Sept. 01--THE FALL theater season starts with a bang-and-a-half: the Thursday kickoff of the 18-day 2013 Fringe Festival (formerly the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe) staged by the likewise rechristened PhillyFringe organization. We'll have details in Friday's paper. Other seasonal highlights include the debut of the 530-seat Penn's Landing Playhouse (formerly the Independence Seaport Museum) and the opening of PhillyFringe's permanent home base on the northern end of the Penn's Landing complex, the return of actor Chazz Palminteri's autobiographical one-man show, "A Bronx Tale" (at the resurrected Prince Music Theater), the Christmas musical extravaganza, "Elf," and the local premiere of the smash musical, "Once."
3 to Oct. 20: "In the Heights." Philadelphian Quiara Alegria Hudes (book) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (music) created this slice-of-lifer about a mostly Dominican-American New York City neighborhood.
Walnut Street Theatre, 9th and Walnut streets, show times vary, $81.75 and $92.25, 800-726-1420, ticketmaster.com (previews Tuesday through Sept. 22).
10 to Oct. 6: "Didn't Your Father Have This Talk with You?" Tony Braithwaite, a giant of Philly theater, offers memories of his days teaching religion and sex education at a Jesuit school.
Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, show times vary, $23-$34, 215-654-0200, act2.org.
18 to Nov. 24: "You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!" The Penn's Landing Playhouse opens with this comedic look at love based on the book of the same name.
Penn's Landing Playhouse, 211 S. Columbus Blvd., show times vary, $35-$55, 855-448-7469, plplayhouse.com.
19 to 21: "A Bronx Tale." Character actor Chazz Palminteri returns with his acclaimed one-man piece that was the basis of the hit gangster movie of the same name.
8 p.m., Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St., $75-$150, 215-972-1000, princemusictheater.org.
19 to Oct. 27: "Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner, A Sort of Romantic Comedy." 1812 Productions presents author Alan Zweibel's affectionate look at his 15-year collaboration/friendship with the late "Saturday Night Live" icon.
Independence Studio on 3 at Walnut Street Theatre, 9th and Walnut streets, show times vary, $25-$40 (previews end Sept. 24), 215-592-9260, 1812productions.org.
17 to Nov. 10: "Cock." Theatre Exile offers the Philly premiere of Brit playwright Mike Bartlett's piece about the crucial place sexual identity occupies in modern life.
Studio X, 1340 S. 13th St., show times and ticket prices TBA, 215-218-4022, theatreexile.org.
28 to Nov. 10: "Once." The sleeper musical hit about an Irish busker and a woman from Czechoslovakia makes its local debut.
Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, show times vary, ticket prices TBA, 215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org.
31 to Nov. 24: "I Am My Own Wife." Pulitzer Prizer is based on a true story of a German man living under Nazi rule as a woman.
Theatre Horizon, 401 DeKalb St., Norristown, show times vary, $20-$31 (Oct. 31 pay what you can; previews through Nov. 3; opens Nov. 7), 610-283-2230, theatrehorizon.org.
5 to Jan. 5: "Elf." The Yuletide gets an especially early start with the stage version of the blockbuster Christmas film comedy.
Walnut Street Theatre, 9th and Walnut streets, show times vary, $71.75 to $92.25, 800-726-1420, ticketmaster.com.
26 to Dec. 1: "Beauty and the Beast." Disney's powerhouse musical rendition of the beloved childhood tale helps celebrate the holiday season.
Academy of Music, Broad and Locust, show times vary, ticket prices TBA, 215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org.
29 to Dec. 29: "Nerds." Geeked-out game changers Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are given the musical-comedy parody treatment in this Philadelphia Theatre Company production.
Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St., show times vary, ticket prices TBA, 215-986-0420, philadelphiatheatrecompany.org.
CHUCK DARROW Daily News Staff Writer email@example.com, 215-313-3134
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