Ten new plays and musicals are taking the stage Off-Broadway

Classic Stage CompanyDracula
Matthew Saldivar, Kelley Curran and Kate Hamill in “Dracula” (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Many new Broadway shows will begin previews in the coming weeks, culminating in a nonstop barrage of opening nights in late April (the deadline to be considered for this year’s Tony Awards). Meanwhile, Off-Broadway continues to boom with a diverse array of new plays and musicals.


Taking a cue from the movie theaters that used to present double bills of MGM monster movies, Classic Stage Company is producing new adaptations of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” (a raunchy, feminist interpretation) and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” (with only two actors, who play the doctor and his creation), which are being performed in repertory.  

Lynn F. Angelson Theater, 136 E. 13th St., classicstage.org. Through March 8.

Stephanie Berry in “Frankenstein” (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Unknown Soldier

Shock and grief rocked the New York theater community in 2017 when composer-lyricist Michael Friedman (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”) suddenly died of complications from HIV/AIDS, leaving behind a number of musicals that were still in development. “Unknown Soldier,” which is receiving its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons, follows a woman’s journey into her family past upon finding a photograph of a WWI soldier. 

Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., playwrightshorizons.org. Through March 29.

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

The 1969 film about two sexually adventurous couples returns as a musical, with songs by Duncan Sheik (“Spring Awakening”) and a book by Jonathan Marc Sherman. The New Group production is led by Michael Zegen (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Jennifer Damiano (“Next to Normal”), Joel Perez (“Fun Home”) and Ana Nogueira (“The Michael J. Fox Show”).

Michael Zegen, Jennifer Damiano, Joél Pérez, and Ana Noguiera in “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” (Photo by Monique Carboni)

Cambodian Rock Band

Following a number of acclaimed regional productions, Lauren Yee’s dark comedy set in Cambodia is finally receiving its New York premiere. Backed by a live band, it focuses on a man who survived the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and his daughter, who is currently prosecuting a notorious war criminal.

Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., signaturetheatre.org. Through March 15.

Coal Country

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen (“The Exonerated”) team up with country songwriter Steve Earle for a documentary-style drama that explores the 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster (in which 29 men lost their lives).

Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., publictheater.org. Through March 29.

The Confession of Lily Dare

Playwright Charles Busch, whose outrageous campy comedies parody classic Hollywood movie genres and often feature him in drag, now pays tribute to confessional, weepy, female melodramas of the early 1930s (i.e. The Sin of Madelon Chaudet,” “Frisco Jenny,” “Madame X”).

Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St., primarystages.org. Through March 5.

Kendal Sparks, Charles Busch, Christopher Borg, Nancy Anderson, Jennifer Van Dyck and Howard McGillin in “The Confession of Lily Dare” (Photo by Carol Rosegg)

Dana H.

Lucas Hnath (“A Doll’s House, Part 2”), who just had a new play produced at Playwrights Horizons, moves on to the Vineyard Theatre with a new drama about his mother’s unbelievable story of being held captive for five months by a patient at the psych ward where she worked as the chaplain. 

Vineyard Theatre, 108 E. 15th St., vineyardtheatre.org. Through March 22.

Deirdre O’Connell in Dana H. (Photo by Carol Rosegg)

The Perplexed

Richard Greenberg (whose best-known play, “Take Me Out,” is about to receive a Broadway revival) continues his long association with Manhattan Theatre Club with a new work about two families that attempt to put aside their long-held resentments in order to celebrate their children’s upcoming marriage.

City Center, 151 W. 55th St., manhattantheatreclub.com. Through March 29.

We’re Gonna Die

In spite of the alarming title, Young Jean Lee’s (“Straight White Men”) so-called “non-musical/non-play/non-concert” is described in a press release as a collection of stories and songs that celebrate “the things we do, say and sing to keep ourselves going as we hurtle toward the finish line.”

Tony Kiser Theater, 305 W. 43rd St., 2st.com. Through March 22.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

After achieving a once-in-a-lifetime smash with “The Music Man,” Meredith Willson went on to musicalize the life and times of the rambunctious socialite and Titanic survivor Molly Brown. Rarely seen since 1960, the Transport Group is presenting a heavily revised version of the musical comedy starring Beth Malone (“Fun Home”) and directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall (“The Pajama Game”).

Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St., transportgroup.org. Through March 22.

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