36 Theater and Dance Shows Coming to Boston This Fall
Niu Raza and the Wilder Project
The intimate outdoor event on the Boston Harbor features Malagasy singer-songwriter Niu Raza who blends jazzy vocals with full, mature soul beats. Raza is joined by the Wilder Project, a contemporary dance company founded by Boston Conservatory graduates.
September 1, Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3103, icaboston.org.
This whip-smart musical comedy is made up of short vignettes, all linked by the main character’s 35th birthday celebration. Bobby, the show’s centerpiece, is a man unable to commit to a steady relationship. He has three girlfriends, but prefers to spend time with his best friends, who are all married and poke fun at his “mature” relationships.
September 2-October 9, Lyric Stage, 617-585-5678, lyricstage.com.
Technology is hot right now, especially for 85-year-old Marjorie, who is kept company by an attractive, younger version of her husband. As they reflect on their past together, what experiences does she choose to recall?
September 8-October 9, Central Square Theater, 617-576-9278, centralsquaretheater.org.
Sunday in the Park with George
If Georges Seurat’s masterpieces in the Museum of Fine Arts leave you wanting more, go to the Huntington Theatre Company to see a rendition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical focusing on the painter.
September 9-October 16, Boston University Theatre, 617-266-0800, huntingtontheatre.org.
Cheers Live on Stage
Here’s a Boston classic you don’t need to head to Beacon Hill for—join Sam, Diane, Coach, Carla, Cliff, and Norm inside the familiar neighborhood bar while they perform some of the best moments from the hit TV series.
September 9-18, Shubert Theatre, 866-348-9738, citicenter.org.
From the author of hit play Bad Jews, Significant Other details a man’s quest to find Mr. Right after his time with his best female friends shifts from singles nights to bachelorette parties. The charming, close-to-home comedy is about finding love and encountering life’s changes.
September 9-October 8, Calderwood Pavilion, 617-933-8600, speakeasystage.com.
Cerise Lim Jacobs wrote the libretto for Madame White Snake, which won composer Zhou Long a Pulitzer in 2011. Now ArtsEmerson is staging it with Jacobs’s two accompanying works, Naga and Gilgamesh, as a world-premiere cycle.
September 10–17, Cutler Majestic Theatre, 617-824-8400, artsemerson.org.
Boys in the Band
Zeitgeist Stage Company opens its 15th season with Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking off-Broadway work, The Boys in the Band. The show explores how humor can be created and shaped by painful experiences. Before being adopted as a motion picture, it ran over 1,000 performances.
September 11-October 3, Boston Center for the Arts, zeitgeiststage.com.
Machine de Cirque
Acrobatic, poetic, comical, and stunning for all ages, the new Quebec City circus company gives a nod to tradition, and then flips it on its head. Forget Cirque du Soleil, Machine de Cirque is in Boston next month.
September 21-October 2, Paramount Center, 617-542-6772, artsemerson.org.
The Plough and the Stars
In the 1920s, Sean O’Casey dramatized the 1916 Easter Rising, premiering the play at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. With this visiting production, the legendary company marks the centenary of the revolt that paved the way for the Irish Free State.
September 24-October 9, American Repertory Theater, 617-547-8300, americanrepertorytheater.org.
Xavier’s new work at the ICA hopes to prove that hip-hop isn’t just for the young. He’s been a breakdancer for 32 years and is known for reviving the Philadelphia street-dance community.
September 30-October 1, Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3103, icaboston.org.
From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons had a sound that no one had heard before. Jersey Boys, the Tony, Grammy, and Olivier award-winning musical about the ‘60s success story, makes its way to Boston this fall.
October 4-16, Boston Opera House, 617-259-3400, boston.broadway.com.
We’re Gonna Die
After their sold-out April performance, Company One Theatre is back for an encore performance that seamlessly blends together stories, stand-up, music, and theater. Their humor of self-depreciation tells viewers they may be miserable, but they’re not the only ones.
October 4-8, Oberon, 617-547-8300, americanrepertorytheater.org.
Here All Night
Samuel Beckett’s literature and music finds new light at ArtsEmerson in this combined work of acting and orchestra music. The players of Gare St Lazare Ireland are some of the world’s foremost Beckett interpreters and will join ArtsEmerson to create music landscapes for Beckett’s writing.
October 5-9, Paramount Center, 617-542-6772, artsemerson.org.
Big Dance Theater’s Short Form
In celebration of their 25th anniversary, Big Dance Theater will get a makeover and perform five short works. Plus, join the unique dance theater for an intimate onstage birthday party.
October 14-15, Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3103, icaboston.org.
What happens when your folks raise you to be an overachiever but you fail at life? In this sharp satire by Mike Lew, two Chinese-American siblings rebel against tiger parenting and puncture stereotypes along the way.
October 14-November 13, Huntington Theatre Company, 617-266-0800, huntingtontheatre.org.
Impelling Forces is three Jose Mateo ballets tied together: Mozart Provoked, a contemporary jazz rendition of one of Mozart’s masterpieces, 1796, an exploration of the subtle tension in the dark character of Mozart’s late work, and Over and Over, an intersection of personal loss and repetitious history.
October 14-30, Sanctuary Theatre, ballettheatre.org.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
A power-hungry heir to a family fortune wants to jump the succession line by wiping out the eight relatives before him—all while juggling the threat of jail, a mistress, and his fiancee. The absurdity of this 2014 Tony Awarded musical will make you laugh.
