The Ultimate Guide to the Best Fall and Spring Theater Productions

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The world of theater is a captivating realm where stories come to life, emotions are laid bare, and creativity knows no bounds. As we step into the vibrant seasons of fall and spring, the theater scene is once again set to dazzle and amaze audiences with an array of spectacular productions. From Broadway revivals to thought-provoking new plays, the theater world is brimming with promise. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore some of the most exciting productions hitting the stage this season, promising an unforgettable experience for theater enthusiasts.

Dig: A Tale of Unlikely Connection

Dates: Sept. 2 – Oct. 22 Venue: 59E59 Theaters

Kicking off our theatrical journey is “Dig,” a poignant play by Theresa Rebeck. This production tells the compelling story of an unlikely bond between the owner of a struggling plant shop and a woman burdened by the weight of her past. Directed by Rebeck herself, “Dig” is a heartfelt exploration of human connection, resilience, and the beauty that can sprout even in the most unexpected places.

Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors

Dates: Sept. 4 – Jan. 7 Venue: New World Stages

Prepare for a spine-tingling twist on the classic tale of Dracula in “Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors.” This unique comedic adaptation, written by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen, introduces us to a pansexual Gen-Z Dracula navigating an existential crisis. With a stellar cast led by James Daly as Dracula, expect a rollercoaster ride filled with gender-bending humor, gothic charm, and a dash of absurdity that will leave you howling with laughter.

A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Performances begin Sept. 7 Venue: Music Box Theater

Leslie Odom Jr. takes center stage in “Purlie Victorious,” a revival of Ossie Davis’s 1961 comedy. Odom stars as Purlie Victorious Judson, a traveling preacher who returns to his hometown in Georgia to challenge the oppressive white plantation owner Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee. Directed by Kenny Leon, this production promises a spirited exploration of courage, resistance, and the enduring power of hope.

Swing State: A Mirror to America’s Polarization

Dates: Sept. 8 – Oct. 21 Venue: Minetta Lane Theater

Rebecca Gilman’s “Swing State” emerges as a timely and powerful reflection of America’s political landscape. The play unfolds in a small town, where the recently widowed Peg inadvertently sparks a feud, shedding light on the deep-seated political polarization in the nation. Directed by Robert Falls, this Audible Theater production is hailed as one of the great American post-Covid plays, delivering a thought-provoking narrative that resonates with our times.

Mary Gets Hers: A Tale of Resilience in 10th-Century Germany

Dates: Sept. 11 – Oct. 7 Venue: MCC Theater

“Mary Gets Hers” transports us to plagued 10th-century Germany, where an orphan named Mary fights to protect her chastity. Inspired by a 1,000-year-old comedy-drama, this new play by Emma Horwitz offers a fresh perspective on timeless themes of survival and tenacity. Directed by Josiah Davis and produced by The Playwrights Realm, this production promises to be a captivating blend of history, drama, and inspiration.

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding: Secrets Unveiled

Dates: Sept. 12 – Oct. 29 Venue: Samuel J. Friedman Theater

Step into the vibrant world of “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding,” a new play by Jocelyn Bioh. Set in a Harlem hair salon, the play delves into the lives of West African immigrant women who share their dreams, secrets, and doubts. Directed by Whitney White, this Manhattan Theater Club production shines a light on the power of community, identity, and the stories that bind us together.

Run Bambi Run: A Musical True Crime Saga

Dates: Sept. 13 – Oct. 22 Venue: Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes and playwright Eric Simonson join forces in “Run Bambi Run.” This musical is based on the true story of Lawrencia Bembenek, a Milwaukee police officer convicted of a heinous crime she vehemently denied committing. With new songs by Gano, this production promises a thrilling journey through crime, escape, and the unwavering pursuit of truth. Directed by Mark Clements, “Run Bambi Run” is a spellbinding tale of justice and redemption.

Melissa Etheridge: My Window – A Musical Memoir

Dates: Sept. 14 – Nov. 19 Venue: Circle in the Square Theater

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge invites you into her world in “Melissa Etheridge: My Window.” This mesmerizing show takes you on a journey from her Kansas childhood to her rise in the male-dominated rock industry, all while weaving in her personal experiences, including the heartbreaking loss of her son. Directed by Amy Tinkham, Etheridge’s almost-solo performance, with a roadie character in tow, offers a unique blend of music, humor, and poignant storytelling.

The Refuge Plays: A Saga of Seven Decades

Dates: Sept. 14 – Nov. 12 Venue: Laura Pels Theater

Nathan Alan Davis takes us on an epic journey spanning seven decades in “The Refuge Plays.” This Roundabout Theater Company presentation, in association with New York Theater Workshop, introduces us to a Black family whose destiny is foretold by a ghostly visit. With a stellar cast including Nicole Ari Parker, Daniel J. Watts, and Ngozi Jane Anyanwu, this production directed by Patricia McGregor is a mesmerizing exploration of legacy, love, and the passage of time.

Gutenberg! The Musical! – A Hilarious History Remix

Dates: Sept. 15 – Jan. 28 Venue: James Earl Jones Theater

Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells reunite in “Gutenberg! The Musical!” This production takes a hilariously inaccurate spin on history as the duo portrays aspiring and inept musical theater creators attempting to stage their show about the inventor of the printing press. Directed by Alex Timbers, this musical promises uproarious laughter and a delightful dose of history, albeit with a twist.

Billy Strayhorn: Something to Live For – A Jazz Legend’s Tale

Dates: Sept. 19 – Oct. 11 Venue: Pittsburgh Public Theater

Delve into the life and music of jazz legend Billy Strayhorn in “Billy Strayhorn: Something to Live For.” Directed by Kent Gash, this new musical traces Strayhorn’s journey from a humble upbringing in Pittsburgh to his collaboration with luminaries like Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. Darius de Haas takes the stage as Strayhorn, and with a nine-piece jazz band conducted by Matthew Whitaker, this production promises a captivating exploration of music, identity, and the civil rights era.

