There are so many potentially terrific shows on the horizon that narrowing them down to ten seems absurd. But our insatiable media beast lusts for lists, so list we must! Here are ten shows we have our eye on in the coming theatrical "season" (which extends through spring, but we're homing in on the next few months here). Many of these will sell out fast, so don't wait forever—we don't want a repeat of Book of Mormon, now do we?
In an upcoming post, we'll help you figure out how to get into many of these shows cheaply or for free. And in the meantime, don't miss Elevator Repair Service's The Select (The Sun Also Rises)and the fantasy drag show spectacular Arias With A Twist!
- Stop the Virgens: Honestly, this season at St. Ann's Warehouse could merit its very own top ten list. And given the fact that the theater may no longer have a home after next year, there's even more incentive to catch a show at the warehouse. Their season starts off with a bang next month with Karen O's multidisciplinary show Stop the Virgens, directed by playwright Adam Rapp. It's described as "an assault on the tragic joys of youth, fever dreams drenched in visual seduction, a cathartic spell spun through a cycle of nine songs." Performances start October 12th.
- Relatively Speaking: In a rare incidence of one act plays making it to Broadway, John Turturro is directing three one acts by a talented trio of writers: Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen. In Talk Therapy, Coen "uncovers the sort of insanity than can only come from family." In George is Dead, May "explores the hilarity of death." And in Honeymoon Motel, Woody Allen "invites you to the sort of wedding day you won’t forget." Performances began September 20th.
Lysistrata Jones (Carol Rosegg)
- Lysistrata Jones: The acclaimed off-Broadway musical comedy Lysistrata Jones transfers to Broadway on December 14th. Written by Tony nominee Douglas Carter Beane, the contemporary adaptation of Aristophanes' bawdy comedy concerns The Athens University basketball team, "which hasn’t won a game in 30 years. But when spunky transfer student Lysistrata Jones (Patti Murrin) dares the squad’s fed-up girlfriends to stop ‘giving it up’ to their boyfriends until they win a game, their legendary losing streak could be coming to an end." Performances start November 12th
- Misterman: Enda Walsh's darkly humorous plays have repeatedly intrigued us these past few years, starting with his unforgettable comedy The Walworth Farce. His latest opus, Misterman, is a one-man show featuring film actor Cillian Murphy, who first teamed up with Walsh 15 years ago in Disco Pigs. Reviewing the premiere of Misterman at the Galway Arts Festival, The Irish Independent called it "Theatre at its most raw, most barbaric and most beautiful." Performances begin November 30th.
- The Cherry Orchard: Anton Chekhov's great subtle tragicomedy The Cherry Orchard is in good hands at Classic Stage Company, which last season staged a tender revival of Three Sisters. After we tell you the two actors starring in the play, will you really need any further reason why you should run out and buy tickets right now? John Turturro and Dianne Wiest. Performances start November 16th.
- Venus in Fur: We were sorry to miss this comedy-drama when it debut at Classic Stage Company last year, launching Nina Arianda to theatrical stardom. After dazzling Broadway with her performance in Born Yesterday, Arianda will return in a revival of David Ives's play. Reviewing the original production, the Times described it as an "enjoyable adaptation of the 1870 novel Venus in Fur by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, about an idle aristocrat who draws the woman he is obsessed with into a sexual and emotional relationship in which she wields total power over him." Performances begin October 13th.
Daniel Kitson (Pavel Antonov)
- It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later: Daniel Kitson's strange solo show The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church was a surprise sold-out hit at St. Ann's Warehouse last winter, and will almost certainly make our top ten list for 2011. The unlikely English raconteur is back with a new play, about "everything and nothing... a show about every single one of us, the past in our pockets, the future in our hearts and us, ourselves, very much stuck, trapped forever, in the tiny eternal moment between the two." Performances begin January 3rd.
- Carrie: Arguably the most famous flop in recent memory (what with Spider-Man:
Second Times The CharmTurn Off The Dark seemingly beating the odds), the musical version of Stephen King's debut novel is finally coming back to the boards, courtesy of MCC Theater. The show, whose plot you really ought to be familiar with by now, will feature the same insane musical numbers as the 1988 original, along with a newly re-imagined book from the original authors. Stafford Arima (Alter Boyz) is taking the helm this go round with Molly Ranson playing the titular telekinetic and Marin Mazzie playing her evangelical mother (who gets to sing songs like this). There will be blood. (Garth Johnston) Performances begin January 31.
- King Lear: Sam Waterston IS King Lear! The last time the Public Theater staged what many literature critics consider Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, it was a "defiantly boyount" affair starring a well-toned Kevin Kline. We were underwhelmed. While we never thought of Waterston as the maddened king, we're eager to see him sink his teeth into the role at the Public. He'll be joined by a stellar ensemble, including Bill Irwin as The Fool. Performances begin October 18th.
- The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess: This Gershwin classic is coming to Broadway, and there's not a damn thing Stephen Sondheim can do to stop it! You may recall that Sondheim strongly objected to this newly revised version, which features some radical changes by playwright-librettist Suzan Lori-Parks. But the Gerswhin estate has given the musical their blessing, and it will open on Broadway in January. Performances begin December 17th