Karl Hanover and John Behlmann
in Expedition 6
Karl Hanover and John Behlmann
in Expedition 6
The Magic Theatre hones in on the world's continued fascination with space exploration with the world premiere of Expedition 6 (September 8-October 7), created and directed by film and stage star Bill Pullman. This unusual production uses live music, low-flying trapezes, the writings of various selected astronauts, and NASA reports, to construct a docudrama about two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut, all of whom were stranded in space after the Columbia Shuttle disaster.

51802, is a world-premiere dance piece created and directed by Erika Chong Shuch (September 14-29), which incorporates live music, song, and text to tell its interwoven stories of conflict and loss experienced by those separated from each other by prison walls.

At the San Francisco Playhouse, you can take in John Guare's brilliant Six Degrees of Separation (September 22-November 17). This award-winning work is based on an actual incident of a young African-American man who coerced his way into the homes of several of New York's most upper-crust families by pretending to be the son of Sidney Poitier.

The Shotgun Players presents Eisa Davis' Bulrusher (Ashby Stage, September 19-October 21), the story of a woman in 1955 living in Boonville, California who is ostracized for her clairvoyance and loner ways. The play, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, is directed by Ellen Sebastian Chang and Margo Hall.

The New Conservatory Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of Holding the Man (September 29-November 4), the story of a relationship that has weathered every storm, from separation to temptation to HIV. Based on the memoir by Timothy Conigrave and adapted by Tommy Murphy, the work won Australia's NSW Premiere's Literary Award for Best Play in 2007.

Singer Hank Williams, a real-life Horatio Alger, started out small and ended up big. Now audiences can relive not only his rags-to-riches story, but hear a significant chunk of his unforgettable musical repertoire in Hank Williams: Lost Highway (September 6-October 6) at the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.

Finally, if you aren't one of the hundreds of thousands of people who've yet to pledge devotion to the insanely popular Disney's High School Musical, September is your chance to join the club. Ray of Light Theatre, a local non-profit community-based theater company, presents the smash hit musical (September 21-October 7) at San Francisco's School of the Arts High School. The charming story of two star-crossed teen lovers brought together through the power of musical theater includes all the same characters and music from the TV megahit, and features two new songs: "Counting On You" and "Cellular Fusion."