11 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend
Our guide to plays and musicals coming to New York stages and a few last-chance picks of shows that are about to close. Our reviews of open shows are at nytimes.com/reviews/theater.
Previews & Openings
‘DROPPING GUMBALLS ON LUKE WILSON’ at A.R.T./New York Theaters (in previews; opens on June 18). The playwright Rob Ackerman (“Tabletop”) also works as a property master, and this new comedy, adapted from a true story, recalls a time on an AT&T commercial when he demonstrated something less than mastery. For the Working Theater, Theresa Rebeck directs a cast that includes Ann Harada and Dean Nolen.
‘LIFE SUCKS’ at the Acorn Theater at Theater Row (in previews; opens on June 16). A sort of adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” is definitely back for an encore run. In April, when reviewing this comedy of dreams deferred, Elisabeth Vincentelli praised the playwright Aaron Posner as understanding “full well that there is no date stamp on feeling stranded between regrets and hopes, between fancy dreams and the banality of existence.”
PRIDE PLAYS at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (performances start on June 20). To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, Doug Nevin and Michael Urie, in association with Rattlestick, present a festival of play readings honoring the diversity of the queer experience. Highlights include original works by Trans Lab, an evening of L.G.B.T.Q. musicals and a reading of “Our Town” with a cast of transgender, nonbinary and gender-fluid actors.
‘ROCK OF AGES’ at New World Stages (performances start on June 19). Come on, feel the noise. After closing in 2015, this put-another-dime-in-the-jukebox musical, which The New York Times called “seriously silly, absurdly enjoyable,” is spending the summer Off Broadway. A story of a guy, a girl and too much spandex, the 10th-anniversary revival stars Mitchell Jarvis.
‘THE ROLLING STONE’ at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater (previews start on June 20; opens on July 15). Chris Urch’s play explores the catastrophic effects of anti-gay rhetoric and policy on one Ugandan family. Under Saheem Ali’s direction, Ato Blankson-Wood stars as Dembe, a man in a committed relationship with an Irish-born doctor, with James Udom as Dembe’s brother, a church pastor.
‘A STRANGE LOOP’ at Playwrights Horizons (in previews; opens on June 17). The playwright Michael R. Jackson (yeah, the middle initial is important) offers a semi-autobiographical musical about the search for selfhood. Larry Owens stars as Usher, a young man also trying to write a semi-autobiographical musical while working his day job: ushering for “The Lion King.” Stephen Brackett directs with choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.
‘TONI STONE’ at the Laura Pels Theater at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theater (in previews; opens on June 20). “A woman can do many things,” Marcenia Lyle Stone told a reporter. Now Stone, the first woman to play in the Negro leagues, has inspired a new play, by Lydia R. Diamond, which explores gender, race and batting averages. The invaluable April Matthis stars. Pam MacKinnon directs.
‘[VEIL WIDOW CONSPIRACY]’ at Next Door at NYTW (in previews; opens on June 15). A meditation on truth, fiction and DVD extras, Gordon Dahlquist’s new play revisits a century-old murder in western China through a blockbuster movie, DVD interviews and, years from now in a future Brooklyn, one hushed, imperfect recap. Aneesha Kudtarkar directs for National Asian American Theater Company.
‘ALL MY SONS’ at the American Airlines Theater (closes on June 30). Nominated for three Tony Awards, this wrenching revival of Arthur Miller’s tragedy of a corrupted American family ends its run. Jesse Green praised Annette Bening’s Kate, “the show’s emotional center and endless mystery,” though he felt that Jack O’Brien’s production “does not make a resonant case for the drama today.”
‘GARY: A SEQUEL TO TITUS ANDRONICUS’ at the Booth Theater (closes on June 16). Taylor Mac’s filthy, feculent salute to Shakespeare’s Roman tragedy closes its bloodstained curtains. Jesse Green described George C. Wolfe’s production, which stars Nathan Lane, Kristine Nielsen and Julie White, as “fabulous and bedraggled: a defiant and beautiful mess.” See the penile chorus line while you still can.
THE SEAN O’CASEY SEASON at the Irish Repertory Theater (closes on June 22). The Irish Repertory’s production of O’Casey’s Dublin trilogy — “The Shadow of a Gunman,” “Juno and the Paycock” and “The Plough and the Stars” — leaves the tenement. Reviewing “The Plough,” Elisabeth Vincentelli wrote that it “illustrates the company’s approach at its most successful: It’s hard not to be swept away by such a good yarn.”