October is stuffed — to use the title of one of the many shows opening this month. There are seven shows opening on Broadway alone (eight if you count a concert with a week-long run.) Three are classic plays, a fourth a revival of a beloved musical, a fifth derived from a beloved/classic movie musical.
Off-Broadway, there are revivals of shows by Rent composer Jonathan Larsen,
Horton Foote on the centennial of his birth, and playwright David Hare, as well as a first play by an insult comic (the one who wrote “Stuffed”) and a puppet parody of an old sitcom.
It’s a starry month too, with such familiar faces as Nathan Lane, John Goodman, John Slattery, Jefferson Mays, Holland Taylor and Robert Morse — and they’re all just in one show. Other shows star Diane Lane, Christian Borle, Corbin Bleu, Mary Louise Parker, Andrew Rannells, Rachel Weisz
Below is a selection of the plays, musicals and difficult-to-label theater pieces opening in October, organized chronologically by opening date. Each title is linked to a relevant website.
Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple, blue or black. Off Off Broadway: Green.
Brian Friel revisits the lives of two of Chekhov’s enduring characters- Sonya, Uncle Vanya’s dutiful niece, and Andrey, the downtrodden intellectual brother of The Three Sisters. They meet by chance in a late night cafe in 1920s Moscow
Miami’s four favorite girls reunite in this live puppet parody of the old TV series.
A revival of this play by Horton Foote (on the Centennial of his birth) about three women in the 1920s who have all moved to Houston and are now grappling with the eternal question, “What is home?”
A stage adaptation of the 1942 film that introduced White Christmas and other Irving Berlin hits.
Donald, a gay man in the 1980s, hires the ten-year-old kid from downstairs to play his son in order to get his own parents off his back.
A first play by comedian Lisa Lampanelli about four women — a bulimic, a compulsive eater, a confident overweight gal, and a chronically thin chick.
Equal parts fable, music hall panto, and modern farce about a boy born the size of a pea who grows to cosmic proportions.
A girl squad comprised of elite international circus performers and dancers on the last night of their lives….Who lives? Who dies? You decide.
A new musical about a young musician who wants to write songs as relevant today as those of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were in their heyday
The comedy duo Nick Kroll and John Mulaney portray their alter egos Gil Faizonand George St. Geegland, “outrageously opinionated, 70-something, bachelors born and bred in New York.”
The playwright of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time penned this play, which debuted Off Broadway last year, starring Mary Louise Parker. “Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, Georgie spots Alex, a much older man, and plants a kiss on his neck. This electric encounter thrusts these two strangers into a fascinating and life-changing game.”
The solo show from the Edinburgh Fringe about Gethard’s experiences with mental illness, ethically questionable psychiatry, and finding hope in weird places
Diane Lane in Chekhov’s play about “a family on the edge of ruin—and a country on the brink of revolution.”
The 18th century romantic play by Oliver Goldsmith that pits county manners against city snobbery.
Sarah Jones (Bridge & Tunnel) portrays multiple characters in a new show inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry.
A new play from Mike Bartlett (King Charles III, Cock.) “London, 1967. Beatlemania is in full effect, the “Me” generation is in its prime and Kenneth and Sandra are in a world of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll….But what happens when they have babies of their own.”
Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Sherie Rene Scott, Holland Taylor and Robert Morse star in the fifth Broadway revival of the 1928 comedy about old-time reporters who would do anything for a scoop. Even the supporting cast is hot — Lewis J. Stadlen, Dylan Baker, Micah Stock, Halley Feiffer, et al.
A revival of Rent composer Jonathan Larsen’s autobiographical musical, the story of an aspiring composer questioning his life choices on the eve of his thirtieth birthday.
‘Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic” is a comedy about a young wizard named Wayne Hopkins and the Puffs–a group of well-meaning, loyal rejects with a thing for badgers.
The group that inspired “Jersey Boys” (which is closing in January) perform for a week their hits “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Oh, What A Night”
Rachel Weisz and Corey Stoll star in a revival of David Hare’s play about Susan Traherne, a fiercely intelligent British secret agent flown into France during the second world war, who has trouble adjusting in the years after the war.
From her show business family in the Bronx, to a WASP wedding, to her first step on a comedy club stage and life as a single mom, Monica Piper shares the milestones and moments that shaped her life with the same signature wit found in her writing on, “Roseanne” and “Mad About You.”
The 20th anniversary revival of this play by Naomi Wallace set in plague-ravaged 17th-century London, where a wealthy couple is preparing to flee their home when a mysterious sailor and a young girl appear sneaking into their boarded up house. They are all quarantined together for 28 days.
After another breakup, Nate resorts to astrology. In this new play by Adam Bock, “the answer he receives, when it comes, is shockingly obvious — and totally unpredictable.”
A new play by Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale) about a Mormon missionary who has bought a one-way ticket to the Middle East, but is confronted by his sister, who doesn’t want him to leave.
The award-winning play by Qui Nguyen is a love story about a boy and girl who are refugees from the Vietnam War newly settled in a relocation camp inside Middle America.
A revival of the 1992 Tony-winning musical about a middle-aged man named Marvin and his decision to leave his wife, Trina, for a man, Whizzer. “Falsettos” combined two early Off-Broadway musicals, the 1981 “March of the Falsettos,” and the 1990 “Falsettoland.” The new production stars Christian Borle, Stephanie J. Block, Andrew Rannells, and Brandon Uranowitz.
A musical about babies from the womb to preschool; “they sing and dance and tell you what they really think.”
“Two halves of a soul hunt through a hall of records.
A librarian breaks the seal of a mysterious archive.
A teacher and her class prepare the pageant to end all pageants.”
Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber star in a production from the Donmar Warehouse of the 1985 play about sexual intrigue in 18th century France.
Shakespeare’s play, with some special relevance –” Economic inequality strains the social fabric. Debates rage throughout a nation riddled with dissension and distrust. It’s election year in Rome, 493 B.C.E., and as unscrupulous politicians manipulate public opinion, the hypocrisy and humiliation of political campaigns drive away the country’s finest….” — featuring a cast that includes the incomparable Patrick Page.