Metro Weekly

Operatic Intent

UrbanArias finds “winning combination” to attract new opera fans

Pulley-and-Hall-Ft-Worth
“I always thought opera was kind of silly when I was growing up,” concedes Jake Heggie, adding with a laugh, “and sometimes I still do.”

Heggie was weaned on American musicals, and grew up writing songs in that style. But years of work with some bold-named opera stars, including Frederica von Stade and Renee Fleming, eventually led to a commission from the San Francisco Opera, where he once worked in the marketing department. And more than 15 years since that first commission, composing Terrence McNally’s adaptation of the film Dead Man Walking, Heggie has been committed to the genre and putting his own musical theater-esque stamp on it.

“We have to make a strong case to make this traditionally European form our own,” he says. “Looking at all the different permutations of stories and combinations of singers and instruments throughout history, not to mention today, shows you just how versatile this art form is.”

Heggie has a kindred spirit in UrbanArias, which Robert Wood founded more than four years ago as a way to make opera more accessible and affordable to new audiences. This nationally recognized, Arlington-based company opens its new season with a production of Three Decembers, a 90-minute opera Heggie developed with librettist Gene Scheer, adapted from a script by Terrence McNally. The intimate piece explores the dysfunctional relationship between a Broadway diva and her two children over the course of three decades, charting the impact of AIDS and the rise of gay rights. “It’s very important that people today remember what that period was like,” Heggie says, “because a lot of young people don’t know what it was like or what was going on.”

Heggie, who lives in San Francisco with his actor husband Curt Branom and is currently in the final stages of writing another new opera with McNally, is thrilled by the efforts of UrbanArias and other organizations for pushing opera in new directions.

“It’s exciting to see a younger generation, a generation behind me who are getting opportunities to write operas in a way that I never could have imagined,” he says.

Three Decembers opens Saturday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m., with additional performances Sunday, Sept. 28, at 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m. Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd. Arlington. Tickets are $28. Call 703-875-1100 or visit urbanarias.org.

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Graywolf's 45th Anniversary

at Folger Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Mon, September 16
FULL PRICE: $15
OFFER PRICE: $10

Three poets with Graywolf Press read their work at D.C.'s Folger Theatre in a celebration of the press’s 45th anniversary and the opening of the 51st season of the O.B. Hardison Poetry series. Fanny... [more+]

Three poets with Graywolf Press read their work at D.C.'s Folger Theatre in a celebration of the press’s 45th anniversary and the opening of the 51st season of the O.B. Hardison Poetry series. Fanny Howe has written more than 30 works of poetry and prose, including _Love and I, The Needle's Eye, Come and See_, and "The Winter Sun". Her "Second Childhood" was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her fiction has been honored as a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize. Her latest collection is "Love and I: Poems". Ilya Kaminsky is the author of "Deaf Republic, Dancing in Odessa", and the co-editor of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. He has received a Whiting Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was named a finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages. Danez Smith’s "Don’t Call Us Dead" was the winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award. Smith’s third collection, "Homie", will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020. [less-]

Discover D.C. On a Walking Foodie Tour of H Street

at Union Station - Main Lobby, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Mon, September 16
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
+ 12 more dates
Mon, September 16
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sun, September 22
Mon, September 23
Tue, September 24
Wed, September 25
Thu, September 26
Fri, September 27
Sat, September 28
Sun, September 29
Mon, September 30
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $79
OFFER PRICE: $39

Not only does H Street have rich, cultural history, but it's also blossomed into one of the most diverse culinary scenes of the Capitol. Grab a little mix of everything, from Italian to Middle Eastern... [more+]

Not only does H Street have rich, cultural history, but it's also blossomed into one of the most diverse culinary scenes of the Capitol. Grab a little mix of everything, from Italian to Middle Eastern and American, on this Washington, D.C. food tour. A local guide will give you the inside scoop on the cuisines, the Corridor's sites, the juicy gossip of H Street and beyond. The fun begins at Union Station's Main Lobby. [less-]

Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Walking Tour

at US Capitol Building, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Mon, September 16
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
+ 12 more dates
Mon, September 16
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sun, September 22
Mon, September 23
Tue, September 24
Wed, September 25
Thu, September 26
Fri, September 27
Sat, September 28
Sun, September 29
Mon, September 30
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $40
OFFER PRICE: $20

On the Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Tour, you'll explore the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Discover the birthplace of American government while seeing iconic landmarks and le... [more+]

On the Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Tour, you'll explore the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Discover the birthplace of American government while seeing iconic landmarks and learning fascinating history on this two-hour walking tour. Cap it all off by grabbing a drink in the city's oldest commercial district. [less-]

Blues Alley: D.C.'s Premier Jazz & Supper Club

at Blues Alley, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Mon, September 16
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
+ 3 more dates
Mon, September 16
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
Mon, September 23
Tue, September 24
Mon, September 30
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $22 - $25
OFFER PRICE: $11 - $12.50

Founded in 1965, Blues Alley is the nation's oldest operating jazz supper club, having showcased such internationally renowned artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Grover Washingto... [more+]

Founded in 1965, Blues Alley is the nation's oldest operating jazz supper club, having showcased such internationally renowned artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Grover Washington Jr., Ramsey Lewis, Charlie Byrd, Maynard Ferguson and Eva Cassidy. Located in the heart of historic Georgetown in an 18th century red brick carriage house, Blues Alley offers a unique and intimate ambiance, reminiscent of the jazz clubs of the 1920s and '30s. Go for just the music and drinks, or make it an evening and choose from authentic Creole cuisine, steak and seafood dishes. [less-]

Live Music at City Winery D.C.

at City Winery DC, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Tue, September 17
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
+ 3 more dates
Tue, September 17
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Mon, September 23
Tue, September 24
Thu, September 26
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $15 - $22
OFFER PRICE: $7.50 - $11

City Winery strives to deliver the best culinary and cultural experience to D.C. denizens who are passionate about wine, food and music. Combining a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, fo... [more+]

City Winery strives to deliver the best culinary and cultural experience to D.C. denizens who are passionate about wine, food and music. Combining a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, food and wine classes, and beyond, City Winery has created a compelling mix for its sophisticated clientele of foodies, and active cultural patrons -- bringing the wine country experience to the middle of a large city. [less-]

Shakespeare's "1 Henry IV" Featuring Edward Gero

at Folger Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
+ 5 more dates
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sat, September 21
Sun, September 22
Sun, September 22
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $40 - $85
OFFER PRICE: $28 - $68

Watch as loyalties are tested and rivals are vanquished when Shakespeare's history play of power, honor and redemption hits the stage. This production even features acclaimed actor Edward Gero as the ... [more+]

Watch as loyalties are tested and rivals are vanquished when Shakespeare's history play of power, honor and redemption hits the stage. This production even features acclaimed actor Edward Gero as the irrepressible Falstaff, making all the riotous comedy, political intrigue and battlefield action of this epic saga even more unforgettable! [less-]

Relive the News Stories That Have Shaped Our Lives at the Newseum

at Newseum, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
+ 101 more dates
Tue, September 17
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sun, September 22
Mon, September 23
Tue, September 24
Wed, September 25
Thu, September 26
Fri, September 27
Sat, September 28
Sun, September 29
Mon, September 30
Tue, October 01
Wed, October 02
Thu, October 03
Fri, October 04
Sat, October 05
Sun, October 06
Mon, October 07
Tue, October 08
Wed, October 09
Thu, October 10
Fri, October 11
Sat, October 12
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Thu, October 17
Fri, October 18
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Fri, October 25
Sat, October 26
Sun, October 27
Mon, October 28
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Wed, October 30
Thu, October 31
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Mon, November 04
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Fri, November 08
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Sat, November 23
Sun, November 24
Mon, November 25
Tue, November 26
Wed, November 27
Fri, November 29
Sat, November 30
Sun, December 01
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Tue, December 03
Wed, December 04
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Fri, December 06
Sat, December 07
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Sat, December 21
Sun, December 22
Mon, December 23
Tue, December 24
Thu, December 26
Fri, December 27
Sat, December 28
Sun, December 29
Mon, December 30
Tue, December 31
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $15.81 - $26.38
OFFER PRICE: $11.50 - $17

