It should come as no surprise that the Omicron variant is taking a toll on Off-Broadway, prompting many postponements and some cancellations (including the entire annual Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater).
Notwithstanding, major not-for-profit companies are still moving forward with new productions. In fact, two Off-Broadway shows that opened to acclaim in recent weeks included the new musical “Kimberly Akimbo” (which is worthy of a Broadway transfer) and the old-fashioned melodrama “The Streets of New York.”
Below are eight new Off-Broadway shows that recently began previews:
Whisper House: Originally scheduled to begin performances at the beginning of the pandemic, this ghost story musical, which originated as a 2009 studio album and has music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik (“Spring Awakening”) and Kyle Jarrow, is set in an isolated lighthouse at the start of World War II. Through Feb. 6 at 59E59. 59e59,org.
Intimate Apparel: Another show that was interrupted by the pandemic, this new opera unites Lynn Nottage’s breakout 2003 drama about a Black seamstress in turn of the century New York with music by Ricky Ian Gordon and direction by Bartlett Sher. Through Mar. 6 at the Newhouse Theater, lct.org.
Prayer for the French Republic: Joshua Harmon’s epic new drama (which runs over three hours in length) observes multiple generations of a French Jewish family from 1944 to the present day as they question whether they are safe from anti-Semitism in their home country. Through Feb 27 at City Center Stage I, manhattantheatreclub.com.
Shhhh: According to the press release, this new play (written by, directed by, and featuring Clare Barron) is “a study in kink, trauma, pleasure, and revenge” that involves an anatomy museum, dismemberment, a potion, and tea and biscuits. Through Feb. 13 at Atlantic Stage 2, atlantictheater.org.
Addressless: Unlike many other theater companies that have given up on digital programming, Rattlestick is still at it. This politically-conscious work about housing insecurity takes the form of a live interactive game on Zoom. Viewers follow homeless New Yorkers as they struggle to survive in shelters and on the streets and try to obtain permanent low-income housing. Through Feb. 13, rattlestick.org.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night: Eugene O’Neill’s masterwork, which is essentially the pinnacle of mid-20th century American realistic drama, has been reimagined and cut down (running 100 minutes instead of three and a half hours) in an Audible production with Bill Camp, Elizabeth Marvel, and Ato Blankson-Wood. Through Feb. 20 at the Minetta Lane Theatre, audible.com/minettalane.com.
Black No More: A 1931 Afrofuturist novel about a scientist who discovers a process for changing someone’s skin color has been adapted into a new musical with a book by Oscar winner John Ridley( “Twelve Years a Slave”) and choreography by Tony winner Bill T. Jones (“Spring Awakening”). Through Feb. 27 at the Pershing Square Signature Center, thenewgroup.org.
Tambo & Bones: Dave Harris’ dark comedy tackles racism and capitalism through two standard characters of the minstrel show (the flagrantly racist form of musical entertainment that was wildly popular in the 19th century). Through Feb. 27 at Playwrights Horizons, playwrightshorizons.org.