NYC theater fall 2012: notable Off Broadway plays

Sarah Sokolovic, Darren Pettie, David Schwimmer and Amy Sarah Sokolovic, Darren Pettie, David Schwimmer and Amy Ryan star in Lisa D'Amour's "Detroit," at Playwrights Horizons in Manhattan. (Aug. 23, 2012) Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

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Detroit (Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St., Sept. 18). David Schwimmer and John Cullum co-star in the New York premiere of Lisa D'Amour's Pulitzer Prize finalist about the underbelly of suburban life.

If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet (Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., Sept. 20). Jake Gyllenhaal makes his American stage debut in this family drama by British playwright Nick Payne. Gyllenhaal plays an estranged uncle who drifts back into the family and emotionally connects with his overweight 15-year-old niece. Brian F. O'Byrne co-stars.

Marry Me a Little (Keen Company, 410 W. 42nd St., Oct. 2). In 1980, Craig Lucas and Norman René put together this popular story-driven revue from songs -- several of them unknown at the time -- by Stephen Sondheim. The idea is that two single New Yorkers, each alone at home, are sort of alone together.

Ivanov (Classic Stage Company, 136 E. 13th St., Oct. 17). Ethan Hawke and Juliet Rylance co-star in Austin Pendleton's staging of Chekhov's first (and least known) full-length play.

Harper Regan (Atlantic Theater Company, 336 W. 20th St., Oct. 10). A woman abandons husband and daughter for good, perhaps, in this admired drama by British playwright Simon Stephens.

Modern Terrorism, or They Who Want to Kill Us and How We Learn to Love Them (Second Stage, 305 W. 43rd St., Oct. 15). Jon Kern's dark satire about rogue terrorists just won the late Arthur Laurents' Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award.

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A Celebration of Harold Pinter (Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 W. 22nd St., Oct. 16). John Malkovich directs Julian Sands in a solo homage to the late great master of psychological menace.

Golden Child (Signature Theatre Company, 480 W. 42nd St., previews begin Oct. 23). The Signature kicks off its season devoted to the work of David Henry Hwang with this family culture clash set in 1918.

Giant (Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., previews begin Oct. 26). Word from the road is very good about this musical based on the Edna Ferber Western novel, with a score by Michael John LaChiusa.

Emotional Creature (Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 W. 42nd St., Nov. 12). This play by Eve Ensler ("The Vagina Monologues") includes original monologues for and about girls.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Newhouse, Lincoln Center theater, 150 W. 65th St., Nov. 12). Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce match absurdities in this mashup spoof about, for starters, Chekhov and Bucks County, by master satirist Christopher Durang.

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Golden Age (Manhattan Theatre Club, 131 W. 55th St., Dec. 4). Terrence McNally ("Master Class") returns to operatic territory with this backstage drama behind the premiere of Bellini's "I Puritani." Bebe Neuwirth stars and Walter Bobbie ("Chicago") directs.

Water by the Spoonful (Second Stage Theatre, 305 W. 43rd St., previews begin Dec. 11). Quiara Alegría Hudes won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for this drama about a Puerto Rican veteran of the Iraq War.

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