New York Weekly Wrap Up – 1/5/18

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As we say goodbye to 2017, we’re continuing to add to our 2018 calendar! With more theatres announcing their upcoming seasons and some can’t-miss premieres, this year already promises to be full of incredible shows.

Ensemble Studio Theatre has chosen its 2018 season, beginning with Sylvia Khoury’s Against the Hillside, a look at the human cost of drone warfare seen through the eyes of a drone pilot and a young Pakistani woman. Directed by William Carden, the show runs January 31-February 25. Up next is Abby Rosebrock’s play about a hard-drinking musicologist who attempts to reconnect with her evangelical mother called Dido of Idaho. Directed by Mikhaela Mahony, the run is scheduled for March 14-April 8. The season ends with Chiara Atik’s play Bump, to be directed by Claudia Weill, featuring three interconnected stories that focus on issues around childbirth. The show runs May 9-June 4.

The New Group’s upcoming production of Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee’s Jerry Springer – The Opera will star two Broadway veterans: Terrence Mann and Will Swenson. Mann will take on the title role while Swenson will appear as the Devil. John Rando is set to direct, with Chris Bailey doing the choreography. Performances begin January 23 of a February 22 opening at the Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center. The limited engagement is set to play through March 11 only.

Opening the 25th season of City Center Encores! is a new musical creation put together by a.d. Jack Viertel and music director Rob Berman comprised of opening numbers, show finales and other excerpts from a group of shows that have never found the stage at Encores!: All American, George M!, Greenwillow, Jamaica, Mack & Mabel, Milk and Honey, Sail Away and Wildcat. The show, entitled Hey, Look Me Over!, will star Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth and Tony nominees Judy Kuhn, Vanessa Williams and Carolee Carmello, among others. Bob Martin, Tony Award nominee for The Drowsey Chaperone, will reprise his Man-in-Chair from that show to act as host for the evening’s festivities. The production runs February 7-11, with direction by Marc Bruni, musical direction by Berman and choreography by Denis Jones.

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre will present an Off-Broadway revival of Ken Narasaki’s play, No-No Boy. The play, based on the novel by John Okada, tells the story of incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II. The cast will feature Leanne Cabrera, Dinh James Doan, Chris Doi, David Huynh, Scott Kitajima, Karen Tsen Lee, Claro de los Reyes, Shigeko Sara Suga, Hansel Tan and Tony Vo. Directed by Ron Nakahara, the show begins performances February 7 at The Studio Theatre at Theatre Row and runs through February 18, the eve of the annual Day of Remembrance commemorating Japanese American internment.

Roundabout Theatre Company will present the New York premiere of Alex Lubischer’s Bobbie Clearly as part of the company’s Roundabout Underground program. Billed as a “comedy-about-a-tragedy,” the play is set in Milton, Nebraska, where a group of eccentric residents recount a murder that took place in the middle of a cornfield. Directed by Will Davis, performances begin March 8 in the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. Official opening is set for April 3, with a limited run through May 20. Bobbie Clearly is the second play in Roundabout Underground’s 11th and expanded two-play season, which will also include the previously announced Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jiréh Breon Holder.

Finally, prior to its arrival on Broadway in fall 2018, the Temptations musical, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, will play Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center this summer. Directed by Des McAnuff, the musical has a book by Dominique Morisseau and choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo. The score will feature classic Temptations’ hits like “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” The D.C. engagement will play from June 19-July22 in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater.

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