9 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend

Our guide to plays and musicals coming to New York stages and a few last-chance picks of shows that are about to close. Our reviews of open shows are at nytimes.com/reviews/theater.

Previews & Openings

‘THE ILLUSIONISTS MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS’ at the Neil Simon Theater (previews start on Nov. 29; opens on Dec. 4). Christmas — with its crowds, its commercialism, its obligations — doesn’t always feel like the most magical time of the year. Annually, a group of prestidigitators tries to change that. This year’s sorcerous lineup includes the mind reader Chris Cox, the comic conjurer Paul Dabek and the close-up magician Eric Chien.

‘JAGGED LITTLE PILL’ at the Broadhurst Theater (in previews; opens on Dec. 5). This jukebox musical, inspired by Alanis Morissette’s best-selling album, arrives unironically on Broadway. The story of a dysfunctional family, it is directed by Diane Paulus, with a book by Diablo Cody. Of last year’s production in Massachusetts, Jesse Green wrote that it does the good work “we are always asking new musicals to do: the work of singing about real things.” Will you fall head over feet? Don’t be surprised.
212-239-6200, jaggedlittlepill.com

[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]

‘JUDGMENT DAY’ at the Park Avenue Armory (previews start on Dec. 5; opens on Dec. 10). A different kind of trolley problem motors into the Park Avenue Armory. Christopher Shinn adapts Odon von Horvath’s 1937 play, both a tense drama and a political allegory exploring guilt and responsibility. Luke Kirby (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) stars; Richard Jones directs.
212-616-3930, armoryonpark.org

‘KEEP’ at St. Ann’s Warehouse (previews start on Dec. 4; opens on Dec. 8). Diffident, aggressive, humane and often startlingly funny, the storyteller Daniel Kitson brings his new work to Brooklyn. In a show that sounds less like a monologue and more like a job for Marie Kondo, Kitson attempts a digressive catalog of the 20,000-some possessions in his home.
718-254-8779, stannswarehouse.org

Last Chance

‘BETRAYAL’ at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater (closes on Dec. 8). Harold Pinter’s chronologically tricky and emotionally sticky love triangle leaves the stage. Ben Brantley described Jamie Lloyd’s production, starring Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox and Zawe Ashton, as “the most merciless and empathic interpretation of this much performed work I’ve seen.” He added, “I didn’t expect it to be one of those rare shows I seem destined to think about forever.”
212-239-6200, betrayalonbroadway.com

‘THE GREAT SOCIETY’ at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (closes on Nov. 30). The second of Robert Schenkkan’s plays about the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson ends its term. Directed by Bill Rauch and starring Brian Cox, the drama incorporates Johnson’s high and low moments, but it doesn’t do much more. “A play that doesn’t dramatize a man’s interior landscape is just a pageant,” Jesse Green wrote.

‘THE MICHAELS’ at the Public Theater (closes on Dec. 1). Richard Nelson’s new play, the first of a planned cycle, clears its dinner table. A meal set in the home of a dying choreographer, this drama is even quieter than Nelson’s other dramas set in Rhinebeck, N.Y., but Ben Brantley found it still as rich and “as hopeful as it is heartbreaking.”
212-967-7555, publictheater.org

‘THE ROSE TATTOO’ at the American Airlines Theater (closes on Dec. 8). Tennessee Williams’s sunstruck, Florida-set comedy of sex and grief ends its run. Though Ben Brantley had some encouraging words for its stars Marisa Tomei and Emun Elliott, he noted that “it’s a vaudevillian notion of sex they’re presenting, the poignancy and poetry within their characters’ coming together are mostly absent.”
212-719-1300, roundabouttheatre.org

‘SCOTLAND, PA’ at the Laura Pels Theater at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theater (closes on Dec. 8). Adam Gwon and Michael Mitnick’s update of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” with ’70s rock and a side of fries, places its final orders. Jesse Green noted that under Lonny Price’s direction, it is not only funny, but also “quietly insightful, making piquant connections between Shakespeare’s drama of political powerlust and the consumerist mania of our own fast-food culture.”
212-719-1300, roundabouttheatre.org

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