The newspaper tells me it is October. Though naturally skeptical of print media, I think this may be correct. If so, that means four weeks of Mets-free baseball playoffs, a bit of my girlfriend yelling at me for watching baseball, and the beginning of what could be called the meat of the fall theater season. (Such meat, I should add, makes a dismal hoagie.)
There are a few bits of high drama storming Broadway this month—your Glengarries and assorted Woolfensteins—but I have trouble getting excited about watching big name actors tear their way through classic dramas, no matter how strong the pedigree. I'm a confessed dramaphobe, and I have particular trouble dropping several hundred dollars to watch Important Thespians in Important Plays. So, what's piqued my lowbrow curiosity this month?
The Heiress, at Walter Kerr. I decided to inaugurate my spiffy new blog with a late-night screed against Rebecca, saying that a Broadway musical based on a seven decades-old movie and book was a lousy idea. Since I'm jerk enough to kick the play while it's down, I probably deserve to be made a fool of. The Heiress, which is based on Henry James' surprisingly-funny Washington Square, premiered in 1947, and inspired the 1949 Montgomery Clift/Olivia de Haviland picture. It's an odd choice for a revival, and if it's a hit I will look dumb, which only seems fair. Previews start October 4th.
Modern Terrorism, or They Want to Kill Us and How We Learn to Love Them, at Second Stage. I'll admit it now—I'm a sucker for verbose titles, especially those with a bit of violent flair. The first decent play I ever wrote was about harebrained bookselling terrorists who attempt to blow up the Union Square Barnes & Noble, and this story—about some harebrained terrorist terrorists who want to do the same to the Empire State Building—brings me back, nostalgia-style. Aside from his various theatrical achievements, playwright Jon Kern is a Simpsons staff writer. Although I'm sure I'll spend the whole play grousing about how I covered the subject better, I think Modern Terrorism could be worthwhile. Opens October 15th.
Hamlet, at The Performing Garage. Ooh. Ooh. Am I excited for this. I was in college when the Wooster Group premiered their wacky, high-minded Hamlet, and the thought of watching a bunch of actors screw around with the text alongside the film of Richard Burton doing the same in 1964—well, it appealed to the burgeoning deconstructionist in me. Since then, I have systematically choked the life out of my inner academic, but this play's conceit still appeals. This time they're filming the performance, adding another layer to an already overloaded concoction. Piling layer upon layer works for cake, and I have to think that anything that works for cake will work for Shakespeare too. Opens October 24th.
Of course, I've missed all sorts of things. Let me know what they are.