Feature

The week’s other openings

Annie; The Whipping Man; Werther

AnniePalace Theatre, New York, (877) 250-2929“You can’t fault the timing” of Little Orphan Annie’s return to Broadway, said The New York Times. The hurricane-battered city could use a smile. Yet while Lilla Crawford “is pretty close to perfect in the title role,” director James Lapine’s “slightly tremulous hand” makes for a revival that’s less than rousing.

The Whipping ManThe Allen Theatre, Cleveland, (216) 241-6000“Perfection,” said the Cleveland Plain Dealer. That’s the only word for this staging of a 2009 Matthew Lopez drama about a Jewish Confederate soldier and two emancipated slaves. Director Giovanna Sardelli delivers “a world so fully realized” that it’s easy to forget what century this is.

WertherLyric Opera, Chicago, (312) 332-2244Prepare to enter a “post-Freudian fever dream,” said the Chicago Tribune. That’s what Francisco Negrin achieves with this “absorbing, if occasionally maddening,” revisionist production of Jules Massenet’s 1887 opera, based on Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Tenor Matthew Polenzani “was born to sing” the title role.

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