August 27, 2015 6:45 AM EDT



The runaway hit of Broadway’s fall season actually opened in the dog days of summer. Less than a month after its critically acclaimed premiere, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop take on one of the more unlikely Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, is drawing standing-room-only crowds. The Obamas have been to see it, and so have Bill and Hillary Clinton, Denzel Washington, Madonna and Dick Cheney. Premium orchestra seats are going for as much as $1,000, but in a small concession to democratic values, a few front-row seats for each show are on offer for $10–just one Hamilton, baby–to patrons selected by lottery. Take your chances on the tickets because the show is a sure thing.

OCT. 14


D.L. Coburn’s sentimental two-hander, about a pair of nursing-home residents who strike up a friendship over cards, has provided a vehicle for some of theater’s most illustrious senior citizens (like Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, who originated the roles in 1977). Two especially revered old-timers–James Earl Jones, 84, and Cicely Tyson, 90–are united onstage for this revival.

OCT. 29


The parade of movie stars lighting up Broadway continues: Keira Knightley plays a woman in a loveless marriage who embarks on a passionate and tragic affair in Helen Edmundson’s new stage adaptation of the famed Émile Zola novel.

NOV. 1


Prince Charles finally ascends to the throne of England in Mike Bartlett’s brilliantly realized political thriller–a big hit on London’s West End, now hoping to win over American audiences. The chances are good, since the fine British cast (headed by Tim Pigott-Smith as Charles) is making the transatlantic crossing as well.

NOV. 5


From Havana to the streets of Miami, Gloria and Emilio Estefan chart their rise to pop stardom in this new musical, which features a selection of Gloria’s hits as well as new songs. Cuban-American newcomer Ana Villafañe gets her own shot at stardom as Gloria.

NOV. 12


Arthur Miller’s 1955 drama about a Brooklyn longshoreman with an unhealthy fixation on his young niece has been around the Broadway block a few times. But director Ivo van Hove’s radical new staging wowed the London critics, won an Olivier Award for Best Revival and arrives on Broadway with its heralded British cast (headed by Mark Strong) intact.

NOV. 15


Bruce Willis, making his Broadway debut, plays a best-selling novelist laid up after a car crash and held prisoner by his “No. 1 fan.” Laurie Metcalf takes on the role that won Kathy Bates an Oscar in this new stage adaptation of Stephen King’s novel and Rob Reiner’s hit movie.

Dec. 17


They missed the 50th anniversary by a year, but it’s always time for a new revival of the beloved 1964 musical set in the turn-of-the-century Russian village of Anatevka. Broadway veteran Danny Burstein stars as the tradition-bound Tevye, and the sure-handed Bartlett Sher (director of last season’s Tony-winning revival of The King and I) is at the helm.

This appears in the September 07, 2015 issue of TIME.

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