Metro Weekly

Stage: Plays and Musicals

Spring Arts 2013

Local theaters are winding down their current seasons as they ramp up the hype surrounding their next crop of plays and musicals. (Will Signature really land a helicopter on its stage?) But there’s still plenty left in the springtime path worth getting excited over — everything from Studio’s all-new, potentially gender-bending production of Rocky Horror (with costume designs by Collin Ranney, pictured on our cover as his alter ego Birdie LaCage) to Arena’s Other Desert Cities, to the arrival of two huge musicals at the Kennedy Center, Anything Goes and Book of Mormon. Then there’s Mike Daisey’s sure-to-be-inflammatory return to Woolly Mammoth, and a muscular power-play rep at The Shakespeare custom made for Washington — Coriolanus and Wallenstein. Yup, it’s going to be one heck of a season closer on D.C. stages.

Anything Goes

Anything Goes at Kennedy Center

(Photo by Joan Marcus)


Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, Md.

Three Little Birds – A world-premiere musical, based on a story by Cedella Marley and featuring the music and lyrics of Bob Marley, about three birds who sing songs to Ziggy, a shy Jamaican child who won’t leave his room for fear of hurricanes and evil spirits. Directed by Nick Olcott. (Now to 4/14)
Big Nate – Based on the comic strip by Lincoln Pierce with music by Chris Youstra and lyrics by Youstra and Jason Loewith. Directed by Michael Baron. (5/3-6/2)
Cat In the Hat – Well, you know this incredible story. See it to come to life in this production based on the one created by the National Theatre of Great Britain. (6/21-9/2)


Gunston Theater II
2700 South Lang St.

Voodoo Macbeth – A reimagining of Shakespeare’s play, adapted by Orson Welles, and using the imagery and traditions of, well, voodoo. (3/22-4/13)
Biography – A woman’s acceptance of a hefty fee to write her tell-all memoirs creates problems in this drawing-room comedy by S.N. Behrman. Directed by Steven Scott Mazzola. (6/7-7/29)
I Do! I Do! – The Tom Jones/Harvey Schmidt musical focuses on the marriage of a couple over a 50-year period. (7/19-8/17)


Mead Center for American Theater
1101 6th St. SW

Mary T. & Lizzy K. – Writer-director Tazewell Thompson stitches together an insider’s look at the unlikely friendship between first lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her talented seamstress, the successful freed slave Elizabeth Keckly. The world-premiere drama is the first commission of Arena Stage’s American President’s Project. (Now to 4/28, Kogod)
The Mountaintop – Katori Hall’s bold reimagining of the last night of the historic life of Martin Luther King Jr. Exhausted from delivering a significant speech, King rests in his room at the Lorraine Motel when an unexpected visit from a feisty, young maid compels him to confront his own humanity and the fate of our nation. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play. (3/29-5/12, Fichandler)
Other Desert Cities – Jon Robin Baitz’s drama tells the story of a woman’s return home after a six-year absence. When news of her upcoming memoir threatens to revive the most painful chapter of the family’s history, old family wounds are opened, childhood memories are tested, and the family learns that some secrets cannot stay buried forever. (4/26-5/26)


1835 14th St. NW

Gilgamesh – Part god, part man, King Gilgamesh goes on an epic quest for immortality. Featuring poetry by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Yusef Komunyakaa. (5/2-6/2)


Gunston Theatre One
2700 S. Lang St.

Bent – A compelling love story between two men imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. (June)


201 East Capitol St. SE

Twelfth Night – Lost lovers and unruly servants conspire in this beloved romantic comedy set. Directed by Robert Richmond. (4/30-6/9)


511 10th St. NW

Hello, Dolly! – In Jerry Herman’s timeless musical, Horace Vandergelder hires matchmaker Dolly Levi to find him a wife. Dolly soon hatches a plan to woo and win Vandergelder’s hand herself. Eric Schaeffer directs this co-production with Signature Theatre. (Now to 5/18)


Round House Silver Spring
8641 Colesville Road
Silver Spring

Clementine in the Lower 9 – Dan Dietz’s drama tells the story of Agamemnon using the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as the setting. (5/23-6/15)


3333 14th St. NW

DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story – A musical based on the life of Clemente, who went from barrios of Puerto Rico to a successful run with the Pittsburgh Pirates to a fateful flight to Nicaragua to deliver humanitarian aid. (4/18-5/26)


