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6 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend

Our guide to plays and musicals coming to New York stages and a few last-chance picks of shows that are about to close. Our reviews of open shows are at nytimes.com/reviews/theater.

‘BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL’ at the Stephen Sondheim Theater (ongoing). This 2014 bio-musical, which Ben Brantley described as “friendly” and “formulaic,” recently announced that it would close on Oct. 27. So if you want to feel the earth move under your feet, now might be a good time to see the play. This summer, the singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton stepped into the sensibly shod role of Carole King, the part that won Jessie Mueller a Tony.
212-239-6200, beautifulonbroadway.com

[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]

‘THE CHER SHOW’ at the Neil Simon Theater (closes on Aug. 18). Do you believe in life after Broadway? This jukebox bio-musical, which needed three actresses — Micaela Diamond, Teal Wicks and Stephanie J. Block — to play one pop diva, closes its sequined doors. While Jesse Green praised Bob Mackie’s extravagant costumes, the musical, he noted, is “all gesture, no craft: dramatically threadbare and surprisingly unrevealing.”
877-250-2929, thechershowbroadway.com

‘GET ON YOUR KNEES’ at the Cherry Lane Theater (closes on Aug. 18). The curtain is about to fall on Jacqueline Novak’s erudite history of fellatio (though it will reopen on Aug. 28 at the Lucille Lortel Theater). An author and a stand-up, Novak has a style that is brash, brainy and not as lewd as you might expect. Her show is less about the penis than it is about the indignity of being, as she says, “a woman that lusts after the common shaft.”
866-811-4111, cherrylanetheatre.org

‘KING KONG’ at the Broadway Theater (closes on Aug. 18). An oversize ape is out of a job. This Broadway musical, notorious for its giant, intricate puppet, beats its chest for the final time. In a dual review, the New York Times chief theater critics evaluated a show that Ben Brantley described as “spirit-crushing,” dismissing the score, the book and even the one-ton gorilla himself.
212-239-6200, kingkongbroadway.com

‘PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL’ at the Nederlander Theater (closes on Aug. 18). Having stopped a while and talked a while, this musical based on the popular film concludes its Broadway run. Ben Brantley wrote that the show, which is directed by Jerry Mitchell and features songs by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, “lowers the already ground-scraping bar for literal-minded adaptations of film to stage.”
877-250-2929, prettywomanthemusical.com

‘WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME’ at the Helen Hayes Theater (closes on Aug. 24). Heidi Schreck’s harrowing, hilarious interrogation of her family’s and our nation’s history stages its final debates. Jesse Green described it as “a tragedy told as a comedy, a work of inspired protest, a slyly crafted piece of persuasion and a tangible contribution to the change it seeks.” He added, “It is not just the best play to open on Broadway so far this season, but also the most important.”
212-239-6200, constitutionbroadway.com

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