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December 18, 2018 1:21 pm

New York’s Jewish Theatre Round-Up

avatar by Alice Burdick Schweiger

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A production photo from the Yiddish-language production of Fiddler on the Roof. Photo: Victor Nechay / ProperPix.

Happy holidays. Below are some new, current and upcoming shows on the New York stage with a Jewish connection:

BROADWAY

American Son takes place at a Florida police station in the middle of the night. Starring Kerry Washington, Jeremy Michael Jordan, and Steven Pasquale, it’s the gripping tale of two parents, their missing teenage son who was last seen at a late-night traffic stop, and their worst fears. It explores who we are as a nation. Runs through January 27. At the Booth Theatre, 222 W 45 St. (212) 239-6200.

Network, starring Bryan Cranston and Tony Goldwyn, is based on the classic 1976 iconic film by Paddy Chayefsky. Howard Beale is a TV news anchor who isn’t pulling in viewers, and then unravels during his final broadcast. But ratings unexpectedly soar, and Beale becomes the biggest thing on television. Runs through April 28 At the Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44 St. (212) 239-6200.

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The Cher Show tells the musical history of the pop star’s career. Book by Rick Elice and music by various composers. Three different actresses play her — the kid starting out, the glam star, and the icon. Four-time Tony Award winner Jeffrey Seller (Rent, Hamilton) is one of the producers. Jarrod Spector plays Sonny Bono. At the Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W 52 St. (877) 250-2929.

The Ferryman, set in rural Northern Ireland in 1981, is directed by Sam Mendes. The Carney farmhouse is full of activity with preparation for the annual harvest. But this year’s festivities will be interrupted by a visitor. The 30+ member cast is mostly from the London production. At the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W 45 St. (212) 239-6200.

The Lifespan of a Fact, about the publishing world of fact-checking, stars Daniel Radcliffe and Cherry Jones.  Based on true events, an editor gives a young, eager intern a big assignment to fact check a controversial essay by a famous writer. A showdown between fact and fiction begins. Runs through January 13. Written by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell, and directed by Leigh Silverman. At Studio 54, 254 W 54 St. (212) 239-6200.

The Prom, a delightful original musical with high energy dancing, is about an Indiana girl who wants to attend her high school prom with her girlfriend. Meanwhile, after a bad review on Broadway, a group of self-centered actors wanting to gain media attention to boost their careers, travel to the conservative Indiana town to help her cause. One of the actors announces to the narrow-minded small towners, that not only is he from New York, but he’s also Jewish! Starring Beth Leavel, Josh Lamon, and Christopher Sieber, it’s written by Bob Martin. Music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Begulelin. At the Longacre Theatre, 220 W 48 St. (212) 239-6200.

The Waverly Gallery, written by Kenneth Lonergan, is set in Greenwich Village. A sweet, feisty Jewish grandmother, Gladys Green, is a longtime owner of an art gallery who is battling dementia. The landlord she rents the space from owns the adjoining hotel and tells her family that he is turning the gallery into a restaurant, and that she needs to vacate. Gladys has to rely on her family’s love, compassion, and loyalty to try and keep the gallery. Directed by Lila Neugebauer, the play stars Elaine May, Michael Cera, David Cromer, and Joan Allen. (Allen isn’t Jewish, but her ex-husband, Peter Friedman, is, and their daughter went to Hebrew school and had a bat mitzvah.) Runs through January 27.  At the John Golden Theatre, 252 W 45 St.  (212) 239-6200.

To Kill A Mockingbird, the story of racial injustice and childhood innocence, stars Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger. Set in Alabama in the 1930s, it’s based on Harper Lee’s 1960 novel of the same title. Aaron Sorkin adapted the book for a new Broadway play. Directed by Bartlett Sher. At the Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44 St. (212) 239-6200.

Torch Song, starring Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl and written by Harvey Fierstein, is directed by Moises Kaufman. Set in the 1970s, Arnold, a young gay man, wants to find happiness in New York — he wants a husband, a child ,and a pair of bunny slippers that fit. But a visit from his overbearing mother reminds him that what he needs is respect. At the Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 W. 44 St. (212) 239-6200.

OFF-BROADWAY

Clueless, an upbeat musical based on the 1995 film of the same name, is written and directed by Amy Heckerling. Set in Beverly Hills, this teen classic, a modern spin on Jane Austin’s Emma, features a good-hearted girl named Cher Horowitz, who is an ultimate Jewish American princess. (The original movie starred Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd.) Runs through January 12. At the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre, Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42 St. (212) 279-4200. 

Fiddler on the Roof. A version of Fiddler on the roof, sung and acted entirely in Yiddish. After a hit, sold-out run for much of the year, it moves to a commercial off-Broadway production, starting February 11. At Stage 42, 422 W 42nd St. (800) 653-8000.

Gloria: A Life traces the life and career of feminist Gloria Steinem, a remarkable woman and social and political activist. Steinem, whose father was Jewish but mother was not, was founding editor of New York Magazine and co-founder Ms. Magazine. Gloria is played by Christine Lahti. At the Daryl Roth Theatre, 101 E. 15 St. (800) 745-3000.

The Hard Problem, a new play by Tom Stoppard, refers to the hard problem of consciousness. The play focuses on a psychology researcher at an institute for brain science, where psychology and biology meet. At the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, 150 W. 65 St. (212) 239-6200.

The Other Josh Cohen is a delightful comedy starring David Rossmer and Steve Rosen, as two versions of Cohen. The first Josh Cohen, from a year before, is a schlumpy, goodhearted loser who has just been robbed of everything in his apartment, except his Neil Diamond CD. The present-day Josh Cohen is slimmer and a talented musician, who is narrating the events of his year-younger self. Rossmer and Rosen wrote the book, music, and lyrics. In one scene, they reflect on the Cohen family tree, which includes dancing Hasidics. Runs through February 24. At the Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43 St. (212) 947-8844.

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