April Editor's Picks: This Month's 10 Must-See Plays & Musicals in NYC
April 3rd, 2017
by Josh Ferri
1. Laura Osnes and Corey Cott give game-changing performances headlining the new musical drama Bandstand. This is an original story about a group of young guys returning from WWII and trying their best to breakthrough in Hollywood as an all-veteran band with a war widow at the mic. The music is beyond, and Tony-winning director and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler brings an incredible amount of style.
2. You’d be hard pressed to find a more delightful, joyful evening of comedy than the current revival of Present Laughter, starring Kevin Kline. Every performance in this Noel Coward laugh fest will have you smiling from ear to ear and howling for more. I can’t wait to go back and spend another evening in Mr. Essendine's wild, busy sitting room.
3. Fans of small musicals with big heart should run themselves over to Come From Away at Broadway’s Schoenfeld Theatre. The true story of how the great people of Gander welcomed 7,000 stranded airline passengers on 9/11 is bringing audiences to tears. TBH, Jenn Colella’s big number “Me and the Sky” is worth the price of admission alone.
4. Emmy winner Allison Janney headlines the first Broadway revival of the fabulous, edge-of-your-seat Pulitzer and Tony-nominated drama Six Degrees of Separation. Stockard Channing received a Tony nomination and Oscar nomination for her performance as Ouisa in the original production and subsequent film, so anticipation is high. Joining Janney in 1990 New York City are Tony winner John Benjamin Hickey and screen star Corey Hawkins.
5. Stephen Sondheim fans are in for a treat as Classic Stage Company presents one of his rarely seen musicals, Pacific Overtures. Tony winner John Doyle, who reimagined Sondheim’s Company and Sweeney Todd on Broadway, directs the tale of a samurai and a fisherman in 1853 Japan.
6. MTC turned Lillian Hellman’s delicious family drama Little Foxes into one of the biggest theatrical events of the spring. Two celebrated stage and screen actresses (Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney) co-headline this exciting revival, alternating performances as the fierce, Machiavellian Regina and the sad , defeated Birdie. You almost have to see it twice to truly experience how special this is.
7. Tony-nominated Waitress composer Sara Bareilles serves up major vocals in her Broadway debut. The Grammy nominee plays the lead role of Jenna in her own musical, an event fans have been clamoring for since the musical was first announced. Hurry over to the Brooks though because Bareilles is only there until June 11.
8. Cuisine & Confessions is billed as A Chorus Line for foodies and that’s really all I need to hear. The new piece by the incredible Les 7 Doigts combines circus, cooking, and the real-life personal stories of kitchen memories and family recipes. The one-of-a-kind show runs April 11-16 at NYU Skirball…and bring your appetite because clearly there’s going to be some noshing happening.
9. Joe DiPietro’s new off-Broadway musical Ernest Shackleton Loves Me heats up Antarctica with a time travel love affair sure to make you “aw”. Valerie Vigoda stars as a sleep-deprived single mom and video game composer who uploads a dating video only to catch the attention of the famed (and long dead) polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton (Wade McCollum). The two-hander arrives at the Tony Kiser Theatre on April 14.
10. The New York premiere of In & Of Itself explores new ways of seeing the unseeable and how identity is merely an illusion. The critically-acclaimed theatre piece arrives after a sold-out California run, and it’s produced by Neil Patrick Harris and directed by Muppets icon Frank Oz. It’s a limited 10-week affair so get over to the Daryl Roth Theatre before June 18.