This fall in Seattle theater: Expect drama like "God of Carnage," musicals like "In the Heights" and children's fare such as "Lyle the Crocodile."

Autumn is always the busiest time in Seattle-area theater, with all the larger, mid-sized and many of the fringe companies going full blast.

During the fall season, one thing to keep an eye out for is the enticing array of Seattle premieres of heralded contemporary plays and new Broadway hit musicals.

Flagship Seattle Repertory Theatre opens its 2010-11 season with the Tony Award-winning “God of Carnage” (Oct. 1-24), Yasmina Reza’s barbed comedy about well-heeled, overprotective parents going ballistic over their kids’ schoolyard spat.

ACT Theatre continues its focus on leading British playwright Martin McDonagh, with the local debut of “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” (Oct. 15-Nov. 14), his savage comedy about a volatile IRA hitman.

Neil LaBute’s provocative Broadway study of male-female dynamics, “reasons to be pretty” (Sept. 8-Oct. 2) gets an airing at West Seattle’s ArtsWest. And Seattle Public Theatre introduces a Theresa Rebeck thriller, “Mauritius” (Oct. 1-24), set in the rarefied world of stamp collectors.

As for musicals new to local stages, the 5th Avenue Theatre brings in a tour of the vivacious, Tony-honored salsa-and-rap tuner, “In the Heights” (Sept. 28-Oct. 17) while Paramount Theatre hosts the hot ballroom revue “Burn the Floor” (Sept. 14-19). And for the younger set, the Kevin Kling-Richard Gray musical romp “Lyle the Crocodile” (Nov. 18-Jan. 9) is set to regale local young’uns at Seattle Children’s Theatre.

Few major world-premiere works are slated, but look out for Intiman Theatre’s new take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic wronged-woman saga, “The Scarlet Letter” (Oct. 22-Dec. 5), scripted by leading dramatist Naomi Iizuka.