It’s a new year and Broadway (and beyond) is getting a reboot with a slew of new shows rolling into The Great White Way. Here are our picks of what not to miss this month.
Juicy! There’s nothing like a bit of undiscovered Chekhov to warm up a winter night. The famous playwright’s first work wasn’t unearthed until 16 years after his death, and now Sydney Theatre Company brings Andrew Upton’s contemporary translation to Broadway.
Cate Blanchett stars as widow Anna Petrovna as she celebrates her birthday at an old country house. A cast of characters appears and in typical Chekovian fashion, by the end we see a mess of unfinished, unresolved relationships, fuelled by twenty years of denial, regret and thwarted desire.
243 West 47th Street
Opening night: January 8
Limited run through March 19
The late August Wilson wrote a series of ten plays exploring the African American experience. Titled “The American Century Cycle,” this is the last of Wilson’s series to come to Broadway in a new production directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who won a Tony Award for his performance in Wilson’s Seven Guitars.
Set in the early 1970s, the play follows a group of men trying to make a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed, and the fragile threads binding these people together may finally come undone.
Manhattan Theatre Club
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
Opening night: January 19
Limited run through March 12
Directed by Trip Cullman (who has two plays slated for Broadway this season, Significant Other and Six Degrees of Separation), the play follows brothers Bobbie and Hench. Their days are filled by streaming porn, playing video games, and watching the world go by. Their mom rarely visits, and it’s chaos when she does. But when animal-loving neighbor Jenny takes an interest in their dog Taliban, the boys discover a world far beyond what they know. Yen explores a childhood lived without boundaries. The production features Ari Graynor, Lucas Hedges, Stefania LaVie Owen, and Justice Smith.
MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theatre
121 Christopher Street
Opening night: January 30
Limited run through February 19
Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on social media at @roodeloo.