Playwright Craig Wright reunites with his Mistakes Were Made muse Michael Shannon, who’ll play gruff skeptic to Paul Rudd’s holy-roller entrepreneur. For those who found Mistakes a witty end-of-empire riff, this setup hints at greatness. Cort Theatre; previews Sept. 13, opening Oct. 4.
Richard Nelson continues his Apple Family saga (That Hopey Changey Thing, Sweet and Sad) with a play that won’t be finished until the night it opens: Election Day, November 6. Whatever the outcome, Nelson and his clan of upper-middle-class New Yorkers (all the neuroses, none of the cartoonishness) will be there to pierce our souls. Public Theater; previews Oct. 30, opening Nov. 6.
3. The Anarchist
David Mamet is a star magnet this season: Patti LuPone and the elusive Debra Winger face off in his new women’s-prison drama, which has Mametphiles and Mametphobes (and diva-ologists!) alike sharpening their grawlixes. Plus there’s the Pacino-Cannavale Glengarry Glen Ross revival (see Q&A at left). Golden Theatre; previews Nov. 13, opening Dec. 2.
4. Roman Tragedies
I go all Fifty Shades for Ivo van Hove (The Little Foxes, Streetcar), who’ll be turning the Howard Gilman Opera House into a Roman amphitheater for an immersive marathon of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus, knitted into one work. BAM; Nov. 16–18.
5. The Whale
I was a massive fan of Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise; now this exciting young playwright moves uptown with the story of a 600-pound man (the great Shuler Hensley) trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Playwrights Horizons; previews Oct. 12, opening Nov. 5.