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Theater that you’ll fall for

A vengeful flower, a big horse puppet and a few Middle Eastern-flavored productions are just some of what you can catch on stage this season.

September



'The Fakus - A Noir'


Saturday through Oct. 6

BCA Plaza Theatre

539 Tremont St., Boston

$21.50-$29.50, 617-933-8600

www.bcaonline.org

The scene is the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the year 1957. The characters: New friends Leland Novak and Harry Galvin and Mrs. Joseph Patrick Paul Costello. The goal: $100,000. Playwright Joe Byers mimics the stylized tone of mid-century American cinema in this story of betrayal, redemption and the thirst for cold, hard cash.

'The Tempest'

Through Sept. 29

Footlight Club

7a Eliot St., Jamaica Plain

$16-$18, 617-524-3200

www.footlight.org

The Footlight Club presents Shakespeare's last play, a weird fantasy about a wizard, his daughter, and some shipwrecked sailors, the deeper meaning of which has vexed scholars and theater lovers for years. Our favorite interpretation is that it's a play about being a playwright, and manipulating imaginary fates -- genuine metafiction, and centuries before it became a hip topic for college essays!



'The Motherf**ker with the Hat'


Through Oct. 13

Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

527 Tremont St., Boston

$52-$57, 617-933-8600

This 2011 Tony best play nominee is about an ex-con who's finally got his act together. Jackie is sober, employed and back with his soul mate. But then he finds a mysterious hat in his girlfriend's apartment and everything unravels in this fast-paced, foul-mouthed comedy put on by the SpeakEasy Stage Company.



'Sequence 8'


Sept. 27-Oct. 7

Cutler Majestic Theatre

219 Tremont St., Boston

$25-$69, 617-824-8400

www.artsemerson.org

Montreal-based circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main, or The 7 Fingers, follow up last year's ArtsEmerson gig, "PSY," with "Sequence 8." This time the group, who combine traditional circus skills with theatricality, contemplate the role of the "other." Expect hand-to-hand acrobatics, trapeze stunts, juggling and some high-level psychological introspection.



'The How and the Why'


Sept. 27-Oct. 21

Central Square Theater

450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge

$15-$45, 617-576-9278

www.centralsquaretheater.org

Two female scientists -- one a veteran Harvard professor, the other a young grad student -- debate evolutionary biology. Each has a theory about women and reproduction. It's a provocative research topic and certainly a brainy premise for a play, one that highlights the challenges women in science face. MIT students working steps away from the Central Square Theater might have something to say about that.



'A Bright New Boise'


Sept. 28-Oct. 20

BCA Plaza Black Box Theatre

527 Tremont St., Boston

$20-$30, 617-933-8600

www.zeitgeiststage.com

Big-box craft stores, Rapture-believing country-folk and fluorescent lights -- yup, that's how most of us imagine Idaho. And it's all true, or at least according to the characters in "A Bright New Boise." The play is also a story about fathers and sons, comic losers and searching for meaning. This one examines life questions that will make you think.



'Ragtime: The Musical'


Sept. 28-Oct. 7

The Strand Theatre

543 Columbia Rd., Dorchester

$32-$45, 617-635-1403

www.fiddleheadtheatre.com

This musical follows three families -- one is African American, another is wealthy and white and the third is recent Jewish immigrants--as they live and interact with one another in early 20th century New York, a transformative time and place in American history. Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington, and Henry Ford all make an appearance in the show, which, fittingly, plays at a former vaudeville theater from the same period.

October



'Expatriate'

Oct. 4-6

Villa Victoria Center for the Arts

85 W. Netwon St., Boston

$10-$30, 617-661-1600

www.thetheateroffensive.org

Two best friends from the Boston projects take off for New York. Claudie goes to Julliard while Alphine sings jazz, but both girls end up in Paris in their pursuit of the American Dream. There's a lot to cover in this two-woman show, like black identity, sexual freedom and substance abuse.

'War Horse'

Oct. 10-21

Boston Opera House

539 Washington St., Boston

$25-$168, 866-523-7469

www.broadwayinboston.com

"War Horse" is an inspirational story about a boy and his beloved horse separated by World War I, but determined to find each other again. If you want to take it seriously, do NOT watch the "Saturday Night Live" sketch based on the play on YouTube or Hulu.

