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Theater: The Twenty

Our most anticipated shows of fall.



1. Brief Encounter
First staged last year at St. Ann’s Warehouse, this multimedia, genre-bending adaptation of Noël Coward’s 1945 romance has enough charm to fill a Broadway house—plus lovely music.
Roundabout at Studio 54; in previews Sept. 10, opening Sept. 28.

2. The Pitmen Painters
It’s an art-centric British import, but this is no Red copycat. The play (by Billy Elliot’s Lee Hall) tells the true story of a group of miners whose hobby work became an art-world sensation.
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre; in previews Sept. 14, opening Sept. 30.

3. A Life in the Theatre
David Mamet’s 1977 two-hander about actors stars the ever-excellent Patrick Stewart and T. R. Knight. Directed by Neil Pepe, who staged the successful 2008 Speed-the-Plow.
Schoenfeld Theatre; in previews Sept. 21, opening Oct. 12.

4. Mrs. Warren’s Profession
As the madam who clashes with her daughter in George Bernard Shaw’s 1893 tragicomedy, Cherry Jones will be doing the kind of heavy emotional lifting that propelled Doubt to every imaginable award.
American Airlines Theatre; in previews Sept. 3, opening Oct. 3.

5. La Bête
David Hirson’s comedy about a seventeenth-century French theater troupe closed after 25 performances in 1991. Will it score this time with Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce, and Joanna Lumley?
Music Box Theatre; in previews Sept. 23, opening Oct. 14.

6. The Scottsboro Boys
The transfer of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s final musical, nearly a decade in the making. Susan Stroman once again directs and choreographs the production, staged in the form of a minstrel show.
Lyceum Theatre; in previews Oct. 7, opening Oct. 31.

7. The Merchant of Venice
The Shakespeare in the Park smash moves indoors, retaining most of the superb cast, especially Al Pacino as a singular Shylock. Tickets aren’t free, but at least you won’t have to sleep on the street to get them.
Broadhurst Theatre; in previews Oct. 19, opening Nov. 7.

8. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Primary colors, neon lipstick, doped gazpacho: Pedro Almodóvar’s zany 1988 film is as theatrical as they come. And director Bartlett Sher has his pick of actresses, led by Patti LuPone, Sherie Rene Scott, and Laura Benanti. Plus the always welcome Brian Stokes Mitchell.
Belasco Theatre; in previews Oct. 2, opening Nov. 4.

9. Driving Miss Daisy
Alfred Uhry’s drama—yes, it was a play before it became the Oscar-winning movie—is only now making its Broadway debut. But what a debut: Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones play the leads.
Golden Theatre; in previews Oct. 7, opening Oct. 25.

10. A Free Man of Color
John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation)returns with a freewheeling epic set in New Orleans just before the Louisiana Purchase, and starring Jeffrey Wright.
Vivian Beaumont Theater; in previews Oct. 21, opening Nov. 18.

11. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
The insane budget, the cast changes, the delays—it will all be forgotten if Julie Taymor generates the same bolt of lightning that electrified The Lion King.
Foxwoods (formerly Hilton) Theatre; in previews Nov. 14, opening Dec. 21.

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