‘Trout Stanley’

Through Sept. 25

Factory Theatre

791 Tremont St., Boston


A wacky-looking play whose action is set off by the simultaneous disappearance of a Scrabble champion and an exotic dancer. Meanwhile, an agoraphobic living at the dump gets a visit from the titular character while her sister’s at work.

‘The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess’

Through Oct. 2

Loeb Drama Center

64 Brattle St., Cambridge


This one is way sold out, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least mention the great work that the ART is doing. Metro reviewer Nick Dussault called it “breathtakingly perfect.” We didn’t have room for performances taking place in the last month of the year in this Fall Arts Preview, but be on the lookout for the ART to put on “Three Pianos” and “The Snow Queen” at the beginning of December.

‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’

Through Oct. 2

Riverside Theatre Works

45 Fairmount Ave., Boston

$16-$25, 617-361-5269

This Tennessee Williams play, the playwright’s own favorite among his works, tells the story of the Pollitt family, whose patriarch, a Mississippi planter known as “Big Daddy,” is dying of cancer. Sexual frustration, alcoholism, greed, and a heapin’ helpin’ of denial all

fuel the breakdown of the family’s confident facade, and we all learn a lesson about the consequences of mendacity.


‘Big River’

Through Oct. 8

Lyric Stage Company

140 Clarendon St., Boston

$30-$60, 617-585-5678

A musical version of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” featuring songs by Roger Miller, who’s best known for penning the country track “King of the Road.”

‘Next Fall’

Through Oct. 15

Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts

527 Tremont St., Boston

$25-$55, 617-933-8600

This play, a 2010 Tony nominee for best play, explores the lives of a homosexual couple whose spiritual differences go from being a source of friction to a source of inspiration.


Through Oct. 16

Boston University Theatre

264 Huntington Ave., Boston

$25-$85, 617-266-0800

This is a musical version of Vol-taire’s classic satire on the philosophy of Leibniz, who be-lieved that ours is the best of all possible worlds. As the buffoonishly optimistic Candide travels the world, he discovers that this philosophy makes more sense in the salon than in real life. Leonard Bernstein wrote the best of all possible music for this adaptation.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘South Pacific’

Sept. 27 through Oct. 2

Boston’s Opera House

539 Washington St., Boston

$15-$100, 866-448-7849

This classic piece of Broadway’s golden age takes place in World War II and concerns an American nurse at a Pacific naval base who falls in love with a mysterious French plantation owner.

‘The Infernal Comedy’

Sept. 29 and 30

Cutler Majestic Theatre

219 Tremont St., Boston

$25-$195, 617-824-8400

This play is part biography of real life serial murderer Jack Unterweger, part baroque opera (?!) and a whole lotta John Malkovich — that’s right folks, the undisputed master of impassioned shouting is coming to Boston to play a serial killer who narrates his life in between performances of classic arias by real live sopranos.


‘Affordable Rates and Color TV’

Oct. 6-8

Adams Pool Theatre

26 Plympton St., Cambridge

Free, 254-707-2867

This comedy, performed and conceived by members of the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, concerns a young woman whose family owns a run-down motel that has become her responsibly since her mother went nuts.

‘The Speaker’s Progress’

Oct. 12-16

Paramount Mainstage

559 Washington St., Boston

$25-$69, 617-824-8400

This satire from Kuwaiti play-wright and director Sulayman Al-Bassam turns Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” into a commen- tary on the years of sociopolitical frustration that fueled recent revolts in the Arab world. The production changes Wiki-pedia-style as news unfolds from the ongoing Arab Spring.

‘Women of Will’

Oct. 13 through Nov. 6

Central Square Theater

450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge

$15-45, 866-811-4111

Shakespeare and Company’s co-founding artistic director Ti-na Packer, assisted by Nigel Gore, explores Shakespeare’s portrayal of women and the feminine inside-out via com-mentary, scenes and mono-ogues.


Oct. 14 through Nov. 6

Lyric Stage Company

140 Clarendon St., Boston

$27-$56, 617-585-5678

A comedic imagining of part of the life of 17th century author Aphra Behn, one of the first-ever female professional writers. Years before the abolition movement took shape, Behn’s proto-novel “Oroonoko” passionately condemned slavery. She also had a career as a spy in Antwerp for Charles II; these facts clearly make her officially one of the coolest women ever.

‘Before I Leave You’

Oct. 14 through Nov. 13

Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts

527 Tremont St., Boston

$15-$60, 617-266-0800

In this new comedy by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, a Cambridge resident is beset by sudden changes in the lives of those closest to her. Her husband suddenly gets really into being Asian, and her novelist friend has a health scare at the same time that his sister moves in, and interrupts his work.

‘The Divine Sister’

Oct. 21 through Nov. 19

Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts

527 Tremont St., Boston

$25-$50, 617-933-8600

Charles Busch, creator of such works as “Die, Mommie, Die!” and “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom,” now tackles the logical next subject: Nuns! In this convent comedy, a tough mo-ther superior deals with has-sles including a young sister’s unusual “visions,” a schoolboy who needs her guidance, and an old flame begging her to leave the cloister. Can’t a nun get a break?!

‘The River Was Whisky’

Oct. 27 through Nov. 20

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre

949 Comm. Ave., Boston

$10-$30, 866-811-4111

Just in time for Halloween is this Southern ghost story by Will Fancher, set against a backdrop of racial tension in 1940s Mississippi. The title comes from an old blues lyric that pops up in several songs: “If the river was whisky and I was a duck/ I’d dive to the bottom and never come up.”


‘Mabou Mines Dollhouse’

Nov. 1-6

Cutler Majestic Theatre

219 Tremont St., Boston

$25-$79, 617-824-8400

This bizarre version of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” has a cast with a striking height differential: The men are 4 feet tall or less and the women are 6 feet. Patriarchal dominance is rendered visually ludicrous by this scenario, which, mixed with the grimness of the play, makes for a veritable feminist black comedy.


Nov. 9-20

Lane-Comley Studio 210, Boston University Theatre

264 Huntington Ave., Boston

$15-$20, 617-933-8600

Daniel MacIvor’s fourth-wall-breaking, one-man play stars Victor, a loser who works at a septic tank company, gets in fights at supermarkets, and whose wife may or may not be a dominatrix. Tough break!


Nov. 11 through Dec. 11

Boston University Theatre

264 Huntington Ave., Boston

$15-$75, 617-266-0800

This world premiere play plops us in Buenos Aries in 1960, where Israeli agents have just captured notorious Adolf Eichmann, “the architect of the Holocaust.” For some reason, they need his signature before they can put him on trial, which leads to what Huntington Theatre describes as “a battle of wills” between Eichmann and one of his captors.

‘Angel Reapers’

Nov. 15-20

Cutler Majestic Theatre

219 Tremont St., Boston

$25-$79, 617-824-8400

This musical tells the story of an Anglo-American Christian mystic and the founder of the Shakers. Much of its choreography is inspired by the sexual denial of the Shakers, who were notoriously celibate.

‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’

Nov. 18 through Dec. 17

Lyric Stage Company

140 Clarendon St., Boston

$30-$60, 617-585-5678

You’ve really never heard of this play? Look it up! Or better yet, just go!

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