Theater shows to catch in Philly this fall

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Curtains are once again rising in the City of Brotherly Love.

This fall season there are so many shows headed to Philadelphia—it’s almost hard to keep up on which performances you want to see, which ones you have to experience and overall what new plays are worth checking out. To help with this creative conundrum, Metro has rounded up some must-see theater shows that are gracing the stage over the course of the next few months. 

Hamilton at The Kimmel Cultural Campus

This show is a big one. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s stage show first debuted in 2015, and over the course of six years has become one of the biggest theater performances around the country. It’s so coveted that many theaters in the past have had to offer lotteries in order for audiences to even buy tickets.

According to a  release, ‘Hamilton’ is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, this show has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. Hamilton’ is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography and features music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire.

This star-studded performance has been awarded with praise all over, winning a Tony, Grammy, Olivier Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and an unprecedented special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors. Philadelphians can catch the stage show from Oct. 20 to Nov. 28 at The Academy of Music. Tickets are now on sale online. 

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240 S. Broad St., kimmelculturalcampus.org

Minor Character: Six Translations of Uncle Vanya at the Same Time at The Wilma Theater 

The Wilma Theater is welcoming back audiences for their first live stage show next month, and this one is described as “a joyful and music-filled comedic kaleidoscope.” ‘Minor Character features the Wilma’s HotHouse Acting Company during its run from Oct. 5 to 24, and this warm-hearted show takes a look at love, longing and the limitations of language.

The official description reads: Vanya feels like he’s wasted his life, and lost his chance at love. In this revolutionary new work, the classic character of Uncle Vanya gets reflected through the prisms of different translations and diverse performers. Six versions of Uncle Vanya, including Google Translate’s hilariously nonsensical one, are blended together to make one wildly thrilling new show.

Performers from the Wilma’s HotHouse Acting Company play many characters – including different versions of the same character – who peddle bicycles, pick mushrooms, and pickle cucumbers while dreaming of better lives. The show first premiered in New York at the Public Theater, and will now wow audiences under the direction of Co-Artistic Director Yury Urnov. Tickets are available online. 

Leslie Rivera

265 S. Broad St., wilmatheater.org

Beehive The ’60s Musical at The Walnut Street Theatre 

This upbeat, electric musical is kicking off the fall season at The Walnut Street Theatre. This 60s-era centric showcase focuses on the female voices of the time including Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, Carole King, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner. Audiences will be able to recognize the hits that the performers bust out as well with over two dozen songs on the docket ranging from “It’s My Party,” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?,” “Where the Boys Are,” and “You Don’t Own Me” as some of the most notable tunes.

As the website states, the show takes you on a song-filled journey told from the perspective of six women coming of age during this unforgettable time, taking audiences from their first Beehive Dance through a decade of change. Tickets for the show, which runs Sept. 28 to Oct. 31, are now available online. 

825 Walnut St., walnutstreettheatre.org

Extreme Home Makeover at Theatre Exile

Theater Exile has always been known as an artistic establishment that thinks outside the box. For their newest show, debuting on Oct. 28 and running until Nov. 21, audiences will get a peek inside the mind of Makasha Copeland. With ‘Extreme Home Makeover,’ the playwright paints a human portrait of a contemporary Tejano family willing to “go to the extreme for a spot on the popular, rags-to-riches TV show of the same name.”

As the official description reads, following the Vega family who must fight to make their video application stand out, this earnest satire explores family dynamics in the face of financial hardship. Extreme Home Makeover is a beautifully complex, bold, funny, and hopeful story about a family striving for the American dream and begs the question – in a world where so many receive so little, how much do miracles cost?

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1340 S. 13th St., theatreexile.org

Murder for Two at Bristol Riverside Theatre

Don’t let the title fool you, the newest show set to take the stage at the Bristol Riverside Theatre is said to be “one of the most uproarious musical comedies to hit the stage.” Running Sept. 21 to Oct. 10, ‘Murder For Two’ features a whodunit for two actors, one playing the detective, the other playing all 13 suspects. Aside from being hilarious, the show has also been called Agatha Christie meets Vaudeville. You can also expect both of the actors to hop on the piano multiple times throughout the show. Tickets are now available online.

Joan Marcus

120 Radcliffe St., brtstage.org

Soon at 11th Hour Theater Company

According to a release, 11th Hour Theatre Company, the region’s premier boutique musical theatre organization, recently announced the return to live performances with the Philadelphia premiere of ‘Soon.’ This fully-staged musical by Nick Blaemire is a co-production with Lancaster’s Prima Theatre, and is directed by outgoing 11th Hour Producing Artistic Director and co-founder Michael Philip O’Brien.

The show centers on Charlie, a woman who isolates herself in her apartment. She has taken to her couch as the apocalypse nears with a few of her favorite things: peanut butter, Wolf Blitzer, and Herschel, the Jewish fish. The proclaimed witty, apocalyptic, and surprisingly funny musing comes to Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American Street) from Oct. 28 to Nov. 7.

Dan Kontz

11thhourtheatrecompany.org

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