Our guide to plays and musicals coming to New York stages and a few last-chance picks of shows that are about to close. Our reviews of open shows are at nytimes.com/reviews/theater.
Previews & Openings
‘BAT OUT OF HELL’ at New York City Center (previews start on Aug. 1; opens on Aug. 8). After an aborted tour, Jim Steinman’s allegorical, post-apocalyptic anthemic rock musical vrooms into New York. Directed by Jay Scheib and choreographed by Emma Portner and Xena Gusthart, it stars Andrew Polec, Christina Bennington and Lena Hall. Like any ephemeral theater event, it’ll be gone when the morning comes.
‘MAKE BELIEVE’ at the Tony Kiser Theater at Second Stage Theater (previews start on July 30; opens on Aug. 15). Bess Wohl’s play, about abandoned children who grow into unmoored adults, arrives at Second Stage under Michael Greif’s direction and starring Susannah Flood, Brad Heberlee and Samantha Mathis. Reviewing an earlier production, Laura Collins-Hughes described the drama as a “beautifully constructed play — a regret-tinged examination of family and trauma and sibling connections.”
[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]
‘SEA WALL/A LIFE’ at the Hudson Theater (previews start on July 26; opens on Aug. 8). Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal bring monologues by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne to Broadway. Reviewing the director Carrie Cracknell’s production during its Public Theater run in February and March, Jesse Green wrote that the actors’ exquisite performances “give you plenty to ponder in showing how we now read life, with or without fate, as everyone’s tragedy.”
‘BE MORE CHILL’ at the Lyceum Theater (closes on Aug. 11). The shutdown sequence has started for Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz’s show about a nerd who swallows a supercomputer with an operating code that aims for world domination. In his review, Ben Brantley questioned the musical’s craftsmanship, though he noted that unlike other Broadway productions about teenagers, this one “feels as if it could have been created by the teenagers it portrays, or perhaps by even younger people imagining what high school will be like.”
‘FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE’ at the Broadhurst Theater (closes on July 28). Arin Arbus’s revival of Terrence McNally’s 1987 drama, with Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon as unlucky-in-love lovers, plays its final notes. “What begins as a basic inquiry into the nature of love,” Jesse Green wrote, “slowly transforms into something deeper and eerier as the couple decides how, or whether, to proceed.”
‘A STRANGE LOOP’ at Playwrights Horizons (closes on July 28). Michael R. Jackson’s thrillingly solipsistic work closes its Off Broadway circle. About a black, queer musical theater writer (played by Larry Owens) writing a show about a black, queer musical theater writer, the play “burrows so deep into the shadows of its hero’s tormented mind,” Ben Brantley wrote, “that you wonder if it will ever emerge into the light.” All performances have sold out, but you can add your name to the waiting list at the box office one hour before each performance.
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