OFF-BROADWAY FALL PREVIEW: Stephen Sondheim, Michael John LaChiusa, Terrence McNally, Daisy Foote Get Spotlight

By Robert Simonson
02 Sep 2012

Taylor Trensch and Jason Hite star in Bare.
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The prize for weirdest familial turmoil, however, goes to Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale, wherein a 600-pound recluse attempts to reconnect with his long-estranged daughter. (Tricky casting on that one, I bet. To say nothing of the costume designer's fabric bill.) Opening at Playwrights Horizons is Nov. 5.

The splashiest musical of the Off-Broadway fall season is Giant at the Public. Composer-lyricist Michael John LaChiusa and librettist Sybille Pearson have musicalized the sprawling Edna Ferber novel, which is still best known to the world as the 1955 film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean. Michael Greif directs. The show premiered at Dallas Theater Center, which co-produces here. Opening is Nov. 13. No casting has been announced. Also due to sing this autumn is Bare, a new production of Jon Hartmere and Damon Intrabartolo's rock musical about teens coming of age in a Catholic boarding school; there have been revisions to script and score since regional productions, an earlier developmental run Off-Broadway and a studio cast album. Director Stafford Arima (Carrie, Altar Boyz) is its new steward. The show bows Dec. 9. Kirsten Holly Smith and Jonathan Vankin, meanwhile, have a musical about the life of singer Dusty Springfield, called Forever Dusty (starring Smith), opening Nov. 18 at New World Stages.

The starriest undertaking of the season may by Detroit, the long-awaited New York premiere of Lisa D'Amour's Pulitzer Prize finalist play about suburban anxiety. Anne Kauffman directs a cast that included John Cullum, Amy Ryan and David Schwimmer. Opening at Playwrights Horizons is Sept. 18. (It's now in previews.) Finally, the likeliest candidate for this autumn's most charming production is Ten Chimneys, a new play by Jeffrey Hatcher that imagines what life might have been like for the Fabulous Lunts at their famous home in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin. Byron Jennings and Carolyn McCormick play Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne as they rehearse a new production of The Seagull with Sydney Greenstreet and a young Uta Hagen. Dan Wackerman directs the Peccadillo Theatre Company production at Theatre at St. Clements, opening Sept. 30.