Metro Weekly

Stage Preview

Fall 2004 Theater in Washington

1365 H St. NE

A Lesson Before Dying — As an innocent young man is condemned to death, his lawyer calls him a hog. Distraught and unable to cope with his impending execution he begins to believe he is a hog. His godmother enlists the help of a schoolteacher to educate him in becoming a man of dignity. Ernest J. Gaines’ wrenching story is sensitively adapted by renowned southern playwright, Romulus Linney. Directed by David Charles Goyette (now through 10/10)… Two Trains Running — Quintessential August Wilson. A poignant look at the lives of the patrons of a small diner in Pittsburgh’s Hill district in 1969. Lives collide at a jarring pace, yet amid the wreckage, there is triumph (11/6 to 11/28, at the KenCen Film Theater)… Pecan Tan — Tanya Barfield’s raucous comedy is unleashed when one man discovers he has a daughter he never knew about, setting off a hilarious spectacle of familial antics and preparations for her imminent arrival. However nothing will prepare this family for who will actually walk through the door (2/1 to 2/27/05)… Pretty Fire — Charlayne Woodard’s award-winning one-person memoir about growing up in Albany, N.Y. and spending summer in Georgia (5/5 to 5/29, at the Atlas Arts Center’s Lab Theatre)…

Gunston Arts Center
2700 S. Lang St.
Arlington, Va.

The Time of Your Life — In William Saroyan’s 1939 classic, a bar full of odd and endearing characters reveals interlocking stories, conflicts and triumphs, all showing the richness of the act of living (now through 10/9)… Paradise Lost — This 1935 masterpiece by Clifford Odets is set during the Depression, where the everyday stresses of survival turn a modest two-family home into an intense cauldron of anger, passion, love, humor and frustration (11/17 to 12/18)… Tea and Sympathy — An unusual and intense relationship grows between a neglected wife and persecuted student at a boy’s boarding school in this ’50s treasure (1/7to 2/5/05)… Moby Dick Rehearsed — A director challenges his Shakespeare troupe to improvise a stage production of Melville’s whaling novel in this play by Orson Welles. Directed by Jack Marshall (3/24 to 4/30)… The Emperor Jones — Eugene O’Neill’s 1921 thriller traces the amazing rise and bloody fall of a Pullman porter who becomes a powerful despot on a jungle island (6/23 to 7/30)…

Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Arlington, Va.

Guys and Dolls — Frank Loesser’s classic crowd-pleaser features such hits as “Luck be a Lady” and “Sit Down (You’re Rockin’ the Boat)” (9/17 to 10/2)… The Man Who Came to Dinner — A well-known critic is injured at the home of a hapless family and makes their lives miserable as he recovers. One of the all-time greats by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman (1/28to 2/5/05)… Ragtime — The musical based on the sweeping novel by E.L Doctorow (4/29 to 5/14)… TAP is a community theater and members of the community are invited to audition for its productions. Auditions for Man Who Came to Dinner will be held at Theatre on the Run, at 3700 S. Four Mile Run on Monday and Tuesday Oct. 18 and 19. For more info, contact TAP…

