Winter Arts Guide: What’s onstage this season

Billy Crystal 700 Sundays
Billy Crystal’s one-man show, “700 Sundays,” is playing a limited engagement this winter.
Credit: Carol Rosegg

Looking for something to sustain your date nights all winter long? Check out some of these shows that are now playing or coming soon to a theater near you:

‘Little Miss Sunshine’

A musical adaptation of the 2006 film opened last week at Second Stage Theatre, starring the eminently talented Stephanie J. Block. Although it’s fun to see the beloved crop of dysfunctional kin falling apart before our eyes, the songs adds a heavy dose of sentimentality that doesn’t seem to jibe with the show’s storyline tone. Read our full review on
Through Dec. 15,

‘A Christmas Story: The Musical’
Last year the theater world was graced with much-needed fresh holiday fare, and it became an instant classic. Back again on Dec. 11, this play is based on the beloved Christmas movie and features all the characters and plot points you love, plus music by up-and-coming composer duo Pasek and Paul. This year, much of the original cast returns. And yes: There’s a leg lamp kickline. The musical was produced by Peter Billingsley, who played the original Ralphie. This year it moves from Broadway to Madison Square Garden. Through Dec. 29,

‘700 Sundays’
Back on Broadway for the second time after a successful run in 2005, this one-man show tells incredible true stories about Billy Crystal’s childhood involving jazz, love, tragedy and life as a Jew on Long Island. The title refers to how many weeks Crystal was able to spend with his father, and the story balances tenderness and broad humor to tell of the lasting effects of a child losing his idol at only 15.
Through Jan. 2,

‘No Man’s Land/Waiting for Godot’
Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart are pals in real life. And that makes them nearly kinetic onstage as the leads in two repertory absurdist shows playing at the Cort Theater for weeks only. “No Man’s Land” is about the bout between two former peers reunited over an endless sequence of drinks: one now rich and successful, the other a failed poet. “Waiting for Godot” focuses on the despair of two old men hoping for a mysterious figure to save them. Both shows also star Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley.
Through March 2,

‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder’
A new musical — one that’s not a movie adaptation — is a rare thing on Broadway. But this madcap murder mystery (of sorts) makes us wonder why they don’t come about more often. With immaculate physical comedy by Jefferson Mays, who plays nine characters, and a plot about killing your own family for love (and money), this is one that will tickle just about any hard-to-please guest you have in town for the holidays.
Tickets on sale through June 15, 2014,

‘The Bridges of Madison County’
Yet another cherished novel-turned-film is getting the big-stage Broadway treatment. Yes, they’re making “The Bridges of Madison County” into, gulp, a musical. But it’s starring theater darling Kelli O’Hara alongside TV’s Steven Pasquale. And the music is by Jason Robert Brown. So will it be that play we never knew we were always missing? Or will fans be protesting in the streets? The only way to find out is to buy a ticket once the play opens on Feb. 27.
Tickets on sale through Nov. 23, 2014,

Closing soon

If you’ve been meaning to see one of these, you should act fast:

‘Snow Geese’
Metro’s critic’s pick for our Fall Arts Guide, this play officially opened Oct. 24 and is coming to a close on Dec. 15. Mary-Louise Parker leads a strong cast in a weak play about family fortitude in the face of misfortune. And there’s a lot of symbolism involving geese.

‘Big Fish’
This family musical, based on the 1998 Daniel Wallace novel and the 2003 Tim Burton film, is about a son’s reconciliation with his father’s past. It’s due to close on Dec. 29. As star Norbert Leo Butz might say: Catch it if you can.

‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’
This show has been flying high — literally, over the heads of terrified New York audiences — since 2011. Now it’s making a big move from Broadway to Las Vegas, with an ETA of 2015. The last performance is scheduled for Jan. 4. Watch out, Cher.

Although no announcement has been made about this show’s final performance, rumors are awhirl now that the show is seeing diminishing sales. It will likely turn back into a pumpkin when the clock strikes midnight after the holidays. Just in case, it’s worth asking your fairy godmother (or Santa) for tickets, especially if you want to bring young ones to Broadway.


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