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

By Robert Simonson
02 Sep 2012

David Hyde Pierce
Photo by Joan Marcus

Speaking of master satirist Christopher Durang, he is back Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a comedy at Lincoln Center Theater in which he throws a few Chekhov characters in a blender, along with a few other surprises. (Spike is movie star Masha's new boy toy.) Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce and Kristine Nielsen star in the Nicholas Martin-directed piece. It plays New Jersey's McCarter first. (Actual Chekhov can be found at CSC, which Austin Pendleton is directing Ethan Hawke in Ivanov, beginning Oct. 17.)

Vanya isn't the only person with family problems. In Simon Stephens' new Harper Regan, at the Atlantic Theater Company, a woman suddenly walks away from her husband, her daughter and her home, telling no one where she’s going or whether she’s ever coming back. Christopher Innvar, Jordan Lage, Madeleine Martin, Mary McCann, Mary Beth Peil and Gareth Saxe star. Opening is Oct. 10. In Daisy Foote's Him, at Primary Stages, two siblings struggling to keep the family store afloat. Previews begin Sept. 21. Bad Jews, part of the Roundabout Theatre Company's Underground series, opening Oct. 5, tells of two cousins fighting over their grandfather's Chai necklace. Daniel Aukin directs the world premiere of Joshua Elias Harmon's comedy.

An entire family is thrown into a tailspin when their estranged, drifter uncle arrives unannounced in Nick Payne's If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, which gets its American premiere at the Roundabout on Sept. 20 (it's now in previews). Jake Gyllenhaal and Brían F. O'Byrne star. The lives of a father and his teenage daughter unravel in What Rhymes With America, the latest from that chronicler of under-directed lives, Melissa James Gibson. The work premieres at the Atlantic Theater Company on Dec. 12. And, in Wild With Happy, at the Public Theater, playwright Colman Domingo follows Gil, a young man (played by Domingo) who plans to scatter his mother's ashes in the place where she was most happy. Performances begin Oct. 9.