1001 6th St. SW

M. Butterfly David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning drama, based on true events, about a French diplomat who has long standing affair with a Chinese opera star who hides her true gender from him (she’s a he) caused a shock and a stir when it premiered on Broadway in 1988. Though it may no longer shock, the subject matter is no less stirring. Directed by Tazewell Thompson. (Now through 10/17 in the Fichandler)… Anna in the Tropics — Set in 1920s south Florida cigar factory, a Cuban lector is hired to read aloud the novel Anna Karenina to the workers. His presence ignites passion, pain and yearning in a young dreamer, a forgotten wife and a rejected husband. Playwright Nilo Cruz was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for his arresting tale. (10/1 to 11/21 in the Kreeger)… The Importance of Being Earnest — One of Oscar Wilde’s finest moments, directed by the Everett Quinton, former artistic director of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company (12/12 to 12/26 in the Fichandler)… Hallelujah, Baby! — Living legend Arthur Laurents directs a new version of this 1968 Tony Award-winning musical for which he wrote the book. With music by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and lyrics by Jule Styne. A co-production with New Jersey’s George Street Playhouse. (12/10 to 2/13/05 in the Kreeger)… Intimations for Saxophone — A newly discovered, never-before-produced jewel by writer Sophie Treadwell (Machinal) in which a young woman finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage while the excesses of the Jazz Age unfold around her (1/21 to 2/13 in the Fichandler)… The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? — Edward Albee’s provocative and beguiling parable about a failing marriage won the 2001 Tony for Best Play. This being Albee, naturally there’s a major gay subplot. Directed by Wendy C. Goldberg (3/4 to 4/17 in the Kreeger)… The Piano Lesson — You can never go wrong with a good August Wilson play, and this one ranks among his finest, winning the playwright, who through his works is chronicling the 20th century African-American experience decade by decade, his second Pulitzer Prize. (4/1 to 5/15 in the Fichandler)… Anna Christie — Another Pulitzer Prize-winner, this one for the masterful Eugene O’Neill. This compelling portrait of a Swedish barge captain and his estranged daughter is the only show this season to be directed by Arena’s artistic director, Molly Smith (5/6 to 6/19)… Arena is offering GLBT subscribers a special “Out at Arena” series on selected Friday evenings, priced at an additional $10 per person per show. Includes a catered post-show reception with cast members and guest speakers.

700 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, Md.

Lady Windermere’s Fan — Oscar Wilde’s classic romantic thriller, directed by Irene Lewis (9/24 to 10/24)… The Price — Two estranged brothers reunite in the family attic after their father’s death, unearthing long-buried disappointments and rediscovering what has divided them in this Arthur Miller powerhouse (11/11 to 12/12)… Elmina’s Kitchen — The American Premiere of Kwame Kwei-Armah’s new play is infused with West Indian rhythms and studded with explosive urban danger (12/31 to 1/30/05)… Two Gentlemen of Verona — Rarely staged these days, this Tony Award-winning ’70s era musical, based on the play by Shakespeare has a book and lyrics by John Guare and music by Hair‘s Galt MacDermot (2/11 to 3/27)… Permanent Collection — Thomas Gibbons’ drama explores the nature of truth, prejudice and art in an increasingly multicultural nation (3/11 to 4/10)… The Voysey Inheritance — The placid, prosperous world of the Voysey family is wrenched apart when young Edward learns that their wealth is built on three generations of deceit and theft—including, unwittingly, his own (4/29 to 6/5)…

Various Locations

The Subject — Allyson Currin’s darkly comic tale about how a chance encounter between a waitress and a photographer leads to their increasingly romantic and professional obsessions with each other’s lives (9/22 to 10/14)… I’m In Love with the President! — A comic, thought-provoking one-man show that focuses on a young man struggling with the love that dare not speak its name — for a political leader who sometimes has difficulty speaking at all. Written by and starring Rick Fiori (10/3 to 10/30)… Sacred Cows — An irreverent new comedy from Dropping the Cow that skewers the comic state of religion in America, then roasts it slowly and gently over an open theatrical flame. Mario Baldessari and Jim Helein portray more than 50 different characters in more than 25 different scenes (1/5 to 1/30/05)… Of a Sunday Morning — A futuristic play highlighting one woman’s spiritual quest for truth in a time when the only priority is national security. Starring Lee Mikesksa Gardner (5/11 to 6/5)…

201 E. Capitol St. SE

The Two Gentlemen of Verona — Not the musical, but the real thing by Shakespeare. Brotherly love battles romantic love in Shakespeare’s exploration of the lengths people will go over matters of the heart. With Holly Twyford and Kate Norris (11/11 to 12/19)… Romeo and Juliet — A romantic classic with no equal. Directed by PJ Paparelli and featuring Ed Gero, Graham Hamilton, John Lescault and Nancy Robinette (1/12 to 2/20/05)… The Clandestine Marriage — An 18th-century comedy of manners, starring Emery Battis, Catherine Flye, Lawrence Redmond and Michael Tolaydo. Directed by Richard Clifford (4/15 to 5/12)…

