Get out your address book. There are several changes going on this season -- most notably the Wilma's move to their new theater on the Avenue of the Arts in late December -- which will delay some of the splashier events until after the new year. Then, curiously enough, every second play sounds more like an address than a title: first there's the Wilma's doo-wop musical, Avenue X, and Clay Goss' new play, North Seventeenth Street at Venture, both in February; and then Aaron Posner directs an adaptation of Steve Lopez's novel, Third and Indiana, in March.
Until then, you're safe in assuming that the address printed on your tickets indicates where the theater is, not what's playing. So get your map and plan your route to the most promising theatrical events of the fall.
Sept. 12-Oct. 27: Death of a Salesman.Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. Second St., 922-8900. Can Tom McCarthy deliver the goods as Willie Loman in Arthur Miller's modern classic? You can certainly count on Carla Belver and Greg Wood to close the deal. Willie gets by on a smile and a shoeshine; Terrence J. Nolen, whose actors smile a lot when he directs musicals and Michael Hollinger plays at the Arden, will only have to worry about the shoe polish.
Sept. 12-Oct. 6: Mabel's Dream: The Independent Eye, 115 Arch St., 925-2838.
Camilla Schade (last seen here in the Independent Eye's Macbeth) is the solo performer and co-author (with Conrad Bishop) of a farce-fantasy about a woman evicted from her apartment as her neighborhood gentrifies.
Sept. 18-Oct. 13: Voir Dire. People's Light & Theatre, 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern, (610) 647-1900. Joe Sutton's play set in a jury room -- a Twelve Angry Men for the Rodney King generation -- has been getting a lot of attention on the regional theater circuit. Its local premiere is at People's Light & Theatre.
Sept. 22-Oct. 20: The Pool Room: Freedom Theatre Cabaret, 346 N. Broad St., 765-2793. Carlyle Brown (of The African Company Presents Richard III fame) directs his new play, set around a pool table. Rumor has it that the actors are going to have to spend a lot of time practicing their bank shots.
Sept. 25-Oct. 13: The Illusion. Cheltenham Center for the Arts, 439 Ashbourne Rd., Cheltenham, 379-4027. Temple's theater department did a production of this prophetically Pirandellian comedy by Corneille a few years ago in Tony Kushner's delicious adaptation. Since then, the Drama Guild and Simply Classic each scheduled productions that never took place (and where are they now?). Let's wish director Ken Marini better luck when, Dionysus willing, the play finally receives its local professional premiere at Cheltenham.
Oct. 18-Nov. 10: Black Russian. InterAct, at the Arts Bank, Broad and South Streets, 545-0630. Thomas Gibbons (who started the address-in-the-title trend a few years back with his stunning 6221) has been working on his new play -- about an African-American red-diaper baby growing up in the Soviet Union -- for a few years now, most recently this past summer at the prestigious Eugene O'Neill Center National Playwrights Conference.
Oct. 10-20: The Gate of Heaven. Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays at Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St, 898-6791. Lane Nishikawa and Victor Talmadge write and perform this portrait of a Japanese-American soldier and a German Jew he liberated from Dachau, which comes to the Zellerbach via the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Benny Sato Ambush directs, and playwright David Henry Hwang serves as dramaturg -- perhaps the first time a dramaturg has received such star billing.
Nov. 1-Dec. 1: Bunny Bunny. Philadelphia Theatre Company, Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey St., 735-0630. Former Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel adapts his book about Gilda Radner for the stage. If it turns out not to be any good, just remember what Rosanne Rosannadanna used to say: "Never mind.''"
Nov. 5-24: The Mai. McCarter Theatre, 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ, (609) 683-9100. Emily Mann directs Marina Carr's award-winning play about four generations of Irish women.
Dec. 4-Jan 5. Arabian Nights. People's Light & Theatre, 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern. (610) 647-1900. Abigail Adams' production of Grimm Tales at People's Light last year was one of the most stunning productions of the season. This time, Adams and Alda Cortese adapt the material themselves.
And don't forget some of the productions spinning through town on tour. No, I'm not talking about Jerry Lewis in Damn Yankees at the Merriam (Nov. 19-24). I'm talking about Mabou Mines in Samuel Beckett's Company at Bryn Mawr (Sept. 20-21), The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre's One Hour Without Television at the Painted Bride (Oct. 19), and the national tour of Emily Mann's Having Our Say at the Annenberg Center (Dec. 10-15), in case you missed it at McCarter Theatre before it went to Broadway.
(Merriam Theatre, 250 S. Broad St., 732-5446; Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, (610) 526-5210; Painted Bride, 230 Vine St., 925-9914; Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., 898-6791.)