BERLIN The 1904 domed neo-Baroque Bode Museum (www.smb.museum), on Museum Island, which suffered wartime damage and Communist-era neglect, reopens this month after a $195 million renovation, providing a resplendent setting for its wide-ranging collections—coins, European sculpture from the Middle Ages to the late-18th century, and Byzantine art.
WASHINGTON, D.C. After a six-year revamp, the Patent Office Building, which houses the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (www.smithsonian.org), has reopened. The landmark Greek Revival building typically hosts more than 20 concurrent exhibitions; the permanent collections range from a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington to 20th-century paintings by Richard Diebenkorn and Jennifer Bartlett. NASHVILLE The Neoclassical design by architect David M. Schwarz for the new home of the Nashville Symphony, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center (www.nashvillesymphony.org), evokes the great concert halls of Vienna, Amsterdam, and Boston. Located downtown on Hall of Fame Park, the shoebox-shaped, 1,900-seat hall—with acoustics designed by Paul Scarbrough—presents an inaugural season of classical, jazz, and pop performances that runs the gamut from Mozart and Prokofiev to Ravi Shankar and Dionne Warwick. SEATTLE There isn't a speck of Neoclassicism in the Olympic Sculpture Park (www.seattleartmuseum.org), which opens downtown this month as part of the soon-to-be-expanded Seattle Art Museum. Architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi designed the nine-acre waterfront park, with artworks set along a zig-zagging path through cedars, ferns, and other Pacific Northwest flora. Sloping down from urban streets to the shores of Elliott Bay, the park includes an amphitheater—and sculpture by Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra, and Mark di Suvero, among others.—Raul Barreneche
LONDON The Alchemist National Theatre (through Nov. 21; 44-20/7452-3000; www.nationaltheatre.org.uk). Nicholas Hytner stages Ben Jonson's satiric masterpiece on the exploitation of the gullible, with a starry cast including Simon Russell Beale and Alex Jennings, and Ian Richardson in a supporting role. Porgy and Bess Savoy Theatre (opens Nov. 9; 44-870/164-8787; www.theambassadors.com). Expect some surprises as Trevor Nunn adapts the Gershwins' classic opera as a musical tailored for the West End. STRATFORD-UPON-AVON Merry Wives The Musical (Dec. 2-Feb.10; 44-870/609-1110; www.rsc.org.uk). As part of its Complete Works Festival, the Royal Shakespeare Company presents a musical adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor, starring Judi Dench as Mistress Quickly and staged by Gregory Doran. Paul Englishby and Ranjit Bolt provide the contemporary songs.
NEW YORK The Coast of Utopia Vivian Beaumont Theater (Oct. 17-Mar. 10; 212/239-6200; www.lct.org). Ethan Hawke, Brían F. O'Byrne, and Billy Crudup head a 44-member cast in a cycle of three plays by Tom Stoppard. The epic story spans 30 years of the intertwined lives of Russian intellectuals, journalists, and friends as they seek to topple the czarist regime. Butley Booth Theatre (opens Oct. 25; 800/432-7250; www.telecharge.com). Nathan Lane takes on the virtuoso role of a brilliant and bitter professor in a revival of Simon Gray's dark comedy. Grey Gardens Walter Kerr Theatre (opens Nov. 2; 800/432-7250; www.telecharge.com). Last spring's off-Broadway sensation about a mother-and-daughter pair of recluses who ramble around a 28-room dilapidated mansion, comes to Broadway with original star Christine Ebersole. MINNEAPOLIS Edgardo Mine Guthrie Theater (Nov. 4-Dec. 17; 877/447-8243; www.guthrietheater.org). As part of its first season in its new home, the Guthrie presents the world premiere of Alfred Uhry's stage adaptation of David I. Kertzer's novel. Based on a true story, the drama revolves around a kidnapping and ensuing religious custody battle in 19th-century Italy. Mark Lamos directs. LOS ANGELES 13 Mark Taper Forum (Dec. 22-Feb. 18; 213/628-2772; www.centertheatregroup.org). Two recent award-winning Broadway musicals, The Drowsy Chaperone and Jersey Boys, originated in southern California. This year's possible candidate skews young: the show features 13 performers, all 13 years old, accompanied by a teen band, facing unnerving adolescence. The score is by Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown, with a book by Dan Elish. Todd Graff stages this work aimed at former and current teens alike.—Bill Rosenfeld