511 Tenth St. NW

The Matchmaker — SCTV legend and Tony Award-winner Andrea Martin stars as Dolly Levi in Thornton Wilder’s romantic American farce, which provided the basis for the musical Hello, Dolly! (9/24 to 10/24)… A Christmas Carol — Year after year after year. You’d think Scrooge would have learned his lesson by now (11/23 to 1/2/05)… The Member of the Wedding — Carson McCuller’s heartfelt tale of life and love in the American South of the 1940s (2/4 to 2/27)… Big River — This musical adaptation of Huckleberry Finn has been updated to incorporate American Sign Language for the Deaf. The production, which recently drew raves in New York, is sure to be a must see (3/18 to 5/1)…


On Golden Pond — James Earl Jones and Diahann Carroll join their considerable talents in Ernest Thompson’s warmly entrancing tale of a couple whose estranged daughter returns home with big news (9/28 to 10/17, in the Eisenhower)… Thoroughly Modern Millie — A delightful valentine to the long-standing spirit of New York City and the people who seek to discover themselves there, this new stage version features 15 songs, including two from the 1967 film and four standards from the 1920s. Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical (12/7 to 12/26, in the Opera House)… Regina — A concert staging of the musical drama based on Lillian Hellman’s classic The Little Foxes and starring Tony Award-winning actress and singer Patti LuPone (3/10 to 3/12/05)… Mister Roberts — In the 1940s, men on a small Navy supply ship combat boredom and monotony (3/12 to 4/3, in the Eisenhower)… Hecuba — Vanessa Redgrave stars in Euripides’ tragedy in this Royal Shakespeare Company production directed by Laurence Boswell (5/21 to 6/12)… Hairspray — The John Waters musical finally arrives in Washington. With a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. No word on who’s playing Edna Turnblad (7/13 to 8/21, in the Opera House)… Shear Madness — Now and (apparently) forever in the Theatre Lab…

1201 N. Royal St.
Alexandria, Va.

One Good Marriage, A Simple Tale of Glorious Grief — The U.S. premiere of Canadian playwright Sean Reycraft’s existential drama about a couple celebrating their first wedding anniversary, bound together for life by the secret they share. Chilling yet darkly comic (10/21 to 11/21)… All Night Strut! — Directed by Thomas W. Jones, this celebration of song and dance from the ’30s and ’40s includes jazz, blues, bebop and standards from the era by such legends as Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, the Gershwin brothers and Duke Ellington (2/16 to 3/27/05)… Electra — Jennifer Mendenhall stars, Michael Russotto directs. What more do you need? How about the recent Frank McGuinness adaptation of Sophocles’ greatest tragedy (4/21 to 5/29)… The Last Five Years — This acclaimed, award-winning contemporary musical, written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, will boast performances by Tracy Lynn Olivera and the honey-throated (and indisputably adorable) Will Gartshore (6/15 to 7/24)…

1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Movin’ Out — Based on the music of Billy Joel, this Tony Award winner was conceived, choreographed and directed by the extraordinary choreographer Twyla Tharp (11/19 to 12/19)… Disney’s On the Record — More than 50 of the most beloved songs ever written from some of the most popular films ever made — presumably all Disney’s. A sampling: The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Snow White. Wonder if they’ll include the lightcycle theme from Tron (1/18 to 1/30/05)… Mama Mia! — The Abba musical returns. Get ready to dance in the aisles (5/17 to 6/26)…

