Philadelphia Theatre Company gets their season going with John Logan’s Tony Award-winning drama Red. Focusing on abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, the two-actor production stars Broadway vet Stephen Rowe and Haley Joel Osment, who is best known for his Oscar-nominated performance as the Philadelphia boy who saw dead people in The Sixth Sense.
Oct. 14-Nov. 13. $25-$59. Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard sts. philadelphiatheatrecompany.org
Act a Lady
Azuka Theatre opens the city’s newest performance space with its production of Act a Lady, a delightful comedy by one of America’s slyest and most engaging playwrights, Jordan Harrison. Harrison’s charming story concerns a small Prohibition-era town that produces a play in which the men of the town dress as women. Blurring the lines between gender as well as art and life, Lady is a hilarious and surprisingly touching play that celebrates “the woman in every man.” Azuka’s staging debuts the new 100-seat theater at the First Baptist Church on 17th and Sansom streets.
Nov. 3-20. $15-$27. First Baptist Church, 17th and Sansom sts. 215.733.0255. azukatheatre.org
If big, blockbuster Broadway musicals are your bag, you can’t beat the Academy of Music’s Billy Elliot, which features Elton John’s finest musical score and 45 cast members. The sweet and sprightly choreographed show about a boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer will enchant even the most cynical of theatergoers.
Nov. 16-27. $20-$150. Academy of Music, Broad and Locust sts. 215.893.1999. kimmelcenter.org/broadway
Dear culture vultures: For months we scoured the city to bring you the best of what Philly has to offer this season, and we think we’ve done a damn good job of bringing something for everyone. Into art? You should know that curators and artists everywhere are doing their best to take art out of their galleries and into your community. Want theater? We found a scrappy, independent circus troupe whose stunts you should never try at home. There’s also a roundup of what’s on tap for our favorite stages. If comedy is your thing, we've got a list of the season's best events (like a tribute to the late Mitch Hedberg, he of the famous one-line zingers). Music? Check. Dance? The Russian ballet awaits you on. We even examine the state of storytelling, which, of course, is the world's oldest favorite pastime yet somehow a "novelty" in today's world. Enjoy all this and more!
Calendar: Sept. 30-Oct. 7