Hey, things are looking good and weird out there! This fall brings Bebe Neuwirth in a surreal textual experiment, Isabelle Huppert in a suicidal frenzy, Patti LuPone hauling around a tuba, and talking sea creatures from the deep. Plus? Snoopy’s dead, man!
After her delectable and hilarious turn as Clarice in Silence! The Musical, Jenn Harris joins Bebe Neuwirth in Ashley Montana Goes Ashore in the Caicos … Or, What Am I Doing Here? Just how odd is this Roger Rosenblatt entertainment? The preface, which calls the work “almost a play,” reads: “This is a play made up of separate pieces that taken together represent an amused and anxious mind.” Yikes! Ashley Montana, by the way, for those who remember the model on the Sports Illustrated cover from which the title of the play is taken, is alive and well, thank you for asking. (Flea Theater, previews begin Oct. 6, opens Oct. 20th, through Nov. 19.)
The London-based playwright Sarah Kane, the Ian Curtis of the theater world—which is to say, immensely talented and dead by her own hand—will (or will not, depending on how you feel about the afterlife) surely enjoy her greatest production to date. Isabelle Huppert, that cream-limbed French siren, takes on the dark hours before the dawn in Ms. Kane’s 4:48 Psychosis. (Does all this sound familiar? Last year, the Royal Court brought 4:48 Psychosis to St. Ann’s for its American premiere.) But really: Don’t bring the kids, Ms. Huppert. (B.A.M.’s Harvey Theater, Oct. 19 through 30.)
Sure, it won a Pulitzer in 1975, and the original production starred that naughty Frank Langella—but it only ran for 70 shows. (No, not Anna Karenina: The Musical. Blech!) Now Edward Albee’s Seascape, the story of two strolling seaside couples—one human, one sea-based and reptilian—is back, baby, and it’s scalier than ever! With the begenius Frances Sternhagen, also known as the evil Bunny MacDougal, Kyle MacLachlan’s scheming super-WASP mother. (Booth Theater, previews begin Oct. 28; official opening, Nov. 21.)
Michael Cerveris, Stephen Sondheim’s big, bald, hunky baby, goes all out this fall in a production of Sweeney Todd. It’s set in a mental hospital, which makes one wonder. (Marat/Sade/Sweeney Todd? Hey, it’s euphonic!) Mr. Cerveris will be accompanying himself on guitar throughout the production, apparently. Yes, you may have missed Mr. Cerveris’ secondary career as an instrumental musician as well (get the album on his Web site!), but, more importantly, press materials claim that Mr. Cerveris’ co-star, one Patti LuPone, will be playing the tuba onstage. We’re so there. The stakes have been raised! Let’s see you work a tuba, Kristin Chenoweth! (Eugene O’Neill Theater, previews begin Oct. 3, opens Nov. 3rd.)
Look, she’s nuts—but that just makes Jennifer Jason Leigh a better match for a Scott Elliott direction of a Mike Leigh play. Gives the nice lady something to sink her teeth into! The New Group—which began its life 10 years ago with a Mike Leigh play, also directed by Scott Elliot—brings the 70’s London-suburbanite satirical pain of Abigail’s Party. (Acorn Theater at Theater Row, previews begin Nov. 14, opens Dec. 1.)
Rabies! Perhaps poor dead Snoopy, the dog of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, however, turned out the best of all the Peanuts gang. Poor Lucy is, after all, coughing up that “five cents, please” for her own therapy now. The bizarre Breakfast Club-esque borrowing of the Charles Schulz characters by Bert V. Royal made big waves in New York at the 2004 Fringe Festival; finally, the gang has migrated into a theater. (Century Center, previews begin Nov. 28, opens Dec. 15.)
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