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Fall Arts Preview

10 shows that add up to a vibrant fall for theater-goers

Christopher Rivas in "The Real James Bond . . . was Dominican," to be presented by ArtsEmerson Nov. 8-12.Laura Bustillos Jaquez

ANGELS IN AMERICA: PERESTROIKA Having collaborated in May on a riveting production of “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches,” the first part of Tony Kushner’s epic masterwork about AIDS, Reagan-era politics, and gay life in the 1980s, the New York-based Bedlam theater company and Central Square Theater team up for Part Two: “Angels in America: Perestroika.” Directed by Eric Tucker. Co-production by Bedlam and Central Square Theater. Through Sept. 10, “Millennium Approaches” will be presented. Then, from Sept. 14 to Oct. 8, “Perestroika” will be presented. For those who wish to see both parts of the play on the same day, there will be matinee performances of “Millennium Approaches” and evening performances of “Perestroika” on Sept. 23, Sept. 30, and Oct. 7. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 617-576-9278,


THE FULL MONTY: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL Unemployed, cash-strapped steelworkers in Buffalo (a change from the Sheffield, England, setting of the original 1997 film) devise a striptease act featuring … themselves. With music and lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by the late Terrence McNally, “The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical” is directed and choreographed by Gerry McIntyre. Sept. 26-Oct. 8. North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly. 978-232-7200,

From left: Jae Woo, Valyn Lyric Turner, and Lorraine Victoria Kanyike, who'll appear in "DIASPORA!" at New Repertory Theatre.Ken Yotsukura

DIASPORA! In the premiere of this play by Phaedra Michelle Scott, a writer named Sunny (Lorraine Victoria Kanyike) sets out to explore her lineage and finds herself transported through time, back to Boston in the 1950s, when civil rights giant Martin Luther King Jr. was pursuing a doctorate in theology at Boston University and preaching at Roxbury’s Twelfth Baptist Church. Directed by Pascale Florestal. Sept. 12-Oct. 15. New Repertory Theatre. “DIASPORA!” will run in repertory with a production of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic “A Raisin in the Sun,” which will run until Oct. 1, directed by Lois Roach. Both productions will be in the Black Box Theater at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown. Tickets for both productions at 617-923-7060,


THE HALF-GOD OF RAINFALL Playwright Inua Ellams (“Barber Shop Chronicles”) fuses Greek mythology and Yoruban spirituality in this new drama. Zeus gets jealous when a half-Greek god, half-Nigerian mortal named Demi (Mister Fitzgerald) starts playing basketball and proves to have skills that launch him into the NBA playoffs and the London Olympics. Directed by Taibi Magar. Through Sept. 24. Co-production by American Repertory Theater and New York Theatre Workshop. At Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300,

ASSASSINS Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) teamed up with John Weidman (book) for one of his most provocative musicals, offering glimpses into the tangled psyches of successful and would-be presidential assassins from John Wilkes Booth (Robert St. Laurence) to Lee Harvey Oswald (Dan Prior) to John Hinckley Jr. (Jacob Thomas Less). Directed by Courtney O’Connor. Select choreography by Ilyse Robbins. Music direction by Dan Rodriguez. Sept. 15-Oct. 15. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678,

FAT HAM James Ijames won the Pulitzer Prize last year for this modern retelling of “Hamlet” in a seriocomic vein. Set in a backyard barbecue in the South, “Fat Ham” focuses on a young, gay Black man named Juicy who is wrestling with issues of identity amid complicated family dynamics. Those dynamics grow even more fraught when the ghost of Juicy’s father turns up and demands that the son avenge his murder. Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb. Sept. 22-Oct. 22. The Huntington in association with Front Porch Arts Collective and Alliance Theatre. At Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800,


Caroline Bowman as Elsa in the touring production of "Frozen" that comes to the Citizens Bank Opera House Oct. 25 to Nov. 12.Deen van Meer

DISNEY’S FROZEN Newly crowned Queen Elsa of Arendelle has a magic power that terrifies her: She can freeze people and things. Having accidentally frozen her kingdom into a state of permanent winter, Elsa flees into the mountains. Her younger sister, Anna, goes in search of her, aided along the way by ice harvester Kristoff, his reindeer Sven, and a snowman named Olaf. With songs by the husband-wife team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez that include, yes, “Let It Go,’’ the musical features a book by Jennifer Lee, choreography by Rob Ashford, and direction by Michael Grandage. Oct. 25-Nov. 12. Broadway In Boston. At Citizens Bank Opera House, Boston.

THE BAND’S VISIT Winner of 10 Tony Awards in 2018, including best musical, “The Band’s Visit” is about the connections forged between a band of Egyptian musicians and the residents of an Israeli desert town after a transportation error strands the musicians and the residents take them in for the night. With music and lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by Itamar Moses, “The Band’s Visit” will be directed by Paul Daigneault. Nov. 10-Dec.10. Co-production by SpeakEasy Stage Company and The Huntington. At Huntington Theatre, Boston. 617-266-0800,

HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE In Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning memory play, a grown woman (played by Jennifer Rohn) reflects on her sexual abuse by her uncle (portrayed by Dennis Trainor Jr.) when she was young. Drama critic Helen Shaw has written that Vogel’s 1997 drama “changed the American theater.” Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue. Nov. 3-25. Actors’ Shakespeare Project. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-241-2200,


THE REAL JAMES BOND … WAS DOMINICAN An autobiographical solo play, written and performed by Christopher Rivas, about the impact on him as a James Bond-loving youth in Queens when he learned that novelist Ian Fleming modeled 007 on a Dominican diplomat, playboy, pilot, spy, soldier, and race car driver named Porfirio Rubirosa. Nov. 8-12. ArtsEmerson. At Robert J. Orchard Stage, Emerson Paramount Center, Boston. 617-824-8400,

Don Aucoin can be reached at Follow him @GlobeAucoin.