The eagerly awaited Cyrano starring Peter Dinklage, begins previews Oct. 11 off-Broadway at the Daryl Roth Theatre (101 E. 15th St.). This is a musical version of Edmond Rostand’s famous play Cyrano de Bergerac about a man with a big nose in love with the beautiful Roxane, whom he fears will never love him, despite his wit.
The music for this adaptation by The New Group is by Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of The National, with lyrics by the band’s Matt Berninger and his wife, Carin Besser.
Jasmine Cephas Jones, who played both Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the original Hamilton cast, is Roxane. Through Dec. 22.
‘Forbidden’ is back ...
The most anticipated parody this month is Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation, returning after an absence of five years. Gerard Alessandrini’s musical spoofs many of the big Broadway shows and is performed by a wildly talented cast of eight. (At the Triad Theater, 158 W. 72nd St. through Nov. 29).
... and here’s ‘Bella’
More big fun: Bella Bella is Harvey Fierstein’s solo show about Bella Abzug, New York’s daring, tell-it-like-it-is congresswoman — featuring her signature hats and his signature gruff voice. (Manhattan Theatre Club, Stage 1, 131 W. 55th St. through Dec. 1).
Now let’s get serious
Two excellent productions of two profoundly sad plays have just opened:
In the first, Dublin Carol, at Irish Repertory Theatre (132 W. 22nd St.), it’s Christmas in Conor McPherson land, a place soaked in death and whiskey. (Another of McPherson’s plays, The Night Alive, opens Wednesday at Philly’s Inis Nua Theatre.)
Jeffrey Bean gives a meticulously crafted performances as John, a man wrecked by guilt and drink who works and lives in a funeral parlor. We hear through long, rich monologues about events from his shame-filled past as he confesses them to his young helper (Cillian Hegarty). All this recalled misery is then made worse when his estranged daughter (the radiant Sarah Street) arrives to beg him to come to visit his dying wife.
It’s directed beautifully and painfully by Ciaran O’Reilly. Through Nov. 10.
In the second, Manhattan Theatre Club’s The Height of the Storm at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 W. 47th St.), Andre (Jonathan Pryce, in a precision performance) panics as he loses his grip following his wife’s death. “What is my position here? My position? My position?,” he asks in a nearly unbearable number of repetitions.
The wife, played by the formidable Eileen Atkins, may have dropped dead in the vegetable garden a few days before, but she is very much present.
Written by Florian Zeller and translated from the French by Christopher Hampton, it’s intense and very troubling. The emotional ambiance created by the two splendid actors is thick and yet gauzy, reminding us no one ever really knows what someone else is thinking or feeling. A scrim in Anthony Ward’s set design that separates the scenes is the perfect visual equivalent. Through Nov. 24.
It’s OK to boo at this
Halloween is coming, and nobody loves costumes more than theater people. One of the New York’s holiday traditions is the Theatre for the New City Halloween Costume Ball, Oct. 31 at TNC, 155 First Ave. (Info: 212-254-1109 or theaterforthenewcity.net, $20 admission.)
This downtown company’s Resident Theater Program has helped to launch playwright Sam Shepard, actor Tim Robbins, and many others.
And while you’re in the neighborhood, keep an eye out for the Village Halloween Parade, which goes up Sixth Avenue on Halloween night, from Spring Street to 16th Street. It’s hard to miss — 50,000 people march. (Info: halloween-nyc.com)