Fall Theater Preview: Stage glow with comedy, tragedy 

click to enlarge Time Stands Still will be playing at TheatreWorks through Sept. 16. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Time Stands Still will be playing at TheatreWorks through Sept. 16.

Bay Area theaters go into high gear this fall with can’t-miss new works, Broadway hits and significant revivals highlighting the season. Read on for best bets.

Time Stands Still

TheatreWorks’ fall season opens with Donald Margulies’ hard-hitting drama about a photojournalist returning from the Iraq War.

[Through Sept. 16. $31-$51. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, (650) 463-1960, www.theatreworks.org]

Chinglish

Berkeley Repertory Theatre begins its season with the West Coast premiere of David Henry Hwang’s comedy, which follows an American businessman to Asia in search of lucrative contracts for his family firm. Expect lots of laughs in this cross-cultural mashup by the author of “M. Butterfly.”

[Through Oct. 7. $14.50-$99. Roda Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org]

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

Rising playwright Kristoffer Diaz sets his satirical comedy in the eminently theatrical world of big-time wrestling. It makes its Bay Area premiere to kick off Aurora Theatre’s 21st season.

[Through Sept. 30. $32-$50. Aurora Theatre Co., 2081 Addison St.,  Berkeley, (510) 843-4822, www.auroratheatre.org]

The Real Americans

Just in time for election season, the Marsh is reviving Dan Hoyle’s provocative theater piece based on the playwright’s 100-day trip through small-town America. Charlie Varon directs.
 

[Sept. 7-29. $25-$50. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., S.F., (415) 826-5760, www.themarsh.org]

The Other Place

Playwright Sharr White, whose “Annapurna” was a hit for the Magic Theatre in 2011, returns to the company with the West Coast premiere of “The Other Place.” Artistic director Loretta Greco helms this emotional thriller.

[Sept. 12-Oct. 3. $30-$60. Magic Theatre, Building D, Fort Mason, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.,
(415) 441-8822, www.magictheatre.org]

The Normal Heart

Larry Kramer’s groundbreaking drama marked one of the first artistic responses to the AIDS crisis. Searingly intense and deeply moving, the play is set in New York in the early 1980s as the disease begins to ravage the gay community. American Conservatory Theater opens its season with the West Coast premiere of George C. Wolfe’s Tony Award-winning 2011 revival.
 

[Sept. 13-Oct. 7. $20-$95. ACT, 415 Geary St., S.F., (415) 749-2228, www.act-sf.org]

Hamlet

After a strong summer season, California Shakespeare Theater is aiming for a big finish with the Bard’s greatest tragedy.  Liesl Tommy, whose brilliant production of “Ruined” was seen at Berkeley Rep in 2010, directs.
[Sept. 19-Oct. 14. $35-$71. Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda, (510) 548-9666, www.calshakes.org]

 

Topdog/Underdog

Following its season-opening production of Annie Baker’s “Circle Mirror Transformation,” Marin Theatre Company presents Suzan-Lori Parks’ audacious Pulitzer Prize winner about black brothers prophetically named Lincoln and Booth.

[Sept. 27-Oct. 21. $36-$57. Marin Theatre Co., 397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, (415) 388-5208, www.marintheatre.org]

Rhinoceros

France’s acclaimed Théâtre de la Ville makes a rare Bay Area appearance with Ionesco’s landmark absurdist comedy. Directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, the production’s Paris debut was hailed as a “masterpiece.”

[Sept. 27-29. $30-$90. Cal Performances, Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley campus, (510) 642-9988, www.calperformances.org]

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson                    

SF Playhouse celebrates its 10th season with a new space and a revival of Alex Timbers’ rocking musical fantasia about the seventh U.S. president. Featuring music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, the production is directed by Jon Tracy.

[Oct. 9-Nov. 24. $30-$70. SF Playhouse, 450 Post St., S.F., (415) 677-9596, www.sfplayhouse.org]

 

The Strindberg Cycle

Cutting Ball Theater opens its 13th season with “The Strindberg Cycle,” featuring all five of August Strindberg’s chamber plays in new translations by Paul Walsh.

[Oct. 12-Nov. 18. $10-$50, $75 for marathon pass. Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor St., S.F., (415) 525-1205, www.cuttingball.com]

The Lion King

Broadway’s mega-hit returns to San Francisco for the first time since 2004.

[Nov. 1-Jan. 13. $32-$150. Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St., S.F., (888) 746-1799, www.shnsf.com]

About The Author

Georgia Rowe

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