Theater shows you can’t miss when the curtains rise this fall

theater shows
Les Miserables
Johan Persson

The fall season is here in Philadelphia, and that means there are plenty of stage shows to check out. From classic Tony-Award winners to brand new productions, there’s something for everyone around the city. 

‘Annie’

There’s no introduction needed here. The classic story of “Little Orphan Annie” from New York City has been a fan-favorite for decades, and its coming to the Kimmel Cultural Campus this season to play at the Miller Theater. 

According to an official description: ‘Annie’ tells the extraordinary story of a little orphan who ends up in the lap of luxury with Depression-era billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Unlike most of the other children at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage, spunky Annie believes that her parents are still alive and will one day return to claim her. So, when Mr. Warbucks decides to put out a reward in hopes to find the estranged couple, a group of con artists then to try and get their hands on some of the cash. 

Featuring some well-known tunes (who doesn’t belt out ‘Tomorrow’ when it comes on?) ‘Annie’ will play at the Kimmel from Oct. 11 – 16. 

theater shows
Annie the MusicalJoan Marcus

300 S. Broad Street, kimmelculturalcampus.org

‘Rocky the Musical’

Premiering at the Walnut Street Theater on Oct. 4 for four weeks only, ‘Rocky’ comes to the city this fall after much anticipation. This uniquely Philly saga follows boxer Rocky Balboa as he gets a once-in-a-lifetime shot to go from loan shark enforcer to heavyweight titleholder as a complete underdog. 

With numerous films, spin-offs and adaptations since the story’s first inception, ‘Rocky’ has become known around the world, and the statue outside of the Art Museum still rings as a Philadelphia icon. The show will feature new musical numbers, along with favorites including ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and ‘Gonna Fly Now’ and will be on stage until Oct. 30.

 825 Walnut St., walnutstreettheatre.org

‘Wine in the Wilderness’ 

As a release states, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective (PAC) will launch their 12th season with a production of ‘Wine in the Wilderness’ by Alice Childress performed at Poth Brewery. Presented in collaboration with TheBlackBestFriend (as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival), the plot examines race, gender, and class against the backdrop of the 1964 race riots in Harlem.

The story takes place in the apartment of a painter creating a triptych piece of art to illustrate the phases of Black Womanhood, and when friends then introduce him to a potential model for the final painting, assumptions unravel and the “true power of Black women is both acknowledged and celebrated.” 

The show will run for a limited engagement from Sept. 22 through Oct. 9, and tickets for ‘Wine in the Wilderness’ are currently on sale by visiting fringearts.com.

theater shows
‘Wine in the Wilderness’Philadelphia Artists Collective

3145 W. Jefferson St., fringearts.com

‘Mushroom’

From Pulitzer Prize finalist and ‘Mare of Easttown’ cast member Eisa Davis, ‘Mushroom’ is inspired by a local fixture—Kennett Square and it’s world-famous offerings of the edible fungi. 

As an official description for the show reads: ‘Mushroom’ follows the lives of immigrant families which collide when a workplace injury, an unexpected romance, and the looming presence of immigration authorities affect the entire community. The play is said to bring to light several local, interwoven, and unexpected human connection stories behind the mushroom industry, and Philadelphians can have a front row seat to it all when they head to People’s Light.

As the first-ever bilingual production at the organization, ‘Mushroom’ will be performed on the Steinbright Stage now through Oct. 16.

theater shows
Eisa Davis with a community stakeholder in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, mushroom growing house.Photo by Bobby Plasencia

39 Conestoga Road, peopleslight.org 

‘The Pillow Man’

Premiering next month at Hedgerow Theatre, ‘The Pillow Man’ comes from Martin McDonagh, who has been called one of modern theatre and film’s legendary writers. The official plot of the show reads: “The Pillowman centers on a writer in a totalitarian state who is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories, which have striking similarities to a series of recent child murders. The result is an unflinching and urgent work of theatricality — a taut examination of the very nature and purpose of art.”

For fans of true-crime and those looking to delve more into the worlds of everything macabre, Philadelphia actor James Kern makes his Hedgerow debut as Katurian, the writer whose stories may or may not be connected to a series of murders in this show. Running  from Oct. 5 to 31, this thrilling work of theatre is co-directed by Megan Bellwoar and Hedgerow Executive Artistic Director Marcie Bramucci.  

64 Rose Valley Road, hedgerowtheatre.org

Les Misérables

Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, Les Misérables is perhaps one of the most famous shows to come on and off Broadway. With songs such as ‘I Dreamed a Dream,’ ‘On My Own,’ ‘Bring Him Home,’ ‘One Day More,’ ‘Master of the House’ putting the show on the map, ‘Les Mis’ is returning to Philadelphia under the direction of Cameron Mackintosh. 

Originally from Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, this Tony Award-winning production tells “an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.” This epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history and hits the stage later this season at the Academy of Music from Nov. 2-13. 

theater shows
Nick Cartell as Jean Valjean in ‘Les Mis’Matthew/Kimmel Cultural Campus

240 S. Broad St., kimmelculturalcampus.org

 

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