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Top Stage Shows in New York: Robert Plant, “Fire and Air”

Top Stage Shows in New York: Robert Plant, “Fire and Air”
Robert Plant
(Mads Perch/ via Big Hassle PR)

New York concerts this week range from Robert Plant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Elsewhere Eve Ensler is back on stage, following up her worldwide hit “The Vagina Monologues,” while another play, “Fire and Air,” has found a new topicality in the era of “me too.”

Here is a pick of this and other Big Apple 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.

 

ONE-TIME SHOWS

Robert Plant

At Beacon Theatre, February 14 only

Looking through New York shows this week and a couple of British imports are on hand: Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds are at Radio City Music Hall on February 15. Perhaps of more appeal is Robert Plant, still promoting his latest album “Carry Fire,” one of the better albums of last year – folk rock with “The May Queen” as a mythical highlight. He murmurs about “the dimming of the light.” Fabulous stuff.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

At Carnegie Hall, February 10 only

Riccardo Muti conducts a two-hour program including the New York premiere of “Many Words of Love” by Samuel Adams, as well as music by Verdi and Brahms.

NEW OPENING

“In The Body of the World”

At Manhattan Theatre Club, through March 25

Eve Ensler shot to fame with “The Vagina Monologues.” She’s since written an autobiography of sorts on injustices and its success. This solo show adapts the memoir for stage.

ENDING SOON

“Il Trovatore”

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.

ALSO WORTH SEEING

“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.

“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.

“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.

“Hamilton”

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.

“Waitress”

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.”