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18 Shows to See Off Broadway in January

By: Raven Snook
Date: Jan 12, 2024
Off-Broadway

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Catch Sutton Foster in a classic, a new Jason Robert Brown musical, two acclaimed encores and more

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January is typically a quiet month Off Broadway, but not this year! In addition to a slew of eclectic theatre festivals, there are a host of promising productions debuting beyond Broadway in January, including three new musicals, a concert staging of Once Upon a Mattress starring Sutton Foster, solo turns from Beverly Johnson and Eddie Izzard, and a revival of an early Dominique Morisseau play. We couldn't include everything, so be sure to browse the listings in TDF's Show Finder to see what else is running.

If you're a TDF member, log in to your account daily to see what we're selling as ticket inventory changes frequently.

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Beverly Johnson: IN VOGUE - begins January 9

59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street between Madison and Park Avenues in Midtown East

Previews begin January 9. Opens January 14. Closes February 4.

In 1974, Beverly Johnson became the first Black woman to grace the cover of Vogue in the US. The supermodel has been breaking boundaries, setting trends and speaking her mind ever since. In this intimate live memoir cowritten by Josh Ravetch, Johnson covers it all: her career on the catwalk, on screen and in business, her starry friendships including Elizabeth Taylor and Ella Fitzgerald, her infamous battle with Bill Cosby and the ups and downs of fame.

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Terce: A Practical Breviary - begins January 10

Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford Street between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Previews begin January 10. Opens January 14. Closes February 4.

Heather Christian's transcendent Oratorio for Living Things was one of the most divine experiences I've ever had at the theatre. I expect Terce: A Practical Breviary, which is produced by HERE as part of the Prototype Festival, to be just as heavenly. A sui generis singer-songwriter whose works are infused with gospel, folk, classical and faith, Christian performs alongside a choir of 30 in her new hour-long show, a radical and feminist reimagining of a monastic 9 a.m. mass (with some performances at 9 a.m.!). Staged like a ritual with dancing and rites (which she couldn't do with her last Practical Breviary, which was audio only), it promises to be a stirring and sublime experience.

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Irish Repertory Theatre: Aristocrats - begins January 11

Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 West 22nd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Chelsea

Previews begin January 11. Opens January 21. Closes March 3.

As part of Irish Rep's Brian Friel Project, the theatre is reviving one of the playwright's undersung works: Aristocrats, a booze-soaked Chekhovian drama about an ailing patriarch in a once-grand home that fills up with family in anticipation of a wedding. There among the decay, three disparate sisters, their oddball brother and assorted kin grapple with their disappointing lives and legacy. Charlotte Moore directs.

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The Wooster Group: Get Your Ass in the Water and Swim Like Me - begins January 11

The Performing Garage, 33 Wooster Street between Grand and Broome Streets in Soho

Begins January 11. Closes February 3. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Pioneering experimental theatre collective The Wooster Group continues its collaboration with actor Eric Berryman for this celebration of a style of Black American storytelling called Toasts: clever, rhyming poems about mythical street heroes. Berryman performs several classic Toasts from the 1976 album of the same name while adding context and insight about Black male identity. Wooster Group founding member Kate Valk directs.

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Roundabout Theatre Company: Jonah - begins January 11

Laura Pels Theatre, 111 West 46th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin January 11. Opens February 1. Closes March 10. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Playwright Rachel Bonds is having quite the spring. In April, her romantic rock musical with Zoe Sarnak, The Lonely Few, is bowing at MCC Theater. But first is the world premiere of Jonah, a searing coming-of-age play about Ana (played by the always spectacular Gabby Beans), a lonely student far from home who connects with her dream man at boarding school... or so she thinks. This slippery drama explores issues of intimacy, fantasy, survival and trauma without going where you expect. Danya Taymor directs.

