While much attention has been paid lately to the end of the 2017-18 Broadway season and the announcement of the Tony Award nominations, Off-Broadway companies have been operating as usual, presenting a diverse assortment of new plays and revivals before most of them shut down for the summer.
Below are 12 productions to see that recently opened.
‘The Seafarer’ (Through May 24)
Matthew Broderick returns to the Irish Repertory Theatre (where he recently appeared in Conor McPherson’s “Shining City”) for a new production of McPherson’s 2006 Dublin drama “The Seafarer,” in which a mysterious, Satan-like character (Broderick) pays an unexpected visit to a chummy Christmas Eve poker game. Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 W. 22nd St., irishrep.org.
‘Summer and Smoke’ (Through May 25)
Tennessee Williams’ rarely-seen follow-up to “A Streetcar Named Desire,” about the evolving relationship between an uncomfortably restrained minister’s daughter and a hedonistic young doctor in turn-of-the-century Mississippi, is receiving a chamber-style revival by Classic Stage Company (in a coproduction with the adventurous Transport Group) starring Marin Ireland (Amazon series “Sneaky Pete”). Classic Stage Company, 136 E. 13th St., classicstage.org.
‘The Gentleman Caller’ (Through May 26)
Tennessee Williams and William Inge (two of the best-known midcentury American playwrights) come face to face in Philip Dawkins’ new play, which is set in 1944 Chicago, when Williams was on the eve of achieving breakout success with “The Glass Menagerie” and Inge was working as a newspaper journalist. Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St., abingdontheatre.org.
‘Twelfth Night’ (Through May 27)
Theatre for a New Audience finishes its current season with the latest production of Shakespeare’s masterful dark comedy, coproduced with the Acting Company and the University of Delaware’s Residence Ensemble Players and directed by Maria Aitken (“The 39 Steps”). Later in the summer, the Public Theater will present a musical adaptation of “Twelfth Night” as part of its Shakespeare in the Park season. Theatre for a New Audience, 262 Ashland P., Brooklyn, tfana.org.
‘A Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ (Through May 27)
With a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s lengthy barroom drama “The Iceman Cometh” starring Denzel Washington already on Broadway, now comes a London production of O’Neill’s seminal family drama “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night” with Jeremy Irons (“The Borgias”) and Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”), which is playing a limited run in Brooklyn. BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St., Brooklyn, bam.org.
‘A Brief History of Women’ (Through May 27)
Seventy-nine-year-old English playwright and director Alan Ayckbourn (who has written more than 79 plays to date) returns to 59E59’s annual Brits Off-Broadway festival with his latest comedic drama, which follows an “unremarkable” male protagonist’s encounters with various “remarkable” women at a manor house over the course of 60 years. 59E59, 59 E. 59th St., 59e59.org.
‘Unexpected Joy’ (Through May 27)
The York Theatre Company (which produces both full productions of new musicals and scaled-down, concert-style productions of rarely-seen musicals) here presents a new folk-rock musical (with lyrics and book by Bill Russell, “Side Show”) about female singers with different political outlooks over the course of three generations. York Theatre at St. Peter’s, 619 Lexington Ave., yorktheatre.org.
‘A Pink Chair (In Place of a Fake Antique)’ (Through June 2)
The Wooster Group, the much-accomplished experimental theater company with a list of alumni that includes Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand and Maura Tierney, returns from Los Angeles with a new work about the late avant-garde Polish stage director Tadeusz Kantor and the ability to find meaning and history in everyday objects. The Performing Garage, 33 Wooster St., thewoostergroup.org.
‘Light Shining On Buckinghamshire’ (Through June 3)
This challenging 1976 work by the experimental English playwright Caryl Churchill (“Top Girls,” “Cloud 9”), about the struggle for political power in mid-17th-century England waged between different groups with conflicting ideals, is receiving a new production at New York Theatre Workshop directed by Rachel Chavkin (“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” “Hadestown”). New York Theatre Workshop, 79 E. Fourth St., nytw.org.
‘Paradise Blue’ (Through June 17)
Playwright Dominique Morisseau (“Pipeline,” “Skeleton Crew”) begins her residency at the Signature Theatre with a jazz-flavored, August Wilson-style new work about whether a nightclub owner and trumpeter will leave behind his longtime community in 1949 Detroit. Signature’s production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “Our Lady of 121st Street” directed by Phylicia Rashad opens next week. Pershing Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., signaturetheatre.org.
‘Dance Nation’ (Through June 17)
Clare Barron’s new dark comedy observes a Midwestern troupe of preteen competitive dancers (played by adults) as they train for their latest competition. Although this sounds a lot like the latest incarnation of “Glee” or “42nd Street,” it is more experimental, brutal and character-oriented than one would expect. Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., playwrightshorizons.org.
‘Symphonie Fantastique’ (Through July 15)
Basil Twist’s surreal and trippy spectacle of puppetry, water and music, inspired by Berlioz’s 1830 symphony of the same name, returns to the West Village performance arts complex HERE, where it premiered 20 years ago. The elaborate production includes a 1,000-gallon water tank, five unseen puppeteers and live piano accompaniment. HERE, 145 Sixth Ave., here.org.