Stories of the world come alive at the Newseum, where you can go behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made. See some of the final photographs of the only journalist who died covering th... [more+]

Stories of the world come alive at the Newseum, where you can go behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made. See some of the final photographs of the only journalist who died covering the 9/11 attacks, witness the epic struggle of the civil rights movement in the '60s, marvel at a comprehensive collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs and hear never-before-told stories from the journalists and photographers who stood on the front lines of history. This high-tech museum features seven levels of galleries and exhibits, including the Berlin Wall Gallery, which features eight 12-foot-high sections of the actual wall and a three-story East German guard tower. There are also theaters, retail spaces and visitor services where you can explore electronic news, unique artifacts, photojournalism, news history and world news. And, since there's so much to see, your ticket is good for two consecutive days. Take your time and see half the first day, then return the next day to catch what you missed. [less-]

The Lox

at Howard Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Tue, September 17
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

The LOX -- an acronym for Living Off Experience -- are a Yonkers, NY-based rap trio who worked their way up through the Bad Boy training camp, writing and rapping on hits by the likes of Puff Daddy, t... [more+]

The LOX -- an acronym for Living Off Experience -- are a Yonkers, NY-based rap trio who worked their way up through the Bad Boy training camp, writing and rapping on hits by the likes of Puff Daddy, the Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, and Mariah Carey before releasing their debut album in early 1998. Sheek (Shawn Jacobs), Jadakiss (Jayson Phillips), and Styles (David Styles) began rapping together in their childhood. By the time they reached their late teens, they had settled on the LOX name. Eventually, they met Mary J. Blige. Impressed by their demo tape, Blige forwarded the tape to Sean “Puffy” Combs, who hired the trio as writers. Between 1996 and 1997, the group wrote and performed on a number of Combs’ productions, including his own “It’s All About the Benjamins” and “I Got the Power,” Mase’s “24 Hrs. to Live,” Mariah Carey’s “Honey,” the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Last Day,” Mary J. Blige’s “Can’t Get You Off My Mind,” and Zhané’s “Saturday Night.” The LOX received an unexpected boost in the summer of 1997, when their tribute to the late Biggie Smalls, “We’ll Always Love Big Poppa,” was picked as the B-side of Puff Daddy’s international No. 1 hit, “I’ll Be Missing You.” The single was the biggest hit of 1997, setting the stage for the January 1998 release of the LOX’s debut, "Money, Power, Respect", which went as high as No. 3 on the pop album charts. After a switch to the Ruff Ryders label camp, "We Are the Streets" followed in early 2000. [less-]

Ghosts of Georgetown Walking Tour -- A Haunted Trek Through DC

at The Old Stone House, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Tue, September 17
Thu, September 19
Sat, September 21
+ 9 more dates
Tue, September 17
Thu, September 19
Sat, September 21
Tue, September 24
Thu, September 26
Sat, September 28
Tue, October 01
Thu, October 03
Sat, October 05
Tue, October 08
Thu, October 10
Sat, October 12
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $24
OFFER PRICE: $12

DC By Foot presents a walking tour featuring the Ghosts of Georgetown. Among the historic streets, manicured gardens and Victorian row houses of one of Washington, D.C.'s finest neighborhoods lie deep... [more+]

DC By Foot presents a walking tour featuring the Ghosts of Georgetown. Among the historic streets, manicured gardens and Victorian row houses of one of Washington, D.C.'s finest neighborhoods lie deep, dark secrets about a forgotten past. Come along to hear about the ghosts and spirits that still haunt the nation's capital ... if you dare. You'll hear a historian's take on all of the curses, eerie coincidences and hauntings that make up the darker side of days gone by in this pre-Revolutionary town. [less-]

