Boston’s biggest theatrical guns have announced what they’ll be showing next season, and it isn’t all Annie and Aeschylus. Broadway Across America Boston (BAAB), which operates the Opera House and the Colonial Theatre, will present the world premiere of a new Broadway-bound musical based on the Nick Hornby novel High Fidelity, about a 35-year-old, rock-obsessed record-store owner looking back on his top-five all-time breakups. The book is by Southie native David Lindsay-Abaire, with a score by Tom Kitt and Amanda Green (daughter of Broadway legend Adolph Green). The show comes to the Colonial Theatre in September.
Another interesting intersection of theater, pop culture, and music will be found at Zero Arrow Theatre, in Cambridge, where American Repertory Theatre will unveil a new show featuring Boston-based punk cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls. The Dolls’ Amanda Palmer conceived The Onion Cellar — whose title refers to an underground club in Cambridge — with director Marcus Stern; Palmer also composed the songs. That show goes up in December.
And the Huntington Theatre Company opens its 2006–7 season with the Broadway-bound production of Radio Golf, the final work in the late, much-lauded August Wilson’s 10-play cycle about the African-American experience in the 20th century.
Also coming to Boston courtesy of BAAB are the recent Broadway hits Chita Rivera — The Dancer’s Life, starring the legendary performer herself; John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer-winning Doubt, which is set in 1964 at a Catholic school where one fierce nun (former ART stalwart Cherry Jones, reprising her Tony-winning performance) suspects sex abuse; the Tony-winning (for Adam Guettel’s score) The Light in the Piazza; the crackling jury-room drama Twelve Angry Men (in a touring production that stars Richard Thomas and George Wendt); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the musical based on the 1988 film about con men on the Riviera; and the rock-and-roll musical All Shook Up, whose score is made up of Elvis Presley hits. The award-winning Off Broadway show Altar Boyz is also on the schedule, whose only perennial is Stomp.
The ART season is heady, even for ART. Charles L. Mee’s collage-like take on the life and work of Robert Rauschenberg, bobrauschenbergamerica, will be directed by Anne Bogart. Artistic director Robert Woodruff will direct Racine’s Britannicus. Dutch director Ola Mafaalani will helm the world premiere of a stage work based on the Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire. The Brit comedy duo Ridiculusmus will present its virtuosic two-man interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. British director Neil Bartlett will stage the American premiere of his adaptation of Oliver Twist. South African satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys returns with his Elections and Erections. And grand old David Wheeler directs Nobel laureate Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land.
Also on tap at the Huntington are two new plays: stage and television writer Theresa (Bad Dates) Rebeck’s Mauritius, about shady dealings in the stamp-collecting world; and Noah (Mr. Marmalade) Haidle’s Persephone, which covers 500 years in the decline of the world, as witnessed by a statue. Artistic director Nicholas Martin will direct Kate Burton in The Cherry Orchard; their last collaboration, Hedda Gabler, made it to Broadway. And nine-time Tony nominee Scott Ellis will direct David Rabe’s powerful Vietnam drama Streamers. Two shows are yet to be announced.