With every fall comes Broadway Direct’s Fall Preview, a glimpse at all the shows heading to Broadway in the coming months. Now, in our first Off-Broadway preview, take a look at some of the shows across New York City worth checking out this fall.
One-person stage comedies continue to grow in popularity. Favorites like Alex Edelman’s Just for Us and Mike Birbiglia’s The Old Man and the Pool became hits with Broadway audiences, and last year’s KATE starring Kate Berlant ran two sold-out Off-Broadway engagements and will be followed by runs in London and Los Angeles this fall and early next year. Golden Globe Award winner Rachel Bloom, best known for creating and starring in the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, enters the scene this fall with her one-woman musical-comedy Death, Let Me Do My Show. Described as a show “filled with raunchy and escapist material that will in NO way explore the pandemic and all the tumultuous events that ensued in [Bloom’s] personal life,” this limited engagement is definitely one to keep on your radar.
Swing State at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre Running September 8 through October 21
Pulitzer Prize finalist Rebecca Gilman’s latest play had its world premiere in the fall of 2022 at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, with Chris Jones of The Chicago Tribune saying it is “Perhaps the first of the great American plays of this decade.” Directed by Tony Award winner Robert Falls, Swing State comes to Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre, where it’ll be recorded for an audio release at a later date. The original Chicago company, including Mary Beth Fisher (The Night of the Iguana) and Bubba Weiler (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), stars in the New York premiere.
Here We Are at The Shed
Running September 29, 2023, through January 7, 2024
New York has seen many productions of the late Stephen Sondheim’s works in recent years, with Broadway revivals of Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd opening last season and the highly anticipated revival of Merrily We Roll Alongbeginning performances this fall. Now, a new Sondheim piece is still out there to be explored and is being brought to the stage Off-Broadway. Here We Are features a new score by Sondheim with a book by Tony Award nominee David Ives, and is inspired by two films, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel, by Luis Buñuel. Little more is known about the upcoming show, which begins performances later this month, but with a cast featuring Tony Award winners David Hyde Pierce, Rachel Bay Jones, and Denis O’Hare, as well as Broadway favorites Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, and Steven Pasquale, this Joe Mantello–directed production is sure to be the most buzzed-about Off-Broadway event of the fall.
Stereophonic at Playwrights Horizons Running October 6 through November 19
The New York Times called David Adjmi “one of several adventurous playwrights now who rather than avoiding clichés are embracing them to find out what enduring truths and lies still lurk beneath their threadbare exteriors.” This fall, Playwrights Horizions will put on the world premiere production of Adjmi’s Stereophonic. Featuring original music by Arcade Fire’s Will Butler, the new play, set in a 1970s music studio, begins performances this October.
Led by Tony Award winner Santino Fontana, I Can Get It for You is a dark musical comedy last seen on Broadway in 1962. Now it returns with a cast featuring Tony nominee Judy Kuhn, Adam Chanler-Berat, Rebecca Naomi Jones, rising star Joy Woods, and 2023 Tony nominee and Into the Woods/High School Musical: The Musical: The Series scene stealer Julia Lester, who steps into the role originated by Barbra Streisand. For the past few falls, Classic Stage Company has produced can’t-miss starry musical revivals — Assassins in 2021 and A Man of No Importance in 2022 — and this year is no different.
Hell’s Kitchen at the Public Theater Running October 24 through December 23
Beloved star Shoshana Bean originated her first principal role on Broadway in 2022’s Mr. Saturday Night, for which she earned Tony and Grammy nominations. She follows that musical performance with this fall’s Hell’s Kitchen, a new musical directed by Michael Grief and written by Grammy Award–winning icon Alicia Keys and Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright Kristoffer Diaz. It features new music by Keys as well as some of her most iconic tunes. With the Public Theater’s track record and a team of this caliber, your ticket to Hell’s Kitchen should be secured as soon as possible.
Aubrey Plaza, a favorite on TV shows Parks and Recreation and The White Lotus, will make her stage debut this fall in the Off-Broadway revival of John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, opposite Christopher Abbott. The two-hander follows Danny and Roberta as they “walk the line between destruction and transcendence.” Plaza recently scored her first Emmy nomination for her buzzed-about performance on the last season of The White Lotus, making her first stage outing all the more hotly anticipated.
Pal Joey at New York City Center Running November 1 through November 5
While not technically Off-Broadway, City Center’s Broadway-adjacent productions (and eventually “pre-Broadway” in the case of the recent Into the Woods and Parade revivals) have long been anticipated by New York theatergoers and in recent years have garnered even more buzz across social media. This fall, the theatre’s annual gala presentation will be Pal Joey, directed by tap icon Savion Glover and stage and screen veteran Tony Goldwyn, with a cast led by Tony nominees Ephriam Sykes, Brooks Ashmanskas, and Elizabeth Stanley, along with Jeb Brown, Loretta Devine, and recent Once Upon a One More Time star Aisha Jackson. Prepare to be “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” when this Rodgers and Hart classic is staged again this fall.
Gavin Creel is one of the most renowned musical theater actors of his generation. His Broadway debut back in 2002 in Thoroughly Modern Millie earned him his first of three Tony nominations; the third, for 2017’s Hello, Dolly!, won him the award. His next project finds him wearing many hats as the writer and star of Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice. The musical from Creel, his theatrical songwriting debut, was originally commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and performed there by him in 2021. Now in its first fully staged production, Walk on Through will take the audiences through “an intimate, relatable journey of discovery and transformation through the lens of the art that captured [Creel’s] imagination.”
This fall, Saheem Ali, fresh off his Tony-nominated turn as director of Fat Ham, will helm the world premiere of the musical Buena Vista Social Club, which is inspired by the Grammy-winning album of the same name. Atlantic Theater Company has hosted world premieres of some of the most acclaimed musicals this century, treating Off-Broadway audiences to Spring Awakening, The Band’s Visit, and Kimberly Akimbo before their Tony Award–winning turns on Broadway — making their productions ones to always keep an eye on.
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