Politics farcical, sobering, and sexual are also on the agenda. Lyric Stage Company of Boston offers the New England premiere of David Mamet’s latest wag of the dog, NOVEMBER (October 17–November 15), a farce about a money-grubbing president. Stoneham Theatre has the US premiere of Colin Teevan’s HOW MANY MILES TO BASRA? (October 30–November 9), in which “a small military unit embarks on an unauthorized journey deep into Iraq.” And Merrimack Repertory Theatre revives British playwright David Hare’s eloquent 1995 SKYLIGHT (November 20–December 14), which is about the possible rekindling of a romance weighted by resentment.
Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee are the giants tucked into small spaces this fall. The third annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (September 25-28) boasts Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, and Olympia Dukakis, all talking about the man on the Streetcar. The New York–based Actors Company Theatre performs THE ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE, and New England Conservatory offers LOVE SONGS FROM SUMMER AND SMOKE, a concert version of the Lee Hoiby/Lanford Wilson opera based on Williams’s play. The festival also hosts THE DOG ENCHANTED BY THE DIVINE VIEW, an early version of The Rose Tattoo that has its world premiere September 16 at the BCA as a fundraiser for the festival. Albee doesn’t get his own four-day weekend, but Zeitgeist Stage Company presents his Pulitzer-winning quartet for man and lizard, SEASCAPE, at the BCA Plaza (October 3-25), and Theatre on Fire pairs his early absurdist one-act THE AMERICAN DREAM with Harold Pinter’s prison-set exposé of torture, ONE FOR THE ROAD (at Charlestown Working Theater November 7-22).
The Theater Offensive presents its 17th annual Out on the Edge Queer Theater Festival at the Calderwood Pavilion October 18–November 8. Highlights include a reprise of David Parker and the Bang Group’s NUT/CRACKED, drag artist Jeffery Roberson in VARLA JEAN MERMAN LOVES A FOREIGN TONGUE, California-based “dragapella quartet” the Kinsey Sicks in WAKE THE F**K UP AMERICA, and Obie-winning Split Britches in MISS AMERICA, a “heady twister of the American Dream, or what’s left of it.”
Downstairs @ New Rep, the black-box venue of New Repertory Theatre, kicks off its season with Scott Brown & Anthony King’s GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! (October 4-26), a mini-extravaganza in which two guys who have written a show about the inventor of the printing press perform all the songs and play all the parts, in theory to attract financial backers. Company One, which last season presented a terrific production of Lydia Diamond’s adaptation of The Bluest Eye, takes on her VOYEURS DE VENUS (at the BCA October 31–November 22), which is about an African-American woman who’s writing a book about Saartjie Baartman, who was exploited in the early 19th century as the Hottentot Venus. And Fort Point Theatre Channel stages a site-specific production of William Saroyan’s saloon-set THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE at Lucky’s Lounge. Bottoms up!