2001 Sandy-Spring Rd.
Olney, Md.

Venus — Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks unravels a searing examination of the objectification of people, the fascination with what is “heathen” or foreign, and the unabashed injustice of appearance over substance (now through 9/26)… Blithe Spirit — The Noel Coward classic in which the dead and the living co-mingle with deliciously funny results (10/6 to 11/7)… Carousel — The Rodgers and Hammerstein piece of romantic enchantment follows swaggering carnival barker Billy Bigelow in his quest for the hand of young mill girl Julie Jordan (11/17 to 12/31)… Saint Joan — George Bernard Shaw’s riveting masterpiece about Joan of Arc, who challenged the conventions of her time (2/23 to 3/20/05)… Omnium Gatherum — At an unusual dinner party, a peculiar collection of souls gathers to enjoy conversation spiced with wit over an haute nouvelle menu with their host, a Martha Stewartesque perfectionist. An unexpected guest initiates a surprising turn of events. A biting, funny play about Manhattanites and their response to 9/11 that is both irreverent and surreal (3/30 to 4/24)… Lend Me a Tenor — The show that started it all for local lawyer-turned-playwright Ken Ludwig. A screwball farce of the highest order set at the Grand Opera Company of Cleveland in 1934. Directed by John Going (5/11 to 6/5)… La Tragédie De Carmen — Adapted from Georges Bizet’s Carmen and directed by Jim Petosa, this musical features all the love, rage, jealousy and revenge you could hope for in one breathtaking evening (6/22 to 7/17)… The Miracle Worker — William Gibson’s classic dramatization about the relationship between Helen Keller and the woman who rescues her from her life of internal darkness, Annie Sullivan (8/10 to 9/11/05)… Oliver! — Lionel Bart’s buoyant and unforgettable musical adaptation of Dickens’ Oliver Twist (11/16 to 12/24/05)…

East-West Hwy. at Wisc. Ave.

Living Out — Lisa Loomer’s humorous yet bittersweet look at race, class and global politics, directed by Wendy Goldberg and featuring Holly Twyford, David Fendig and Joselin Reyes (now through 10/10)… The Diary Of Anne Frank — A new stage adaptation of one of the most compelling and famous pieces of 20th Century non-fiction (11/10 to 12/12)… Life X 3 — An original, hilarious and thought-provoking new play from the author of the international mega-hit Art! Spend three evenings with Henri, the nervous strophysicist; Sonia, his nervy wife; Hubert, the womanizing boss; and Ines, the boss’ insignificant other. Or, rather, make that three versions of the same evening. (3/30 to 5/1/05)… Once On This Island — An enchanting Caribbean-flavored musical adaptation of The Little Mermaid by Ahrens and Flaherty with the heroine recast not as a fish but an orphaned peasant girl. Trust us, it’s just as magical (6/1 to 7/3)…

And in Round House’s Silver Spring space: Tabletop — Rob Ackerman’s quirky look at the world of tabletop commercials. Directed by Jane Beard and featuring Craig Wallace, David Marks and Jerry Whiddon(9/29 to 10/31)… A Broadway Christmas Carol — The Holiday favorite — a twisted parody of the Dickens classic — returns for its annual run (11/26 to 12/30)… Columbinus — Conceived and directed by PJ Paparelli, this breakthrough work explores the tragedy of Columbine as it takes a clear-eyed look at the bitter reality of high-school hierarchies and goes beyond blaming the media and society to dig at the root of the pain (3/2 to 4/10)…

450 7th St. NW

Macbeth — Storms rage, fires burn and night blankets the earth in this tale of sound and fury, which follows the fall of the once-noble Macbeth and his ambitious lady. Starring Kelly McGillis and Patrick Page. Directed by Michael Kahn (now through 10/24)… Pericles — Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman directs this spectacular Shakespearean adventure, the first time in the theater’s seventeen-year history that the work has been mounted. Shakespeare’s epic tale of redemption celebrates the power of virtue and the profound relationships between fathers and daughters (11/9 to 1/2/05)… Lorenzaccio — Alfred de Musset’s gripping tale of political intrigue and moral dilemmas has been newly translated by John Strand. Michael Kahn directs, Wallace Acton stars (1/18 to 3/6)… The Tempest — In a world of illusions and magic, an angry sorcerer manipulates spirits and humans alike in his search for revenge. Philip Goodwin stars as Prospero. Kate Whoriskey, one of the fastest rising young directors working today, takes the helm (3/22 to 5/22)… Lady Windermere’s Fan — Dixie Carter returns to the Shakespeare to play the lead in Oscar Wilde’s brilliant social comedy, which takes direct aim at the Victorian upper class. Directed by Keith Baxter (6/7 to 7/31)…

