Can’t score tickets to see Bette Midler on Broadway in Hello, Dolly!? Experience some other divine musicals that have recently opened on the New York theater scene.
Come From Away
A 9/11 musical that’s as tasteful as it is tuneful? Based on the true story of 38 flights that were diverted to a tiny Newfoundland town following the attacks, David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s uplifting, surprisingly funny show celebrates resilience and heroic hospitality in the face of tragedy. Chad Kimball and Caesar Samayoa are standouts as the Kevins, an anxious gay couple welcomed with open arms.
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, open-ended.
Joan of Arc: Into the Fire
Androgynous queer performer Jo Lampert ignites Alex Timbers and David Byrne’s spirited pop-rock tribute to Saint Joan of Arc, the virgin warrior burned at the stake for heresy during the Hundred Years’ War. As a portrait of a butch feminist icon, this straight-shooting Joan Superstar feels very timely—“Nevertheless, she persisted” is scrawled on a pre-show banner—even if it’s, saints forgive me, a tad undercooked.
Public Theater through April 30.
Sunday in the Park With George
As anguished artist Georges Seurat and his muse, an intensely committed Jake Gyllenhaal—oh, that voice!—and the luminous Annaleigh Ashford slap a fresh coat of paint on Stephen Sondheim’s 1984 masterpiece, a heady study in creative passion and emotional restraint. Sarna Lapine’s spare staging is colored in by Seurat’s vibrant subjects, including a handsome pair of soldiers who “have become very close.”
Hudson Theatre through April 23.
Reclaiming her Tony-winning role after more than two decades, a grand Glenn Close still commands the stage as faded silent movie diva Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s campy, crowd-pleasing Tinseltown satire, which benefits from a 40-piece orchestra. Michael Xavier admirably holds his own as seduced screenwriter Joe, whether he’s being manhandled by gay haberdashers or wearing nothing but a snug swimsuit.
Palace Theatre through June 25.
Attend the tale of another Sondheim revival, a bloody good British import immersively staged in an intimate space that’s been converted into a working meat pie shop—the perfect setting for our vengeful barber and his tasty victims. A fine three-piece band doesn’t always suit the robust score, but the full-bodied performances, like that of out singer-songwriter Matt Doyle as a lovesick sailor, are quite delicious.
Barrow Street Theatre through December 31.