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New York Spotlight: September 2009

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Hugh Jackman
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
The Fall 2009 Broadway season gets underway with a host of shows debuting in September. One of the most anticipated is Keith Huff's A Steady Rain (Schoenfeld Theatre, September 10-26), starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig as a couple of Chicago cops whose differing accounts of a few harrowing days change their lives forever. John Crowley will direct.

Jude Law plays the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet, in a limited engagement at the Broadhurst Theatre, September 12-December 6. Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles star in Oleanna (Golden Theatre, beginning September 29), David Mamet's controversial two-hander about a power struggle between a male university professor and one of his female students. The first new musical of the season, Memphis, lands at the Shubert Theatre beginning September 23. Chad Kimball and Montego Glover head the cast of this tuner featuring book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, with music and lyrics by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan.

John Stamos, Gina Gershon, Bill Irwin, Jayne Houdyshell, Dee Hoty, Matt Doyle, Brynn Williams, Jake Evan Schwencke, Allie Trimm, and Nolan Gerard Funk lead the cast of the Roundabout's revival of the musical Bye Bye Birdie at the Henry Miller's Theatre beginning September 10. Meanwhile, the Roundabout's Studio 54 hosts Carrie Fisher in her award-winning autobiographical solo, Wishful Drinking (September 22-January 3). And in the American Airlines Theatre, Sienna Miller, Jonny Lee Miller, and Marin Ireland star in Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie (September 18-December 6), which transposes August Strindberg's 1888 play about sex and class to an English country house on the eve of Labour's historic landslide in 1945.

Ana Gasteyer, John Glover, David Greenspan, Rosemary Harris, Jan Maxwell, Larry Pine, Tony Roberts, and Reg Rogers are all featured in the cast of The Royal Family at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, beginning September 15. George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's comedy concerns a family of stage stars. Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy Letts returns to Broadway with Superior Donuts (Music Box Theater, beginning September 16), about the owner of a decrepit donut shop in Chicago and his lone employee who's looking to change the business for the better. Tina Landau directs this Steppenwolf Theatre Company production, with the cast headed by Michael McKean.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz star in the Public Theater's presentation of Othello, directed by Peter Sellars (Skirball Center for the Performing Arts @ NYU, September 12-October 4). Oscar winner Juliette Binoche teams up with Akram Khan for In-I (BAM's Harvey Theater, September 15-26), a dance-theater piece that explores the intricacies of a love affair. A host of leading actresses -- including Kristin Chenoweth, Tyne Daly, Katie Finneran, Rosie O'Donnell, Rhea Perlman, Mary Louise Wilson, and Rita Wilson -- will be part of the rotating cast of Love, Loss and What I Wore (Westside Theatre, beginning September 21), Nora and Delia Ephron's adaptation of Ilene Beckerman's 1995 book, about clothes and the memories they trigger.

Tony nominees Malcolm Gets and Helen Stenborg star in Morris Panych's new comedy Vigil, ( DR2 Theatre, September 20-November 29), about a self-involved bachelor who ends up caring for his elderly aunt. MCC Theater presents Alexander Dinelaris' Still Life (Lucille Lortel Theatre, September 16-November 1), about the whirlwind romance between a photographer and a trend analyst. The cast features Dominic Chianese, Halley Feiffer, Ian Kahn, Adriane Lenox, Kelly McAndrew, Sarah Paulson, Matthew Rauch, and Frederick Weller.

Exonerated creators Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen turn their attention to the war in Iraq with Aftermath (New York Theatre Workshop, September 1-October 4), based on interviews with everyday Iraqi citizens. Lincoln Center presents Nathan Louis Jackson's new play, Broke-Ology (Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, September 10-November 22), a family drama in which two brothers are called home to take care of their ailing father.

Anna Deavere Smith's solo Let Me Down Easy (Second Stage Theatre, September 15-November8) explores the world of healthcare from both the patient and practitioner perspective. Meanwhile, Colman Domingo's one-man show, A Boy and His Soul (Vineyard Theatre, September 9-October 18), is about a young, gay, African-American man growing up in 1980s Philadelphia.

The Atlantic presents two David Mamet one-acts, Keep Your Pantheon and School (September 9-November 1), with a cast headed by Brian Murray and John Pankow. Atlantic's Stage 2 space houses the world premiere of Bekah Brunstetter's OOHRAH! (September 1-27), set in a Southern military town. Playwrights Horizons presents Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (September 24-November 1), a new comedy about four lost New Englanders enrolled in a community drama class. The cast features Reed Birney, Tracee Chimo, Peter Friedman, Deirdre O'Connell, and Heidi Schreck.

Also around town, York Theatre Company presents Blind Lemon Blues (September 8-October 4), based on songs by Blind Lemon Jefferson; Epic Theatre Ensemble presents Russell Davis' Mahida's Extra Key To Heaven (Peter Norton Space, September 16-October 11); Pan Asian Rep presents Imelda, A New Musical (Julia Miles Theater, September 22-October 18), about the former First Lady of the Philippines; Karen Finley debuts The Jackie Look (Country Club, September 19-October 24); and Rattlestick revives Lucy Thurber's Killers and Other Family (September 17-October 11), starring Aya Cash, Dashiell Eaves, Shane McRae, and Samantha Soule.

Finally, the New York Musical Theatre Festival gets underway, September 28-October 18. Among the notable casting so far, Daniel Reichard stars in The Happy Embalmer, Liz Larsen and Kate Rockwell are in F#@king Up Everything, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Felicia Finley, and Marcus Neville headline The Last Smoker in America, Jack Noseworthy stars in Under Fire The Musical, Brenda Braxton and Lorraine Serabin are featured in Plagued - A Love Story, and Emma Hunton and Jonathan B. Wright are in Gay Bride of Frankenstein.

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