Autumn on Philly stages will be full of music, conscience, classics, and world premieres.
Great musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof, Holiday Inn, Evita (two of 'em!), and Oliver! join socially conscious theater by playwrights such as Dominique Morisseau, James Ijames, and Lynn Nottage. Classics such as Medea join dramatic rethinkings of literary greats such as The Age of Innocence, The Color Purple, and Frankenstein.
- ‘Romeo & Juliet,’ BalletX, Jessica Lang, and 12 more top picks for the Philadelphia fall dance season
- Classical music this fall: Patricia Racette at O18, Black Violin at the Merriam, Philadelphia Orchestra plays the full ‘Amahl’
- Philadelphia’s art museums feature Dior, Berthe Morisot, Winslow Homer, more in fall 2018
Philly and world premieres also abound, including the local premiere of Tom Stoppard's Hapgood, plus a punk vampire musical and a play about Philly gentrification.
And then there's Philly Fringe, which started early this month and has another week to go.
Kill Move Paradise (through Sept. 23, Wilma Theatre). In this voyage to the underworld, award-winning local playwright James Ijames explores questions of identity and prejudice. Part of Philly Fringe. (215–546–7824, wilmatheater.org)
Philadelphia Fringe Festival (through Sept. 23, various locations). Other highlights you can still catch from the 2018 Fringe Festival include: Mary Rose (through Sept. 22, Woodlands Mansion and Cemetery) a site-specific rendition of a play by J.M. Barrie; Fly Eagles Fly (through Sept. 28, Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake), regarding the fan frenzy around the Eagles victory in Super Bowl LII; Sam Shepard's True West (through Sept. 22, the Mass Building); Ntozake Shange's for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (through Sept. 23, Klein Theatre at the Church of the Advocate ), Tennessee Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale (through Sept. 23, Bethany Mission Gallery); and Simpatico Theatre Company's 4Solo (Sept. 19-30, Drake Theatre), four plays on being male right now. (215-413-1318, fringearts.com)
By the Water (through Sept. 23, South Camden Theatre Company). Continuing SCTC's cycle of plays written by women, Sharyn Rothstein's play follows Staten Islanders dispossessed by Hurricane Sandy. (866-811-4111, southcamdentheatre.org)
Biloxi Blues (through Sept. 30, Act II Playhouse, Ambler). Neil Simon's boyhood military years, and a tug-of-war between stiff-necked machismo and a gentler approach. (215-654-0200, act2.org)
Sanctions (through Sept. 30, Delaware Theatre Company). World premiere of Bruce Graham's new one, about college sports and the impact of scandal. (302-594-1000, delawaretheatre.org)
Mary's Wedding (through Oct. 7, Montgomery Theatre, Souderton). A poignant play of prophetic dreams, first love, and trench warfare. (215-723-9984, Ext. 10, montgomerytheater.org)
The Age of Innocence (through Oct. 7, McCarter Theatre, Princeton). A new adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel, a ravishing, unsentimental portrait of life among the upper classes in early-20th-century New York. (609-258-2787, mccarter.org)
Evita (through Oct. 7, Broadway Theatre of Pitman, N.J.). A rags-to-riches story in which a woman falls in love with a country and vice versa. (856-384-8381, thebroadwaytheatre.org)
Hapgood (through Oct. 14, Lantern Theater Company). Particle physics! Russian espionage! This Tom Stoppard play is making its Philadelphia premiere as part of Philly Fringe. (215-829-0395, lanterntheater.org)
Noir (through Oct. 14, Eagle Theatre, Hammonton, N.J.). World premiere by the Eagle Theatre brain trust. A day in the life of America's worst private detective, Jack Sloan. Live action, with 3-D cinematography and up-to-the-minute immersive tech. (609-704-5012, eagletheatre.org)
Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn (through Oct. 21, Walnut Street Theatre). Getting a head start on the holiday season — any holiday season — with a brilliant Irving Berlin concept and score. (215-574-3550, walnutstreettheatre.org)
Dishman Springs (Sept. 13-30, Hedgerow Theatre Company). World premiere of Jane A. McNeil's play of two Southern ladies, the waters of youth and age, and what really matters. (610-565-4211, hedgerowtheatre.org)
Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End (Sept. 18-Oct. 7, Bristol Riverside Theatre). Bio-play of the longtime columnist, humorist, TV host, and best-seller writer. (215-785-0100, brtstage.org)
Once (Sept. 20-Oct. 21, Arden Theatre). Emotional, contemporary romance musical of busking, loving, and losing. (215-922-1122, ardentheatre.org)
Such Things as Vampires (Sept. 20-Oct. 31, People's Light). An original, Dracula-adjacent folk-punk musical. Yes, you read that right. (610-644-3500, peopleslight.org)
In Between (Sept. 23-Oct. 28, Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3). Ibrahim Miari's solo flashback to growing up in Israel as the son of a Palestinian Muslim father and a Jewish Israeli mother. (215-574-3550, walnutstreettheatre.org)
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Sept. 26-Oct. 21, Quintessence Theatre Company). The latest entry in the Quintessence tradition of loving, attentive stage versions of literary classics. (215-987-4450, quintessencetheatre.org)
Love Never Dies (Oct. 2-7, Academy of Music). Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to Phantom of the Opera. (215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org.)
