Top theatre to see in New York in February
Here's our top picks of theatre to check out in February 2022.
With Valentine's Day in the middle of the month, love is in the air in February. What better time to fall in love with some new theatre? Off-Broadway and Broadway tickets are plentiful this time of year, so you can get great seats for you and all your loved ones to see Broadway musicals, Off-Broadway plays, and more in February.
You'll find timeless love stories in Broadway shows like Plaza Suite and The Music Man, perfect to see with your valentine. There's plenty more love to go around at Off-Broadway shows: On Sugarland celebrates the love between families and communities, and Space Dogs, the strong bond between man and dog, to name a couple. But February's slate of theatre deals with plenty of other topics besides love stories, including studying for an English-language proficiency exam, a Harlem Renaissance-era satire on race and technology, and the first Chinese woman to come to America.
Between new shows starting performances this month and shows currently in previews having their official opening nights in February, there's so much to discover all over the city this month. Here are our top picks for what to see at New York theatres in February 2022.
In a Broadway production originally scheduled for 2020, real-life celebrity power couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick star as three couples in Plaza Suite. Each act of Neil Simon’s farce sees a different pair in Suite 719 of New York’s Plaza Hotel: A long-married couple struggles to revitalize their relationship, old friends rekindle an old flame, and parents try to coax their terrified daughter out of the bathroom on her wedding day. A perfect post-Valentine's Day show, this hilarious play about the ups and downs of romance is playing a limited Broadway run from February 25 to June 12.
MJ The Musical
A thriller of a show is happening at the Neil Simon Theatre: MJ The Musical. This new musical, with a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and dozens of Michael Jackson's biggest hits, is all about the historic life and career of the King of Pop. MJ The Musical centers around Jackson as he prepares for his 1992 Dangerous World Tour, and as he goes over hit set list, audiences get glimpses into key moments in his creative career where he wrote iconic songs like "Thriller," "Smooth Criminal," "Billie Jean," "Man in the Mirror," and many more. Audiences have been rocking with the show since December, but the official opening is on February 2.
The Music Man
Pickalittle, talk a little, take a little walk to the Winter Garden Theatre for The Music Man, which officially opens on February 10. This revival of Meredith Willson's classic feel-good musical has paraded onto Broadway with music, dance, and star power in spades. Hugh Jackman stars as Professor Harold Hill, a con man who arrives in River City, Iowa to pose as a music teacher and swindle hopeful bands out of their money before teaching them anything. Sutton Foster plays Marian Paroo, the local librarian who quickly figures Harold out and is determined to expose him — until she falls in love with him.
The Chinese Lady
In Lloyd Suh's play, running at The Public Theater in February, an Asian woman lost to history finally gets to tell her story for herself. That woman is Afong Moy, one of the first-ever Chinese women to step foot in America. In 1834, Afong Moy is brought over from China involuntarily. She's considered a commodity in a deal between traders and her parents, and is immediately exploited for profit again. For most of her life, she is toured around the country as a living museum exhibit, where the American public pays to see Afong walk on bound feet among "exotic" trinkets, performing a skewed version of Chinese culture. Her translator, Atung, is also a character in the story, but The Chinese Lady sees the character of Afong share her observations about how Americans view global cultures.
Black No More
After starting performances in January, the new musical Black No More officially opens on February 15 at the Pershing Square Signature Center. 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley and The Roots co-founder Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter have teamed up to write a new script and songs based on the 1931 Afrofuturist novel by George S. Schuyler. Brandon Victor Dixon stars as Max Disher, a Black man living in 1920s Harlem. After being romantically rejected because of his race, he hears about a machine that turns Black people white in order to "solve the American race problem." Max undergoes the transformation and his life seems to improve at first, but he quickly comes face-to-face with white supremacists who are still determined to figure out who isn't "really like them."
This new musical about the Russian space race — and the furry friends that kickstarted it — is blasting off at MCC Theater this month. Creators Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire also star in this cosmic show about the dog Laika, the first-ever living being to orbit Earth, and the Engineer, the mysterious Russian scientist who trained her. The musical sees the Engineer and Laika develop a bond during their months of training for an ultimately fated mission, and their story has plenty of heart, international political intrigue, and of course, out-of-this-world songs.
In sandblasted at Vineyard Theatre, Angela and Odessa searching for something that might not be real, but they're determined to "make a way out of no way." Along the way, they come upon celebrity-turned-wellness-guru Adah, and the women allow Adah to lead them on their journey. This new show from award-winning playwright Charly Evon Simpson is equal parts funny and emotional and is all about hope, healing, and time.
In a classroom in Iran, where Sanaz Toossi's world-premiere play at Atlantic Theater Company is set, there is one rule: "English only." Four adult students are studying for the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, by way of word games, listening exercises, speeches, and more, all in English. They all believe that English will complete a part of them that's been missing, but in this environment where they can't use their native tongue, something else might be happening entirely. They might be dividing themselves in half, as it's unclear where their native culture fits into their English-speaking selves.
Award-winning playwright Aleshea Harris's newest work — a "spectacular pageant and spirited meditation" — has taken root at New York Theatre Workshop. This story of generational divides centers on 12-year-old Sadie and her aunt Odella, who diminishes Sadie's intelligence and power. But Sadie has a self-proclaimed gift of talking with the dead, and she uses it to get information from her matriarchal ancestors about the mother she's never really known. On Sugarland is a story of spiritual survival in the face of hardship, and how a small community faces and reclaims their long-standing grief.