3806 S. Four Mile Run Drive

One Red Flower — Paris Barclay’s powerful and stirring musical is an intimate, searing look at wartime Vietnam through the eyes of the men who fought and died there (now through 10/3)… The Highest Yellow — A highly anticipated premiere featuring an exciting collaboration between five-time Tony-nominated composer/lyricist Michael John LaChiusa a book by John Strand, and direction by Eric Schaeffer. In December 1888, a young French intern in Arles admitted a patient suffering from delirium and a self-inflicted knife wound. Dr. Felix Rey was convinced he could cure this unusual patient, a Dutch painter named Vincent van Gogh, of his “nervous condition.” Starring Judy Kuhn, Jason Danieley and Marc Kudish (10/26 to 12/12)… Fallen From Proust — Norman Allen’s latest features a roundelay of sexual shenanigans as three hip thirty-somethings manipulate an ever-changing triangle of friendship, love and Clumber Spaniels. All bets are off in a world where Republican affiliations are anathema, homosexuality is passé and an ancient volume of Proust holds the key to all mysteries (1/11 to 2/20/05)… Ten Unknowns — From noted playwright Jon Robin Baitz comes this tale of an artist who is rediscovered and emotionally revived (3/15 to 4/24)… Pacific Overtures — Stephen Sondheim’s captivating and musically lavish journey into the Far East, spanning 120 years of Japan’s history. Directed by Eric Schaeffer (5/17 to 7/13)…

1333 P Street NW

The Russian National Postal Service — Floyd King stars in this inventive and bittersweet play from acclaimed contemporary Russian playwright Oleg Bogaev. In this fantastic portrait of the widower of a former postal worker, Ivan Sidorovich passes the time writing letters to himself from an array of characters in his mind that includes Queen Elizabeth II and Lenin (now through 10/24)… Ivanov — A rarely-seen work by Chekhov about a man (Philip Goodwin) too intelligent and too restless to endure his provincial life. This new production, adapted by David Hare and directed by Joy Zinoman, confronts the play’s anti-Semitic undercurrents. It opens The Studio Theatre’s brand new 200-seat theatre (11/3 to 12/12)… Black Milk — From Vassily Sigarev, Russia’s most promising new playwright, comes this tale of two young hipsters in contemporary post-Soviet Russia. Directed by Serge Seiden and starring Holly Twyford and Matthew Montelongo (1/5 to 2/13/05)… Afterplay — Celebrated Irish playwright Brian Friel does just imagines a meeting in a Moscow café between Sonya of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and Andrey of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, twenty years later. Directed by Joy Zinoman and starring Nancy Robinette and Ed Gero (3/19 to 4/17)… Ricky Jay — With nothing more than a deck of cards, this noted magician — a staple of David Mamet films — transfixes audiences with his subtle and clever sleight-of-hand (5/6 to 5/22)… Take Me Out — Richard Green’s story of a major league baseball player who comes out of the closet won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Play (5/18 to 6/26)…

Studio’s Secondstage season includes Russian Readings, an assortment of some of the best that contemporary Russian playwriting has to offer (10/13 to 10/24); The Death of Meyerhold, based on the life of the great Russian theater director (1/19 to 2/13/05); and Terrorism, a work made up of six seemingly unconnected scenes that include bomb scares plaguing the airport and old ladies plotting murder, and opening simultaneously here, in London and in New York (3/30 to 4/24)…

