Broadway.com is going on the road to find the best offerings in regional theater around the country. From Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston’s presidential performance in New England to a stage vet’s return to the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, this week’s Countrywide Guide is packed with great new productions. Read below for our cross-country picks!
BRYAN CRANSTON GOES ALL THE WAY
You’ve seen Bryan Cranston cook “blue magic” in his underwear as Walter White on Breaking Bad—now see him channel Lyndon B. Johnson in All the Way, a new historical drama by Robert Schenkkan about the 36th President’s tumultuous first year in office. Cranston is backed by a starry cast including Brandon J. Dirden as Martin Luther King Jr., Michael McKean as J. Edgar Hoover and Reed Birney as Hubert Humphrey. Catch the play (which is already attracting Broadway buzz) from September 13 through October 12 at the American Repertory Theater.
LAS VEGAS, NV
WHAT HAPPENS IN OZ STAYS IN OZ
Oh, Toto, there’s no place like Vegas! Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion are heading to Sin City to kick off the new U.S. tour of The Wizard of Oz. The musical stars Danielle Wade, who won the role of Dorothy on the Canadian reality TV series Over the Rainbow, with Broadway alums Mike Jackson as the Tin Man, Jacquelyn Piro Donovan as the Wicked Witch of the West and more. See The Wizard at the Smith Center through September 15, then follow (follow, follow) the show throughout North America.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
BEN FRANKLIN SINGS SHOWTUNES
If you’ve never seen our founding fathers sing an electrifying musical score, now is your chance! Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone’s Tony-winning musical 1776 is marching into San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater on September 11, starring Broadway alums John Hickok as John Adams and Andrew Boyer as Benjamin Franklin, with Abby Mueller (sister of Beautiful star Jessie Mueller) as Abigail Adams. See this beloved musical make history through October 6.
ST. LOUIS, MO
LIFE IS A CABARET, OLD CHUM
Cabaret hits Broadway next spring, but if you can’t wait, catch the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis mounting of this Kander and Ebb classic from September 11 through October 6 at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts. Directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Ragtime), Cabaret features Broadway vets Nathan Lee Graham (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as the Emcee and Liz Pearce as Sally Bowles. Something tells us this evening at the Kit Kat Club is going to be “perfectly marvelous.”
JOAN ALLEN RETURNS TO STEPPENWOLF
Stage and screen fave Joan Allen got her start in 1977 at the legendary Steppenwolf Theatre Company in her home city of Chicago—and now, for the first time in more than 20 years, the Tony winner is back on the Steppenwolf stage in the American premiere of The Wheel by Zinnie Harris. Directed by Tina Landau, the production, set during wartime on a 19th-century Spanish farm, features Robert Brueler, Tim Hopper, Ora Jones and Yasen Peyankov. See this sweeping drama from September 12 through November 10.