Church Street Theatre
1742 Church St. NW

A Behanding in Spokane – A macabre tale from Martin McDonagh, the show concerns a mysterious stranger on the hunt for his missing appendage. (Now to 4/6)
The Full Monty – The Americanized musical stage version of the 1997 British film, with a book by Terrence McNally and a score by David Yazbeck. The musical follows group of unemployed steelworkers desperately seeking employment. Until they hatch a plan to make money by shedding it all for the ladies. (5/4-6/1)
Rabbit Hole – A dark, absorbing Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the emotions that befall people after a tragedy. (6/22-7/13)
A Few Good Men – Aaron Sorkin’s military court drama about two Marines accused of murder and the Navy lawyer who defends them. Directed by Jeremy Skidmore. (8/10-9/7)


2700 F St. NW

The Guardsman – A new production of the 1920s Broadway comedy smash that originally starred Lunt and Fontanne as newlywed actors, full of fresh love, tender egos and jealous schemes. (5/25-6/23, Eisenhower)
Anything Goes – Cole Porter’s greatest achievement, featuring such memorable tunes as “You’re the Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and the title song. (6/11-7/7, Opera House)
The Book of Mormon – The Tony-winning musical from the creators of South Park hits the KC, starring Gavin Creel. (7/9-8/18, Opera House)


1201 North Royal St.

Ghost-Writer – When a novelist dies mid-sentence, his typist continues to take dictation creating concern among the novelist’s wife, publisher and the general public. Directed by John Vreeke. (4/18-5/26)


1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Spamalot – The Monty Python musical returns for another go at the Holy Grail. (4/10-14)


2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road
Olney, Md.

Neville’s Island, A Comedy in Thick Fog – Tim Firth’s comedy follows four out-of-shape, middle-aged businessmen who succeed in being the first people ever to get shipwrecked on a tiny island just off Britain’s Lake District. (4/4-28, Mainstage)
The Submission – Shaleeha G’ntamobi’s stirring new play about an alcoholic mother and her cardsharp son trying to get out of the projects has just been accepted into the nation’s preeminent theater festival. Trouble is, Shaleeha G’ntamobi doesn’t exist, except in the imagination of wannabe white playwright Danny, who created her as a kind of affirmative-action nom-de-plume. (5/9-6/9, Theatre Lab)
Angel Street (”Gaslight”) – Is the handsome Jack Manningham a caring husband – or is he discreetly trying to drive his young wife Bella into insanity under the guise of kindness? Directed by John Going. (6/20-7/14, Historic Stage)
Carnival – The classic musical tells the story of a lonely orphan girl who literally runs away to join the circus. Based on the movie Lili. (8/1-9/1, Mainstage)
Saint Joan and Hamlet – A rotating rep from the BEDLAM theater company of classics by George Bernard Shaw and Shakespeare. (9/5-10/27, Theatre Lab)
Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite – Set in modern Paris, Molière’s always relevant classic comedy about a religious hypocrite and the home he invades gets a vibrant makeover and a Euro-pop score. (9/26-10/20, Mainstage)
Once Upon a Mattress – A delightful musical based on the fable of The Princess and the Pea. (11/14-12/29, Mainstage)


10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Md.

Boeing Boeing – An American architect living in Paris in the swinging ’60s juggles relationships with three air hostesses, all employed by Boeing-Boeing airlines. (4/17-5/5)


4545 East-West Highway

How to Write a New Book for the Bible – A powerful, beautiful new play taken from Bill Cain’s own experiences. A man moves in with his ailing but always funny mother when she becomes too frail to care for herself. Their reunion heals old wounds, opening a heartfelt and humorous new chapter in their relationship. (4/10-5/5)
Becky Shaw – When Suzanna sets up her best friend Max on a blind date with her husband’s co-worker Becky Shaw, she sets into motion a series of cataclysmic events that forever change all of their lives. (5/29-6/23)


H Street Playhouse
1365 H St. NE

Shining City – Conor McPherson’s drama about a man in turmoil after the death of his wife. (Now to 4/21)
Accidental Death of an Anarchist – Dario Fo’s daring comedy set amid a fascist police state. (5/5-6/16)
Salome – The Oscar Wilde classic, reworked. (7/7-8/18)


