Lila Coogan plays the title role in the national tour of “Anastasia.” (Courtesy Evan Zimmerman)

Fall 2019 Arts Preview: Theater

Classic and contemporary stories come to stages across the Bay

The 39 Steps: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley continues its 50th season with the Olivier-winning high-speed spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie classic. Through Sept. 15. $30-$100. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View,

The Flick: Shotgun Players stage Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning dramedy about three underpaid workers in a run-down move theater. Aug 29-Sept. 22. $7-$40. Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley,

Murder for Two: Center REPertory Company mounts the musical comedy murder mystery in which two actors play 13 roles. Aug. 30-Oct. 6. $39-$44. Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek,

Anything Goes: Hillbarn Theatre opens its season with the Tony-winning maritime musical with famous music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Aug 30-Sept. 15. $37-$60. 1285 E. Hillsdale Blvd., Foster City,

Titus Andronicus: Theatre Lunatico’s version of Shakespeare’s bloody revenge tragedy considers the lens of political crisis in the world today. Aug. 30-Sept. 29. $15-$25. La Val’s Subterranean Theater, 1834 Euclid Ave., Berkeley,

Anastasia: The musical based on the 1997 animated movie, with a book by Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, tells the story of the youngest surviving member of Romanov royalty. Sept. 3-29. $56-$226. Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor St., S.F.,

From left, Quincy Shaindlin, Kristen Walker and Michael Champlin appear in Los Altos Stage Co.’s “Admissions.” (Courtesy Richard Mayer)

Admissions: Los Altos Stage Co. presents the West Coast premiere of the Drama Desk-winning satire by Joshua Harmon that looks at “privilege, power and the perils of whiteness.” Sept. 5-Sept. 29. $20-$38. Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos,

Exit Strategy: Ike Holter’s examination of Chicago’s failing public school system opens Aurora Theatre Company’s 28th season. Sept. 5-Sept. 29. $35-$70. Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison St., Berkeley,

San Francisco Fringe Festival: Exit Theatre’s 28th annual non-curated festival of short theater pieces includes offerings by local and visiting artists and performers. Sept. 6-14. $12-$16. Exit Multiplex, 156 Eddy St., S.F.,

“Unhinged” takes guests into previously undiscovered areas of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. (Courtesy photo)

Unhinged: In the “immersive” walk-through experience, visitors are invited to explore the dark hallways of the cursed Winchester Estate, spaces previously unseen on public tours. Sept. 6-Nov. 2. $44. Winchester Mystery House, 525 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose,

Knives in Hens: Anton’s Well Theater Company stages the Bay Area premiere of David Harrower’s play of a young woman discovering the power of language, and her own power. Sept. 7-Sept. 29. $17-$20. Brooklyn Preserve, 1433 12th Ave., Oakland,

Below Sycamore: Shelton Theater premieres the play by Daniel Medina and 3858, which follows two young East L.A. Latinos as they fall into the world of drugs and street hustle. Sept 9-Oct. 5.$40-$50. Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter St., S.F.,

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Word for Word’s atmospheric production is based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem in which a sailor relates his harrowing experiences after a long voyage. Sept. 11-Oct. 12. $20-$58. Z Space, 450 Florida St., S.F.,

From left, Yurié Collins, Sharon Omi, Julian Cihi and Jo Mei appear in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s “The Great Wave.” (Courtesy Cheshire Isaacs/Berkeley Rep)

The Great Wave: Berkeley Repertory Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of Francis Turnly’s geopolitical and family drama spanning 20 years and set in Japan and North Korea. Sept. 12-Oct. 27. $32.50-$97. Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St., Berkeley,

From left, Leigh Rondon-Davis, Christell Lewis and David Everett Moore appear in Crowded Fire’s “Inked Baby.” (Courtesy Cheshire Isaacs)

Inked Baby: Crowded Fire stages Christina Anderson’s drama about a troubled married couple that enlists the wife’s sister to help them conceive a child, while contamination begins to affect the town where they live. Sept. 12-Oct. 5. $15-$35. Potrero Stage, 1695 18th St., S.F.,

Palo Alto Players’ “Bright Star” features Elizabeth Santana and Frankie Mulcahy. (Courtesy photo)

Bright Star: Palo Alto Players open their 89th season with the Peninsula premiere of the musical set in the South in the 1920s-40s and featuring a bluegrass score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. Sept. 13-29. $27-$57. Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto,

