Off-Broadway marches on in the shadow of the Tony Awards

Byron Jennings, Brian d'Arcy James and Kelli O'Hara in the Off-Broadway production of "Days of Wine and Roses."
Byron Jennings, Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara in the Off-Broadway production of “Days of Wine and Roses.”
Photo by Ahron R. Foster/provided

The weeks between the announcement of the Tony Award Nominations and the awards broadcast tend to be a period of intense fixation on the nominations and ever-changing predictions – even more so this year in light of the drama created by the Writers Guild of America strike, which nearly derailed the broadcast.

Nevertheless, many not-for-profit Off-Broadway theater companies use this period to present the final shows of their annual seasons. Below are 10 new Off-Broadway shows, which include Black and Latin drama, new musicals, a London import, a dark comedy combining substance abuse with aliens, and free Shakespeare.

The Comedy of Errors — Following a tour of free performances at public spaces and community centers in all five boroughs, this 90-minute musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s early comedy of mistaken identity (which has songs in both English and Spanish) is now playing a free engagement at the Public Theater itself. Through June 11 at the Public Theater, publictheater.org.

Primary Trust — Eboni Booth’s new play, which marks the first to be presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company since the sudden passing of longtime artistic director Todd Haimes, features William Jackson Harper (“The Good Place”) as a bookstore worker who is encouraged to branch out and face the world after he gets laid off. Through July 2 at the Laura Pels Theater, roundabouttheatre.org.

Days of Wine and Roses — Nearly two decades after winning a Tony Award for the extraordinary score of “The Light in the Piazza” (which is about to receive an Encores! production at City Center), Adam Guettel is finally premiering a new musical, which is adapted from a 1962 film of the same name about a struggling couple (played by Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James) in 1950s New York.  Through July 9 at the Linda Gross Theater, atlantictheater.org.

Monsoon Wedding, the Musical — Adapted from the 2001 film romance of the same name, “Monsoon Wedding”(which features an international 22-person cast, including many actors traveling from India) explores a modern day arranged marriage. Through June 25 at St. Ann’s Warehouse, stannswarehouse.org.

Off-Broadway production of The Comedy of Errors
The company of Mobile Unit’s The Comedy of Errors, now back at The Public Theater through June 11.Photo by Peter Cooper/Provided

The Whitney Album — Jillian Walker’s ritualistic performance piece critically examines Whitney Houston’s place in history as a Black female artist who was both adored by, and used up by, the world. Through July 2 at Soho Rep, sohorep.org.

This Land Was Made — Set in Oakland of 1967, Tori Sampson’s drama focuses on the difficult line dividing debate over social activism with taking drastic action. Through June 25 at the Vineyard Theatre, vineyardtheatre.org.

The Doctor — Robert Icke (whose productions of “Hamlet” and “Oresteia” played the Park Avenue Armory last summer) returns with an adaptation of a little-known 1912 drama starring Juliet Stevenson (who won an Olivier Award for her performance), who plays a doctor who confronts difficult social issues through the viewpoint of medical ethics. Through Aug. 19 at the Park Avenue Armory, armoryonpark.org.

Wet Brain — John J. Caswell, Jr.’s dark comedy revolves around a family struggling with addiction and a father who may have been abducted repeatedly by aliens. Seriously, that’s what the press release says. Through June 25, playwrightshorizons.org.

Bernarda’s Daughters — Inspired by Federico García Lorca’s Spanish tragedy “The House of Bernarda Alba,” Diane Exavier’s drama examines five Haitian sisters living in Flatbush and dealing with gentrification, street protests, and hot weather. Through June 4, thenewgroup.org.

Bees & Honey — In Guadalís Del Carmen’s romance, a newly-married couple living in Washington Heights considers whether love can withstand the seemingly insurmountable challenges of life. Through June 11 at MCC Theater, mcctheater.org.