus starring Daniel Radcliffe. [ MTC at New York City Center—Stage I, 131 W. 55th St., 212-239-6200; manhattantheatreclub.com ]
If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet
Previews began 8/24; opens 9/20; thru 11/25
Brían F. O’Byrne
From British playwright Nick Payne, a new work about a troubled marriage, the daughter caught in the middle, and the heartbroken drifter who reaches out to the overweight teen. FYI: Oscar nominee Gyllenhaal made his screen debut as Billy Crystal’s son in City Slickers; O’Byrne met his wife, Heather Goldenhersh, when they costarred as a priest and a nun in 2005’s Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Doubt. [ Roundabout Theatre Company’s Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre/Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., 212-719-1300; roundabouttheatre.org ]
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Previews 10/25; opens 11/12
David Hyde Pierce
Playwright Christopher Durang, who met Weaver at Yale’s School of Drama in the ‘70s, dips liberally into Chekhov’s character and thematic gene pools for this new work that unfolds in a contemporary Pennsylvania farmhouse. FYI: Nielson appeared in USA’s hot-button Political Animals starring Weaver; Hyde Pierce made his Broadway debut in a bit part in Durang’s Beyond Therapy, a play that began Off-Broadway starring Weaver. [ Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, 150 W. 65th St., 212-239-6200; lct.org ]
For the Scary Season
Sleep No More (ongoing) - A seductively immersive, bizarrely beautiful melding of film noir and Shakespeare’s Scottish Play, with art and artifacts resurrected from long-abandoned shops, mental asylums, restaurants, cemeteries, and museums. This is the McKittrick Hotel in the heart of Chelsea, circa the Jazz Age: five floors haunted by characters from Macbeth dressed in traveling suits, flapper dresses, maid and bellhop uniforms, or nightgowns or next to nothing. We are invited to follow them, individually or in clusters, from scene to scene – or not. We are, however, required to wear identical white carnival masks, navigate dimly lit stairwells, and keep silent.
In Sleep No More’s sublimely evocative souvenir book, Felix Barrett, one of the production’s two directors, explains: “Hidden behind a fictional layer, they lose some of their inhibitions.” Included in this world is a nightclub where you can purchase champagne or absinthe and enjoy an era-appropriate cabaret performance once you’ve finished your expedition. And do not, under any circumstances, expect a traditional performance of Macbeth. Do expect an experience that will live in the shadows of your imagination for a very, very long time. [ 530 W. 27th St., 866-811-4111; sleepnomorenyc.com ]
KILLERS: A Nightmare Haunted House (Sept. 28-Nov. 3) - Here’s how the New York Times described an earlier incarnation — themes change annually — of this fright-infested walk-through: “It works on old anxieties, tweaked just enough to make something new…The most terrifying haunted houses mix the traditional with inventive showbiz intelligence.” The New Yorker called it one of the “country’s most fascinating fear factories.”
For those with strong hearts (or hearty pacemakers), this year’s edition will tap into people’s insatiable fascination with serial killers, both real and fictional, by inviting theatregoers into a “tormenting labyrinth” of psychopathic killers, including Ted Bundy, Albert Fish, and the Zodiac killer.
Notes director Timothy Haskell on his blog (iscareyou.com): “…KILLERS is definitely a response to those that have thought certain houses in the past were maybe ‘not scary enough’…. Since I am not so beholden to creating an overall ‘story’ for the house this year, I have just focused on each story…and figured out the scariest way I could bring it to life… ” As Haskell reminds us, ”There is nothing scarier than actual monsters. Real ones that live among us.” [ Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk St.; hauntedhousenyc.com ]
To view the page in pdf form, click here.