From left, Alyssa Kim, Luke Jennings Ken Boswell and Rebecca Brownson appear “Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Crown Jewel” at Tabard Theatre. (Courtesy Edmond Kwong/ImageWurx)

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Crown Jewel: The original family-friendly musical follows the fun adventures of the famous detective who recruits urchins to help him crack a case that could affect the future of the Britain. Sept. 13-Oct. 6. $38-$48. Tabard Theatre, 29 N. San Pedro St., San Jose,

Cutting Ball Theater’s adaptation of “Miss Julie” stars Stacy Ross and Phil Wong. (Courtesy Estela Hernandez)

Free for All-A New Miss Julie for a New World: Bay Area favorites Stacy Ross and Phil Wong appear in Cutting Ball Theater’s premiere of Megan Cohen’s “bombastic and whimsical take” on August Strindberg’s naturalistic classic about a young aristocrat and her father’s valet. Sept. 19-Oct. 20. $15-$50. 277 Taylor St., S.F.,

Caroline, Or Change: Ray of Light Theatre presents the 1963-set, sung-through musical by Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner about a white Jewish family and the African-American maid who works for them. Sept. 13-Oct. 5. $15-$40. Victoria Theatre, 16th St., S.F.,

Macbeth: California Shakespeare Theater closes its 45th season with a new production of the tragedy starring Rey Lucas in the title role. Sept. 18-Oct. 13. $20-$94. Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda,

Top Girls: American Conservatory Theater opens its season with Caryl Churchill’s modern classic set in 1980s England about a working woman’s ascent to the executive suite. Sept. 19-Oct. 13. $15-$110. Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., S.F.,

Ryan Hill, left, and Jordan María Don appear in foolsFury’s “Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man.” (Courtesy Lorenz Angelo Gonzales)

Dionysus Was Such A Nice Man: San Francisco performance ensemble foolsFURY offers the comic take on the story of Oedipus told from the perspective of the family of shepherds who raised him. Sept. 20-Oct. 20. $18-$50. Joe Goode Annex, 401 Alabama St., S.F.,

The Blaylock family (from left, Alison Whismore, Cheryl Smith, Christine Macomber, Amy Meyers) raise hell in New Conservatory Theatre Center’s “This Side of Crazy. (Courtesy Lois Tema)

This Side of Crazy: LGBTQ-championing New Conservatory Theatre Center begins its season with a premiere by cult phenomenon Del Shores, a campy comedy about the adventures of a messed up Southern family. Sept. 20-Oct. 20. $25-$55. Decker Theatre, 25 Van Ness Ave., S.F.,

Tovah Feldshuh plays Leona Helmsley at Feinstein’s at the Nikko. (Courtesy Feinstein’s)

Tovah Feldshuh-Tovah Is Leona!: The TV and screen actress apppears in a cabaret show with highlights from a new Broadway-bound musical “Queen of Mean” based on the biography of Leona Helmsley by Ransdell Pierson. 8 p.m. Sept. 20-21. $50-$90. Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.,

San Francisco Playhouse’s “Dance Nation” features, from left, Mohana Rajagopal, Lauren Spencer, Julia Brothers and Krystle Piamonte. (Courtesy Donny Gilliland)

Dance Nation: San Francisco Playhouse presents Clare Barron’s award-winning play set in the contemporary world of pre-teen competitive dancers. Sept. 24-Nov. 9. $35-$125. Kensington Park Hotel, 450 Post St., S.F.,

Hot Mikado: The 42nd Street Moon show based on “The Mikado” amps up Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta with a multicultural cast performing a jazz interpretation of the score. Sept. 25-Oct. 3. $31-$72. Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson St., S.F.,

“The Other Mozart” starring Sofi Lambert at Hammer Theatre Center tells the story of Amadeus’ prodigal sister. (Courtesy Little Matchstick Factory)

The Other Mozart: Sylvia Milo’s award-winning production tells the true story of keyboard virtuoso and composer Nannerl Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s prodigy sister. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26-27. $25-$35. Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose,

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: A mix of historical fact and invention, the musical comedy uses the story of the controversial seventh U.S. president to investigate the attraction and terrors of American populism. Sept. 27-Oct. 27. $30-$55. Custom Made Theater Co., 533 Sutter St., S.F.,

