Springtime on Broadway looks particularly promising, especially the revivals of “Sweeney Todd,” “Camelot,” and “Parade,” and the reinvention of the 1977 Scorsese film “New York, New York” as a new musical with additional lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
For the time being, below are 10 Off-Broadway shows in January and February that are worth looking into. (This does not include the Public Theater’s ongoing Under the Radar Festival of experimental, multidisciplinary shows.)
Without You – Anthony Rapp, who originated the role of Mark in “Rent,” performs a one-man drama/cabaret based on his 2006 memoir of the same name in which Rapp revisits the rehearsal process of “Rent” and the loss of his mother to breast cancer. In previews at New World Stages, withoutyoumusical.com.
Small Talk – Colin Quinn, whose recent one-man comedies have explored the Red State-Blue State divide, the New York melting pot, and even world history, now tries to dissect the notion of “personality” as based on his conversations with friends, family and strangers. In previews at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, colinquinnshow.com.
Endgame – Samuel Beckett’s cryptic and apocalyptic 1957 tragicomedy receives a new production led by master clown Bill Irwin and acclaimed classical actor John Douglas Thompson. Performances begin at the Irish Repertory Theatre on Jan. 25, irishrep.org.
The Wanderers – Katie Holmes leads Anna Ziegler’s new play involving a newly married Orthodox Jewish couple, a secular Jew who is a famous novelist, and a movie star. Performances begin Jan. 16 at the Laura Pels Theatre, roundabouttheatre.org.
Cornelia Street – Norbert Leo Butz tries to save a West Village restaurant from extinction in a new musical with songs by Mark Eitzel (lead singer of American Music Club) and book by Simon Stephens (“The Curious Incident”). Performances begin Jan. 20 at Atlantic Stage 2, atlantictheater.org.
The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window – While there is little doubt that “A Raisin in the Sun” is one of the greatest American dramas, Lorraine Hansberry’s other plays are rarely performed. Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan will lead the first major New York revival of Hansberry’s 1964 drama about friends in 1960s Greenwich Village. Performances begin Feb. 4 at the BAM Harvey Theater, bam.org.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show – Jonathan Rockefeller’s kid-friendly, hour-long puppet show brings to life four well-known children’s books by illustrator Eric Carle including “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear.” Performances begin Feb. 10 at DR2 Theatre, hungrycaterpillarshow.com.
The Harder They Come – Suzan-Lori Parks, whose Pulitzer-winning drama “Topdog/Underdog” just received a Broadway revival, now provides the book for a musical adaptation of a 1972 Jamaican crime film that will also incorporate hit songs by Jimmy Webb. Performances begin Feb. 16 at the Public Theater, publictheater.org.
The Coast Starlight – Keith Bunin, whose plays were once regularly produced at Playwrights Horizons, returns with a compassionate new work that depicts the travelers on a long-distance train from Los Angeles to Seattle. Performances begin Feb. 16 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, lct.org.
The Jungle – Following a sold-out run in 2018, this acclaimed English drama about a makeshift, under-resourced refugee camp in Calais, France that functioned as a self-governing society (but was eventually demolished by the government) will receive an encore engagement. Performances begin Feb. 18 at St. Ann’s Warehouse, stannswarehouse.org.