Fall 2005 theater previews

By Gerard Raymond

Originally published on Advocate.com August 28 2005 11:00 PM ET

September

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
print edition.

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.
1–Oct. 2)

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.
13)

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
January)

Crucifixion (New Conservatory Theatre Center, San
Francisco, Sept. 28–Nov. 6) Previewed in the
print edition.

October

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.
21–Nov. 20)

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.
20)

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.

November

The Long Christmas Ride Home (Next Theatre Company,
Chicago, Nov. 10–Dec. 11; Actor’s
Express and Synchronicity Performance Group, Atlanta,
Nov. 10–Dec. 17) Paula Vogel’s innovative
drama about the far-reaching consequences of the
dysfunction of family life.

After Dark (New Conservatory Theatre Center, San
Francisco) A couple come together during the most
stressful time of the year in this gay romantic comedy
for the holidays. (Nov. 18–Dec. 31)

Brundibár (Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
“It’s a testament to the creative power
of human beings, even in dark times, to turn ugliness into
music,” says Angels in America playwright Tony
Kushner about his musical fable set in the years
leading up to WWII. Kushner has written a new
libretto; artist Maurice Sendak designs sets and costumes.
(Nov. 11–Dec. 28)

A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings (Kirk Douglas
Theatre, Los Angeles) Out Pulitzer Prize–winner
Nilo Cruz adapts the magic realist short story by
Gabriel García Márquez about two children in a
small Caribbean town who discover an old man who falls
mysteriously from the sky. (Nov. 13–Dec. 18)

December

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead
(off-Broadway theater to be announced, New York City)
This unauthorized parody by out talent Bert V. Royal
imagines the Peanuts gang all grown-up. (December)

Lestat (Curran Theatre, San Francisco) Elton John and
Bernie Taupin team up for a new musical based on Anne
Rice’s celebrated vampire. Heading to Broadway
next spring. (December)

Well (Longacre Theatre, New York City) Lisa Kron
takes her autobiographical play about her relationship
with her mother to Broadway. (Begins in winter)

Bent (Theatre Rhinoceros, San Francisco) Martin
Sherman’s landmark drama about gay love in a
Nazi concentration camp. (Dec. 8–Jan. 7)

Beauty of the Father (Manhattan Theatre Club, New
York City) More from Nilo Cruz: A daughter goes to
Spain to reunite with her estranged father and
discovers she may have to share the love of her young
Moroccan suitor with him in this romantic drama.
(Begins Dec. 15)