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Our Class - begins January 12

BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place between Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place in Fort Greene

Previews begin January 12. Opens January 18. Closes February 11. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Boston's Arlekin Players Theatre, whose high-tech Cherry Orchard was a hot ticket in 2022, presents the New York premiere of this history-inspired play about ten Polish classmates—five Jewish, five Catholic—who not only grow up and grow apart, but also turn on each other violently. Broadway vets Alexandra Silber and Richard Topol star in this three-hour epic that traces the characters' lives from childhood to old age. Ukrainian-born Igor Golyak directs the production, which is part of the Under the Radar theatre festival.

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MCC Theater: The Connector - begins January 12

The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, 511 West 52nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin January 12. Opens February 6. Closes March 17.

A new musical from Tony-winning songwriter Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Bridges of Madison County, The Last Five Years) with a book by Jonathan Marc Sherman, The Connector is set in the rapidly changing media landscape of the late 20th century, as an ambitious but morally flexible journalist and a straitlaced assistant copy editor butt heads at a lauded magazine. Daisy Prince directs an ensemble cast that includes Scott Bakula and former Evan Hansen Ben Levi Ross.

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Theatre for a New Audience: Public Obscenities - begins January 17

Theatre for a New Audience's Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Place between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Begins January 17. Closes February 25.

After a critically acclaimed run at Soho Rep last year, Public Obscenities transfers to Theatre for a New Audience. Written and directed by Shayok Misha Chowdhury and performed in English and Bangla, the play explores queer cross-cultural identity and intimacy as a Bengali American student goes on an extended trip to his homeland to do academic research with his Black American boyfriend in tow. Professional and personal boundaries blur in this rich, multi-layered tale as long-buried secrets and desires are revealed. DC's Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company co-presents this encore engagement, which is part of the Under the Radar theatre festival.

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White Rose: The Musical - begins January 17

Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Dyer Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin January 17. Opens January 25. Closes March 31. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Based on a true story, this new musical commemorates the German university students who protested Hitler and his fascist propaganda. Siblings Sophie (The Prom's Jo Ellen Pellman) and Hans Scholl (Mike Cefalo) were at the center of this nonviolent resistance movement that bravely defied the Nazis. This is a passion project for Brian Belding, the show's creator, book writer and lyricist, who's been developing White Rose for many years with composer Natalie Brice.

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JOB - begins January 19

The Connelly Theater, 220 East Fourth Street between Avenues A and B in the East Village

Previews begin January 19. Opens January 25. Closes March 23.

Last year's sleeper hit is back! After earning rave reviews in traditional media and on TikTok, Max Wolf Friedlich's psychological thriller JOB became a tough ticket at Soho Playhouse. If you didn't get in, you have another chance to see this taut two-hander at Connelly Theatre with its two powerhouse performers intact. Jane (Sydney Lemmon) is a disgraced Gen Z staffer at a big tech company determined to win back her job after a viral video scandal. Loyd (Tony nominee Peter Friedman) is the Boomer crisis therapist who holds her future in his hands. Both whip-smart, they engage in an exhilarating back-and-forth about trauma, purpose, family and fulfillment in the digital age until a sudden revelation reframes everything that came before. Do not try to guess! Just go and let this tricky show surprise you.

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The White Chip - begins January 22

The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, 511 West 52nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin January 22. Opens February 1. Closes March 9.

In fall 2019, The White Chip got the kind of glowing reviews that encourage a transfer. Then the pandemic hit. Now Sean Daniels' autobiographical dark comedy about an alcoholic artist returns with Joe Tapper (Broadway's You Can't Take It With You) as Steven, a man who seemingly has it all: a wife, good friends and a potential dream job, until his addiction undermines everything. More than a by-the-numbers recovery tale, The White Chip is as humorous as it is harrowing as Steven forges an unexpected path to sobriety. Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall, Mothers and Sons) directs.

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City Center Encores! Once Upon a Mattress - begins January 24

New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Midtown West

Begins previews January 24. Closes February 4.

Before she takes over as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster is taking on a role she seems born to play: the goofy and belty Princess Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress at City Center Encores! A zany riff on The Princess and the Pea about an unapologetic free spirit who's let loose in a repressed kingdom, the whimsical show features a glorious score by Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer, including the songs "Shy," "In a Little While" and "Happily Ever After." Lear deBessonet (Into the Woods, Lionel Bart's Oliver!) directs this concert staging, which was adapted by Amy Sherman-Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Gilmore Girls) and costars Michael Urie as Winnifred's milk-toast prince and Tony winner Harriet Sansom Harris as a deliciously evil queen.

