We get it. The end of summer can be bittersweet. The days get shorter, the temps are cooler, school’s back in session and the pace picks up immeasurably. 

But fall is also a season of great beginnings. The High Holidays mark the beginning of the Jewish new year, and along with them comes a jam-packed season of arts and cultural happenings. 

Whether you’re a dance devotee, museum maven, theater enthusiast, rock ‘n’ roller or orchestral music fan, Baltimore’s fall arts season offers something for everyone. 

With so much to do, it’s hard to know where to start. Rest easy. Jmore surveyed Charm City’s fall arts and culture landscape, and we’ve curated a guide to our town’s most notable exhibitions, plays, concerts and special events. We’ve also taken deeper dives into some Baltimore arts and culture venues that you may have missed. 

In our third annual Fall Arts Preview, Jmore zeros in on some of the unsung heroes of Baltimore’s arts and cultural landscape — venues like community theaters and niche museums.

Get your calendar ready!

Theater

Proof 

Sept. 3 to Oct. 6 | Everyman Theatre

Directed by Everyman resident company member Paige Hernandez, this modern classic was last performed at Everyman in 2003 and introduces us to Claire, the daughter of a brilliant but mentally ill mathematician. When Claire, herself a mathematical prodigy, learns that her father has discovered a groundbreaking proof, it sets off a chain of events that causes her to examine herself, and her place in the world. 315 W. Fayette St., Baltimore, Everymantheatre.org 

Dracula

Oct. 4 to Nov. 2 | Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

“True Blood,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” … Vampires are all the rage these days, but none are as frightening as the one who started it all — “Dracula.” This classic tale of horror and romance, adapted from the 1897 book by Bram Stoker, is just the ticket to get you ready for Halloween! 7 S. Calvert St., Baltimore, Chesapeakeshakespeare.com 

In the Blood

Oct. 11 to Nov. 3 | Fells Point Corner Theatre

With a nod to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel “The Scarlet Letter,” this play by acclaimed modern playwright Suzan Lori Parks tells the painful but beautiful story of Hester, a homeless mother of five who struggles to care for her children in the face of incredible odds. 251 S. Ann St., Baltimore, Fpct.org

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

Nov. 3 | Gordon Center for Performing Arts

Eric Carle’s beloved children’s books “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” “10 Little Rubber Ducks,” and “The Very Lonely Firefly,” are the basis for this delightful production created by Jonathan Rockefeller. The cast includes 75 puppets (as well as some talented human actors) that bring Carle’s stories to life. 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills, Gordoncenter.com

Disney Aladdin

Nov. 13 to Dec. 1 | Hippodrome Theatre

Based on Disney’s 1992 animated film, “Aladdin” tells the story of a young street urchin who meets a genie and is offered three wishes. With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, this family-friendly show is one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all time. 12 N. Eutaw St., Baltimore, france-merrickpac.com

Layer the Walls

Nov. 17 | Gordon Center for Performing Arts

Using Shadow and Bunraku puppetry and masks, writers and performers Rachel Sullivan and Liz Parker perform this timely and family-friendly production about the generations of immigrant families — Jewish, Irish and Italian — that once resided in a single New York City tenement apartment. Families with children in grades K-5 can come early to participate in pre-performance activities. 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills, gordoncenter.com

Men on Boats

Nov. 29 to Dec. 22 | Baltimore Center Stage

This historical comedy tells the semi-true tale of the 10 men who were part of John Wesley Powell’s 1869 expedition through the Grand Canyon. Created by playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, directed by Jenny Koons, and performed by an all-female cast, “Men on Boats” is a wild ride. 700 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Centerstage.org 

Murder on the Orient  Express

Dec. 3 to Jan. 5 | Everyman Theatre

Just in time for the holiday season, Agatha Christie’s revered 1930s-era murder mystery finds beloved detective Hercule Poirot searching for the person who stabbed an American tycoon to death inside his train compartment. Fun fact: “Murder on the Orient Express” was ranked second in a worldwide vote for best Agatha Christie novel. 315 W. Fayette St., Baltimore, everymantheatre.org 

Music and Dance

An Evening With The Avett Brothers in Baltimore

Sept. 13 | UMBC Event Center

In advance of the release of their upcoming album “Closer than Together,” The Avett Brothers perform their immensely appealing brand of folk rock music for UMBC students and the Baltimore community. 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, Umbceventcenter.com

Klezmer Dance Party

Sept. 21 | Creative Alliance

Join clarinetist Michael Winograd & the Honorable Mentshn (gotta love that name) for an evening of klezmer music, Yiddish dance and tons of fun. 3134 Eastern Ave., creativealliance.org

18th Annual Jazz & Blues Festival

Oct. 6 | Federal Hill

Head down to Federal Hill for a full day of music performed by the area’s best jazz and blues artists. Proceeds from the festival will benefit one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. 1000 S. Charles St., Baltimore, fedhill.org

The Nat King Cole Songbook

Oct. 11-13 | Meyerhoff Symphony Hall 

Acclaimed vocalist Denzal Sinclaire and the BSO perform the songs of legendary jazz vocalist Nat King Cole. Jack Everly conducts this unforgettable” evening. 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore, bsomusic.org

