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Theater preview: Hudson Valley stars light up the stage

Film actress Jessica Chastain makes her Broadway debut

Film actress Jessica Chastain makes her Broadway debut in "The Heiress" -- opposite David Strathairn -- at the Walter Kerr Theatre in the fall of 2012. Photo Credit: AP Photo

There are a number of plays debuting in Manhattan theaters this season, including Broadway and Off-Broadway productions that feature celebrities and playwrights with connections to the Hudson Valley. Here's our look at new plays with local ties.

"The Heiress" at The Walter Kerr Theater

Dutchess County resident David Stathairn stars in this Broadway revival based on the Henry James short story, "Washington Square." He's a member of an illustrious cast that includes Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain and "Downton Abbey" star Dan Stevens. Despite the all-star cast, Newsday critic Linda Winer called the production "gorgeously decorated" but "emotionally simplistic."

When: The official premiere was Nov. 1; the play has an 18-week limited run

Info: The Walter Kerr Theater, 219 W. 48th St., Manhattan;

"Sorry" at The Public Theater

"Sorry" is the latest in a trio of plays about the Rhinebeck-based Apple family, who sit down together for a meal and reflect on the political landscape on a very important date: Nov. 6, 2012. Playwright Richard Nelson, who has lived in Rhinebeck for 30 years, said he wanted "Sorry" to premiere on Election Day because "I am interested in creating the greatest immediacy with our audiences as possible."

When: The official premiere was Nov. 6; the play runs through Feb. 10

Info: The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., Manhattan; 212-539-8500;

"Emotional Creature" at Signature Theatre Company

Eve Ensler, best known for her groundbreaking work "The Vagina Monologues," is the author of this play, which features six young actresses portraying the rich inner lives of girls. Ensler, who grew up in Scarsdale, based the play on her 2010 book, "I Am an Emotional Creature." The work, which was workshopped in part at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, is making its Off-Broadway debut.

When: Now in previews; the official premiere is Nov. 12 and the play runs through Jan. 13

Info: Signature Theatre Company, 480 W. 42nd St., Manhattan; 212-244-7529;

"The Anarchist" at Lyceum Theatre

Tony winner Patti LuPone and Oscar nominee Debra Winger star in this new play by David Mamet. Winger, an Irvington resident, plays the warden at a female penitentiary, with Lupone's character seeking a pardon from her. Another local connection: recent Tony winner Jeff Crotier, who was raised in Eastchester and attended Purchase College, is a member of "The Anarchist" creative team.

When: Previews begin Nov. 11; the official premiere is Dec. 2 with a 14-week limited run

Info: Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St., Manhattan; 212-239-2949;

"Glengarry Glen Ross" at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre

The restaging of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about cutthroat real estate agents boasts two actors with Hudson Valley ties: Palisades resident Al Pacino and Armonk native David Harbour. Pacino received an Oscar nomination for his role as young hotshot Ricky Roma in the 1992 movie adaptation, and for the Broadway revival, he is taking on the part of struggling salesman Shelley "The Machine" Levene. Harbour will portray John Williamson, the office manager and the play's antagonist.

When: Now in previews; official premiere is Dec. 8 with a 10-week limited run

Info: Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 West 45th St., Manhattan; 212-239-6200;

"Picnic" at American Airlines Theatre

This Broadway revival of the classic William Inge play features two celebrities with Rockland County roots: Sebastian Stan and Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn. In an interview with Newsday Westchester in July, Stan noted that he and Burstyn got along very well while filming the USA political miniseries, "Political Animals," and revealed that at the time the two were in talks to perform in a play together. "[Burstyn's] experienced so much and she's so bright -- she's just a powerhouse of a woman," Stan said about his TV and Broadway co-star.

When: Previews begin Dec. 14; the official premiere is Jan. 13 and the play will run through Feb. 24

Info: American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd St., Manhattan; 212-719-1300;

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