Inaugurating a second performance space, the 360-seat Berlind Theater, the McCarter Theater kicks off the fall season on New Jersey stages in high style: Company a.d. Emily Mann directs the first Gotham-area staging of Nilo Cruz’s “Anna in the Tropics,” this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner. The production is expected to transfer to Broadway following the Sept. 9-Oct. 19 run at the McCarter.
Also at the McCarter: Charles L. Mee’s “Wintertime,” a co-production with Second Stage Theater (Oct. 15-Nov. 2); and “Fraulein Else,” adapted by Francesca Faridany from the novella by Arthur Schnitzler, a co-production with Long Wharf Theater directed by Stephen Wadsworth (Jan. 6-Feb. 15).
Season concludes with a mini Shaw fest: “Candida” (Mar. 23-Apr. 11), directed by Lisa Peterson, and a rare McCarter foray into musical revivals, “My Fair Lady” (May 4-June 27), helmed by Chi’s Gary Griffin, whose staging of “Pacific Overtures” recently played London’s prestigious Donmar Warehouse.
Paper Mill kicks off the new season with the 1978 Tony Award winner “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” the musical homage to Thomas “Fats” Waller. Season in Millburn marks the official debut of new CEO Michael Gennaro. Ken Robertson will stage and choreograph the revue, with a cast including E. Faye Butler, Darius De Haas, Angela Robinson, Natasha Yvette Williams and Doug Eskew (Sept. 10-Oct. 19).
The Paper Mill’s other offerings are “The Sound of Music” (Oct. 29-Dec. 14), with Kate Baldwin as Maria; Charles Busch’s “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” (Jan. 7-Feb. 8); Chaim Potok’s “The Chosen,” starring Theodore Bikel (Feb. 18-March 21); a rare staging of the David Shire-Richard Maltby Jr. musical “Baby” (March 31-May 9); and Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls” (June 2-July 18).
World preem of ‘Mirrors’
A world premiere marks the opening of the 30th anniversary season for New Brunswick’s George Street Playhouse. Charles Evered’s “Wilderness of Mirrors,” a spy thriller set at Yale, follows the development of the OSS and CIA in the 1940s. Artistic director David Saint will stage the thriller. Michael Countryman stars (Sept. 9-Oct. 5).
Another world preem, Arthur Laurents’ “Attacks on the Heart,” follows (Oct. 14-Nov. 9). Cigdem Onat plays a Turkish woman in love with an American man in the wake of the events of 9/11.
Season continues with Lee Blessing’s “A Walk in the Woods” (Nov. 18-Dec. 14); “Agnes of God,” by John Pielmier, starring George Street regular Suzzanne Douglas (Jan. 6-Feb. 1); Terrence McNally’s “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” (Feb. 10-March 7); and “tick, tick … Boom!,” the musical by the late Jonathan Larson (March 16-April 11).
‘Pygmalion’ at New Jersey
The New Jersey’s Shakespeare Theater continues its season with Shaw’s “Pygmalion” (Sept. 2-28), directed by a.d. Bonnie J. Monte; Scott Wentworth’s staging of “Othello” (Oct. 28- Nov. 23); and “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” Dylan Thomas’ autobiographical remembrance of the holiday season, adapted by Jeremy Brooks and Adrian Mitchell (Dec. 2-28).
The Playwrights Theater of New Jersey will launch a new season with “Spain,” by Jim Knable (Sept. 18-Oct. 5). Artistic director John Pietrowski directs the comedy of marital crisis. The world premiere of “Foreign Exchange,” by Peter Hays, follows on the Madison stage in February. Set in the mid-’80s, the drama examines a romance between two currency traders whose grandparents were on opposite sides of the incarceration of Japanese-Americans in WWII (Feb. 26-March 14).
Passage Theater Co. kicks off Oct. 9 with “Afghan Women,” by Trenton playwright-in-residence William Mastrosimone. Play chronicles the rebirth of Afghanistan and a conflict between a young orphanage volunteer and a rogue warlord. It runs through Nov. 2.
The fourth annual Solo Flights festival (Feb. 5-Feb. 29) will include “The Man Who Danced With Marlene Dietrich,” written and performed by Robert Hirsch, and an homage to Mahalia Jackson, “In Mahalia’s Light,” conceived by Queen Esther Marrow and Roseanne Kirk, closes the Trenton season at the Mill Hill Playhouse (May 6-30).