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Classics heading to regional theatres this fall

Classics heading to regional theatres this fall

In last week's fall arts preview, Los Angeles Times theatre critic Charles McNulty said he expects classic works to provide our region's most astonishimg moments at the theatre. Among the plays he highlighted were Horton Foote's, The Trip to the Bountiful, now playing at the Ahmanson Theatre through Nov. 2, and Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw, heading to the Mark Taper Forum in November.

But Los Angeles isn’t the only theatre town hoping to break new theatrical ground by remounting a few oldies, but goodies. Consider the following offerings from some of our nation’s most esteemed regional theatres:

The Heidi Chronicles at the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
This now-classic coming of age tale from the late 1980s won the Pulitzer Prize for its funny, in-your-face exploration of one woman’s “success and failures in work, friendship, romance and motherhood.” The show runs through Oct. 26.

Steel Magnolias at the Alliance Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia)
“The quintessential story of family, friendship, and steely Southern sisterhood” runs Oct. 22-Nov. 9 and features a cast of theatre and TV veterans: Becky Ann Baker (Good People) as Clairee, Annie Potts (Pippin) as M’Lynn and Mary Pat Gleason (Guiding Light) as Ouiser.

William Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra at McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, New Jersey)
Award-winning director and playwright Emily Mann, who also serves as the artistic director for the McCarter Theatre Center, helms a “sizzling production … [about] two legendary lovers whose desires shaped the destiny of the world.” Runs through Oct. 5

Our Town at Kansas City Repertory Theatre (Kansas City, Missouri)
Director David Cromer, who “has essentially made a career of staging and restaging [Our Town],” launches Kansas City Rep’s 50th anniversary season with his version of this classic, Pulitzer Prize winner. Runs through Sept. 28.

BONUS: More prominent classics coming to the Ahmanson Theatre in winter 2014 and fall 2015

Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit (Dec. 9, 2014 – Jan. 18, 2015)
Researching for his new novel, Charles Condomine invites the implausible medium Madame Arcati to his house for a séance. While consumed in a trance, Madame Arcati unwittingly summons the ghost of Charles’ dead wife Elvira. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira soon makes a play to reclaim her husband, much to the chagrin of Charles’ new wife Ruth. Now if he wants his latest marriage to stand a GHOST of a chance, he'd better conjure up a solution quickly. One husband, two feuding wives and a whisper of mischief in the air — who will win in Coward’s unworldly comedy?

The Sound of Music (September 2015)
Producer Ken Gentry for NETworks Presentations, in collaboration with Ted Chapin, president and executive director of Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company, will launch a brand-new tour of The Sound of Music, directed by Jack O'Brien, at the Ahmanson Theatre in September 2015. This lavish new production will then tour North America for multiple seasons, playing multi-week and weeklong engagements. Read the press release here!

What theatre classics are you looking forward to this season, either in L.A. or across the nation? Tell us in the comments section!