The days are getting shorter, and in the theater world, that’s good news! The fall season is revving up, and this month marks the West End arrival of both Olivier Award-winning veteran Kristin Scott Thomas and stage newbie Lindsay Lohan. Plus Evita revisited, acrobats in their undies, Prince Charles reimagined as king and much, much more.
In Brief: Pitched somewhere between vaudeville and burlesque, exhibitionism and exuberance, Briefs: The Second Coming brings an all-male company of scantily clad Australians to the London Wonderground on the South Bank, opening September 2. And whatever else the show does or doesn’t deliver, it should get audiences pumped for the 2014 edition of West End Bares, which, um, reveals itself September 7 at the Café de Paris.
ALSO: Previews of the 10th anniversary London revival of Becky Mode’s solo play Fully Committed at the Menier Chocolate Factory, a comically merciless look at life in the restaurant fast lane. British comic Kevin Bishop stars under the direction of the play’s originator, Mark Setlock. The Crazy Coqs cabaret by Piccadilly Circus gives over a week to the Jule Styne Songbook September 2 through 6, perhaps in order to get London ready for Imelda Staunton in Gypsy later this season.
Kingly Stature: September 11 sees the opening of the commercial transfer of Mike Bartlett’s play King Charles III at Wyndham’s Theatre—and with Broadway producing vets Stuart Thompson and Sonia Friedman on board, can New York be far off? Tim Pigott-Smith returns to play the prince-who-would-be-king with Oliver Chris and Richard Goulding on hand as William and Harry. If you have to ask “William and Harry who?” then this probably is not the play for you.
ALSO: Beginning September 9 at the Haymarket, previews begin for the West End transfer of Great Britain, the ironically titled look at UK tabloid journalism from Richard Bean, whose One Man, Two Guvnors had a long run at this same playhouse; Lucy Punch stars and Nicholas Hytner directs. This is a busy month for the prolific Bean whose new play Pitcairn transfers into London two weeks later for a limited run at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Satiric Success: The most recent New York version of Forbidden Broadway may have done a relatively quick fade off-Broadway, but the London incarnation at the Menier this summer did well enough to merit a West End upgrade. The Vaudeville Theatre transfer opens September 15 with YouTube sensation Christina Bianco joining a cast that includes Ben Lewis and Anna-Jane Casey.
ALSO: Previews begin September 16 at the refurbished Dominion Theatre for another go-round of Evita, the defining Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical starring Marti Pellow as Che and Madalena Alberto in the title role. September 21 marks the last performance of the Chichester Festival Theatre production of director Gordon Greenberg’s revival of Guys and Dolls, which has been eyeing a London transfer; Sophie Thompson (younger sister of Emma) heads the cast.
LiLo Aims High: Lindsay Lohan (yes, that Lindsay Lohan) makes her stage debut from September 24 at the Playhouse Theatre in the Lindsay Posner-helmed revival of Speed-the-Plow. David Mamet’s 1988 play originally starred Madonna, so it's been down the high-profile casting route already. The men in Lohan’s inevitably paparazzi-filled orbit will be Richard Schiff and Nigel Lindsay: The Lindsays, on this occasion, clearly have it.
ALSO: From a theater newcomer to an accomplished pro, Kristin Scott Thomas reteams with director Ian Rickson on Sophocles’ enduring tragedy Electra, beginning performances September 22 at the Old Vic and with Olivier winner Jack Lowden (Ghosts) among the supporting cast. Additionally, a September 22 gala performance at the Prince Edward Theatre will mark the 25th anniversary of Miss Saigon: Tickets on that date only will be at 1989 prices (!)