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Who needs New York?

Regional theaters offer impressive Fall choices

June 10, 2010


Last week, I needed to cancel an east coast trip that was going to involve a batch of Broadway shows (see blog post here).

In thinking about rescheduling, though, I found myself checking out upcoming shows happening beyond Broadway. Specifically, I looked to some of the major regional theaters in the country.

And while I look forward to getting back to New York soon, what I really wish is that I could spend a season travelling the country sampling the best of what's being generated outside of Manhattan.

There's a lot going on this Fall alone. And if you happen to be in Chicago, Atlanta or just about any other reasonably sized city, I encourage you to check out what's being offered by local professional theater companies. I know I will.

For example:

The Goodman Theatre in Chicago is opening its season in September with Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide,” directed by Mary Zimmerman. There are also new plays by Sarah Ruhl and David Henry Hwang, both of which are expected to move on to New York. Details here.

Signature Theater in Arlington, Virginia, is premiering “A Fox on the Fairway,” a new comedy from Ken Ludwig (“Lend Me a Tenor”). It opens in October after a revival of the musical “Chess.” Details here.

Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park is launching the heading-for-Broadway “High,” featuring Kathleen Turner as a formerly hard-drinking nun who tries to help a young drug user. Details here

Alliance Theatre in Atlanta has enlisted director/choreographer Debbie Allen for its September production of “Twist,” a New Orleans-based take on “Oliver Twist.” This is a project that’s been in development for a long time—I saw it staged in Philadelphia back in 1993. Details here. 

Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis will be premiering the latest from Marsha Norman (best known for (‘Night Mother”). This one is “The Master Butchers Singing Club,” based on the novel by Louise Erdrich about a small town life between the world wars. Details here.

Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre also will be in the new musical business with "Leap of Faith," with music by Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast") Concerning a fake faith healer, it's based on the Steve Martin movie. Details here.

(And, no, I'm not ignoring Indianapolis. Look for IBJ's A&E season preview in early September.)

Your thoughts? Care to share any great outside-of-New-York or Indy theater experiences?

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