Whether you're looking for Broadway musicals, adult drama or an offering for the family, it's going to be a stellar season on local stages. Now is the time to start planning to enjoy the wealth of live theater offerings this fall, and here we've included some of what's to come from the larger companies in town. Early predictions for the season's most memorable productions are identified with an *asterisk.
Sept. 10-27, *Putting It Together,
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
With lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim, this Colorado premiere showcases the songs of America's most-awarded living musical theater composer. It's a one-of-a-kind compilation with nearly 30 tunes from shows such as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Company and Follies.
Sept. 10-27, *Private Lives, TheatreWorks
With snappy dialogue, this play makes the most of a silly premise: A divorced couple ends up honeymooning with their new spouses at the same time, at the same hotel, and making use of the same balcony. Legendary writer Noël Coward had barely entered his 30s when this play premiered in 1930, but the script's wit is full of sophistication.
Sept. 17 through Oct. 3, Sense and Sensibility: the Musical, Black Box Theatre
Jane Austen's classic has been adapted for the stage by locals Karen and Jessamine Hamer of Tin Roof Productions. Expect all the same characters, plus music, from this beloved story on the Black Box stage.
Sept. 18-26, Hate Mail, Funky Little Theater Company
Funky opens its new season with a contemporary play co-written by Kira Obolensky and Bill Corbett (the latter of whom was a longtime writer for Mystery Science Theater 3000). Much in the vein of Love Letters, the story's backbone is a recitation of letters — or "explosively funny letter-grenades," as they've been called — between a spoiled rich kid and the angsty artist he crosses.
Oct. 8-25, Babette's Knockout Opera, Millibo Art Theatre
In a premiere for the Millibo Art Theatre, Babette (Birgitta De Pree) gets an assist from Colorado College voice faculty member and lauded solo performer Judeth Shay Burns. Expect opera made very accessible, as only the comedically minded MAT can pull off.
Oct. 15 through Nov. 1, *Lonesome Hollow, Springs Ensemble Theatre
The first politically charged play in this list creates a dark, dystopian America in which sex offenders are sent to camps — and can be held there indefinitely — in depressed rural areas. Things don't really go well. Give SET credit for bringing what the Washington Times has called "a hollow misread of conservatism" to the Springs.
Oct. 16 through Nov. 1, *Wait Until Dark, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
If you've seen Frederick Knott's original play, or the classic 1967 film starring Audrey Hepburn, be advised that what the FAC is staging is something different — a 21st-century adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher. But you can still expect a thriller featuring thieves targeting a blind woman who is determined not to be a victim.
Oct. 22 through Nov. 8, Ghosts, TheatreWorks
A widow and her son are left to deal with the legacy of a patriarch whose sins reverberate in unexpected and chilling ways. Henrik Ibsen's play is said to have scandalized Victorian society, and with subject matter including incest, syphilis and euthanasia, it's easy to see why.
Oct. 23 through Nov. 7, *Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, Funky Little Theater Company
You can sort of imagine Lucy setting the Little Red-Haired Girl's hair on fire. But Linus becoming a stoner and smoking his blanket? Both of these things (according to the Austin Chronicle) are part of the way Bert V. Royal brings the classic Peanuts characters into late adolescence ... albeit with new, copyright-compliant names for each character. Despite the inspiration, this show is definitely not for children.
Oct. 29 to Nov. 14, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)[revised], Black Box Theatre
In a most radical version of Shakespeare's work, three actors perform parodies of the Bard's masterpieces — abridged, edited, revised, and caricatured — to maximize the entertainment value.
Nov. 6-22, Crime and Punishment, THEATREdART at Cottonwood Center for the Arts
For all you fans of 19th-century Russian novels, Dostoevsky's masterpiece should be on your radar. Here it's adapted for the stage and directed by fearless THEATREdART co-founder Brian Mann.
Overall, this will be a rich, full season of local theater. You probably can't see everything, but there's definitely something for everyone in this bountiful theater buffet. Pick one or two. Or more. That's one of the benefits of living in a community where the arts are alive and thriving.