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Your independent guide to the best shows in New York

Plays in New York - December 2016

Our carefully curated selection of the Best Plays in New York for the month of December 2016

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: Closes 8th January 2017

Employing state of the art sound technology, one man show The Encounter takes you deep into the Brazilian rainforest, and into the homes of the Mayoruna tribe. Created by and starring Simon McBurney, this startling original work conveys most of its action through special headphones that are given to every audience member. Rapturously received in London and Edinburgh, The Encounter is unlike anything you've experienced before. More info

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: Closes 15th January 2017

One of the most acclaimed plays of recent times, Stephen Karam's The Humans is a portrait of a family who come to understand each other very differently over a thanksgiving dinner. Warm, witty and very funny, The Humans won four Tony Awards in 2016, including Best Play. More info

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: Closes 29th January 2017

The rapid-fire newspaper comedy The Front Page is revived on Broadway, featuring an all star cast. Three-time Tony winner Nathan Lane plays Walter Burns, a hard-boiled newspaper editor whose star reporter Hildy John (John Slattery) stumbles onto the story of a lifetime. Rounding out the cast are screen legend John Goodman, and Tony winners Jefferson Mays and Rosemary Harris. More info

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: Closes 18th December 2016

Exploring an America on the edge of industrial collapse, Sweat follows the inhabitants of a working class neighbourhood whose economic woes spur on two of their number to commit a terrible crime. Thrilling and deeply felt, Sweat is the latest work from Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Ruined) and has already earned considerable acclaim from critics. More info

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: Closes 11th December 2016

Clare plants a kiss on the cheek of a stranger in the subway, and both of their lives change forever. That's the story of Heisenberg, playwright Simon Stephen's follow-up to the celebrated The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Tony and Emmy winner Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) stars as Clare, opposite Dennis Arndt (Grey's Anatomy). More info

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: Closes 19th December 2016

A theatrical experience like no other, Nassim Soleimanpour's acclaimed play has no rehearsals, no set and no director. The night's sole performer arrives on stage with nothing more than the script in a sealed envelope. Among those who've taken the plunge during this Off-Broadway run are Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg and Martin Short. More info

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: Closes 8th January 2017

Tony winners Liev Schreiber and Janet McTeer lead Christopher Hampton's tale of sex and seduction. Adapted from the classic 18th Century novel, this intricate drama follows two French aristocrats who will stop at nothing to best each other in a perverse game of manipulation. This new staging transfers over from a sold-out run in London's West End. More info

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: Closes 7th December 2016

The Tuskegee Airmen were leading lights in the fight for integration and social equality. They were African American men brought together under the Army Air Corps program in the build up to WWII, a time when Jim Crow laws were still operating in many states. One of Off-Broadway's longest running shows, Black Angels Over Tuskegee tells their story with wit and heart, painting a realistic portrait of six men from the 99th Pursuit Squadron. More info

: Closes 18th January 2017

Two British stars of stage and screen will be taking on the roles in one of Shakespeare's darkest dramatic masterpieces. 007 incumbent Daniel Craig will star as the villainous Iago to David Oyelowo's naive Othello, whispering poison in his ear in a calculated tale of revenge and racism. More info

: Closes 19th March 2017

Cate Blanchett (Carol, Blue Jasmine) leads the cast of this lively Chekhov adaptation, playing a widow whose 40th birthday party descends into chaos as long held regrets and jealousies are revealed. Part farce and part tragedy, The Present examines the disjunct between the life that we live and the one that we dreamed of. More info

: Closes 12th March 2017

August Wilson's 1979 two-act play about a gypsy cab station arrives this December for its Broadway premiere, the last of the playwright's works to play the Main Stem. Helmed by actor/director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, this marks his third collaboration on a Wilson play, having previously won a Tony Award for his role in Seven Guitars. This play is celebrated for its ferocious and spirited dialogue between the very different characters, as well as the myriad subplots and relationships. More info

: Closes 29th January 2017

An autobiographical one-woman show, the writer behind comedy shows like Roseanne, Mad About You and (the Emmy-winning) Rugrats, Monica Piper tackles the ups and downs of being an unwilling New York showbiz kid in this captivating show that has already won over audiences on the West Coast. From reliant Jewish princess to self-reliant comedian, this show charts Piper's rise in comedy from her fame-deluged beginnings, and just why she is one of the front-running female writers in the comedy show genre. More info

: Closes 30th June 2017

Transferring to the Davenport Theatre this Friday, Shear Madness finds a new home in record time. An old lady has been murdered in her apartment above a hair salon, and it's your job to find her killer! Bursting with boundless energy and an incredibly adept cast of improvising, larger-than-life characters, Shear Madness takes audience participation to a whole new level. Sifting through the clues, you decide which twists and turns the show takes. It's a different mystery experience every single night. More info