Merrily We Roll Along: A Journey in Reverse

Dates: Sept. 19 – March 24 Venue: Hudson Theater

Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez shine in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s “Merrily We Roll Along.” This unique production unfolds in reverse chronological order, allowing us to witness the fractured relationships of later life before the starry-eyed optimism of youth. Directed by Maria Friedman, this revival breathes new life into a Broadway classic and has all the makings of a smash hit.

Ulysses: An Epic Reimagined

Dates: Sept. 21 – Oct. 1 Venue: Fisher Center at Bard

Elevator Repair Service takes on the monumental task of adapting James Joyce’s epic novel, “Ulysses,” for the stage. While not encompassing the entire text, this production offers a captivating selection of episodes from the novel, using a fictional academic panel discussion as its starting point. With a cast featuring Scott Shepherd, Vin Knight, and Maggie Hoffman, and directed by John Collins, “Ulysses” promises a unique and thought-provoking theatrical experience.

The Wiz: A Magical Journey with an All-Black Cast

Tour begins Sept. 23 Venue: Hippodrome Theater

“The Wiz” returns with an all-Black cast, reimagining L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s book in a dazzling production. Starring Alan Mingo Jr. as the Wiz, Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy, and Deborah Cox as Glinda, this production embarks on a national tour before heading to Broadway in spring 2024. With a book by William F. Brown and additional material by Amber Ruffin, “The Wiz” combines timeless storytelling with a vibrant celebration of culture and identity.

Here We Are: Sondheim’s Surreal Musical

Dates: Sept. 28 – Jan. 7 Venue: The Shed’s Griffin Theater

Sondheim fans are in for a treat with “Here We Are,” a long-gestating musical by the late master himself, in collaboration with playwright David Ives and director Joe Mantello. This surreal musical is adapted from two Luis Buñuel films and promises a journey through strange and surreal encounters. Featuring a talented cast including Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannavale, and Amber Gray, “Here We Are” invites audiences into a world of enchanting absurdity.

All the Devils Are Here: A Dive into Shakespearean Villainy

Dates: Sept. 29 – Jan. 7 Venue: DR2 Theater

Prepare to be mesmerized by Patrick Page as he embodies more than a dozen of Shakespeare’s iconic villains in “All the Devils Are Here.” Directed by Simon Godwin, this solo performance offers a unique exploration of the motivations behind Shakespearean villainy. Page’s transformative acting is a sight to behold, promising an unforgettable evening of theater.

Druid O’Casey: A Celebration of Irish Playwright Sean O’Casey

Dates: Oct. 4 – Oct. 14 Venue: N.Y.U. Skirball Center

Celebrate the legacy of Irish playwright Sean O’Casey with “Druid O’Casey.” This production presents O’Casey’s Dublin trilogy, including “The Plough and the Stars,” “The Shadow of a Gunman,” and “Juno and the Paycock.” Directed by Garry Hynes, this marathon of plays is a powerful exploration of Irish history, class struggle, and resilience.

Stereophonic: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Journey through Stardom

Dates: Oct. 6 – Nov. 19 Venue: Playwrights Horizons

Stereophonic” takes us on a rock ‘n’ roll journey to the mid-1970s, where a rock band recording a new album suddenly finds themselves catapulted to stardom. Written by David Adjmi, with music by Will Butler, this production explores the dynamics of fame, friendship, and the music industry. Directed by Daniel Aukin, “Stereophonic” promises a toe-tapping, head-banging good time.

I Can Get It for You Wholesale: A Shameless Comedy

Dates: Oct. 10 – Dec. 3 Venue: Classic Stage Company

Santino Fontana stars in the revival of “I Can Get It for You Wholesale,” a musical that takes us back to the shamelessly corrupt world of a Depression-era shipping clerk. This production features a revised book by Jerome Weidman, with music and lyrics by Harold Rome. Directed by Trip Cullman and with a stellar cast, including Adam Chanler-Berat and Judy Kuhn, “I Can Get It for You Wholesale” promises a hilarious and satirical take on ambition and success.

Poor Yella Rednecks: A Vibrant Fusion of Cultures

Dates: Oct. 10 – Nov. 26 Venue: New York City Center Stage I

Qui Nguyen, known for his unique blend of Vietnamese heritage and pop culture, presents “Poor Yella Rednecks.” This production follows a Vietnamese family striving to adapt to life in Arkansas, blending elements of struggle, drama, Kung Fu, and hip-hop. Directed by May Adrales, this co-commissioned play by South Coast Repertory and Manhattan Theater Club offers a captivating exploration of identity, family, and the pursuit of the American Dream.

Sabbath’s Theater: A Hilarious and Raucous Ride

Dates: To Be Announced Venue: To Be Announced

Philip Roth’s raunchy and hilarious 1995 novel comes to life in “Sabbath’s Theater,” adapted for the stage by John Turturro and Ariel Levy. Turturro also takes on the role of Mickey Sabbath, a debaucherous womanizer grappling with the meaning of life and haunted by his mother’s ghost. This production promises a raucous and thought-provoking exploration of desire, mortality, and the absurdity of existence.

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The world of theater is a treasure trove of storytelling, emotion, and creativity, and this season promises a wealth of unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re drawn to classic revivals, thought-provoking dramas, or musical journeys, the theater scene has something for everyone. Be sure to mark your calendars and secure your tickets to witness these exceptional productions that will leave you spellbound, enlightened, and thoroughly entertained. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the magic of live theater this fall and spring.

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