The Monster in the Hall (Oct. 3-21, Inis Nua Theatre, Drake Theatre). A funny musical romp through the decidedly complicated life of a very unusual teenage girl. (215-454-9776, inisnuatheatre.org)
Sweeney Todd (Oct. 3-28, Media Theatre). The popular, hugely entertaining musical bloodbath by Sondheim and Wheeler. (610-891-0100, mediatheatre.org)
Broken Biscuits (Oct. 4-28, 1812 Productions). A delightful adolescent conspiracy to change the direction of life. (215-592-9560, 1812productions.org)
Detroit '67 (Oct. 9-28, McCarter Theatre Company). Morisseau's breakout play about a brother and sister who operate an unlicensed after-hours juke joint in Detroit as the 1967 riots near. (609-258-2787, mccarter.org)
Evita (Oct. 12-28, Resident Theatre Company/ Knauer Uptown! Performing Arts Center, West Chester). That woman again! Her wild days! Her mad existence! In its short existence, RTC has shown it can do a fine job with the musical form. (610-356-2787, rtcwc.org).
Sweat (Oct. 12-Nov. 4, Philadelphia Theatre Company). Lynn Nottage's study of Reading steelworkers and the decline of the industry and town in which they work. (215-985-0420, philadelphiatheatrecompany.org).
Medea (Oct. 18-Nov. 11, Hedgerow Theatre Company). The original riot grrrl, in the fearsome Euripides tragedy. (610-565-4211, hedgerowtheatre.org)
Fairy Tale (Oct. 19-28, Montgomery Theatre, Souderton). World premiere of Jessica Bedford and Sean Close's kids' story for adults about school district rezoning, adolescence, and learning to live together. (215-723-9984, Ext. 10, montgomerytheater.org)
Fiddler on the Roof (Oct. 23-28, Academy of Music). Direct from Broadway, Bartlett Sherr's celebrated reimagining of this classic musical. (215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org.)
Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Oct. 23-Nov. 11, Wilma Theatre). Survivors of an apocalypse seek salvation in The Simpsons. (215–546–7824, wilmatheater.org)
Collected Stories (Oct. 23-Nov. 18, Act II Playhouse, Ambler). Donald Margulies' witty, tart play about changing power relations between teacher and student. (215-654-0200, act2.org)
A Doll's House, Part 2 (Oct. 24-Dec. 9, Arden Theatre Company). Lucas Hnath's sly sequel to the Ibsen classic. Nora returns home … and then? (215-922-1122, ardentheatre.org)
Kiss Me Kate (Oct. 26-Nov. 11, Broadway Theatre of Pitman, N.J.). Cole Porter tunefest about a Shakespearean troupe attempting to act (or is it act like?) Taming of the Shrew. (856-384-8381, thebroadwaytheatre.org)
Salt Pepper Ketchup (Oct. 26-Nov. 28, InterAct Theatre, following its run at Passage Theatre, Trenton, Sept. 27-Oct. 14). Coproduction of a world premiere: Josh Wilder's drama of an old-school Asian restaurateur in a quickly gentrifying section of Point Breeze. (215-568-8079, interacttheatre.org).
The Rivals (Oct. 30-Nov. 18, Bristol Riverside Theatre). World premiere of this new musical based on the famed Richard Brinsley Sheridan comedy. (215-785-0100, brtstage.org)
Warplay (Oct. 31-Nov. 18, Azuka Theatre, Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake). TV writer JC Lee takes a new look at those great warriors and lovers, Achilles and Patroclus. (215-563-1100, azukatheatre.org).
Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Nov. 2-18, South Camden Theatre Company). Completing SCTC's cycle of plays written by women, Lynn Nottage's study of a family in 1950s Brooklyn bristles with the tensions of that time and our own. (866-811-4111, southcamdentheatre.org)
Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical (Nov. 6-Jan. 6, Walnut Street Theatre). A little girl with a lot of courage and a big heart. Music and dance for the whole family. (215-574-3550, walnutstreettheatre.org)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Nov. 6-18, Academy of Music). More Dahl, in this exceedingly strange and popular tale of a sweets manufacturer and the kids he makes sweeter. (215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org)
The Color Purple (Nov. 8-Dec. 9, Theatre Horizon, Norristown). Horizon's ambitious new season kicks off with a reimagining of the soulful musical rendition of Alice Walker's novel. (610-283-2230, Ext. 1, theatrehorizon.org)
Every Brilliant Thing (Nov. 8-Dec. 16, Arden Theater Company). Scott Greer reprises last year's smash success in this brilliant audience-participation heartbreaker. (215-922-1122, ardentheatre.org)
The Heir Apparent (Nov. 8-Dec. 16, Lantern Theater Company). In his adaptation of Le Légataire Universel by Jean-François Regnard, David Ives gives us the battle royal that erupts as an old man with an estate prepares to kick the bucket. (215-829-0395, lanterntheater.org)
Spitfire Grill (Nov. 14-Dec. 16, Eagle Theatre, Hammonton, N.J.). Musical version of 1996 film in which a parolee fresh out of stir finds a job in a small-town greasy spoon and … here we go! (609-704-5012, eagletheatre.org)
Oliver! (Nov. 14-Dec. 23, Quintessence Theatre Company). The Quintessence has been scoring big with delightful chamber versions of the big musicals. This one's next up. (215-987-4450, quintessencetheatre.org)
This Is the Week That Is (Nov. 23-Jan. 6, 1812 Productions). The 1812 take on what's happening right now, raucous, inappropriate, and wacky. (215-592-9560, 1812productions.org)
Completeness (Nov. 29-Dec. 23, Theatre Exile). Itamar Moses' dramedy of smart people, tough relationships, and science, good and bad. (215-218-4022, theatreexile.org)
A Wonderful Life (Nov. 30-Dec. 16, Broadway Theatre of Pitman, N.J.). Musical setting of the Capra classic It's a Wonderful Life. Zuzu, what happens every time a bell rings? (856-384-8381, thebroadwaytheatre.org)