Many a theater season looks all kinds of promising, only to produce more fizzle than fizz. This year, the lineup looks, honestly, a little meh. Yes, a few Hollywood stars have signed limited-run Broadway contracts—our arms remain crossed until we see what they've got. Still: Amy Morton takes on Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf opposite Tracy Letts as George (previews start September 27)… Katie Finneran is the inspired choice to play comic monster Miss Hannigan in the revival of Annie (first preview October 3)… The Heiress returns starring Jessica Chastain, David Strathairn, and Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens, directed by Moisés Kaufman. Promising looking: Paris Commune, a 'radical cabaret' by The Civilians at BAM… The 10th anniversary production of The Exonerated with a rotating cast of big names about wrongly-convicted people sentenced to death, but later freed (previews beginning September 15)… And a new play by A. R. Gurney is always welcome. It's called Heresy, beginning performances at the Flea on September 29, starring The Wire's Reg E. Cathey, Kathy Najimy, and Annette O'Toole.
The Howard Greenberg Gallery, 41 E. 57th [Mad/Park] 212.334.0010, remains an essential stop for photography fans. This fall will be an especially good time to pay a visit: there are two exhibitions of work by the great Gordon Parks, who would have turned 100 this year. One is a survey of images from over 50 years, the other is a series of photographs taken when Ralph Ellison published Invisible Man, reflecting that novel.
• The Master, a new drama by Paul Thomas Anderson, tracks the rise after WWII of a new religion, led by Philip Seymour Hoffman. September 21
• How to Survive a Plague is a documentary about the terrible AIDS epidemic and the great fight it inspired. September 21
• 50 Years of James Bond, an October-long retrospective at MoMA, teeing up good 007 juju before the latest installment, Skyfall, opens November 9.
• Seven Psychopaths is a comedy written and directed by Martin McDonagh, which means a rom-com it's not. Starring Colin Farrell and Woody Harrelson. October 12
• Cloud Atlas, the film adaptation of David Mitchell's great, expansive novel. October 26
From September 20, Tatzu Nishi's Discovering Columbus, under the auspices of the Public Art Fund, will allow New Yorkers to see something that's been there along: the tribute to Christopher Columbus by Gaetano Russo from 1892, a short 400 years from the explorer's first vacation in the New World. Nishi's work allows an entirely different kind of interaction with the monument.
David Byrne and St. Vincent
Love This Giant
Mumford & Sons