THIRD Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s new play is a portrait of a woman at a crossroads in her life. College professor Laurie Jameson’s orderly life as wife, mother, daughter, and educator is thrown into disarray after she accuses a student of plagiarism. The cast includes Dianne Wiest as Jameson, Amy Aquino as her best friend, Charles Durning as her father, Gaby Hoffmann as her daughter, and Jason Ritter as her student. Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, Tue.-Sat. at 8 p.m., Wed. & Sat. at 2 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m. $70 and $75 at 212-239-6200 or lct.org.
THE ASPHALT KISS The media is capable of doing great good, when it can engage a story and the public, but for the tabloid press, outrage sells, and it can be manufactured, as needed. That’s the theme of the exciting play “The Asphalt Kiss” by Nelson Rodrigues, now getting its U.S. premiere as part of a month-long festival of the author’s work. Rodrigues knows whereof he speaks, having worked in Brazil’s tabloid world, and his play is a noir fable about how a created story in a popular paper destroys a family. It is also a fable about the popular willingness to accept the truth of whatever the media provides. 59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th St., Wed-Sat 8 p.m. Ends Oct. 29. $15; 212-279-4200 (Christopher Byrne)
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)
FRAN’S BED This uncommonly boring play by the usually adept James Lapine involves Fran falling into a coma, a plastic mannequin representing her comatose body while her spirit—Mia Farrow—floats around. Fran’s utter self-absorption has allowed her to be unfaithful to her husband, wretched to her children, and to generally make life miserable for those around her. What follows, as the family gathers, is a dysfunctional “Blithe Spirit.” Playwright’s Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St. $60 at 212-279-4200. (Christopher Byrne)
IN THE CONTINUUM Few crimes diminish the human spirit more than to be robbed of one’s voice. With insensitivity, willful blindness, and cynicism, governments, religions, and societies can silence individuals, particularly those who are disadvantaged and unable to fight. What happens to the tales these voices have to tell? Many are simply, and tragically, lost. Yet in the new play “In the Continuum, ” playwrights and actors Danai Guira and Nikkole Salter find two of them and in so doing create a theatrical event of undeniable power and poetry that manages, despite its inherent simplicity, to lay bare the suffering of two women while boldly exposing the cultural structures of both Zimbabwe and the United States that allow these women to be used and abandoned. Primary Stages 59 E. 59th St. Ends Oct. 30. $15 at 212-279-4200. (Christopher Byrne)
A WOMAN OF WILL This is an obvious vanity project by singer/songwriter Amanda McBroom, a one-woman train wreck that tells the story of Kate, a blocked writer in a Holiday Inn in Cleveland, trying to pen lyrics for a musical of “The Merchant of Venice” that will star Jennifer Lopez. Daryl Roth Theatre, 101 E. 15th St. $65 at 212-239-6200. (Christopher Byrne)