A Bronx Tale, The Musical by Chazz Palminteri, Alan Menken, and Glenn Slater
The Story: Based on the critically acclaimed play that inspired the now classic film, this streetwise musical will take you to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s—where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. Featuring a book by Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri, music by Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award winner Alan Menken, and lyrics by Grammy Award winner and Oscar and Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater, A Bronx Tale is a story about respect, loyalty, love, and above all else: family.
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally
The Story: The setting is a walk-up apartment on Manhattan’s West Side where, as the curtain rises, Frankie (a waitress) and Johnny (a short-order cook who works in the same restaurant) are discovered in bed. It is their first encounter, after having met several weeks ago on the job, and Frankie is hopeful that Johnny will now put on his clothes and depart, so she can return to her usual routine of watching TV and eating ice cream. But Johnny, a compulsive talker (and romantic), has other ideas. He is convinced that he loves Frankie, a notion that she, at first, considers to be ridiculous. She has had more disappointments than delights in life, and he is the veteran of one broken marriage already. And neither of them is in the bloom of youth. Yet out of their sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious interplay the promise of a relationship beyond a “one-night stand” does begin to emerge and, as the lights dim, the two are back in bed again, but this time side-by-side, holding hands before the glowing television screen.
Marisol by José Rivera
About: Marisol Perez, a young Latino woman, is a copy editor for a Manhattan publisher. Although she has elevated herself into the white collar class, she continues to live alone in the dangerous Bronx neighborhood of her childhood. As the play begins, Marisol narrowly escapes a vicious attack by a golf club-wielding madman while traveling home on the subway. Later that evening Marisol is visited by her guardian angel who informs her that she can no longer serve as Marisol’s protector because she has been called to join the revolution already in progress against an old and senile God who is dying and “taking the rest of the universe with him.” The war in heaven spills over into New York City, reducing it to a smoldering urban wasteland where giant fires send noxious smoke to darken the skies, where the moon has not been seen in months, where the food has been turned to salt, and water no longer seeks its level. Alone, without her protector, Marisol begins a nightmare journey into this new war zone where she is attacked by a man with an ice cream cone demanding back pay for his extra work on the film Taxi Driver. Marisol finds herself on the streets, homeless, where her many encounters include a woman beaten for exceeding her credit limit and a homeless burn victim in a wheelchair looking for his lost skin. With the apocalypse well under way, the angels have traded in their wings for Uzis and wear leather motorcycle jackets and fatigues. As the action builds to a crescendo, the masses of homeless and displaced people join the angels in the war to save the universe.
Now and Then by Sean Grennan
The Story: Sometimes what happens after last call just might change your life. One night in 1981, just as Jamie is closing the bar where he works, a desperate last-minute customer offers him and his girlfriend Abby two thousand dollars to sit and have a drink with him. Who wouldn’t take it? As the trio swaps stories and Jamie considers the decisions he faces about his musical career and his future with his girlfriend Abby. the young couple begins to realize that this older man is unusually invested in their choices… and the reason he gives them is completely unbelievable. But when a very displeased second stranger arrives, the unbelievable begins to look like it just might be true. Now and Then is a heartfelt romantic comedy about the costs of the choices we make, and the people who make them with us.
The Memory of Water by Shelagh Stephenson
The Story: Three sisters, Teresa, Mary, and Catherine, come together before their mother’s funeral, each haunted by their own demons. The play focuses on how each sister deals with the death and how it directly affects them. The three each have different memories of the same events, causing constant bickering about whose memories are true. As the three women get together after years of separation, all their hidden lies and self-betrayals are about to reach the surface.
The Revolutionists By Lauren Gunderson
The Story: Four beautiful, badass women lose their heads in this irreverent, girl-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen (and fan of ribbons) Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat, and try to beat back the extremist insanity in 1793 Paris. This grand and dream-tweaked comedy is about violence and legacy, art and activism, feminism and terrorism, compatriots and chosen sisters, and how we actually go about changing the world. It’s a true story. Or total fiction. Or a play about a play. Or a raucous resurrection…that ends in a song and a scaffold.
Thoughts of a Colored Man by Keenan Scott II
The Story: Dawn breaks in Brooklyn, and seven black men rise to meet the day. One of them, a finance director, leaves his luxurious condo to jog around their rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, just as a grocery-store clerk is starting another soul-crushing shift. At the bus stop, two best friends debate the intricacies of modern dating, while a basketball coach at the youth center grapples with his unrealized potential. At the hospital, a teacher and his father-in-law welcome a new life. And at the barbershop, the whole group meets for cuts and conversation as sparks fly over questions of identity and community. Through the storytelling style of SLAM Narrative, Thoughts of a Colored Man celebrates the hopes, ambitions, joys, and triumphs of black men in a world that often refuses to hear them.
Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies
The Story: Time Stands Still focuses on Sarah and James, a photojournalist and a foreign correspondent trying to find happiness in a world that seems to have gone crazy. Theirs is a partnership based on telling the toughest stories, and together, making a difference. But when their own story takes a sudden turn, the adventurous couple confronts the prospect of a more conventional life.
Waiting for Lucy by Michael Mejias
The Story: James is the shy kid at Hometown High, but that doesn’t stop him from pining after Lucy, the captain of the school’s cheerleading squad. When Lucy agrees to let him walk her home one day, James is over the moon. There’s just one small catch: he has to wait for her cheerleading practice to end. Piece of cake…right? That is until the rumor mill revs up and James finds himself in a web of absurd love triangles. In high school, nothing is simple for long.
White by James Ijames, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 2022
The Story: Gus is an artist. Vanessa is an actress. Gus wants to be presented in a major exhibition for artists of color, so he hires Vanessa to perform as Balkonaé Townsend, a brash and political artist that will fit the museum’s desire for “new voices.” Everything is great, until Balkonaé takes over and Gus has to deal with the mess he’s made. This plays spins out of control as it explores issues of race, gender, sexuality, and art.