16th & Q Streets NW

A Bad Friend — Pulitzer Prize-winning satirist, cartoonist, author, and playwright Jules Feiffer returns to the stage with a story of Rose, a sixteen-year-old girl struggling through the vicissitudes of adolescence in a family of 1950s Communists riven by the anti-Semitic legacy of Josef Stalin (10/30 to 11/28)… The Tattooed Girl — A bitingly relevant new work from Joyce Carol Oates, portraying an intimate, tension-filled relationship between a brilliant disease-addled Jewish writer — a wealthy, famous son of Holocaust survivors — and his new personal assistant, Alma, who carries with her a past of dysfunction, drug addiction, and frightening jags of anti-Semitism (1/11 to 2/20/05)… Betty Rules — This idiosyncratic rock band comprised of two Jewish sisters — Amy and Elizabeth Ziff — and Alyson Palmer has for fifteen years weathered a rock-and-rollercoaster ride from a basement in suburban Washington to cult diva status. Now they’re telling all is this recent Off-Broadway hit that features hilarious comic vignettes and songs that blend rock-n-roll with gorgeous three-part harmonies (3/2 to 4/3)… There Are No Strangers — Filmmaker Jeanette Buck (Open Season) turns her attention to the stage with this play about a young woman targeted in a seemingly random act of violence. Directed by Delia Taylor and Holly Twyford (3/26 to 4/17)… Hannah & Martin — Celebrated journalist Hannah Arendt and philosopher Martin Heidegger are the title characters in this captivating new drama by Kate Fodor. Winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award (5/4 to 6/5)…

3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive
Arlington, Va.

Desire — A psycho-sexual thriller in which a woman trapped in a stagnant marriage confronts her presumed stalker, unearthing memories from her past (9/23 to 10/16)… Hidden: a Gender — Kate Bornstein’s hilarious look at gender formation, attitudes and roles while introducing two historical figures who didn’t fit into gender’s strict parameters. Directed by Vincent Worthington (3/31 to 4/30/05)… The Sum of Us — In this exceptional play by David Stevens, a gay man and his widowed father both struggle to navigate love’s difficult passage (6/2 to 6/19)…

Various locations

Lenny & Lou — In Ian Cohen’s darkly disturbing farce, two neurotic young men find themselves tangled in the wildly inappropriate apron strings of their mother. A torrent of sex, cross-dressing and a desperate search for a hidden fortune ensues (now to 9/26, at the DCJCC)… Grace — The World Premiere of Craig Wright’s latest drama, in which an empty Florida condo, three dead bodies, police sirens blaring and a loud, frenzied knocking at the door add up to a mystery that may not be as it seems. Starring Jennifer Mendenhall and Michael Willis (10/25 to 12/19 at the Warehouse Theatre)… Our Lady of 121st Street — A raucous collection of old friends descends on the Ortiz Funeral Home to pay respects to their beloved (and feared!) teacher Sister Rose, only to find her body has vanished. As the police grudgingly investigate, a legless priest, a mismatched gay couple, a womanizing DJ and a brain-damaged, Yodel-eating shoplifter reexamine their pasts, settle scores, heal old wounds, ignite old passions or just unload emotional baggage. By Stephen Adly Guirgis and featuring Doug Brown (12/8 to 1/2/05 at the KenCen Film Theater)… Big Death and Little Death — In this dark visionary comedy, Hollywood writer Mickey Birnbaum gleefully detonates the generational zeitgeist as two discontented teenagers ponder their choices in life — go to college, sleep with the guidance counselor or destroy the universe (March/April)… The Clean House — Woolly regulars Mitchell Hebert, Naomi Jacobson and Sarah Marshall star in Sarah Ruhl’s unpredictable drama in which the act of cleaning house transforms the lives of two unlikely sisters (May/June)…

Various locations

PRONTO — The improv comedy troupe’s long-form ensemble Jackie presents PRONTO, an improvised comedy about dreams, dreamers and those surreal moments when you just can’t believe you’re awake. Inspired by the moment at hand, Jackie creates a tableau of vivid characters in situations as funny and wide-ranging as life itself (9/10 to 10/2 at DCAC)… POTUS Among Us — Democracy is taken to the extreme with this searing improvised take on the political process. In a theatrical adventure of pure populism, WIT engages the audience in every step of the race for the White House, from creating candidates’ platforms through the inevitable sloganeering, primaries and smear campaigning. Independent media spring unpredictable twists, and real personalities from the Hill and D.C. media moderate debates much more free-flowing than anything you’ll see in a real campaign. The audience does the final voting, choosing a party animal of their own creation to lead the free world (10/7 to 11/6 at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW)… Obey — Lightning-fast games and short scenes based on audience suggestions (now through 10/17 at Whitlow’s in Clarendon)…