Time is of the Essence: Limited Engagements Closing Soon

Melissa Jarmel

As the new year approaches, I wanted to draw your attention to three limited engagement plays that hit Broadway this fall and are set to close in January: The Lifespan of a Fact, Waverly Gallery, and American Son.

The most lighthearted among the three is The Lifespan of a Fact. This play features Daniel Radcliffe as an intern at a magazine whose superior, played by Cherry Jones, assigns him to fact-check an article by a writer who prefers “truthiness” to truth (though this writer, played by Bobby Cannavale, would immediately correct me to say that he wrote an essay, not an article, and that there isn’t really a difference between truth and “truthiness” or maybe that “truthiness” has more truth). With this highly topical play, you’re in for ninety-five minutes of absurd humor that considers the value of facts and the role the media has in telling the truth.

If you prefer to trade in the absurd for something that grounds itself in terrifying realism, you should make sure to see Kerry Washington (famous for Scandal) and Steven Pasquale (from Rescue Me) play parents of a biracial teenager caught up in a police incident in American Son. While the play focuses on one incident with one particular family in the middle of the night in a police station in Florida, Christopher Demos-Brown’s writing and Washington’s emotional performance excellently portray how her character’s frustrations and worries about her black son are the worries of many black mothers in America, sentiments that her estranged white husband fails to grasp for the majority of the play. The dynamic portrayed by this couple also delves into some of the challenges of interracial marriage and raising biracial children to have a cohesive identity in a world that won’t see them in their entirety. It’s a lot to tackle in ninety minutes, but this cast will keep you engaged and in suspense until the lights go out.

The Waverly Gallery is also based in realism but can often feel surreal as you are drawn in by Elaine May’s masterful performance of a feisty New Yorker facing Alzheimer’s disease. May returns to Broadway after fifty years to portray Gladys Green, a liberal activist in her eighties with Alzheimer’s who has been running a small art gallery for many years, from which the play takes its name. While the gallery isn’t thriving at the time the play begins, it is still serving as a familiar place for Gladys to remain engaged as her dementia progresses. This play explores how a person with dementia and their family cope as Alzheimer’s takes its course. Although a heartbreaking topic and portrayal, you’ll find yourself laughing throughout at the odd relationship Gladys develops with a young artist, played by Michael Cera, and maybe some all-too-familiar family dynamics.

All three plays have rush policies (listed below) and have recently been listed for same-day discounts at the TKTS booths.

 

The Lifespan of a Fact

Closes January 13, 2019

$40 General Rush

 

American Son

Closes January 27, 2019

$35 Student Rush

 

Waverly Gallery

Closes January 27, 2019

$40 Student Rush

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