1 Dad's Garage Theatre kicked off previous seasons with such sex-and-movie-themed musicals as The Rocky Horror Show and Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical. This year, director Kate Warner and her cast take a break to toke up with Reefer Madness (Sept. 22-Nov. 4). Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney add songs and dance to the notorious, hilarious 1936 cautionary tale about the insidious power of "Mary Jane" to turn upstanding youth into gibbering psychos.
2 Legendary stage and screen actor Theodore Bikel (an Oscar nominee who's also played Fiddler on the Roof's Tevye more than 2,000 times over 38 years on Broadway) will star in the Southeastern premiere of The Disputation (Sept. 11-12) at Jewish Theatre of the South. Set in Spain in 1263, the play depicts a debate between a rabbi (Bikel) and a Dominican friar (Chris Kayser), with the fate of the nation's Jews hanging in the balance.
3 The Center for Puppetry Arts presents another one of its new, neat-o, adults-only Halloween shows, The Ghastly Dreadfuls' Compendium of Graveyard Tales and Other Curiosities (Oct. 11-29), created by Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines, the masterminds behind the 2004 hit Avanti, Da Vinci!
4 A prudish young woman in Victorian England discovers her mother (Patricia Hodges) was a high-priced madam in George Bernard Shaw's classic Mrs. Warren's Profession. Alliance artistic director Susan V. Booth directs a cast of out-of-town actors along with such locals as James Donadio and Jason Loughlin on the theater's main stage (Sept. 27-Oct. 22).
5 At 7 Stages, Beckett's Memories (Sept. 14-Oct. 8) marks a reunion for director Walter Asmus and actor/artistic director Del Hamilton, who collaborated on the terrific Waiting for Godot in 2004. Expect definitive interpretations of Beckett when Hamilton stars in the one-man play Krapp's Last Tape and Marty Fehsenfeld performs in Rockaby.
6 The fall's best "date show" promises to be Horizon Theatre's The Thing About Men (Sept. 15-Nov. 12), a romantic musical from the creators of the playhouse's hit I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Jeff McKerley plays a philandering ad exec who discovers his wife (Sarah Onsager) may have found a soul mate in a bohemian barista (David Howard).
7 Three generations of Puerto Rican-American soldiers wrestle with the legacy of the wars in Iraq, Vietnam and Korea in playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes' Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, directed by associate artistic director Kent Gash on the Alliance Theatre Hertz Stage (Sept. 8-Oct. 1).
8 Theatrical Outfit delves into the history of "the city too busy to hate" in Waiting to be Invited (Nov. 1-Dec. 3) by former Atlantan S.M. Shephard-Massat. Four women attempt to be the first African-Americans to dine at one of Atlanta's most famous downtown department-store restaurants following desegregation in 1961.
9 Synchronicity Performance Group's national premiere of Voices Underwater (Nov. 3-Dec. 3) takes another perspective on the South's legacy of slavery. An interracial couple inherits an Alabama plantation house, where rising floodwaters cause the ghosts of the past to collide with the present.
10 Out of Hand Theater's lively inner circle of artist/performers Ariel de Man, Adam Fristoe, Justin Welborn and Maia Knispel star in Peter Barnes' Nobody Here But Us Chickens (Oct. 28-Nov. 19)‚ a triptych of highly physical short plays about disabilities.
11 Finally, Dad's Garage Theatre rings in the holiday season with the off-Broadway hit, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant (Dec. 1-23), which reportedly resembles a cross between A Charlie Brown Christmas and Dianetics.
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