The ever-busy Arena Stage presents Lisa Kron's comedy Well (September 14-October 14), which made a successful leap from off-Broadway to Broadway last year. In this quasi-autobiographical piece, Kron puts her memories of growing up in a household full of allergies and social activism front and center, only to discover that Mother may actually know best.
Signature Theatre returns to the work of Stephen Sondheim with a "reinvented" version of Merrily We Roll Along (September 4-October 14). It's a musical take on the Kaufman/Hart play about the personal and professional lives of three friends. Moving backwards in time, they discover the different paths they've taken while singing such classics as "Not A Day Goes By," "Old Friends," and "Good Thing Going."
Who knew Edgar Allan Poe was sexy? The dour, tormented poet has been getting a makeover on area stages lately and Synetic Theatre Company has the latest, and perhaps most unusual take on his work with The Fall of the House of Usher (Arlington's Rosslyn Spectrum, September 22-October 31). Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili, the Helen Hayes Award-winning husband-and-wife director and choreographer team, promise their unique blend of movement, drama, and visual imagery will "vividly capture the raw, untamed sexuality and menace at the core of Poe's tale" that explores the shadows of the human psyche.
The American Century Theatre mounts Eugene O'Neill's only comedy, Ah, Wilderness! (Arlington's Gunston Arts Center, September 7-October 6), a sentimental, coming-of-age story set in 1906 Connecticut. French writer Jean Paul Sartre popularized existentialism in 1944 with his one-act play, No Exit (September 14-October 21), being put on by Scena Theatre. In GALA Hispanic Theatre's Cita a Ciegas (Blind Date) (September 20-October 14), a blind writer becomes part of the lives of apparently unrelated people who are nevertheless oddly connected.
To take their minds off the horrors of going back to school, you might treat the kids to Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy (Warner Theatre, September 11-September 16). It's an action-packed musical adventure showcasing aerialists, contortionists, vine swinging characters, strongmen, and balancers backed by wild designs, special effects, and puppets.