The Very Best of NYC Theater

The Other Place, The Doll Ship, Annie, Scandalous

Don’t miss Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne) starring in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway-premiere production of The Other Place, starting previews on Dec 11. This riveting new thriller by playwright Sharr White is about Juliana Smithton, a successful neurologist, whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, the past collides with the present and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.

La MaMa presents Milena Markovic’s The Doll Ship, a poetic and brutal rendering of the life of a woman artist from childhood to old age through an archetypal string of classic fairy tales, playing Nov 29-Dec 2. Traveling through different stages of life, the heroine takes on the identities of well-known fairy tale characters: the cynical melodrama of Snow White, the satirical parable of Goldilocks, the expressionist tragedy of Kingdom of Darkness and the fantastic grotesque of Hansel and Gretel. Like these great heroines, she walks her own path, apart from the well-trodden social patterns, in search of her own identity and sense of being. Carrying her demons and her own miracle, her true and seeking spirit engages in an intimate confrontation with itself.

Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon hosts The Bachelors’ Tea Party now through Nov 25. A surreal society comedy performed by two actors and four dolls next to an exquisite five-course classic tea service, this performance was inspired by the relationships of Elsie de Wolfe (Lady Mendl) and Bessie Marbury, who referred to themselves as “The Bachelors,” after they took up joint residence sans men in the first years of the 20th century. In a playfully perverse take on a young girl’s imaginary tea party, de Wolfe and Marbury delight and torment each other and entertain a coterie of special guests, suggested by the dolls assembled around the table.

Now playing at the Palace Theatre, Annie returns to enchant Broadway fans just in time for the holiday season. Set at the nadir of the 1930s, we find the plucky red-headed orphan living in a miserable orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Her seemingly hopeless situation changes dramatically when she is selected to spend a short time at the residence of the wealthy munitions industrialist, Oliver Warbucks. Quickly, she charms the hearts of the household staff and even the aloof Warbucks. He decides to help Annie find her long lost parents by offering a reward. But Miss Hannigan, her evil brother Rooster, and a female accomplice pose as Annie’s family to get the reward for themselves.

Two-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello stars in the new Broadway musical, Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, at the Neil Simon Theatre beginning Nov 15. In this true story set in 1920s Los Angeles, holiness collides with Hollywood in an extraordinary tale of a devout woman’s charismatic rise to fame. McPherson, a lay preacher, is also a trailblazing media superstar whose passion for saving souls is matched by her passion for making headlines. But as her popularity grows, so do her enemies, until her sermons, her celebrity and her past combine to put everything she believes in on trial.

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