: Closes 18th December 2016

British playwright Mike Bartlett follows up his recent success King Charles III with this searing indictment of the Baby Boomer generation, told over the course of 40 years through the eyes of one family. Starring Richard Armitage (The Hobbit Trilogy, The Crucible) and Zoe Kazan, this New York premiere of Bartlett's play is directed by Michael Mayer for a limited run this fall, mounted at the Laura Pels Theater. More info

: Closes 22nd January 2017

Tony winner Richard Greenburg's (Our Mother's Brief Affair) latest drama follows a novelist's artistic awakening at the hands of one of his creative writing class students. The cast is led by screen and stage star Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother). More info

: Closes 30th December 2016

When Gerry receives a wedding invitation to a gay marriage asking guests not to wear 'bright colors and bold patterns' he is incensed. Determined to give the couple a piece of his mind his crashes their pre-wedding celebrations and begins a wider debate amongst the guests about identity and new cultural norms. Michael Urie directs this hilarious solo play, created by and starring Drew Droege (Drunk History). More info

After stunning the West End, Nicole Kidman returns to the Broadway with her compelling performance in Anna Ziegler's captivating new play. Telling the story of one of modern science's forgotten pioneers, Rosalind Franklin, it marks the Oscar-winner's first appearance on the Great White Way since 1999! More info

: Closes 18th December 2016

SNL alum Jason Sudeikis stars as inspiring teacher John Keating in this new stage presentation of the critically acclaimed and much-loved film of the same name. Adapted from his own Academy Award winning screenplay by Tom Schulman, it's the moving tale of an unorthodox English teacher and how he uses poetry and literature to encourage his devoted students to break the boundaries of their strict prep school education and discover a life less ordinary. More info

: Closes 18th December 2016

A blisteringly funny new black comedy that takes us into the world of online dating, catfishing and the consequences of lying about your identity. Written by Jenny Rachel Weiner for the Roundabout Theatre Company, this limited engagement off-Broadway overturns everything we believe about the online world, and asks us to examine who we truly are behind the keyboard. Following through the fledgling romance of two young people who meet through a dating site, each has reasons to improve their online presence - however they both get carried away and end up not only lying to each other, but to themselves too. More info

: Closes 11th December 2016

​Following her acclaimed turns in Cabaret and Enchanted April, Eighties screen icon Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink) takes to the New York stage once again in Terms of Endearment. Famously adapted into an Oscar-winning movie in 1983 starring Shirley MacLaine, this smartly-written tearjerker races the lives of a mother and daughter over the course of 30 years, as they each navigate life's many ups and downs. More info

: Closes 18th December 2016

A brand-new musical by Drama Desk-nominated playwright Itamar Moses that explores a softer side to the Middle East conflict. When an Egyptian Police band are scheduled to play in Israel, confusion at the border crossing winds up with the band stranded in a remote village overnight. Taken in by the friendly locals, they find that their lives and beliefs aren't as different after all. More info

: Closes 18th February 2017

First published in 1933, Miles Malleson's play about infidelity finally gets its world premiere staging Off-Broadway in the closing days of 2016. Produced and staged by Mint Theatre Company, who are renowned for rediscovering lost and previously unseen works, this heartwarming yet poignant play is directed by Jonathan Bank and takes a sympathetic look at a married couple trapped in a rut who decide on drastic action to spice things up in their love life. More info

: Closes 31st December 2016

An integral part of McCarter's theater season every year, A Christmas Carol is the definitive holiday show for all the family. Based on the book by Charles Dickens, this celebration of humanity and openheartedness follows the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, a cranky, penny-pinching business man who's taught to true meaning of Christmas by three spirits - the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future - who visit him on Christmas Eve. More info

: Closes 11th December 2016

​Lot Vekemans' Poison makes its American theatre debut at The Beckett this November. This international hit play, which has been staged all over Europe, Asia and South America, and translated into over ten different languages, sees a couple meet again after a painful break-up. Their attempts at reconciliation mask the painful truths just below the surface, and as the play progresses, old wounds are re-opened and we learn the real reason behind their separation. More info

: Closes 18th December 2016

The latest collaboration between Mark Brokaw and Nicky Silver (Lyons, The Food Chain), This Day Forward opens Vineyard Theatre's new season. A story of love, marriage and the secrets we keep, this comedy begins in the honeymoon suite of newly married couple Martin and Irene. While he is elated at the day's proceedings, Irene is nervous and distracted. She has a confession to make. More info

: Closes 31st December 2016

Oscar nominee Nia Vardolos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) makes her New York stage debut in her own adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things. Directed by Tony winner Thomas Kail (Hamilton), this moving and witty play about human connection centers on anonymous advice columnist Sugar, and how her readers' queries help her overcome troubles in her own life. More info

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