Ledisi: Nina and Me

Oct. 19 | Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric

Grammy Award-nominee Ledisi performs her critically acclaimed one-woman show about the life of the late Nina Simone. The production, which features a mix of classical, jazz and R&B music, is a tribute to Simone, who has inspired Ledisi throughout her career. P.S.: The Modell-Lyric celebrates its 125th anniversary this year! 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, Modell-lyric.com

The Temptations and The Four Tops

Oct. 26 | Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric 

Motown fans won’t want to miss this opportunity to see two of America’s most legendary R&B bands performing hits like “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “My Girl,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” and so many more. 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, Modell-lyric.com

SONiA Disappear Fear

Nov. 7 | Gordon Center for Performing Arts

Before she departs town for an overseas tour, Jewish Baltimore’s own Sonia Rutstein of SONiA Disappear Fear performs a mix of old favorites and new tunes from her 19th album, “By My Silence.” This will be the celebrated singer-songwriter’s only U.S. appearance, so don’t miss it! 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills, gordoncenter.com

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 | Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Named for Preservation Hall in New Orleans’ French Quarter, this talented group of musicians has been delighting audiences for half a century. 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Bsomusic.org 

Jonas Brothers

Nov. 30 | Royal Farms Arena

Disney Channel teen idols turned pop stars the Jonas Brothers bring their Happiness Begins tour to Baltimore. Royalfarmsarena.com

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker 

Dec. 13-14 | Hippodrome Theatre  

Celebrate the season with the Moscow Ballet’s spectacular production of Tchaikovsky’s beloved holiday classic. Whether it’s the first or the 50th time, “Nutcracker” never gets old! 12 N. Eutaw St., Baltimore, france-merrickpac.com

Exhibitions

Reclaimed Creations 

Sept. 19 to Dec. 8 | Towson University Center for the Arts

Believing that nothing should go to waste, Japanese sculptor Sayaka Kajita Ganz uses reclaimed plastic objects to create ethereal, fluid sculptures of birds, sea creatures and animals. 8000 York Road, Towson, events.towson.edu/

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art

Sept. 29 to Jan. 19 | Baltimore Museum of Art

This expanded exhibition includes 80 works of art by groundbreaking abstract artists Norman Lewis, Alma W. Thomas and Jack Whitten, and next generation abstract artists Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear and Lorna Simpson. 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Artbma.org

The Secret Life of Earth: Alive! Awake! (and possibly really Angry!)

Oct. 5 to Sept. 6 | American Visionary Art Museum

AVAM takes on the critical issue of climate change in this informative and visually stunning exhibition about our planet. 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, avam.org

Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style

Opens Oct. 6 | The Walters Art Museum

The Walters presents the first U.S. exhibition in a generation to feature the work of innovative architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and many of the artists and craftspeople who created the Glasgow Style. The exhibition, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth, includes furniture, textiles, posters, books and ceramics. 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Thewalters.org

Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling  

Opens Oct. 27 | Jewish Museum of Maryland

This traveling exhibition tells the story of recycling, the recycling industry and the people behind the vision and the technology. 15 Lloyd St., Baltimore, Jewishmuseummd.org

Literature

2019 International Edgar Allan Poe Festival & Awards

Oct. 5-6 | Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum

Celebrating Poe’s life and work, the second annual Poe Festival & Awards will feature Poe-themed entertainment, poetry, art, food and book vendors. 203 N. Amity St., Baltimore, Poefestinternational.com

Brilliant Baltimore: A Festival of Light and Literature

Nov. 1- 10 | Inner Harbor, Baltimore

This year, two of the fall season’s most popular events — the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City — will run simultaneously.  Highlights will include appearances by celebrity chef and TV personality Carla Hill: New York Times best-selling  author Dave Cullen, and 20 light art exhibitions including “Waterlight Grafffiti,” an interactive exhibition of thousands of LED lights that illuminate when they come in contact with water.  Brilliantbaltimore.com

Miscellaneous

Sugarloaf Crafts Festival

Oct. 11-13 | Maryland State Fairgrounds

Doesn’t get much artsier than the fall Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. With hundreds of artists, fine crafters and designers, demos, classes and vendors, it’s a crafts lover’s dream come true. 2200 York Road, Timonium, Sugarloafcrafts.com

Baltimore Comic-Con 2019

Oct. 18-20 | Baltimore Convention Center

Comic book lovers of all ages celebrate the “Con’s” 20th anniversary at this star-studded three-day event. Featuring the industry’s top writers, artists and editors, the program will include a costume contest; kids’ activities in the “Kids Love Comics” pavilion; The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards; and countless vendors and comic-related events. Pratt and Howard streets lobby, Baltimore, Baltimorecomiccon.com

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles

Nov. 21 | Gordon Center for Performing Arts

This 2019 documentary by Max Lewkowicz tells the story of the making of one of America’s most beloved Broadway musicals “Fiddler on the Roof.” The film includes archival footage of the musical’s original director-choreographer Jerome Robbins and interviews with lyricist Sheldon Harnick, producer Harold Prince, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chaim Topol, Harvey Fierstein and others. 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills, gordoncenter.com

For more event listings visit our full events listings here.

—Compiled by Simone Ellin and Lauren White