HARVEY FINKLESTEIN’S SOCK PUPPET SHOWGIRLS Harvey Finklestein’s Institute of Whimsical, Fantastical, and Marvelous Puppet Masterage returns to New York from Chicago with an encore presentation of their acclaimed parody of the 1995 Joe Eszterhas film “Showgirls.” The play, like the beloved film, follows an ambitious young drifter as she navigates her way through that world of power, topless dancing, seduction, vulgarity, gambling, and sex that we call Las Vegas. If you haven’t seen sock puppets pole dance, you haven’t experienced the true power of the theater. Oct. 15 -30, Sat. and Sun. at 8 p.m. Ace of Clubs, 9 Great Jones St., near Lafayette St., inside Acme. $15 at 212-352-3101 or TheaterMania.com.
WHAT WOMEN TALK ABOUT This unscripted play directed by men eavesdrops on the lives of four young women in New York City. Each show is set in a new location with a new scenario in which the cast improvises the plot and dialogue based on their recurring characters. Directed by Hugh Sinclair & Wayne Parillo. The Kraine Theater, 85 E Fourth St. at Second Ave. Through Nov. 12, Thu.–Sat. 8 p.m. $18 at 212-352-3101 or theatermania.com.
LADIES OF THE CORRIDOR “I read about beautiful, young girls being chopped to pieces with an axe, and then I think it’s not so bad,” says the character Connie Mercer reflecting on the state of a single woman in the stunning revival of “Ladies of the Corridor,” by the Pecadillo Theater Company. Such a wry and witty observation could only come from the pen of Dorothy Parker, and the play, written with Arnaud d’Usseau, is full of such witticisms as “hatred is filling but not nourishing.” Yet for all the one-liners flying around the Hotel Marlowe, a residence for single women in New York in 1953, this is also an emotionally resonant and achingly relevant play for today’s audiences. The lyricism of Dan Wackerman’s direction and the riveting performances by every member of the cast make this one of the best things to see on any stage right now. East 13th Street Theater, Tue.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. Through Oct. 23 $55; 212-279-4200 (Christopher Byrne)
DEDICATION, OR THE STUFF OF DREAMS Terrence McNally has written a heartfelt, original valentine to three unavoidable and essential components of life—relationships, death, and theater. In this affectionate and warmly entertaining new play, McNally beautifully renders the harsh realities of each of these elements—especially the theater. Primary Stages 59 E. 59th St.. $60 at 212-279-4200. Ends Oct. 16 (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)
The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow In Rolin Jones’ “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow,” Jennifer (Julienne Hanzelka Kim) is a brilliant but troubled 22-year-old, intent on finding her birth mother in China. To this end, she builds a robot (Eunice Wong) that can do what she cannot—simply leave the house, as Jennifer is completely agoraphobic. This places a certain strain on her adoptive parents, especially her mother Adele (Linda Gehringer), a high-powered business executive, deeply frustrated in her passionate, yet quite simple, ambitions for her daughter. There is more vivid imagination and sensitive human observation in Jones’ writing here than in any ten plays concurrently running on or off Broadway. He skillfully gives equal weight to his dysfunctional family plotting and the exhilarating sci-fi elements, creating true, thrilling theatrical magic in every sense of the word. Jones completely captures the zeitgeist of our world’s technologically adept but often socially blocked youth. Atlantic Theater Company, 336 W 20th St. Ends Oct. 16. $50 at 212-239-6200. (David Noh)
KISSING FIDEL Eduardo Machado has done it this time, in his 44th play—depending how you count—set in Miami in 1994, everybody has had sexual relations with everybody else, male, female, or otherwise, brothers with brothers, cousins with cousins, aunts with whomever, and everybody hates Fidel Castro with a passion. Everybody except Oscar—“a novelist in his 40s”—who wants to go to Havana and kiss Castro. He’s kissed a lot of other men. But that isn’t what he means. Kirk Theatre, 410 W. 42nd St. Ends Oct. 23. $40 at 212-279-4200. (Jerry Tallmer)