Three Small Theaters Rule the Weekend

The cast of Our Town, presented through Sept. 28 by New Haven Theater Company.

The local small theater season has kicked in bigtime this month, well before some of the big regional theaters get going. Last weekend was the first weekend of The Specials, a new play by local British playwright Steve Bellwood. The show—a dark yet frequently funny clash of classes and backgrounds, played out by two edgy couples—co-stars and is directed by James Leaf, and is co-produced and assistant directed by David Pilot. It’s a conscientious, creative production that seeks to bring the much-admired Bellwood’s work to a wider audience, perhaps even Off Broadway. The Specials plays through Sept. 28 at the Whitney Arts Center, 591 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. More info at Jackdawpike.wordpress.com

On Thursday, New Haven Theater Company began performances of its timely production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. The playwright lived much of his life in New Haven, and is buried in Hamden. The script is marking the 75th anniversary of its Broadway debut. The NHTC has found a novel venue for this nostalgic classic: the back room of the English Market antique shop, 839 Chapel Street. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., through September 28.www.newhaventheatercompany.com

The Yale Cabaret opened its 2013-14 season on Sept. 19. The student-run basement venue at 217 Park Street presents 20 separate shows during the school year, for one weekend (six performances) each. First up, Sept. 19-21, is the new drag-queen drama We Know Edie La Minx Had a Gun by Helen Jaksch, Kelly Kerwin and Emily Zemba, directed by Kerwin. Amiri Baraka’s classic ‘60s subway social confrontation Dutchman runs Sept. 26-28. The Most Beautiful Thing in the World, a musing on motivational speaking conceived and directed by Gabe Levey and starring Kate Tarker is at the Cabaret Oct. 3-5. The rest of the fall offerings are to be announced this weekend. Performances are Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at both 8 & 11 p.m. http://yalecabaret.org