The Best Performing Arts Talks Coming to NYC This Fall

By Alison Durkee

From Works and Process at the Guggenheim to Music and Visuals at The Drawing Center to the Elevator Repair Service’s first stab at Shakespeare, we’re excited about the new fall season of performing arts in NYC.

Fans of the Great White Way can take in such new Broadway shows as Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower, starring Amy Schumer and Keegan Michael-Key, or the Broadway transfer of acclaimed Off-Broadway musical The Band’s Visit, which begins previews October 7. Currently in previews at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre is Prince of Broadway, a new show celebrating the work of legendary director and producer Hal Prince–those who’d like to delve into one of the iconic productions on Prince’s resume can do so on September 26, as the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts celebrates the 60th anniversary of West Side Story.

The city’s off-Broadway theaters also have plenty to offer this fall, including the Public Theater’s upcoming productions of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure (September 18–November 5), performed by renowned company Elevator Repair Service, and (above) Tiny Beautiful Things (September 19–November 12), based on the book by Wild author Cheryl Strayed. Over in Brooklyn, BAM will showcase the work of acclaimed shadow puppetry company Manual Cinema with Mementos Mori (October 18-21) and bring German director Thomas Ostermeier’s production of Richard III to the U.S. stage (October 11-14).

Photo credit: Sasha Arutyunova 2016.

On the city’s smaller stages, catch Critical Point Theatre’s world premiere of the psychodrama JERK: Or, the Stimulation of Self (August 24–September 2); Cradle Two Grave (August 25–September 3), which blends Greek tragedy with contemporary devised theatre; and the Mettawee River Theatre Company’s take on Korean folklore (above) with Before the Sun and Moon (September 8-10). Comedy fans, meanwhile, can catch Improv Everywhere founder Charlie Todd for a conversation about delight on September 7, or enjoy a live recording of the NPR comedy/quiz delight Ask Me Another on September 11.

Dance fans have much to look forward to this fall, as the New York City Ballet returns to Lincoln Center for a fall season featuring Swan Lake, while the Joyce Theater in Chelsea hosts such renowned companies as Twyla Tharp Dance (September 19–October 8) and Ballet West (October 11-14). New Yorkers can also take in several dance festivals this fall, including the Fini Italian Dance Festival (August 31) and Soaking WET Dance Series (September 14), or enjoy the work of all-female dance troupe Ariel Rivka Dance as they celebrate their 10th anniversary (September 6-9). On September 11, Lincoln Center’s iconic plaza will once again be the home of the 9/11 Table of Silence Project, an annual free public performance by Buglisi Dance Theatre that pays tribute to the victims of 9/11 and offers a prayer for peace (above).

Those who’d like to hear from dancers and other artists directly can do so at the Guggenheim Museum’s upcoming Works and Process series, which will include a preview of American Ballet Theatre’s new season (October 8) and the premiere of a new commission (above) from Ryan McNamara and composer John Zorn (October 22). Music fans can also get a sneak peek at the San Francisco Opera’s new work Girls of the Golden West (September 21-22) and Ensemble Signal ahead of their upcoming concert at Carnegie Hall (October 17), while theatre lovers can learn about Lincoln Center Theater’s upcoming play JUNK (September 23).

Image: David Scher, Excerpt from sketchbooks. Courtesy of the artist.

Fans of both the performing and visual arts have plenty of exciting collaborations to look forward to this fall, as several upcoming performances blend the worlds of music and art. Printed Matter will celebrate the release of The Tonebook, a new book of graphic scores exploring the relationship between sound and image, with an evening of performances on September 8. The Drawing Center, too, will host a series of performances exploring the relationship between drawing, music, and cinema (September 12-17), as well as several pop-up performances in conjunction with an exhibition of multi-disciplinary artist David Scher’s prolific sketchbooks (September 7-9).

Those looking for a more traditional concert in atmospheric surroundings can head to Green-Wood Cemetery for an evening of ’60s music in the rarely seen catacombs on September 9. Music fans who’d rather break down a classic than take in something new can take a deep dive into Queen’s hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the music theory behind it on September 11.

Beyond performing arts, keep up with all kinds of talks, lectures, and activities in the big city. Sign up for Thought Gallery’s weekly Curriculum, the best of smart New York delivered right to your inbox.