'Now or Later'

Oct. 12-Nov. 10

Boston University Theatre

262 Huntington Ave., Boston

$15-$80, 617-266-0800

www.huntingtontheatre.org

The premise of "Now or Later" doesn't seem too far-fetched: Photographs of a presidential candidate's son at a college party surface on election night, sending the political team into a tizzy. Is he naked? Smoking a bong? Nope, he's wearing a Muhammad costume. Rather than publically apologize, the son argues his right to free speech. The Huntington Theatre production is timely on multiple fronts.



‘The Lily’s Revenge’

Oct. 12-28

Oberon

2 Arrow St., Cambridge

$25-$35, 617-547-8300

www.americanrepertorytheater.org

More than 30 performers make up the ensemble in “The Lily’s Revenge,” but the star of the show is indeed a five-petaled flower, a lily on a quest for love that dismantles societal norms. The play has the kind of multidisciplinary format that seems to define all American Repertory productions: A combination of dance, theater, film and music. Be warned: The five-act show is more than four hours long.

'Jesus Christ Superstar'

Oct. 18 to 21

The Boston Conservatory Theater

31 Hemenway St., Boston

$25-$30, 617-912-9222

www.bostonconservatory.edu

Director Neil Donohoe sets the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice rock opera in Syria, to compare Christ's final days with modern-day religious strife. Will it raise a few eyebrows? Well, some called the original musical blasphemous back in the 1970s, but that didn't stop the show, or its songs, from becoming a hit.

'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson'

Oct. 19 to Nov. 17

Calderwood Pavillion at the BCA

527 Tremont St., Boston

$52-$57, 617-933-8600

www.speakeasystage.com

If only all politicians were emo-rock, like in this SpeakEasy Stage Company musical. Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president, is imagined as a sexy 19th century cowboy in tight pants and eyeliner, flanked by prostitutes, Native Americans and rowdy Europeans. Modern-day politicians take note: Power ballads just might win over frustrated constituents.

'The Chosen'

Oct. 19 to Nov. 17

The Lyric Stage Company

140 Clarendon St., Boston

$27-$58, 617-585-5678

www.lyricstage.com

Based on Chaim Potok's 1967 no-vel, "The Chosen" is a coming-of-age story about two Jewish boys who are friends even though they practice different branches of the faith. The play is set in 1940s Brooklyn, but the morals of acceptance and finding oneself are timeless.

'Anne of Green Gables'

Oct. 19 to Nov. 18

Wheelock Family Theatre

200 The Riverway, Boston

$20-$30, 617-879-2300

www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org

Fans of the classic children's book will be curious to see how the story translates to a musical format.

November



'Chicago'


Nov. 1 to 4

Wang Theatre

270 Tremont St., Boston

$49-$129, 617-482-9393

www.citicenter.org

Supermodel Christie Brinkley plays blonde bobbed murderess Roxie Hart in perennial Broadway hit "Chicago." Brinkley had no dance, voice or acting training before taking the role in 2011. Does she have the chops for "all that jazz now"? Audiences can decide.



'Betrayal'

Nov. 9 to Dec. 9

Boston University Theatre

262 Huntington Ave., Boston

$15-$95, 617-266-0800

www.huntingtontheatre.org

The Huntington savors savage love stories by influential English playwrights. Last season's Noel Coward high comedy "Private Lives," about badly behaving lovers, is followed up this fall with Harold Pinter's "Betrayal." In the latter, characters Emma and Jerry engage in a seven-year affair that involves every kind of deceit. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have just been cast in the movie version ... KIDDING!

'Arabian Nights'

Nov. 23 to Dec. 30

Central Square Theater

450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge

$15-$45, 617-576-9278

www.centralsquaretheater.org

"Arabian Nights" has become a seasonal tradition at the Central Square Theater. In the storytelling event derived from ancient Persian folk tales "One Thousand and One Nights," Queen Shahrayar tells tales of bravado, humor and romance to win the love of her distrustful husband.

'Chinglish'

Nov. 30 to Dec. 23

The Lyric Stage Company

140 Clarendon St., Boston

$25-$58, 617-585-5678

www.lyricstage.com

An American businessman goes to China to land a deal for his family's sign-making company, but the Chinese-American culture gap proves difficult to navigate. Mistranslations, false impressions and hilarity ensure.

 
 
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