5 Shows to See if You’re in New York in December

5 Shows to See if You’re in New York in December


Around that true story, Mr. Rosenfeld has woven the fictional parable of a heroin-addicted white mother (Chloë Sevigny) trying to keep her son and his best friend, who is black, from ending up on opposite sides of the violence. Or does she have other motives in mind? Scott Elliott directs for the New Group.

Tickets: thenewgroup.org

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Alex Newell

Alex Newell sings “Mama Will Provide” from the musical “Once on This Island,” with Alvin Hough Jr. on piano and Javier Diaz on percussion.


Publish Date November 27, 2017.


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Once on This Island

Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the songwriting team behind monster hits like “Ragtime” and “Anastasia,” began their Broadway career together quite differently, with this delicate fable about love and prejudice in the Caribbean.

Now, 27 years after “Once on This Island” opened in 1990, the show returns to Broadway in a joyfully diverse production by the director Michael Arden, who led a spectacular reimagining of “Spring Awakening” for Deaf West Theater in 2015. Newcomers Hailey Kilgore and Isaac Powell star as the doomed couple from different social classes, and a gender-fluid ensemble of gods and locals, including Alex Newell (who played Unique Adams on “Glee”), helps tell the story.

But the second look wouldn’t be worth it if the fundamentals weren’t sound; this is a lovely show with a score so touching that even its cut numbers (like “Come Down From the Tree”) are standards.

Tickets: onceonthisisland.com

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Tina Benko as Yevgenia and Danny Burstein as Isaac in “Describe the Night” at the Atlantic Theater Company.

Credit
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Describe the Night

The names of many of Rajiv Joseph’s previous plays — including “Guards at the Taj” and “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” — tell you something about the playwright’s ambitious global view.

His latest, at the Atlantic Theater Company, looks to be just as ambitious, even if it doesn’t have a place name in its title. “Describe the Night” is set in Russia and Eastern Europe over the course of 90 years, telling three stories of persecution, espionage and disaster. How the stories interlock across time and intersect with the love story at its heart is the challenge Mr. Joseph has set for himself. Also accepting this challenge, under Giovanna Sardelli’s direction, are the exceptional cast members, including Danny Burstein, Tina Benko, Zach Grenier and Rebecca Naomi Jones.

Tickets: atlantictheater.org

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From left, Ron Cook, Deborah Findlay and Francesca Annis in “The Children” at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater.

Credit
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The Children

What kind of world are we leaving for future generations? According to Lucy Kirkwood’s new play, the answer isn’t a nice one, and the judgment for that — a judgment that falls on us — will be harsh.

Our representatives in “The Children” are three retired nuclear scientists who, sometime in the near future, meet in a remote cottage after a nuclear disaster. How each of them takes or shirks responsibility while deciding how to respond is the thrust of the action.

The Royal Court Theater production, imported to Broadway by Manhattan Theater Club, comes from London with its lauded director (James Macdonald) and original cast intact. I’m not so sure whether it will leave our consciences in the same condition.

Tickets: manhattantheatreclub.com

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