Season sampler Highlights of Baltimore's fall arts and entertainment calendar are diverse Theater


Live theater will offer some exciting things in the Baltimore-Washington area during the upcoming months. Here are some titles and dates to watch for:

* "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," written by August Wilson, author of "The Piano Lesson," is one of a series of plays dramatizing the life of black Americans. It opens Sept. 28 at Center Stage.

* "Tru" opens the Morris A. Mechanic season. Robert Morse is the star of this one-man show in which he plays Truman Capote reacting to the reaction of some of the close "friends" he wrote about in less than flattering prose. The role won Morse the 1990 Tony Award for best actor. The show opens Oct. 2.

* "Nick and Nora" comes to the Mechanic Dec. 25, after which the show heads to Broadway. The $6 million musical is based on Dashiell Hammett's 1932 book "The Thin Man." Barry Bostwick and Joanna Gleason star. Charles Strouse and Richard Maltby Jr. are responsible for the score.

* "Our Town," Thornton Wilder's drama, gets a revival at Washington's Arena Stage, which took the production to the Soviet Union a few years back. Robert Prosky, who was with the group some 20 years before he began doing films, will return to play the stage manager who tells all about life in small-town America when society was much less complicated. "Our Town" opens Nov. 15. * "Grand Hotel," director Tommy Tune's musical version of the classic film set in the Grand Hotel in Berlin, continues to do well on Broadway. The Kennedy Center welcomes the show to Washington starting Dec. 5.

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