Theater

The WSWD Playbill: NYC Theater in November

Our theater and performance experts pick the best theatrical events of the month.

"Sleep" deprivation makes you do some crazy things / Photo courtesy of Julieta Cervantes

From a Shakespearean play in Greenwich Village to John Malkovich’s immersive world at House of Yes, here’s where you’ll find our NYC theater experts, David Cote and Ross Tipograph, this month.

David Cote

One of the most seasoned voices in the NYC theater scene, this member of the New York Drama Critics Circle has previously appeared in the pages of The New York TimesThe Village Voice, and Time Out New York.

Pride and Prejudice, November 7–January 6
Primary Stages presents actor-writer Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel about courtship and self-respect in 1800s England. Amanda Dehnert directs this coproduction with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. In case you don’t know the plot from the roughly 45 movie and TV versions: Single, independent Elizabeth Bennet is pressured by family to find a suitable marriage—like the snooty yet undeniably handsome Mr. Darcy. Will Elizabeth compromise for a man beneath her intellectual and moral standards? But what if Darcy meets said standards? I’m guessing: date play. Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street (between Hudson and Bedford Streets), Greenwich Village

The Elephant in Every Room I Enter, November 9–25
Actor Gardiner Comfort acts out what it’s like to live with Tourette’s syndrome in this solo stage show. Part of his journey includes recounting a week attending the Tourette’s Syndrome Association National Conference in Washington, D.C. Judging from Comfort’s past work, I expect it to be both eye-opening and heartwarming. New York Theatre Workshop’s Fourth Street Theatre, 79 East 4th Street (between Cooper Square and Second Avenue), East Village 

Uncommon Sense, through November 26
According to the Autism Society, an estimated 3.5 million Americans live somewhere on the spectrum. And it seems like everyone knows somebody with a connection to autism. This new performance piece by Tectonic Theater Project is about life on the spectrum. Cowritten by Anushka Paris-Carter and Andy Paris, the piece dramatizes families’ and friends’ experience of autism, drawn from interviews. According to a statement, “This multimedia play reveals our universal challenges with ‘difference,’ our desire to connect, and the lengths we will go for the people we love.” (Note: On November 11 at 2 p.m. and November 19 at 3 p.m., the shows will be “relaxed performances,” accommodating individuals who may not be able to comply with traditional theater etiquette.) Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker Street (between Mott and Elizabeth Streets), Lower East Side

Sleep, November 29–December 2
The visually stunning and emotionally stirring experimental troupe Ripe Time presents an immersive adaptation of a short story by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.  A young Japanese housewife’s traumatizing nightmare causes a prolonged bout of insomnia. Her newly sleep-deprived life allows her to break the stifling bonds of proper behavior. Lust, crime, and Tolstoy reading ensue. Director Rachel Dickstein stages the multimedia piece. If the play does its job, you’ll lose a few winks. BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place, Fort Greene

New York show November
Losing “Sleep” in Fort Greene / Photo courtesy of BAM, by Julieta Cervantes

Ross Tipograph

Along with appearing inside the pages of The Fader and Time Out New York, this vibrant culture guru created the one-of-a-kind immersive theatrical experience 8Players.

Whoop Dee Doo, December 16
An installation exclusively starring and for underprivileged youth groups opens at the Knockdown Center, providing attendees with a glimpse of Queens’s diversity and shining a spotlight on New York citizens needing a highlight. Multiple public events, culminating in an immersive experience, will all be announced soon. It’s free, too! Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Avenue, Maspeth 

Little Cinema No. 35: The Puppeteer, November 21
Being John Malkovich, the 1999 classic nightmare-comedy, gets the immersive theater treatment! The company Little Cinema brings the film to life with puppets, ballet, live jazz performances, 3-D video art, and even a Being John Malkovich interactive drinking game for the crowd. Special Malkovich cocktails will be available. House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick

New York show November
Only in NYC can you go to a John Malcovich-themed warehouse party / Photo courtesy of House of Yes

The Fountainhead, November 28–December 2
Acclaimed director Ivo van Hove, who recently helmed intense stage productions of The Crucible and A View From the Bridge, now adapts The Fountainhead for the modern age. Ayn Rand’s story is brought to a 2017 hyper-stylish NYC work space, onstage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, while “overhead cameras voyeuristically capture the creative and carnal acts from above” for the audience’s added pleasure. BAM, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene

New York show November
Ayn Rand’s classic modernized for the stage / Photo courtesy of BAM

Agnus Swings the F*** Outta Christmas, November 30
In the vein of performer Cole Escola’s absurd character-based comedy performances, actor Trevor McQueen takes the stage as his alter ego, Agnus, a self-serious acting coach. The audience is heavily involved in Agnus’s antics, “forced” to endure her exercises and “learn” alongside her. Cabaret interactive comedy at its most unusual. Duplex, 61 Christopher Street (at Seventh Avenue), Greenwich Village

Chat with an experience planner if you’d like to reserve tickets for any of these shows.