Left:Sister returns with  Late Nite Catechism 2: Sister Strikes Back  this weekend at Indian Hill Music School s Free Class Day on Saturday, Sept. 9, in
Left:Sister returns with Late Nite Catechism 2: Sister Strikes Back this weekend at Indian Hill Music School s Free Class Day on Saturday, Sept. 9, in Littleton.

The fall season is on the horizon at Boston-area theaters, with an array of new and classic offerings for all.

Huntington Theatre Company brings the acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim's legendary musical "Merrily We Roll Along" to audiences Sept. 8-Oct. 15. Directed by Maria Friedman in London's West End, she will recreate her celebrated production for Boston audiences.

Traveling backwards in time over 30 years in the entertainment business, this cult favorite musical charts the relationships of close friends Franklin, Charley and Mary, and features some of Sondheim's most beautiful songs, including "Good Thing Going," "Old Friends" and "Not a Day Goes By."

"After seeing Maria Friedman's stunning adaptation in London, I knew I had to share this tremendous production with Boston," says Huntington artistic director Peter DuBois. "Maria has captured lightning in a bottle, turning a musical long beloved by Sondheim geeks into an international hit. I can't wait for her to recreate the definitive and mesmerizing version of Merrily for Boston audiences with the best of Boston, New York and international talent."

Tickets start at $25 and are available at www.huntingtontheatre.org or call 617-266-0800 or at the box offices at 264 Huntington Ave. or 527 Tremont St.

New Repertory Theatre in Watertown presents the Boston-area premiere of "Ideation" by Aaron Loeb on Sept.


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2-24. The darkly comic psychological thriller is about a group of top-tier consultants who are tasked with a mysterious project for an unnamed client.

The play, according to New Rep's press release, is a "captivating new work that will leave you on the edge of your seat."

Tickets are $35-$65 at 617-923-8487 or www.newrep.org.

Stoneham Theatre wraps up its summer season this weekend with a return visit from the zany "Sister in Late Nite Catechism 2: Sister Strikes Again," playing Aug. 24-27. In this iteration of the popular parochial-school spoof, Sister attempts to save the souls of those assembled, beginning with an overview of heaven and hell as a Catholic version of "Chutes and Ladders," and moving on to her proclamation of new sins for the new millennium.

Stoneham's fall season starts in two weeks with the tap-happy classic musical "Dames at Sea," running Sept. 7-24. For tickets and info, visit www.stonehamtheatre.org or call 781-279-2200.

On the marquee

A DINNER TO DIE FOR: Littleton's Cannon Theatre and Concord's Colonial Inn invite you to enjoy an evening of murder on the menu at "Murderous Crossing," an audience-participation murder-mystery dinner show being presented Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9, at 6:30 p.m., at the Colonial Inn. Written by David Landau and directed by Tara Earl, the show is set in 1923 on board the HMS Victoria, with audience members all acting as passengers on an English Channel crossing. An on-board wedding between the Contessa Follette and John D. Rothchild is taking place. It's a marriage encouraged through financial need and murderous greed, and it turns out that the Channel isn't the only thing that's being crossed. Audience members stand up for the bridal party in this Agatha Christie-style comic mystery and help decide whodunit. Tickets are $80 and include a gourmet dinner and show. Alcoholic beverages are extra. A raffle for four buffet tickets to the Colonial Inn will be held each night. The show is an annual early fall fundraiser for Cannon Theatre. Purchase tickets online at www.thecannontheatre.org or call 978-448-2108. 

MUSIC AND MORE: Indian Hill Music School is offering two free events in September where kids and adults can explore the school's musical offerings and discover the fun of playing an instrument. Free Class Day on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., is designed for kids and teens to drop in to enjoy a free 30-minute class, have ice cream, play with the instrument petting zoo and make their own instruments. Free Preview Night for Adults on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m., offers a chance to mingle with other music lovers and explore the fun and social ways adults make music at Indian Hill. Enjoy free performances, presentations, refreshments and learn about Indian Hill's concert band for beginners. All skill levels welcome. Visit www.indianhillmusic.org.

LIFE IS A CABARET: Save the date for Image Theater's upcoming "A, B, C: The Cabaret Experience," on Sept. 15-16 in the Parker Gallery at the Whistler House Museum of Art, 243 Worthen St., Lowell. "We are psyched about this show," says Image's artistic director Jerry Bisantz. "Should be a blast and anything goes." More later, but tickets are $20 and available at www.Imagetheater.com.