Fall 2005 theater previews
BY Gerard Raymond
August 29 2005 12:00 AM ET
Avenue Q (Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas). While
continuing on Broadway, the Tony-winner for Best
Musical has cloned itself and moved into Sin City with
its full puppet nudity, gay subplot, and dirty lyrics
intact. (Now playing)
Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams (Primary Stages,
New York City, through Sept. 18) Previewed in the
Dr. Sex (Peter Norton Space, New York City) This new
musical comedy explores the three-way relationship
between pioneering sexologist Alfred Kinsey; his wife,
Clara; and their mutual boyfriend, Wally Matthews.
(Through Oct. 30)
I Am My Own Wife (Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City, Mo.,
through Oct. 2; Wilma Theater, Philadelphia, Sept.
13–Oct. 23) The esteemed Missouri theater kicks
off its 31st season with the acclaimed tale of Charlotte
von Mahlsdorf, the East German transvestite who weathers
World War II, Communism, and more. The Philadelphia
show is a “reimagined” production of
Doug Wright’s Pulitzer-winning solo drama.
Miss Witherspoon (McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.,
Sept. 9–Oct. 16; Playwrights Horizons, New York
City, Nov. 11–Dec. 18) Playwright Christopher
Durang’s wacky fable about a woman who has committed
suicide and resists mandatory reincarnation in protest
against the sad state of affairs in the world.
The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue (Hartford Stage,
Hartford, Conn.) Out playwright David Grimm freely
adapts Molière’s Les Femmes
Savantes for Cole Porter’s Jazz Age. (Sept.
Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life (Old Globe
Theatre, San Diego, Sept. 10–Oct. 23;
Schoenfeld Theatre, New York City, Nov. 21) Previewed
in the print edition.
A Naked Girl on the Appian Way (Roundabout Theatre,
New York City) Jill Clayburgh plays a successful
cookbook author opposite stage and TV star Richard
Thomas in a new comedy from Richard Greenberg. (Begins Sept.
Wicked (national tour continues, with dates in San
Francisco; Denver; Dallas; Houston; St. Louis;
Hartford, Conn.; and Washington, D.C.) In the Stephen
Schwartz–Winnie Holzman musical, the heroines of Oz
are the emerald green witch Elphaba and golden-haired
Glinda, not the annoying girl with the dog. (Through
Crucifixion (New Conservatory Theatre Center, San
Francisco, Sept. 28–Nov. 6) Previewed in the
Sweeney Todd (Eugene O’Neill Theater, New York
City) For this revival of Stephen Sondheim’s
musical thriller, a versatile company of
10—including Michael Cerveris as the demon barber and
Patti LuPone as Mrs. Lovett—doubles as the
orchestra. (Begins Oct. 3)
The Odd Couple (Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York
City) Joe Mantello directs Neil Simon’s comedy,
with Nathan Lane as Oscar Madison and Matthew
Broderick as Felix Unger. (Begins Oct. 4)
Finn in the Underworld (Berkeley Repertory Theatre,
Berkeley, Calif.) Out playwright Jordan
Harrison’s sophisticated, witty storytelling
bends both space and time in this drama about the family
secrets within a spooky old house. (Oct. 6–Nov. 6)
Manic Flight Reaction (Playwrights Horizons, New York
City) In out writer Sarah Schulman’s
sharp-edged comedy, a middle-aged professor’s
past liaison with the wife of a leading presidential
candidate comes to light. (Oct. 13–Nov. 6)
Adrift in Macao (Philadelphia Theatre Company,
Philadelphia) This musical spoof from Christopher
Durang (score by Peter Melnick) is an irreverent take
on Casablanca and orientalist movie clichés. (Oct.
See What I Wanna See (Public Theater, New York City)
A new musical from out talent Michael John LaChiusa,
weaving together stories of faith and redemption set
in modern New York. (Begins Oct. 11)
The Tricky Part (San Jose Repertory Theatre, San
Jose, Calif.) Martin Moran performs his disarmingly
candid and moving memoir about his childhood, the tale
of a complex and transgressive sexual relationship.
(Oct. 15–Nov. 13)
The Color Purple (Broadway Theatre, New York City)
According to director Gary Griffin, the love story
between Alice Walker’s Celie and blues singer
Shug will be more spiritual, more romantic, and more sexual
than in the 1985 Steven Spielberg film. (Begins Oct. 25)
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Long
Wharf Theatre, New Haven, Conn.) Billie Holiday gives
her final concert and offers glimpses into her
troubled personal life in Lanie Robertson’s skillful
blend of cabaret and biography. (Oct. 26–Nov.
Missives (Theatre Rhinoceros, San Francisco) A new
play by Garret Jon Groenveld about the friendship
between a white gay man and an African-American woman
put to the test by an unexpected act of violence.
(Oct. 27–Nov. 26)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (American Conservatory Theater,
San Francisco, Oct. 13–Nov. 13; The Geffen
Playhouse, Los Angeles, Nov. 5–Dec. 18)
Separate West Coast productions mark the 50th anniversary of
Tennessee Williams’s Pulitzer Prize– winning
drama. ACT company member Rene Augesen plays Maggie in
the S.F. production, and John Goodman is Big Daddy in
the L.A. production.
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