Great theater doesn’t stop at the edge of New York City’s five boroughs! As the fall season gets into full swing across the U.S.A., this week’s cross-country roundup includes the Houston premiere of America’s most-produced contemporary play, star turns from three Broadway faves and a rousing Ragtime revival in Milwaukee. Read on for all the scoop!
LOS ANGELES, CA
ALISON PILL BATTLES A BAD GUY
Stage thrillers are a rarity these days, but if anyone can pull one off, it’s Tony-nominated Newsroom star Alison Pill. Jeffrey Hatcher’s new adaptation of the classic scarefest Wait Until Dark has begun performances at the Geffen Playhouse with Pill as blind heroine Susan Hendrix. The play, which runs through November 17, is now set in the 1940s and centers on stolen diamonds rather than drugs. Having seen Pill in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, our money’s on her!
HARRY GROENER DONS CYRANO’S NOSE
Three-time Tony nominee Harry Groener is winning raves as the ultimate romantic swashbuckler in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater revival of Cyrano de Bergerac. Featuring a translation of Edmond Rostand’s beloved melodrama by Anthony Burgess, the play is a heartbreaking meditation of the lengths a man will go for love, and how the realization that looks aren't everything often comes too late. See Groener woo fair Roxane on behalf of callow Christian through November 10.
THE FUR FLIES IN TEXAS
It’s official: David Ives’ Tony-nominated Venus in Fur will be the most-produced play nationwide this season. Getting a jump on the rest of America is Houston’s Alley Theatre, which is presenting the sexy dark comedy through November 10, starring NYC-based actors Michael Bakkensen as a young playwright/director and Nicole Rodenburg as the mysterious actress who seduces him—in more ways than one—during an audition. Leave the kids at home for this one!
RAGTIME HEADS TO THE HEARTLAND
Local critics have fallen in love with Milwaukee Rep’s sumptuous production of Ragtime, which continues through October 27 at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theatre. The epic musical features Wicked tour alum Carmen Cusack as Mother, Sistas star Jessie Hooker as Sarah and Broadway vets Gavin Gregory and Josh Landay as Coalhouse Walker and Tateh, respectively. Billed as the company’s largest production ever, Ragtime is a don’t-miss event.
LAST CHANCE TO SAVOR AUTUMN
If you (like us!) enjoy being the first to see a Broadway-bound show, head down to DC for the final weekend of Eric Coble’s The Velocity of Autumn at Arena Stage. Oscar winner Estelle Parsons plays a 79-year-old recluse living in a Brooklyn browntone strewn with bombs, and two-time Tony winner Stephen Spinella portrays her guilt-ridden son. See these two theatrical greats go head to head through October 20, directed by Molly Smith.