A very wide ranging choice is on offer for the performing arts in New York this week. If you like your music hardcore and punky, Enter Shikari leads a lively Williamsburg concert. If you are a classical fan, the Met Opera has works by Verdi and more. Off Broadway there are shows such as “Fire and Air” and “The Undertaking.” Uma Thurman plays the central character in “The Parisian Woman.”
Here is a pick of New York stage shows for this week. The format of these short capsule previews is to list newly opening and one-time productions; those near the end of their run, and others highly recommended.
Enter Shikari, Single Mothers, Milk Teeth
At Music Hall of Williamsburg, February 2
Expect post-hardcore, punk-punk and more in this concert. British band Enter Shikari is now five albums into its career, with the last, “The Spark,” gaining some positive reviews. This is the start of a short North American tour. Canadian act Single Mothers also has a punky feel. Milk Teeth, from England, have released one album and a few EPs and are the most exciting of the three –check out the YouTube video for “Owning Your Okayness” to get some idea.
“Fire and Air”
At Classic Stage Company, through February 25
A portrait of a powerful producer who demanded sexual favors from his stars. Terrence McNally’s historical play has gained significance in the wake of #METOO and #TIMESUP.
59E59 Theaters, through February 4
The 59E59 Theaters has a LaBute Festival running for a few days more and this show which combines comedy and tragedy, written and directed by Steve Cosson.
At Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, through February 4.
This critic can wholeheartedly recommend Lucy Kirkwood’s play which got off to a promising start at London’s Royal Court Theatre about this time last year. This production has the same cast of three, the same director and set designer. The set and clothes look just the same, so one can expect the same laughs at its James Brown dance – the same gasps at the growing terror and anguish at the hard choices that the trio has to make. In the event of disaster, do we keep calm and carry on, or maybe risk everything for our children? (Who are never seen but whose presence still looms large.)
ALSO WORTH SEEING
“The Homecoming Queen”
At Atlantic Stage 2, though February 18.
Ngozi Anyanwu’s new work features a homecoming queen of sorts. The main character is an acclaimed Nigerian writer called Kelechi, who is back after more than a decade in New York. However autobiographical this is, the play shows how people adapt to their environment and how individuals and places can change in only a few years.
At Metropolitan Opera, opening January 22 with dates through February 15.
The Met Opera has a great and varied season coming up including “Tosca,” “Le Nozze di Figaro” and “L’Elisir d’Amore.” and the “Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci” double bill. Still, Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” will be a highlight in a production by Sir David McVicar with Jennifer Rowley as Leonora.
“The Parisian Woman”
At Hudson Theater, through March 11.
Uma Thurman plays the central character in “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon’s story first penned about 2013. If playgoers aren’t attracted by her starry presence, they may be by the makeover of this story to give it a harder political edge in this era of President Trump. There are so-so- topical references to “fake news.” While it doesn’t quite deliver, it’s still an evening of class. Thurman, playing a Francophile in an open marriage to a lawyer, is onstage for all 90 minutes (no interval). She certainly proves her stage credentials.
“A Bronx Tale”
At Longacre Theatre, open dates, booking though June.
This show is recommended any week, not just this one. The show is a musical account of the story that has already been a book, a play and of course a Robert De Niro movie.
At Richard Rodgers Theater, open dates.
A show about American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton might not sound a rewarding prospect, but this is still one of the highlights of Broadway. Hamilton had a huge character and a most eventful life. The raps are hilarious. It also has contemporary resonance – how will we be remembered… and our Presidents too.
At Brooks Atkinson Theatre, extended through December.
This wonderfully funny show keeps getting extended. You might remember the 2007 film of the same name. It’s the basis of play which makes it worth heading to Brooks Akinson for. A theater-loving writer friend, who was a waitress in her college days, just saw it. She went along with low expectations, and came out impressed with its cheery feminist messages and sympathy for waiting staff – “the hardest job in the world.”