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.
And We’re Also Anticipating
Chaplin: The Musical
Because, despite a prosaic title and an infelicitous out-of-town tryout, it stars exciting newcomer Rob McClure, the tiny dynamo from Where’s Charley? Ethel Barrymore Theatre; in previews now for a Sept. 10 opening.
An Enemy of the People
Because there’s not much Boyd Gaines can’t do gracefully, so why not Ibsen? Manhattan Theatre Club/Samuel J. Friedman Theatre; previews Sept. 4, opening Sept. 27.
Because cinema darling Jessica Chastain and Downton Abbey heartthrob Dan Stevens are going to make a handsome couple in this old-timey New York love story. Walter Kerr Theatre; previews Oct. 7, opening Nov. 1.
Because, though it’s unclear if there’s an audience for a romantic comedy about porn stars, we’re excited to see if Cheyenne Jackson, Ari Graynor, and Henry Winkler can pull it off. Longacre Theatre; previews Oct. 23, opening Nov. 14.
Because, after bumping itself from last season, this adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier novel—not the Hitchcock film—is scored by Sylvester Levay with book and lyrics by Michael “Dance of the Vampires” Kunze.* Tonewise, your guess is as good as ours. Broadhurst Theatre; previews Oct. 30, opening Nov. 18.
A Christmas Story, the Musical!
Because we still really do love the movie, and this adaptation was scored by the rising team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dogfight). Lunt-Fontanne Theatre; previews Nov. 5, opening Nov. 19.
Cyrano de Bergerac
Because even though it feels kinda soon for another revival, scene stealers Douglas Hodge and Patrick Page will likely take it somewhere new. American Airlines Theatre; previews Oct. 11, opening Nov. 25.
Because Theresa Rebeck is back with a new play (after being bounced from Smash, the TV series she created), starring Katie Holmes (who, you may have heard, is on a rebound of her own) and the great Norbert Leo Butz. Music Box Theatre; previews Nov. 3, opening Nov. 28.
Because Clifford Odets’s 1937 bare-knuckled melodrama stars the irresistible Tony Shalhoub and is directed by Bartlett Sher (South Pacific). Belasco Theatre; previews Nov. 8, opening Dec. 6.
Because we’ve been waiting to see Lisa D’Amour’s Pulitzer finalist since it opened to rave reviews in Chicago two years ago in a production that was supposed to transfer to Broadway. Finally we get our wish—with a pair of stars you’d never gauge in a thousand throws of casting dice, Amy Ryan (The Office, The Wire) and David Schwimmer (Friends). Playwrights Horizons; previews Aug. 24, opening Sept. 18.
If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet
Because, if Katie Holmes just isn’t Hollywood enough for you, Jake Gyllenhaal will make his theater debut Off Broadway in Nick Payne’s new play, alongside the solid-as-a-rock Brían F. O’Byrne. Laura Pels Theatre; previews Aug. 24, opening Sept. 20.
Because the Civilians troupe (In the Footprint) continues to conquer Brooklyn; this time, with a saga-in-cabaret by Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). BAM; Oct. 3–7.
Modern Terrorism, or They Want to Kill Us and How We Learn to Love Them
Because newcomer Jon Kern’s comedy, about the misadventures of a team of terrorists attempting to blow up the Empire State Building, is a pretty ballsy idea. Second Stage Theatre; previews Sept. 21, opening Oct. 15.
Because the multimedia company the Builders Association will try to capture our anxious era in this high-tech bit of documentary theater, blending vignettes from The Grapes of Wrath with real-life foreclosure tales. BAM; Oct. 24–27.
Because composer Michael John LaChiusa is continuing his comeback, following last year’s ambitious Queen of the Mist, with a genre-blending score in this adaptation of the Edna Ferber novel. The Public Theater; previews Oct. 26, opening Nov. 13.
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Because despite some Uncle Vanya fatigue, we’re excited for comic mastermind Christopher Durang to turn the Chekhov play on its head.* Stars David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver. Lincoln Center Theater; previews Oct. 25, opening date TBA.
*This article has been corrected to show that Christopher Durang is the author of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, not David Ives and that the Rebecca score is by Sylvester Levay, not Michael Kunze.