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French Tries, by Romanian Eugene Ionesco, Come Alive


'NEXT WAVE DOWN UNDER'
Opens October 2
Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue and 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100

BAM hosts a month of arty Aussies, a program that includes two major theater productions. Company B Belvoir and Black Swan Theatre mount Cloudstreet, a five-hour epic about two families sharing a crumbling house in post-WW II Australia. Based on the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, Nigel Jamieson's The Theft of Sita is a massive shadow-puppet play about environmental destruction and corporate greed.

Thinker and dramaturg Ionesco finds glory downtown.
courtesy Marie-France Ionesco
Thinker and dramaturg Ionesco finds glory downtown.


WONDER OF THE WORLD
Opens October 2
Manhattan Theatre Club, 131 West 55th Street, 399-3030

Fuddy Meers author David Lindsay-Abaire opens MTC's season with Wonder of the World, a comedy set in Niagara Falls. Christopher Ashley directs, Sarah Jessica Parker stars. Television fans might recognize Parker from her starring role on Square Pegs.


RAVE MOM
Opens October 4
P.S. 122, 150 First Avenue, 477-5288

Ann Magnuson's solo show tracks the adventures of a "been-there, done-that" single woman after she does Ecstasy for the first time. A pill-popping picaresque from the post-Power of Pussy performer.


MAMMA MIA!
Opens October 5
The Winter Garden Theatre, Broadway and 50th Street, 563-5544

The first new show in the Winter Garden in 18 years. ABBA's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus have turned a batch of their old hits into a stage musical set in a tavern on a mythical Greek island. Take a chance on it?


THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
Opens October 10
The Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster Street, 358-3657

Target Margin titles its 11th season "Target Margin Goes to the Opera." First up, director David Herskovits's take on Beaumarchais's The Marriage of Figaro, the 1784 play that inspired Mozart's opera. Expect TM's ™-ed reconstructive stagecraft.


LISTEN HOUDINI
Opens October 18
Axis Theater, 1 Sheridan Square, 807-9300

Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle duke it out over spiritualism and séances. Presented in Axis's suitably eerie, sci-fi theater space.


MANDRAGORA
Opens October 24
Here, 145 Sixth Avenue, 647-0202

Obie-winning puppeteer Basil Twist, dragster Mr. David, and opera singer Robbie Stafford collaborate on a performance piece, part of a series of puppet-based events at Here. Also featured this fall: puppeteers Kevin Augustine and Tim LeGasse, as well as shadow theater from Chinese Theatre Works. If only Mr. Dressup's Casey and Finnegan would make an appearance . . .


THE GLORY OF LIVING
Opens October 30
MCC Theater, 120 West 28th Street, 727-7765

Rebecca Gilman's next New York production, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, centers on an abused teenager and her older, ex-con husband. Maybe this new play will be more artful than Gilman's heavy-handed Spinning Into Butter and Boy Gets Girl.


KING LEAR
Opens October 31
Brooklyn Academy of Music, Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100

Jan Lauwers won a 2000 Obie award for Morning Song. His Brussels-based Needcompany returns to BAM with their avant-Belgian production of King Lear, a play that'd send anyone in search of a heavy beer.


ELECTRA+OEDIPUS REX
Opens November 1
Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, 752-3015

Director Tadashi Suzuki, developer of the Suzuki method, mounts productions of two Greek classics. Suzuki himself will speak after the November 3rd and 4th shows.


ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINESE AMERICA . . .
Opens November 7
Brooklyn Academy of Music, Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100

Musician Fred Ho, playwright Ruth Margraff, and martial arts choreographer José Figueroa collaborate on a jazz-based Chinese opera about the Shaolin Secret Scrolls. Renegade monks and avant-garde battle scenes.


[SIC]
Opens November 11
Soho Rep, 46 Walker Street, 479-7979

Soho Rep, which won an Obie cash grant last spring, opens its new season with Melissa James Gibson's cleverly titled comedy about three wunderkind who ain't so kind anymore.


ROADSIDE
Opens November 13
The York Theatre, 619 Lexington Avenue, 239-6200

Set in the Old West, Roadside is a new musical about the travails of "a wagonload of kissin', punchin', lovin', cussin' gypsies"—which sounds suspiciously like the Voice's newsroom. Music by Harvey Schmidt, book and lyrics by Tom Jones (presumably not the Welsh pop star or Henry Fielding's 18th-century foundling).


DRUMMER WANTED
Opens November 15
P.S. 122, 150 First Avenue, 477-5288

This time let's call it "the Theater of Re-Inflection." Downtown (and Ben Brantley) fave Richard Maxwell returns to P.S. 122, with the story of a loner drummer who lives at home with his mother.


TRUE LOVE
Opens November 15
The Zipper, 336 West 37th Street, 239-6200

The Charles L. Mee fall continues. After First Love kicks off NYTW's season, True Love premieres the new Zipper Theater on West 37th Street. Mee part-three starts November 30, when BAM (Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100) offers up Big Love, an adaptation of Aeschylus's The Suppliant Women.


MIND GAMES, TOO
Opens November 21
The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street, 239-6200

As a onetime audience participant, I can attest to "mentalist" Marc Salem's considerable powers of suggestion. He returns this fall with a new show of mind-reading feats.


HOMEBODY/KABUL
Opens November 30
New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, 239-6200

Cheek by Jowl director Declan Donnellan helms Tony Kushner's next NYC premiere, the story of an Englishwoman who mysteriously disappears into Afghanistan, and her daughter's desperate attempt to find her. Will probably not feature Taliban wet T-shirt contests.


THE SWAN TOOL
Opens December 5
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 255-5793

I've never seen the work of multimedia performer Miranda July. But I'll be attending her Kitchen show based solely on its advance PR, which describes the piece as "the existential dilemma of an insurance agent and her obsessive attempt to bury herself in the garden."

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