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
‘THE CAKE’ at City Center Stage I (in previews; opens on March 5). The playwright and television writer Bekah Brunstetter (“American Gods,” “This Is Us”) whisks up a play loosely inspired by bakers’ refusals to create cakes for gay weddings. For Manhattan Theater Club, Debra Jo Rupp portrays a woman with confectionary conflicts. Lynne Meadow directs.
‘DADDY’ at Pershing Square Signature Center (in previews; opens on March 5). A production from the New Group and Vineyard Theater, Jeremy O. Harris’s poolside play cannonballs into the Signature Center. Under Danya Taymor’s direction, Ronald Peet stars as a young black artist, with Charlayne Woodard as his mother and Alan Cumming as his lover and father figure. There’s a gospel choir, too.
‘FLEABAG’ at SoHo Playhouse (in previews; opens on March 7). A very dark comedy about sexual liberation and emotional cataclysm, this Phoebe Waller-Bridge monologue, which birthed the Amazon series, arrives in New York. (Her other show, “Killing Eve,” did not begin onstage, though it would make a killer musical.) Under Vicky Jones’s direction, Waller-Bridge stars as a nameless woman negotiating identity and grief in contemporary London.
‘GARY: A SEQUEL TO TITUS ANDRONICUS’ at the Booth Theater (previews start on March 5; opens on April 11). It’s all fun and games until dynastic conflict pretty much destroys Rome and some poor saps have to mop up the blood. In Taylor Mac’s new play, a follow-up to Shakespeare’s plasma-spattered “Titus Andronicus,” those saps are played by Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin. The unimprovable also includes Kristine Nielsen. George C. Wolfe directs.
‘HATE____’ at the WP Theater (previews start on March 3; opens on March 13). The heart wants what it wants, and sometimes it wants what the brain strongly objects to. WP Theater and Colt Coeur present Rehana Lew Mirza’s play about a literature professor (Kavi Ladnier) and the novelist (Sendhil Ramamurthy) she may or may not detest. Adrienne Campbell-Holt directs.
[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]
‘RECENT ALIEN ABDUCTIONS’ at Walkerspace (in previews; opens on March 3). There are extraterrestrial aliens and then there are aliens much closer to home and then there is Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas’s play for the Play Company. As it begins, a young Puerto Rican man recaps an “X-Files” episode in forensic detail. But as the drama travels through time, the story changes. Cortiñas directs.
‘SUICIDE FOREST’ at the Bushwick Starr (in previews; opens on March 2). Japan’s Aokigahara Forest, on the edge of Mount Fuji, has become a beacon to the desperate. In Kristine Haruna Lee’s play, directed by Aya Ogawa and produced in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company, the forest haunts the thoughts of a teenage girl and a middle-aged salaryman.
‘WHITE NOISE’ at the Public Theater (previews start on March 5; opens on March 20). A new Suzan-Lori Parks play is never just background noise. In this new four-character drama, fault lines open up in the relationships among college friends. Then the tremors really get going. Oskar Eustis directs the actors Daveed Diggs, Sheria Irving, Thomas Sadoski and Zoë Winters.
‘BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK’ at the Pershing Square Signature Center (closes on March 10). Lynn Nottage’s spiky Hollywood comedy readies for its final close-ups. The play, which ranges from 1933 to 2003, weaving in and out of the life of an African-American actress, isn’t especially tidy, but it’s brainy, fizzy and ultimately wrenching in its consideration of stereotype and erasure.
‘FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME’ at the Greenwich House Theater (closes on March 3). An evening of hip-hop improv that asks you to lock up your phones and unlock an extremely embarrassing moment, which the cast then riffs on, runs out of rhymes. Directed by Thomas Kail, the show impressed Jesse Green, but “the real secret,” he wrote, “is the cast’s commitment to deep attentiveness.” The performances have sold out, but a standby line will form at the theater before each show, and you can enter a lottery to win tickets at TodayTix.com.
‘MIES JULIE’ AND ‘THE DANCE OF DEATH’ at Classic Stage Company (closes on March 10). Two of August Strindberg’s bad romances, running in repertory, reach the end. Ben Brantley wrote that if neither Yaël Farber’s adaptation of “Mies Julie,” directed by Shariffa Ali, nor Conor McPherson’s version of “The Dance of Death,” directed by Victoria Clark, kindles Strindberg’s “infernal heat,” each introduces the audience to a “complex and uncomfortable world.”
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