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Vineyard Theatre: Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy - begins January 25

Vineyard Theatre, 108 East 15th Street between Irving Place and Union Square East in Union Square

Previews begin January 25. Opens February 8. Closes March 3.

Although foreign manipulation of our populace and politics via social media is no joke, playwright Sarah Gancher mines the phenomenon for humor in Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy. This dark comedy about Russian workers promoting their country's agenda during the lead-up to the 2016 US presidential election premiered as a digital production during the pandemic. Now the Vineyard Theatre is giving the show its in-person New York debut. Tony winner Darko Tresnjak (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) directs an ensemble cast led by Christine Lahti.

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Eddie Izzard in Hamlet - begins January 25

Greenwich House Theater, 27 Barrow Street near Seventh Avenue South in the West Village

Previews begin January 25. Opens February 11. Closes March 16.

In fall 2022, Eddie Izzard brought her engaging one-person adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations to the Greenwich House Theater. Now she's back with a one-person Hamlet, adapted by her brother Mark Izzard for her singular talents. Expect Izzard, an iconoclastic stand-up, to find some comedy in Shakespeare's tragedy as she plays all 23 characters in this tale of grief, revenge and violent ends.

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Oh, Mary! - begins January 26

Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street between Bleecker and Hudson Streets in the West Village

Previews begin January 26. Opens February 8. Closes May 5.

Cole Escola, cabaret cutup and TV's go-to comic scene-stealer (Difficult People, At Home with Amy Sedaris, Big Mouth), wrote and stars in Oh, Mary!, an outrageous romp about Abraham Lincoln's much maligned and mentally unstable wife, Mary. Here Lies Love's Conrad Ricamora is the president, Bianca Leigh (The Nap) is Mary's chaperone and James Scully (Fire Island) is Mary's teacher in this crazy, campy one-act about a woman spinning out of control.

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WP Theater: munich medea: HAPPY FAMILY - begins January 30

WP Theater at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway at 76th Street on the Upper West Side

Begins January 30. Closes February 25.

In Corinne Jaber's new play, a pair of childhood friends, Caroline (Crystal Finn) and Alice (Heather Raffo), reconnect after decades. As they sift through their recollections, they realize Caroline's father, a famous stage performer, played an important role in shaping both their lives, not always for the better. Lee Sunday Evans (Oratorio for Living Things, Dance Nation) directs this exploration of the vulnerability of youth and the armor of adulthood. WP Theater with PlayCo. coproduce.

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Signature Theatre: Sunset Baby - begins January 30

The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street between Dyer and Tenth Avenues in Midtown West

Begins January 30. Closes March 10.

Signature Theatre presents Dominique Morisseau's Sunset Baby about a middle-aged Black revolutionary (Russell Hornsby) anxious to reunite with his estranged daughter (The Queen's Gambit's Moses Ingram), who's doing what she needs to survive in East New York, Brooklyn. While he's grappling with guilt over who his daughter has become in his absence, he also needs her help and a piece of her late mother's legacy to move forward. After receiving rave reviews for its 2013 world premiere, this early Morisseau play about love, politics and liberation gets an exciting revival directed by Steve H. Broadnax III (The Hot Wing King).

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Second Stage: The Apiary - begins January 31

Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theater, 305 West 43rd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin January 31. Opens February 13. Closes March 3.

Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) and April Matthis (Toni Stone) star in The Apiary, Kate Douglas' thought-provoking world premiere set in the not-too-distant future when the only bees left on Earth live in synthetic apiaries. When two lab assistants accidentally discover an unusual way to help them thrive, they end up in an ethical mess that's way stickier than honey. Kate Whoriskey (Clyde's) directs.

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Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her on Facebook at @Raven.Snook. Follow TDF on Facebook at @TDFNYC.