Harman Center for the Arts
610 F St. NW
Lansburgh Theatre
450 7th St. NW

Coriolanus – Caius Martius earns the new name of ”Coriolanus” for his heroic triumphs. However his inflexible self-belief and contempt for popular rule cause him to be condemned as a traitor and sent into exile. Desiring revenge against the Romans who banished him, he launches an assault on his beloved city. David Muse directs. (3/28-6/2, Harman Hall)
Wallenstein – A newly commissioned adaptation and translation of Friedrich Schiller drama. One of Germany’s greatest dramatic works, Wallenstein follows the famous general Albrecht von Wallenstein at the height of his influence and power during the Thirty Years’ War. Directed by Michael Kahn. In rep with Coriolanus. (3/28-6/2, Harman Hall)
The Winter’s Tale – One of Shakespeare’s later plays, this compassionate and dazzling saga tells the tale of King Leontes, who is overcome with jealousy when he believes his pregnant wife Hermione and his good friend King Polixenes are lovers. Directed by Rebecca Bayla Taichman. (5/9-6/23, Lansburgh)


4200 Campbell Ave.

The Last Five Years – Aaron Posner directs this musical by Jason Robert Brown that chronicles the highs and lows of a modern-day marriage (makes for a lovely precursor to ACT’s I Do! I Do!). (4/2-28, Max)
Company – Eric Schaeffer directs the Sondheim classic in which a 35-year-old bachelor searches for answers to life on his birthday. Familiar songs include ”Being Alive” and ”Ladies Who Lunch.” (5/21-6/30, Max)


1501 14th St. NW

4000 Miles – Tana Hicken stars in this play about a 21-year-old neo-hippie who, following his girlfriend’s death, seeks refuge in the Greenwich Village apartment of his 91-year-old leftist grandmother. Directed by Joy Zinoman. (Opens 3/20)
2-2 Tango and Skin Tight – A pair of one acts about coupling, from New Zealand and Canada. (Opens 4/24)
The Real Thing – Tom Stoppard’s classic about a playwright and his complicated relationship with his wife. Directed by David Muse. (Opens 5/22)
Baby Universe: A Puppet Odyssey – A captivating fable about the search for a new planet on which to sustain human life. Inspired by real-life scientific events and theory, the show features 30 puppets, animation, a space-age score and a robot based on Stephen Hawking. (Opens 6/26)
The Rocky Horror Show – Studio’s 2ndStage celebrates its 25th anniversary with this 40th anniversary production of the crazed, hip musical. (Open July 10)


Crystal City

The Tempest – The latest in the ”Silent Shakespeare Series,” directed by Paata Tsikurishvilli. (Now to 3/24)
Three Musketeers – D’Artagnan’s journey to become a musketeer bounds to life with plenty of romance, intrigue, and animated duels crafted by resident fight choreographer, Ben Cunis. (5/9-6/9)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A brief revival of one of Synetic’s most popular offerings. (7/24-8/4)


1529 16th St. NW

Andy and the Shadows -– Andy Glickstein is the son of Holocaust refugees who fears he can’t get married because he hasn’t suffered enough. His family’s gathered on the South Side of Chicago to celebrate his engagement to clear-headed Sarah, but party preparations are interrupted as Andy is pulled by memories and pre-adolescent enchantments of his mother’s bath-time stories recounting her dramatic escapes from the Nazis. Written by Ari Roth. (4/3-28)
The Hampton Years – Jacqueline E. Lawton’s play revolves around the development of great African-American artists John Biggers and Samella Lewis under the tutelage of Austrian Jewish refugee painter and educator, Viktor Lowenfeld. (5/29-6/30)


Undercroft Theatre
900 Massachusetts Ave. NW

The Elder Statesman – T.S. Eliot’s final play in its first D.C. production. (4/25-5/19)


641 D St. NW

American Utopias – A world premiere of the latest from Mike Daisey, as he explores how we create civic spaces for ourselves in which we act out our dreams of a better world. Daisey travels from Disney World and its theme-park perfection, to the drug-fueled anarchic excesses of Burning Man, from the Masonic underpinnings of the U.S. Capitol. (Now to 4/14)
Stupid Fucking Bird – Aaron Posner has loosely adapted Chekhov’s The Seagull in this contemporary and irreverent riff on the classic play. Directed by Howard Shalwitz. (5/27-6/23)

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