Top Stage Shows in New York: Oscar Stars, Margaritaville, Angels in America | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Top Stage Shows in New York: Oscar Stars, Margaritaville, Angels in America

Top Stage Shows in New York: Oscar Stars, Margaritaville, Angels in America
Alison Luff and Paul Alexander Nolan in ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE. It was at La Jolla Playhouse prior to its Broadway transfer.
(Photo by Matthew Murphy.)

It’s all happening on the New York stage. “Three Tall Women” already has an Oscar winner in the cast, Glenda Jackson, and may be about to gain another, in Laurie Metcalf. The play’s previews started in February and it opens soon. The same schedule is true of other stellar-named shows: “Carousel” with Renée Fleming, “Escape to Margaritaville” and “Angels in America.” Plus Uma Thurman still stars in “The Parisian Women.” Music on the Big Apple’s stages ranges from classical pianist Mitsuko Uchida to rock producer Jonathan Wilson, promoting his solo album out this week.

The format of these weekly short capsule previews is to list newly opening and one-time shows; those near the end of their run, and others highly recommended. We continue to review the best and most noteworthy in depth and separately.

ONE-TIME CONCERTS

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano

At Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium, March 2 only.

The prolific Schubert’s piano sonatas are all stunning, all different yet with the same composing voice running through them all. One of the most acclaimed interpreters of the composer is Japan’s Dame Mitsuko Uchida, who here performs the sonatas in B Major, D. 575; in A Minor, D. 845; and in D Major, D. 850.

ONE-TIME CONCERTS

Jonathan Wilson

At Music Hall of Williamsburg, March 7 only.

Can’t get in to see Craig David or the Porches at this venue this week? Well, they may not have much in common, but why not check out multi-instrumentalist Wilson anyway. You may know him for his live work touring with Roger Waters or his production of Father John Misty’s last album. Exalted territory, and the names get more stellar. Wilson’s new solo album, “Rare Birds,” out on March 2, even has Lana Del Rey on backing vocals.

NEW AND RECENT OPENINGS

“Escape to Margaritaville”

At the Marquis Theatre, previews from February 16 and opening on March 15

Songwriter Jimmy Buffett’s hits such as “Margaritaville,” “Come Monday,” “Volcano,” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise” are cunningly worked into a feel-good musical comedy about a romance between a lawyer and a barman. Buffett fans bought every ticket for its off-Broadway tryouts.

“Angels in America”

At the Neil Simon Theatre, previews from February 23 and opening March 21.

This critic saw the early versions of this production at London’s Royal National Theatre. Tony Kushner’s 1993 epic play was winner of many awards, including the Pulitzer. The two-part story was initially controversial with its exploration of the topics of AIDS and gay couples. Nathan Lane plays White House lawyer Roy Cohn and Andrew Garfield plays AIDS patient Pryor Walter.

ALSO WORTH SEEING

“Carousel”

At Imperial Theatre, previews from February 28 and opens on April 12

We are still in early review mode on this one. The cast includes opera singer Renée Fleming as well as Joshua Henry and Jessie Mueller. It is a classic.

“Three Tall Women”

At Golden Theatre, previews from February 27, opens March 29, through June 4.

Edward Albee’s acclaimed later play, which rescued his reputation, was inspired by his mother. It has two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson returning to Broadway after her 30-year absence. She is backed by Laurie Metcalf – the Tony winner for “Doll’s House” and at time of writing she is nominated for her first Oscar for Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird.” Alison Pill, of “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” fame, takes on the younger role. As most playgoers know, the story has three versions of the same woman at various stages of her life.

Disney’s “Frozen”

At St James Theatre, previews from February 22, opens March 2.

The ubiquitous Michael Grandage directs as the Oscar-winning movie comes to Broadway. In its new form, some of the film magic is replaced by a new magic: there are twice as many songs woven in. This is a surefire sellout just given the level of interest in the film and all things Disney. If “Aladdin” can make it big even after mixed reviews out of town, this Denver transfer certainly can. It is helped by set pieces such as the signature song “Let It Go.”

“In The Body of the World”

At Manhattan Theatre Club, through March 25.

Eve Ensler shot to fame with “The Vagina Monologues.” She’s since written an autobiography of sorts on injustices and its success. This solo show adapts the memoir for stage.

“The Parisian Woman”

At Hudson Theater, through March 11.

Uma Thurman plays the central character in “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon’s story first penned about 2013. If playgoers aren’t attracted by her starry presence, they may be by the makeover of this story to give it a harder political edge in this era of President Trump. There are so-so- topical references to “fake news.” While it doesn’t quite deliver, it’s still an evening of class. Thurman, playing a Francophile in an open marriage to a lawyer, is onstage for all 90 minutes (no interval). She certainly proves her stage credentials.

“A Bronx Tale”

At Longacre Theatre, open dates, booking though June.

This show is recommended any week, not just this one. The show is a musical account of the story that has already been a book, a play and of course a Robert De Niro movie.

“Hamilton”

At Richard Rodgers Theater, open dates.

A show about American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton might not sound a rewarding prospect, but this is still one of the highlights of Broadway. Hamilton had a huge character and a most eventful life. The raps are hilarious. It also has contemporary resonance – how will we be remembered… and our Presidents too.

“Waitress”

At Brooks Atkinson Theatre, extended through December.

This wonderfully funny show keeps getting extended. You might remember the 2007 film of the same name. It’s the basis of play which makes it worth heading to Brooks Akinson for. A theater-loving writer friend, who was a waitress in her college days, just saw it. She went along with low expectations, and came out impressed with its cheery feminist messages and sympathy for waiting staff – “the hardest job in the world.”

 

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