Across the river, the Huntington Theatre Company also jumps between venues. At the Boston University Theatre, Tom Stoppard’s ROCK ’N’ ROLL — which ricochets between English groves of academe and Czechoslovakia, between the Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution, and between Syd Barrett and the Plastic People of the Universe — goes up November 7–December 7. (It’s a co-production with San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre.) At the Wimberly Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion, Chay Yew directs BOLEROS FOR THE DISENCHANTED (October 10–November 15), by Oscar-nominated playwright and screenwriter José Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries). It’s a magical-realist look at a love that blooms in Puerto Rico, then flowers in the USA. But before that, the “Huntington Presents” series follows ADAM PASCAL LIVE, an evening with the Rent star and his band (September 18-20), with Carrie Fisher’s WISHFUL DRINKING (October 10-26), in which Princess Leia lets those weird earmuffs of hair down to talk candidly about Fisher’s “incredible life as a single mother battling addiction, depression, mental institutions, and that awful hyperspace hairdo.”
South of the Rhode Island border, Trinity Repertory Company’s Brian McEleney directs the world premiere of artistic director Curt Columbus’s THE DREAMS OF ANTIGONE (September 19–October 26). Not to be outdone by Jean Anouilh, who penned a French Resistance take on Sophocles’s tragedy, Columbus has mined the ancient play to “reframe questions about personal and social responsibility in our times.” And North Shore Music Theatre revives one of the landmarks of the American musical stage, the 1927 SHOW BOAT (September 23–October 12), with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II; it’s based on the novel by Edna Ferber about racial and other tensions aboard a Mississippi River entertainment vessel in the 1890s.
MIDSIZE REGIONAL THEATERS
Women who won’t be quelled, cities in Italy, and an Ireland awash in booze, blood, and beautiful talk are among what’s being batted around by the middleweights. Annette Miller plays that one-woman weapon deployed against the Nixon administration, the attorney general’s wife, in Jodi Rothe’s MARTHA MITCHELL CALLING, which is presented by Nora Theatre Company at Central Square Theater (October 16–November 8). And 16-year-old Elliot Norton Award winner and Andrew Lloyd Webber protégée Andrea Ross takes on the Maid of Orleans in George Bernard Shaw’s ST. JOAN for Wheelock Family Theatre (October 31–November 30).
Florence circa 1953 comes to the Calderwood when SpeakEasy Stage Company presents the musical THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (September 19–October 18), which won a 2005 Tony for Adam Guettel’s romantic score. Actors’ Shakespeare Project takes on the fascinating bugaboo of Shylock in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (November 6–December 7). New Repertory Theatre wades into the black-comic bloodbath of Anglo-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE (at Arsenal Center for the Arts October 26–November 16), in which mayhem is unleashed by the murder of an IRA enforcer’s cat. SpeakEasy retorts with Conor McPherson’s 2008 Tony nominee, THE SEAFARER (November 14–December 13), which is set in Dublin and built on a Christmas Eve poker game with the Devil. And the Publick Theatre moves indoors for a revival of Brian Friel’s tale told in rotating monologues, FAITH HEALER (at the BCA Plaza October 23–November 22).