Fall on the boards

From A Chorus Line to Tennessee Williams and the Grinch
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  September 11, 2008

fp_in_theater
CHAPLIN-ESQUE Aurélia Thierrée conjures a “topsy-turvy world of surreal surprises, tricks, and
transformations” in Aurélia’s Oratorio at the ART.

There are tours to the former Czechoslovakia, Romania, Italy, Iraq, the Aran Islands, and even the Underworld on area stages this fall. We’ll meet the Devil on a couple of occasions. It’s an election year, so, no surprise, we’ll get politics both real and imagined. And as befits the state of the economy, the Grinch will show up to steal Christmas before Thanksgiving. Just don’t look for Brigadoon: the village of the title may loom out of the Scottish mists once every 100 years, but it won’t be this one. The pre-Broadway tryout scheduled for the Colonial Theatre has been postponed.

Not to worry: there’s still lots of real estate on the rialto. Already up and running: the replication of Michael Bennett’s iconic pre-reality-show musical, A CHORUS LINE (at the Opera House through October 5); the Huntington Theatre Company’s world premiere of Olivier- and Tony-winning playwright Richard Nelson’s HOW SHAKESPEARE WON THE WEST, about classical players strolling through the California Gold Rush (at the BU Theatre through October 5); and the American Repertory Theatre’s presentation of writer/performer/professor Anna Deavere Smith’s consideration of the human body, LET ME DOWN EASY (at the Loeb Drama Center through October 11). Here’s some of what’s on the horizon.

DOWNTOWN
With both Brigadoon and Harry Connick Jr.’s turn in the Broadway-bound “new Gershwin musical” Nice Work If You Can Get It gone up in smoke, the Broadway Across America/Boston season has become spring-loaded. There is, however, the touring production of the Broadway hit LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL; based on the 2001 Reese Witherspoon flick about a pink-clad apparent airhead conquering Harvard Law, it conquers the Opera House October 28–November 9. Molière’s favorite religious hypocrite turns up a few days too early to get his lusty mitts on Elle Woods (though you know he’d like to) when California-based Dell’Arte Company brings its “daring adaptation” of the 17th-century French master’s TARTUFFE to the Cutler Majestic Theatre (October 25). Then Boston gets its first look at Broadway’s holiday-record-breaking heist of Whoville, DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. Conceived and directed by three-time Tony winner Jack O’Brien, the musical extravaganza about the meanie with the undersized heart comes to the Wang Theatre November 26–December 28.

LARGE REGIONAL THEATERS
Circuses both macabre and delicate turn up on American Repertory Theatre stages this fall. Zero Arrow Theatre hosts the world premiere of Anne Washburn’s THE COMMUNIST DRACULA PAGEANT, “a wild and offbeat romp through the web of Romanian myth and history” featuring vampires from Vlad the Impaler to the Ceauşescus (October 18–November 9). And at the Loeb Drama Center, Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter, Aurélia Thierrée, stars in AURÉLIA’S ORATORIO (November 28–December 28), conjuring a “topsy-turvy world of surreal surprises, tricks, and transformations” inspired by the music hall and the circus. Her mother, Victoria Thierrée Chaplin, directs.

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  Topics: Theater , Entertainment, New England Conservatory of Music, Tennessee Williams,  More more >
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