Dan Hiatt plays the title character in “Mark Twain’s River of Song,” presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Mark Twain’s River of Song: Dan Hiatt stars as the master storyteller in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s West Coast premiere of the musical that charts a journey down the Mississippi. Oct. 2-27. $30-$100. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View.,

Theatre of Yugen takes on Edgar Allan Poe’s scary stories in “Puppets and Poe.” (Courtesy photo)

Puppets and Poe: Theatre of Yugen’s scary show, using “post consumer material puppets,” is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s macabre poetry and short stories. Oct. 3-Nov. 2. $15-$45. Theatre of Yugen, 2840 Mariposa St., S.F.,

The Daughters: SF Playhouse stages works-in-development in its Sandbox series; this one, by Patricia Colter, follows a 60-year journey from the first secret meeting of the first lesbian social club in San Francisco to the closing of its last lesbian bar. Oct. 9-Nov. 2 $30-$50. Creativity Theater, 221 Fourth St., S.F.,

The Chinese Lady: Magic Theatre stages the West Coast premiere of Lloyd Suh’s play inspired by the true story of the first female Chinese immigrant in the U.S., brought from Beijing as a teen. Oct. 9-Nov. 3. $20-$100. Building D, Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., S.F.,

Promoters are billing Terror Vault in the San Francisco Mint as a “go to” Halloween destination. (Courtesy Jose A Guzman Colon)

Terror Vault: The “completely terrifying haunted attraction” is an interactive experience combining elements of theater, special effects, haunted mazes and escape rooms within San Francisco’s historic Mint building. Oct. 10-Nov. 10. $62. 88 Fifth St., S.F.,

Unholy Trinity-A Lovecraft Triptych: Writer-director Stuart Bousel adapts for the stage horror stories by H.P. Lovecraft, known as the eartly 20th century “master of weird fiction.” Oct. 10-Nov. 2. EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy St., S.F.,

The Simon & Garfunkel Story: The concert-style theater show chronicles the journey of the hitmaking folk-rock duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. 8 p.m. Oct. 11, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 12. $56-$226. Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor St., S.F.,

Maurice Hines, with DIVA Jazz, appears at the Venetian Room. (Courtesy Bay Area Cabaret)

Maurice Hines: Bay Area Cabaret hosts the dancer in “Tappin’ thru Life,” backed by the all-female Diva Jazz Orchestra and his tap protégés The Manzari Brothers. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13. $75. Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., S.F.,

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment: The skating spectacular showcases characters from “Cars,” “Toy Story 3,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Frozen.” Oct. 17-20 at Oakland Arena; Oct. 23-27 at SAP Center, San Jose, $15-$95.

“Nine,” the award-winning musical, opens at 3Below Theaters in San Jose. (Courtesy Mark & Tracy Photography)

Nine: Guggenheim Entertainment presents the Tony Award-winning musical about a film director who summons nine women from his past, present and future based on Federico Fellini’s winning semi-autobiographical film “8 1⁄2.” Oct 17-Nov 10. $36-$54. 3Below Theaters & Lounge, 288 S. Second St., San Jose,

ReOrient 2019 Festival of Short Plays: Celebrating its 20th year of presenting works from or about the Middle East, Golden Thread offers seven diverse works culled from 108 submissions from 13 countries. Oct. 18–Nov. 17. $15-$38. Potrero Stage, 1695 18th St., S.F.,

The 50th anniversary tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” comes to San Jose. (Courtesy Evan Zimmerman)

Jesus Christ Superstar: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical set during the last weeks of the life of Jesus is on a 50th anniversary tour. Oct. 22-Oct. 27. $43-$153. Center for the Performing Arts, 255 S. Almaden Blvd., San Jose,

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Opening an exclusive West Coast run, the magical two-part show is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, the first official Harry Potter story for the stage and based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling. Oct. 23-May 17, 2020. $59-$199. Curran, 445 Geary St., S.F.,

Testmatch: The time-traveling premiere by Kate Atwell centering on cricket is set in 2019 at a match between women players from India and England, and in 1800, among British administrators in colonial India. Oct. 24-Dec. 8. $30-$85. American Conservatory Theater’s Strand Theater, 1127 Market St., S.F.,

Gypsy: Bay Area Musicals serves up the show by Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents loosely based on the memoirs of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee. Nov. 9-Dec. 8. $129 for four-show subscription. Alcazar Theatre, 650 Geary St., S.F.,


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