October 18-23, Shubert Theatre, 866-348-9738, citicenter.org.
When January Feels Like Summer
The exceptionally warm winter in Central Harlem brings out the Hindu God Ganesh, of good fortune and prosperity, to watch over five people’s path of self-discovery as their lives intersect. The New York Times wrote on how this welcoming romantic comedy made viewers want to spend even more time in the characters’ company afterward.
October 20-November 13, Central Square Theater, 617-576-9278, centralsquaretheater.org.
Called “The Republican Obama,” he’s the son of Chinese immigrants, and a decorated war veteran with limitless political potential—if not for a college secret haunting him. This political play explores how far one man will go to keep the transgression away from the public eye.
October 21-November 13, Lyric Stage, 617-585-5678, lyricstage.com.
BalletX celebrates the bold athleticism required in ballet. The company has collaborated with distinguished choreographers to perform new dances for two nights at the ICA.
October 21-22, Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3103, icaboston.org.
The Scottsboro Boys
Based on a true story that helped launch the American civil rights movement, The Scottsboro Boys is about nine African American boys jailed in 1931 for a crime they never committed. With a mix of gospel, jazz, and vaudeville, this musical is the final collaboration of legendary songwriting duo John Kander and Fred Ebb.
October 21-November 19, Calderwood Pavilion, 617-933-8600, speakeasystage.com.
An American in Paris
An adaption of the romantic film of the same name, An American in Paris opens its national tour with two weeks in Boston. The most awarded new musical of 2015 tells the story of an American soldier, a French woman, and a breathtaking city, Paris. Each character is looking for a fresh start in the aftermath of war.
October 25-November 6, Wang Theatre, citicenter.org.
Boston Ballet’s season opens with this piece about a shipwrecked pirate trying to save his true love from a Turkish harem. Prepare for swashbuckling adventure and many a stunning pas de deux.
October 27-November 6, Boston Opera House, 617-695-6955, bostonballet.org.
Mala means ‘bad’ in Spanish. This brutally honest and sharply funny one-woman show by Melinda Lopez confronts the fact that somehow, no matter how hard people try, they are inevitably bad.
October 27-November 20, Paramount Center, 617-542-6772, artsemerson.org.
Vertigo Dance Company
Now making its Boston debut, the innovative and powerful Vertigo Dance Company was founded in 1992 and has grown to garner an international fan base over the past two decades. Their performance includes Vertigo 20, a work that highlights and revisits their development and history.
October 29-30, Shubert Theatre, celebrityseries.org.
Estampas Portenas Tango Company
The classical tango troupe will bring much-needed heat to Boston this November, just as the weather starts to cools down.
November 4, Berklee Performance Center, worldmusic.org.
The Silver Lining
This play is inspired by the friendship of Mary Todd Lincoln and her freed black seamstress, Elizabeth Kekcly, while living in the White House after the assassination of President Lincoln. The play, premiering for the first time at the Boston Center for the Arts, is a story of the critical moment in American history and the events that brought these two women together.
November 5-20, Carol G. Deane Hall, badhabitproductions.org.
Our Carnal Hearts
A musical showcase of competitive spirits and envy for others’ success, Rachel Mars’ edgy production is a cry to everyone who’s ever dreamed of being someone else.
November 9-12, Oberon, 617-547-8300, americanrepertorytheater.org.
A Letter to My Nephew
Choreographer Bill T. Jones presents this U.S. premiere inspired by both the failing health of his bedridden nephew and global unrest. Dancers take the stage to house music and lullabies, and video backdrops of fog and tear gas.
November 11-13, Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3103, icaboston.org.
With four couples and three bedrooms, there is bound to be chaos. This comedy about misunderstandings follows the night of Trevor and Susannah, whose marriage is rocky. They raid the bedrooms of family and friends, leaving uproar and confusion in their wake.
November 11-December 11, Boston University Theatre, 617-266-0800, huntingtontheatre.org.
This 1980s opera sets Oedipus Rex in London’s crime-blighted East End. In a recent U.K. revival, Marcus Farnsworth earned raves in the title role, which he reprises with the Boston Lyric Opera.
November 16-20, Paramount Center, 617-542-6772, blo.org.
Matchless and the Happy Prince
Expect magic in an unexpected place with this reboot from last season’s charming combination of the classic Little Match Girl and the whimsical The Happy Prince. This intimate show transforms stationary objects into puppets to enchant all ages.
November 25-December 31, Central Square Theater, 617-576-9278, centralsquaretheater.org.
Journey to the West
This whimsical comedy follows a Chinese monk on his journey to India in search of enlightenment. An adventure for all ages, the comedy celebrates the grit of human perseverance with a side of satire.
November 25-December 31, Central Square Theater, 617-576-9278, centralsquaretheater.org.
Murder for Two
A two-man mystery murder musical: one actor is the investigator, the other plays every suspect. Nobody is safe in this musical comedy, and since it is set in a small town where everyone knows each other, the two have many unique characters to play.
November 25-December 24, Lyric Stage, 617-585-5678, lyricstage.com.
Our Fall Arts Preview wouldn’t be complete without it—see this holiday classic for the first time or again this season, but don’t let it slip from your “must-see” list.
November 25-December 31, Boston Opera House, 617-695-6955, bostonballet.org.