The Stage is Set for Love This Month
If there’s one thing the Great White Way knows how to do, it’s red-hot romance. This month, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we take a look at thought-provoking dramas, biting comedies, and soaring pop musicals that all center around romance. Each of these shows speaks to a different facet of the romantic experience, offering something for everyone.
Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812 (Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St.)
The thrilling Ars Nova production of Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812 arrived on the Great White Way this fall after two wildly successful Off-Broadway runs. Joining the ensemble in his Broadway debut is international recording superstar Josh Groban. The contemporary pop-rock musical is inspired by an excerpt from Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel War and Peace. The show tells the story of the beautiful ingenue Natasha who is seduced by the dashing and dangerously handsome Anatole during a visit to Moscow as she awaits the return of her fiancé. Her one chance for redemption comes from the unlikeliest of places: the romantic outsider Pierre, who searches for meaning in his own life, as well.
To house the production, which began in a large tent in the Meatpacking District, the Imperial Theatre was transformed into a Russian supper club immersing the audience in the action of the piece. Historical fiction, inventive staging, and passionate music come together in what is one of the most romantic experiences currently running on Broadway.
Significant Others (Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St.)
After a smash-hit and critically acclaimed Off- Broadway run, Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Significant Other transfers to Broadway this winter. The poignant new comedy by playwright Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews) is a look at contemporary relationships in the age of social media, online dating, and missed connections.
The play follows single guy Jordan Berman in his search for the perfect man as he struggles to maintain hope while watching his best friends walk down the aisle one by one. In his own romantic pursuits, Jordan questions the nature of friendship and “finding the one” with the help of his closest friends and his wise grandmother. This hilarious and often moving new comedy speaks both to the cynic and the eternal romantic in each of us.
The Present (Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St.)
Cate Blanchett, Academy Award-winning icon of stage and screen, makes her highly anticipated Broadway debut in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Present. The play is a new adaption of the Chekhov classic Platonov by internationally acclaimed theatre artist Andrew Upton.
The comedy-drama is centered around the birthday party of the independent-yet- compromised widow Anna Petrovna (Blanchett). What at once seems to be an innocuous gathering amongst former friends, colleagues, and lovers descends into an evening filled with unbridled desire, angst, and romantic longing. This thrilling limited engagement is the theatrical event of the season and not to be missed!
Heisenberg (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St.)
Emmy and Tony award- winning actress Mary Louise-Parker (Proof, Weeds) returns to the New York stage in Manhattan Theatre Club’s acclaimed production of Heisenberg. The new play comes from Stephen Simon, the same visionary writer behind the internationally renowned The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night Time. Heisenberg is a theatrically inventive look at the human experience and intricacies of relationships.
The play opens in a crowded London train station where a woman spots an older gentleman and is moved to kiss him gently on the neck. The simple and unexpected act leads to an electric and life-altering game between the two individuals. Ultimately an investigation of the nature of human connection, Heisenberg offers a truly unique perspective on the unorthodox relationships that can sometimes change our lives. The play also stars Denis Arndt.