They didn’t name January after the two-faced god Janus for nothing. Janus is the god of transitions, looking both forward and to the past. He’s the god of doorways and gates, openings and closings.

Between the holiday shows in December and the upcoming spate of February launches, it’s a month that’s big on previews. There’s a nice mid-winter deal package, too.

In previews

  • My Name is Lucy Barton, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Fans of Elizabeth Strout’s novels may be glad to hear that this 2018 bestseller has been adapted for the stage as a long monologue. And fans of Laura Linney will be glad to know she’s performing it in its American premiere. This massive undertaking, a prodigious feat of memory as well as acting, follows the title character’s recollections of her relationship with her difficult mother and her abusive father. Interlaced are many stories about people from the old neighborhood — sometimes funny, sometimes sad. Opening Wednesday.
  • A Soldier’s Play, Roundabout Theatre Company at American Airlines Theatre. Charles Fuller’s military drama won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 and was a critical and popular success. But it never played Broadway. The plot follows the mystery about the killing of a black sergeant on a Louisiana base in 1944 as it is investigated by a black captain. This revival stars David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood, and is directed by Kenny Leon. Fuller was born in Philadelphia, went to Roman Catholic High School and then Villanova University before enlisting in the Army, and studied at La Salle University afterwards. Opening Jan. 21.
  • Grand Horizons, Helen Hayes Theatre. In this new play by Bess Wohl (Small Mouth Sounds), an apparently perfect and very long marriage suddenly falls apart — much to the astonishment of the couple’s grown children. Jane Alexander and James Cromwell star. Leigh Silverman (Violet, The Lifespan of a Fact) directs. Opening Jan. 23.
  • Medea, Harvey Theater at Brooklyn Academy of Music. A play as harrowing now as it was 3,000 years ago, this update on Euripides’ about a furious woman scorned is set in an American home with an all new American cast starring real-life couple Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne. The production, adapted and directed by the international powerhouse Simon Stone, arrives in New York trailing clouds of critical glory from its tour in Europe and the U.K. Opening Jan. 30
  • West Side Story, Broadway Theatre. While the official opening of the new Broadway revival of West Side Story has been slightly delayed, it continues to roll along in previews — and there’s a root-for-the-home-team reason why you might want to catch it now. As the Inquirer has reported, understudy Jordan Dobson, out of Pennsauken High School and Temple University, is covering the role of Tony while leading man Isaac Powell recovers from a knee injury. Celebrity director Ivo van Hove (The Crucible, Network) has put his radical stamp on the show with a large diverse cast and new choreography — no more of Jerome Robbins’ snapping fingers. Now opening Feb. 20.

Mid-winter two-fers

New York’s Convention and Visitors Bureau is bringing back its NYC Winter Outing, a promotion to encourage tourists to visit during the winter months. This year’s dates are Jan. 21-Feb. 9, 2020. Winter Outing deals include 2-for-1 tickets to select Broadway shows — Book of Mormon, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Disney’s Aladdin, and more — and to other attractions, museums, and performing arts. NYC Restaurant Week runs at the same time; nearly 400 restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. Details at

Looking ahead

Does anyone look forward to February? Here’s a few reasons you might:

  • Girl from the North Country, a play by the celebrated Irish dramatist Conor McPherson (The Weir), is likely to be a very hot ticket. It features music and lyrics by Bob Dylan and begins previews Feb. 7 at the Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St.
  • This year’s Kids’ Night on Broadway is Tuesday, Feb. 25. Children 18 and under can see a show free with a paying adult. Shows include Disney’s Frozen, Aladdin, and The Lion King, along with Mean Girls, Wicked, and many more. The website for details: