A scene from West Side Story
(© Joan Marcus)
A scene from West Side Story
(© Joan Marcus)
This month, the national tour of West Side Story rumbles into the Orpheum Theatre (October 27-November 28). The cast features Kyle Harris as Tony, Ali Ewoldt as Maria, Michelle Aravena as Anita, Joseph J. Simeone as Riff, and German Santiago as Bernardo.

A.C.T. has extended Bill Irwin's run of Scapin at Geary Theatre through October 23, to be followed by the West Coast premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney's Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet (October 29-November 21). A tale of sexual identity politics, the production is the third part of McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays, which also include The Brothers Size, continuing at the Magic Theatre until October 17 and In The Red and Brown Water, which has been extended until October 10 at Mill Valley's Marin Theatre Company, which then opens Bill Cain's world premiere drama 9 Circles (October 14-November 7), about a young American soldier on trial for acts he may have committed during wartime.

Playwright Tracy Letts cooks up a fresh-baked tale of friendship and redemption in a crumbling donut shop on Chicago's North Side in Superior Donuts (October 6-31), directed by Leslie Martinson for TheatreWorks at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. David Cale writes, directs and stars in Palomino (October 29-December 5) at Berkeley's Aurora Theatre Company. Cale plays seven different characters of both genders to tell the story of Kieren McGrath, a handsome, literate, Central Park carriage driver who dreams of writing a great novel.

Slaves, soldiers and courtesans discover that A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (October 6-24) for 42nd Street Moon at the Eureka Theatre. Actress Megan Cavanaugh makes "whoopi" with the part memorably played by Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers and Nathan Lane. Broadway star Rebecca Luker also goes to The Moon for the company's Once In A Million Moons: A Jerome Kern Salon (October 28) at the Alcazar Theatre.

Fresh from her success as Ogonquit's Norma Desmond, Stefanie Powers offers two nights of Hart of My Heart (October 2-3) at the Rrazz Room. She's followed by former Monkee Davy Jones (October 8-10), Dame Cleo Laine with daughter Jacqui Dankworth (October 19-24), and Carly Ozard, who serves up Somebody To Love: My Tribute to Freddie Mercury (October 22-23).

Billed as a biomedical thriller, San Jose Rep's production of Robert Clyman's Secret Order (October 14-November 7) explores what happens when a researcher and a young student get swept up in the dangerous world of political maneuvering, corporate loyalty and scientific ethics. Sharif Abu-Hamdeh's Habibi (October 14-November 7) makes its world premiere at Intersection for the Arts. This intimately woven play tells the story of three different generations of Palestinian immigrants all attempting to make sense of the world that surrounds them.

The Shaffer twins both get Bay Area stage time in October. Peter's drama Equus (October 22-November 20) at the Boxcar Theatre, explores why a boy blinds six stable horses. Anthony's mystery Sleuth (October 4-November 7) offers clues to whodunit at Willows Theatre Company in Martinez.

There's always some Bard by the Bay. California Shakespeare Theater's Much Ado About Nothing is on until October 17 at Bruns Memorial Amphitheater in Orinda; Conservatory Theatre Ensemble in Mill Valley celebrates Twelfth Night (October 19-23); and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival launches its tour of The Tempest in San Bruno on October 17.

Just in time for Halloween, Lafayette's Town Hall Theatre examines the strange case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (October 2-31); Solano College Theatre performs the Steven Dietz adaptation of Dracula (October 21-November 7) at the Harbor Theatre; while Walnut Creek Center Rep puts the bite on John Balderston and Hamilton Deane's Dracula (October 22-November 20).

Hapgood Theatre Company take a sip of The Cocktail Hour (October 22-November 7) in Antioch; Berkeley's Shotgun Players present Mary Stuart, adapted and directed by Mark Jackson from Schiller's play; George and Martha figure out Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (October 1-24) at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa; and Neil LaBute's Fat Pig plays through October 24 at the Sonoma County Repertory Theatre.

For kids, a classic fairy tale gets a cowboy twist from Stephanie Temple who adapts and directs Snow White at New Conservatory Theatre Center through October 24; Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella heads for the ball at Stage 1 Community Theatre in Newark (October 1-16); and Napa Valley College Repertory Theater presents a dual Spanish/English performance of Disney's Aladdin (October 8-20).