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ABIGAIL’S PARTY When first staged in 1977 by Britain’s Mike Leigh—who is better known stateside for his films “Vera Drake,” “Topsy-Turvy,” and “Secrets and Lies,” than for his plays—“Abigail’s Party” was seen as a biting satire dissecting middle-class social mores. Does this party have any life in it today? As shaped by Scott Elliott, artistic director of the New Group, the answer is a jolly good “yes.” The Acorn Theater, 410 W. 42nd St. $51.25 at 212-279-4200. Through Feb. 11 (David Kennerley)

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The Trip to Bountiful Real compassion is so intensely life-affirming that one wonders why we don’t see more of it in our world. Instead, we see self-serving and posturing masquerading as humanity and wonder why it rings so false. As the cliché goes, “actions speak louder than words.” This is just one of the themes that radiate warmly through the lyrical and satisfying production of “The Trip to Bountiful.” Set against the backdrop of Houston in 1953, Horton Foote’s play is a story of transition in the years just after World War II, when increased mobility and a changing economy shifted the notion of family forever. Peter Norton Space, 555 W. 42nd St. $55; 212-352-3101. Through Feb 19. (Christopher Byrne)

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Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life In 1993, when Broadway veteran Chita Rivera was slated to star as Aurora in “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” some feared she was too old for such a vigorous role. Now, against all odds, she’s back on Broadway with her own show, “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life,” a full-throttle celebration of her half-century career. Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St. $56.25-$101.25; 212-239-6200. (David Kennerley)

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The Color Purple Spousal abuse. Rape. Incest. Murder. Not exactly the stuff of which Broadway musicals are made. At least not musicals that expect to recoup their investment. But in bringing “The Color Purple” to the stage, at a cost of $10 million, lead producer Scott Sanders knew better. He assembled a crack creative team that was able to amplify the uplifting themes from the landmark 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker—faith, overcoming adversity, finding self-love—and turn the doleful epic into a toe-tapping, knee-slapping feel-good fest. But is the package just a bit too tidy? Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway. $26.25 - $101.25 at 212-239-6200. (David Kennerley)

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DRUMSTRUCK The charming and engaging company’s delightfully orchestrated pieces inspire one to hear and marvel at the complexity and beauty of the sounds being made. But don’t look too deep. “Drumstruck” is disappointing, and at some points disquieting, insisting on educating in a manner simplistic and condescending. Dodger Stages, 340 W. 50th St. $61-$66 at 212-239-6200. (Christopher Byrne)

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JERSEY BOYS “Jukebox Musical” has become a term that is generally used derisively by the theatrical cognoscenti. But, with “Jersey Boys,” writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, composer Bob Gaudio, and lyricist Bob Crewe have demonstrated that there might be decent shows to be developed from pre-existing material. (Chris Byrne)

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MR. MARMALADE To see the truth of your life, watch as it is replicated in the play of a child. That’s the central conceit of Noah Haidle’s trenchant and disturbing play, a remarkable work of social criticism that skewers the selfishness, carelessness, and emotional violence that is an endemic part of modern culture. Refracted through the imagination of four-year-old Lucy, we see how cell phones, casual sex, and ignoring one another corrode social structures. Roundabout Theatre Company, The Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St. $51.25 or $61.25 at 212-719-1300. Through Jan. 29. (Christopher Byrne)

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THE ODD COUPLE Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick give command performances in this classic comedy. Expect no surprises as the stars fight it out as two co-habitating, very different characters, the anal-retentive versus the common slob. It is charming though—particularly in the performances by Brad Garrett as Murray the Cop, Lee Wilkof as Vinnie, and Olivia d’Abo and Jessica Stone as the Pigeon sisters. Brooks Atkinson Theatre 256 W. 47th St. $60-$100 at 212-307-4100. (Christopher Byrne)

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RFK It was, Jack Holmes said, “a standard agent’s question.” This was 10 or so years ago. “This agent said, ‘Who do you remind people of?’ and I hemmed and hawed and then she said, ‘Well, you remind me of Robert Kennedy.’ I said, ‘That’s strange, I’m thinking of writing a play about him.’ As soon as I said it I walked out of her office, walked down the street, and said to myself, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do that.’” Written and performed solo by Jack Holmes, directed by Larry Moss. Culture Project, 45 Bleecker St. $30-$55 at 212-307-4100. Through Feb. 26 (Jerry Tallmer)

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SWEENEY TODD Rich in storytelling, gripping in intellectual scope, and performed by a superlative cast, this quintessential 20th century musical, with book by Hugh Wheeler and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, has been reconceived for today’s world. Intimate, gripping, and more darkly disturbing than previous productions, it is political theater of the first order in the guise of a seat-edge storytelling experience. The Eugene O’Neill Theater. $35-$100 at 212-239-6200. (Christopher Byrne)

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A Touch of the Poet Eugene O’Neill was no stranger to the narcissistic alcoholic and the havoc such folk wreak on the lives around them. Yet there is an underlying anger in his portrayal of Cornelius Melody that digs deeper, is more lost in illusion, and more destructive to himself and his family than other O’Neill characters. Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St. Tue.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Wed., Sat., Sun. 2 p.m. $26.25-$86.25; 212-719-1300. Through Jan. 29. (Christopher Byrne).

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THE WOMAN IN WHITE Andrew Lloyd Webber has written what is easily his worst score ever. It is full of unresolved melodic lines and soaring chords but there’s not a valid emotion in any of it. The only things to be said of David Zippel’s tattered doggerel presented as lyrics is that they are as immature as the music—full of groaning, plodding rhymes and forced cadences. Marquis Theater, 1535 Broadway. $25-$100 at 212-307-4100. (Christopher Byrne).

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Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
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