World premieres, Broadway hits take the stage

Pinter and Shakespeare. Pulitzer-Prize winners and first-time playwrights. Broadway musicals and a British import about an extraordinary horse. These are some of the offerings Atlanta audiences can look forward to as the 2012 fall theater season gallops forth.

Leading the pack are four world premieres by master playwrights and fresh faces alike.

Alfred Uhry, the much decorated Atlanta native known for "Driving Miss Daisy," has written a new play, "Apples and Oranges," for Alliance Theatre (Oct. 5-28, Steve Yockey, author of the scintillating "Octopus" and other spooky plays, is back with "Wolves" at Actor's Express (Nov. 8-Dec. 2, Long-time philanthropist William Balzer is now a first first-time playwright. Balzer's autobiographical "Two Drink Minimum" will be unveiled in the playhouse that bears his name, Theatrical Outfit's Balzer Theater (Oct. 24-Nov. 18, And Pearl Cleage's "What I Learned in Paris," a romantic comedy that begins on the historic 1973 night when Maynard Jackson was elected Atlanta's first black mayor, is already on the boards at Alliance (through Sept. 30,

The Brits are coming, too. Broadway in Atlanta opens its Fox Theatre run with the National Theatre of Great Britain's five-Tony Award winner, "War Horse" (Sept. 25-30, Lawrenceville's Aurora Theatre is producing Harold Pinter's riveting study of adultery, "Betrayal" (Oct. 4-28, And Georgia Shakespeare is partnering with National Black Arts Festival to present a "Macbeth" that plays homage to Orson Welles' 1936 "Voodoo Macbeth." It stars Neal A. Ghant as the murderous Scottish king and Cynthia D. Barker as his conniving consort (Oct. 4-28,

What do the names Katori Hall, Donald Margulies, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart have in common? Not much perhaps. But all have Broadway material that plays Atlanta this fall. Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre is staging the first post-New York production of Hall's "The Mountaintop," about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s last night on earth (Nov. 13-Dec. 16, Horizon Theatre is producing Margulies' "Time Stands Still" (Sept. 14-Oct. 14, And Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Roswell is celebrating its 20th season with Kaufman and Hart's "The Man Who Came to Dinner," featuring a cast of 23 (through Sept. 23,

And where would we be without a little musical theater? While Actor's Express opened its season with "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (through Oct. 7;, Alliance gives Atlanta its first look at Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Next to Normal," about a bipolar woman's horrific journey (Oct. 17-Nov. 11; Get ready for a fast ride.