January Editor's Picks: Fresh Faces Step Into Shows, Off-Broadway Turns Up the Heat, & Concerts Get Starry
January 3rd, 2018
by Josh Ferri
If you haven’t seen the new hit musical SpongeBob SquarePants, run to the Palace Theatre and go get engulfed by joy, creativity, and theatricality. We named it our favorite new musical of 2017, and this month we have an exclusive discount so you can see the unbelievable Ethan Slater & Co. for less.
Prayers were answered! Tis month, on January 20, Tony winner Bernadette Peters takes the stage as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!. It is the event of the month–and maybe 2018…who can even say?
Now time to talk about the other exciting replacement stars giving their shows a little facelift in 2018. Grammy winner and RHOA star Kandi Burruss said that as Mama Morton in Chicago; a shirtless Norm Lewis and a fierce Tamyra Gray whip up some trouble and vocals as the gods of water and death in Once On This Island; Jake Shears (of Scissor Sisters fame) turns the Tony-winning Kinky Boots into a proper kiki; Peter Jöback clinches the big gig as the 30th anniversary Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera; and Sara Bareilles is ready to serve it out in her hit musical Waitress.
Finally, it’s your last real month to see MTC’s dark end of days nuclear drama The Children, which given recent headlines feels more topical than ever.
Mark Addy (Robert Baratheon on Game of Thrones) and Maxwell Caulfield (the heartthrob from Grease 2, The Colbys, and Empire Records) star in Hangmen, a dark comedy from Martin McDonagh about what happens to England’s second-best hangman when the law abolishes hanging. The US premiere runs at the Atlantic Theater through March 4.
Second Stage’s star-studded Cardinal features Emmy nominee Becky Ann Baker (Girls), Anna Chlumsky (Veep & My Girl, always) and Adam Polly (Happy Endings & The Mindy Project) and follows the local drama in a small Rust Belt town. The world premiere is directed by Sweat’s Kate Whoriskey.
Oscar winner Hayley Mills (The Parent Trap or Miss Bliss from Saved by the Bell) stars as the ultimate monster mom who arrives just in time to ruin her adult daughter’s birthday in the New York premiere of the new comedy Party Face.
The constant stage delight Jeff Hiller takes over the must-see solo show Bright Colors And Bold Patterns from its creator and original star Drew Droege beginning January 17, and any excuse to revisit that show is worth taking.
A big hit in London, the 20th anniversary revival of Enda Walsh’s dark, twisted Disco Pigs arrives at off-Broadway’s Irish Rep with UK stars Colin Campbell and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter films). It tells the story of Runt and Pig, two friends who redefine the term bestie until their 17th birthday when romantic & violet urges change everything.
The new, incredibly timely play Agnus is a futuristic mystery set in 2047 and a piece of political theatre that explores the power of law, technology, and news media. Once you’ve binged Black Mirror, get over to Theatre Row.
Looking for something dark, funny, and super original? La MaMa presents Marla Mase’s hilarious and moving memory play The Pill, a theatrical piece that examines a family’s individual experiences surrounding a single event: a mother takes her anorexic daughter’s anti-depressant. Based on a true story, The Pill presents the event from the perspectives of five different family members.
Before she returns to Broadway this spring as the titular character in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Tony winner LaChanze will sing the house down at the Highline Ballroom for one night only on January 15.
54 Below presents a concert of the cult musical Calamity Jane on January 29 and the cast is on fire! Sara Jean Ford stars alongside Kara Lindsay, Brandon Uranowitz, Michael Park, Jenn Gambatese, Tyler Hanes, & more. It’s a can’t-miss for theatre nerds.
The important and award-winning NYMF musical Freedom Riders: The Civil Rights Musical returns to NYC on January 4. It tells the true story of the brave souls who rode the buses in the segregated south in May of 1961 as a form of peaceful protest.
Tony nominees and true entertainers Andy Karl and Orfeh bring their fan fave concert Legally Bound back to 54 January 23-30 and the theme of the evening is going to be MAJOR VOCALS.