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Best of the Rest: Theater

Beckett, Pinter, Kevin Kline’s big nose, Jennifer Garner (!), a conquistador, and more.

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BROADWAY


The Ritz
Travel back in time to the seventies, when gay bathhouses—and Terrence McNally—were all the rage, in this revival of McNally’s farce, with Kevin Chamberlin as a gangster hiding out in a bathhouse (passing as a Broadway producer) and Rosie Perez. Opens October 11.

A Bronx Tale
Chazz Palminteri revives his nostalgic 1989 one-man show about his gritty childhood—which went on to give him a career boost, and a thousand other actor-writers the idea to do the same thing. Opens October 25.


Cyrano de Bergerac
Kevin Kline gets to don the nose in this adaptation by the late Anthony Burgess, opposite Alias’ Jennifer Garner in a curiosity-piquing Broadway appearance. Opens November 1.

The Seafarer
A half-Irish cast populates this play by Conor McPherson (who scored big last year with Shining City), which takes place in a somber Dublin house. Opens November 15.

August: Osage County
A darkly funny new play by Tracy Letts (Bug, Killer Joe), set among the disparate members of an old Oklahoma family, comes roaring onto Broadway following a wildly successful Chicago run. Opens November 20.

Is He Dead?
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’s Norbert Leo Butz finds his next star vehicle in this adaptation of a Mark Twain comedy—about staging a painter’s death to drive up his prices—that was only rediscovered by a scholar in 2002. Opens November 29.

Cymbeline
A Who’s Who of highbrow theater folk enlivens this not-often-revived Shakespeare romance: John Cullum as Cymbeline, Martha Plimpton as Imogen, Michael Cerveris as Posthumus, and Phylicia Rashad as the Queen, of course. Opens December 2.


Lone Star Love
Randy was always the more interesting Quaid, but did you know he also sings and dances? Making his Broadway debut, Quaid fronts this musical transplanting The Merry Wives of Windsor to the Wild West. Yeehaw! Opens December 3.

The Homecoming
New York is always up for Pinter, but this is only the second time his most famous work has been revived on Broadway. This one stars Deadwood’s Ian McShane, with Raúl Esparza and Michael McKean. Opens December 9.

OFF BROADWAY


Scarcity
The Squid and the Whale’s Jesse Eisenberg plays a teenager given the chance to escape rural Massachusetts in an exploration of family and class by Lucy Thurber (last season’s Stay). Opens September 20.

Dividing the Estate
The New York premiere of a late-eighties play by the prolific Horton Foote—this one’s about a family of Texan oil heirs fighting over their share—stars Penny Fuller and Hallie Foote, a theater heir in her own right. Opens September 27.

Spain
What’s a lonely recent divorcée to do with herself? Why, conjure up a fully armored conquistador to take her places she’s never been—which is the basic plot of this hallucinatory play by Jim Knable. Opens October 10.

A Feminine Ending
Marsha Mason (a.k.a. Neil Simon’s ex), last seen in Steel Magnolias on Broadway, stars as the unhinged mother threatening to drag down her brilliant composer daughter in Sarah Treem’s play. Opens October 17.

Die Mommie Die!
In his own play, Charles Busch, doing what he does best (acting in drag), stars as a sixties Hollywood sexpot who kills her husband via poisoned suppository. Safe to call this one a farce. Opens October 21.

The Overwhelming
The Roundabout opens its season with this London hit, by J.T. Rogers, about an American family with very bad timing—they move to Rwanda in 1994. Opens October 23.


Fuerzabruta
Gird your loins: The De La Guarda team is at it again in this new spectacle (translated as “Brute Force”). Opens October 24.

The Receptionist
Last season, Adam Bock’s The Thugs showed just how menacing and, well, dramatic office life can be; this follow-up, a dark romance, also sports the talent of actors Josh Charles and Jayne Houdyshell. Opens October 30.

Frankenstein
This season’s other Frankenstein stars Urinetown alum Hunter Foster in a more earnest musical based on the Shelley original. Opens November 1.

The Glorious Ones
The musical team behind Ragtime and—okay—Seussical adapts Francine Prose’s backstage novel about a sixteenth-century commedia dell’arte troupe. Opens November 5.

A Hard Heart
Kathleen Chalfant (Wit, Angels in America) plays a mysterious genius named “Riddler,” tasked with defending a mythical country from invaders in this prescient 1992 play by Howard Barker. Opens November 11.

Queens Boulevard
The second of three premieres of work by Charles Mee is a wedding tale with Bollywood flavorings set amid the borough’s multiculti chaos. Opens December 2.

Trumpery
Peter Parnell dramatizes the race between Darwin and a rival to come up with evolutionary theory—fame itself being a Darwinian process, you know. Opens December 5.

Doris to Darlene: A Cautionary Valentine
A sixties schoolgirl is transformed by a producer into a pop sensation via a song adapted from Wagner’s “Liebestod,” and then things get interesting. Opens December 9.

Beckett Shorts
A sampling of quickies from the late great is heavy on name brands; it stars Mikhail Baryshnikov, with music by Philip Glass. Opens December 18.


Related:

Fall Preview 2007

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