Manhattan Theatre Club kicks off its 2022-23 season with Martyna Majok's Cost of Living on Broadway. Get Cost of Living tickets on TodayTix.
See an award-winning play with a critically acclaimed cast, now on a Broadway stage. MTC hosted the world premiere of Cost of Living off Broadway in 2017, and the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play in 2018. A New York Theatre Guide critic wrote, "Cost of Living is perfection. It sent me over the moon. It reawakens my belief in the poetry of theater and highlights its purpose as the critical eye on our human existence." That production starred Katy Sullivan and Gregg Mozgala, and was directed by Jo Bonney. All three reunite for the Broadway premiere, alongside 2022 Tony nominee Kara Young and Dexter star David Zayas.
The Cost of Living play centers on two pairs of caretakers and recipients. First, there's Ani (Sullivan), whose estranged husband Eddie returns to look after her after she loses her legs in a car accident. Then there's John, who has cerebral palsy and has hired the caregiver Jess for day-to-day assistance. The show traces how each pair's relationship develops over time, and lines of who really needs care from whom gradually blur.
The show puts the stories of disabled people front and center, but part of the reason Cost of Living is so effective is by not making Ani and John's characters only defined by their disabilities. Ani is brash and outspoken and bitingly funny — in fact, all the characters provide humor to the play. John is intelligent — Princeton-educated — yet pretentious because of his wealth and privilege. Eddie is loyal and earnest to a fault, even when Ani agressively pushes him away, and Jess is hardworking, and knows that her own Princeton education doesn't guarantee her any open doors.
As much as Cost of Living is a play about caring for others, it's also a play about learning from others about respecting privilege, race, and class differences, which helps them care more deeply. This poignant show bucks stereotypes and puts forth nuanced characters that show all the ways we can succeed, fail, learn, and grow as people.
It's worth the cost to see the debut of Cost of Living on Broadway this fall. Get Cost of Living tickets now.
Not only is Cost of Living making its Broadway debut, but so are many of its cast and creative team: Majok, Bonney, Sullivan, and Mozgala. Zayas previously appeared in Anna and the Tropics in 2003, and Young made her debut last fall in Clyde's opposite Uzo Aduba, earning a 2022 Tony Award nomination.
The show had its world-premiere production at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2016, starring Sullivan and Mozgala alongside Wendell Pierce and Rebecca Naomi Jones. (Pierce is also on Broadway this fall, leading the latest revival of Death of a Salesman.) Between Cost of Living's subsequent 2017 Off-Broadway premiere and current Broadway debut, the show premiered in London in 2019, also starring Sullivan. Majok also premiered two other shows off Broadway: queens in 2018 at Lincoln Center Theater, and the critically acclaimed Sanctuary City in 2021 at New York Theatre Workshop.
Majok is a Polish American playwright who grew up in New Jersey; Cost of Living is set in the town of Bayonne there. She once said, in an interview with American Theatre, that she gets into her best "flow" when "writing working-class folks from Jersey, or immigrants — particularly Eastern European immigrant women." Ironically, the playwright continued, "That’s probably the most pleasurable that writing gets for me. I usually hate writing. It’s agony for me."
1 hr, 50 mins (with no intermission)
September 13th, 2022
November 6th, 2022
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
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