Fall on the Boston boards
SWEET WITCHES: Wicked revisits Oz at the Opera House through November 11.
The roar of the greasepaint precedes that of the autumn wind this year. If you didn’t feel like spending Labor Day weekend on a road trip to Cape Cod, you could as easily have spent it on a road trip with Molière and Mozart in DON JUAN GIOVANNI (American Repertory Theatre at the Loeb Drama Center in rep through October 6). Since then, the Huntington Theatre Company has opened two promising shows: the pre-Broadway engagement of the Olivier Award–winning THE 39 STEPS (Boston University Theatre through October 14), which mixes Monty Python into its Alfred Hitchcock, and Boston playwright Ronan Noone’s solo drama THE ATHEIST (Calderwood Pavilion through September 30), in which film star Campbell Scott plays a morally challenged tabloid journalist.
|Fall preview 2007|
“Happy endings: Bad news begets good tunes.” By Matt Ashare.
“Busy busy: Something for everyone this fall.” By Debra Cash.
“Basstown nights: The new scene emerges; Halloween preparations.” By David Day.
“Bounty: The best of the season’s roots, world, folk, and blues.” By Ted Drozdowski.
“War, peace, and Robert Pinsky: The season’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.” By John Freeman.
“Trane, Joyce Dee Dee, Sco, and more: A jam-packed season of jazz.” By Jon Garelick.
“Turn on the bright lights: Art, women, politics, and food.” By Randi Hopkins.
“War zones: Fall films face terror at home and abroad.” By Peter Keough.
“Locked and loaded: The fall promises a double-barreled blast of gaming greatness.” By Mitch Krpata.
“BBC? America!: The networks put some English on the fall TV season.” By Joyce Millman.
“World music: The BSO goes traveling, and Berlin comes to Boston.” By Lloyd Schwartz.
“Singles scene: Local bands dig in with digital.” By Will Spitz.
An African-American Willie Stark wends his way through Trinity Repertory Company’s stage version of Robert Penn Warren’s ALL THE KING’S MEN (through October 21); Stanley Kowalski bellows for Stella in New Rep’s A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (through October 7); Boston favorite Leigh Barrett takes on GYPSY’s Mama Rose at Stoneham Theatre (through September 30); Nora Theatre Company lets us in on THE SECRET LOVE LIFE OF OPHELIA at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (through September 30); and “The Impossible Dream” echoes its insistent way through MAN OF LA MANCHA at Lyric Stage Company of Boston (through October 13). SpeakEasy Stage Company offers the New England premiere of the Off Broadway hit ZANNA, DON’T! (Calderwood Pavilion through October 13), a musical fairy tale about a matchmaking teen with the ability to change the world the way Dolly Levi changed Yonkers. Boston Theatre Works’ stripped-down staging of A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM is just up at the BCA Plaza (through October 20). And there are plenty more to come — we hope not turkeys — before Turkey Day.
The biggest news in Boston’s Theater District is sad news. The historic Wilbur Theatre, home to class acts from the Barrymores to the Cronyns (and more recently to Sir Peter Hall and Fiona Shaw), is on the block. The building has been designated as a landmark, but whether it will remain a playhouse is uncertain. In other venues, there are signs of life, both villainous and innocent. In the former category, the Tony-winning spectacular WICKED, based on Gregory Maguire’s ingenious backstory for the witches of Oz, has returned to the Opera House (through November 11), where its green-hued, broom-mounted anti-heroine nightly rises higher even than the ticket sales. And the Tony-winning, John Doyle–directed revival of SWEENEY TODD, in which the cast is also the orchestra, kicks off its national tour at the Colonial Theatre (October 23–November 4). David Hess stars as the anguished barber, with Tony winner Judy Kaye as the low-rent Julia Child who turns his crimes into pies.
In the sunnier department, there’s everything from Irving Berlin to Walt Disney. The bulging songbook of the former is the subject of IRVING BERLIN’S I LOVE A PIANO, which begins its national tour at the Cutler Majestic Theatre (September 21-30), filling the house with the strains of “God Bless America” and “Easter Parade.” The stage version of television-movie phenomenon DISNEY’S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL brings the G-rated matriculants of East High to the Citi Performing Arts Center’s Wang Theatre (October 31–November 4). For those who haven’t had enough Irving Berlin, WHITE CHRISTMAS returns to the Wang for a second engagement (November 23–December 23). And MAMMA MIA!, the romantic fairy-tale that shoehorns some 20 Abba songs into its tale of a daughter’s quest to discover her father, brings its jumpsuits and ’70s harmonies to the Colonial Theatre (November 27–December 16).
, Tennessee Williams
, Performing Arts