6 Shows You Should See in March
The New York stage offers an eclectic variety of attractions this March, and I've highlighted six shows that you should consider. My list includes a cooking competition comedy, an experimental gay-themed play, a local government thriller, a gender-bending classic musical, an immigration drama, and a brand-new opera. No matter your theatrical desires, there's something playing in New York that fits the bill.
1. The Hot Wing King (running until March 22)
This world-premiere comedy takes place around the annual "Hot Wang Festival" in Memphis, Tennessee, where Cordell Crutchfield is frying up wings that he knows will make him king. He receives an assist from his partner, Dwayne, and their chosen family. But when a troubled member of Dwayne's biological family shows up, things get complicated. Playwright Katori Hall has performed magic at Signature Theatre before with Our Lady of Kibeho. This new play offers a close look at a type of family rarely portrayed onstage, with a language all its own.
2. Bundle of Sticks (running until March 22)
This wildly imaginative new play by J. Julian Christopher is about an underground gay conversion therapy program in Australia. "[The] characters are gay men," explains director Lou Moreno. "We have cast it without cis male actors. We hope the play will reveal why." I hope so too! I still think about Christopher's last show at INTAR, Locusts Have No King, which presented as one thing in the beginning before transforming into something entirely different. That element of theatrical surprise can sometimes yield the most startling revelations.
3. The Minutes (currently running)
What begins as a satire of local government and the eccentric personalities it attracts gradually transforms into something far more serious in Tracy Letts's gripping new drama, which debuted at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre before moving to Broadway under the direction of Anna D. Shapiro. Letts and Shapiro are the team behind the Pulitzer- and Tony-winning drama August: Osage County. They've recruited a cast of some of the most fascinating stage actors in America, including Armie Hammer, Jessie Mueller, and Austin Pendleton. Expect this to be in the running for a Tony later this year.
4. Company (currently running)
This is a revival of Stephen Sondheim's landmark musical about relationships, cohabitation, and being alive — but it's a little different from how you might remember it: Tony winner Katrina Lenk (The Band's Visit) plays Bobbie, a single 35-year-old who is usually played by a male actor as "Bobby." Patti LuPone plays Joanne and sings "The Ladies Who Lunch," while Matt Doyle will play "Jamie" (usually Amy), a spouse-to-be who has cold feet on his wedding day. This gender-rearranging revival is from director Marianne Elliott (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), who always brings a fresh perspective to everything she touches.
5. Intimate Apparel – A New Opera (running until May 3)
Composer Ricky Ian Gordon has collaborated with playwright Lynn Nottage to create a new opera based on Nottage's 2003 play about a seamstress who creates ladies' undergarments in early 20th century New York, and who carries on a passionate correspondence with a laborer working on the Panama Canal. Created in association with the Metropolitan Opera, this is a rare opportunity to experience opera in the relatively intimate setting of Lincoln Center Theater's Newhouse Theater. Bartlett Sher, who has had success as a director at both LCT (The King and I) and the Met (Otello), helms the production, which is sure to be a visual feast.
6. Sanctuary City (running until April 12)
This world premiere drama by Martyna Majok is about a new citizen of the United States who marries her undocumented best friend in order to keep him in the country. Majok won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for her play, Cost of Living. Born in Poland but raised in the United States, she has explored immigration issues in her earlier plays, Ironbound and queens. Shrewdly perceptive, Majok is the ideal playwright to take on this marriage story that touches the anxieties haunting so many young Americans today.