Black Uhuru

at Howard Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Wed, September 18
FULL PRICE: $25
OFFER PRICE: COMP - $17

Black Uhuru is a Jamaican Reggae group formed in 1972, initially as Uhuru. The group has undergone several line-up changes over the years, with Derrick "Duckie" Simpson as the mainstay. Black Uhuru's ... [more+]

Black Uhuru is a Jamaican Reggae group formed in 1972, initially as Uhuru. The group has undergone several line-up changes over the years, with Derrick "Duckie" Simpson as the mainstay. Black Uhuru's long success has allowed them to become ambassadors of reggae while earning several achievements in the music industry. With 14 full length albums, seven instrumental dub albums, and four live albums they have the highest record sales in reggae music behind Bob Marley. The album "Red" was voted #23 for "Rolling Stone"’s list of “100 Greatest Albums of the 1980′s.” Aside from winning the first Reggae Grammy, they have been nominated five more times. They are the only reggae group to have won the Diamond Awards of Excellence in 1994. [less-]

"Cabaret"

at Olney Theatre Center - Mainstage, Olney
OFFER DATES:
Wed, September 18
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
+ 17 more dates
Wed, September 18
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sat, September 21
Sun, September 22
Wed, September 25
Thu, September 26
Fri, September 27
Sat, September 28
Sat, September 28
Sun, September 29
Wed, October 02
Wed, October 02
Thu, October 03
Fri, October 04
Sat, October 05
Sat, October 05
Sun, October 06
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $69 - $79
OFFER PRICE: $34.50 - $39.50

An American writer falls in love with a singer in Berlin on the eve of the Nazis' rise to power. The 1998 revival of "Cabaret" won four Tonys, boasting an unforgettable score by Kander and Ebb. Politi... [more+]

An American writer falls in love with a singer in Berlin on the eve of the Nazis' rise to power. The 1998 revival of "Cabaret" won four Tonys, boasting an unforgettable score by Kander and Ebb. Political upheaval tests the dream-like romance in this powerful production at Olney Theatre Center. [less-]

Learn All You Need to Know to Buy Your First Home

at Capital Hilton, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Wed, September 18
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: COMP - $10

You've saved the money for a down payment on your first home, but now what? This fun, educational class provides an overview of current market conditions and the home-buying process from a unique part... [more+]

You've saved the money for a down payment on your first home, but now what? This fun, educational class provides an overview of current market conditions and the home-buying process from a unique partnership of top professionals in the D.C. mortgage, real estate and settlement industries. During the two-hour presentation, you'll learn whether you're ready to make the leap from renter to buyer, plus all you need to know to enter the market, including mortgage and financing basics, how to navigate the short sale and foreclosure market, how to choose an agent, how to write a winning offer and make it successfully through closing. The real estate market is more competitive than ever, but these seasoned pros will help you jump in and successfully close the deal on your first home. [less-]

"CATS": Andrew Lloyd Webber's Hit Musical

at The Kennedy Center - Opera House, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
+ 15 more dates
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sun, September 22
Tue, September 24
Wed, September 25
Thu, September 26
Fri, September 27
Sat, September 28
Sun, September 29
Sun, September 29
Tue, October 01
Wed, October 02
Wed, October 02
Thu, October 03
Fri, October 04
Sat, October 05
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $59 - $109
OFFER PRICE: $59 - $109

"CATS", the record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber, sweeps across the country on its North American tour. The show has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages, w... [more+]

"CATS", the record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber, sweeps across the country on its North American tour. The show has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages, with breathtaking dance and music, including one of the most treasured songs in musical theater: "Memory.” Winner of seven Tony Awards including "Best Musical," "CATS" tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn. Experience the original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber ("Phantom, School of Rock, Sunset Boulevard"), original scenic and costume design by John Napier ("Les Misérables"), all-new lighting design by Natasha Katz ("Aladdin"), new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler ("Hamilton") and direction by Trevor Nunn ("Les Misérables") at The Kennedy Center Opera House. [less-]

Musical Comedy "A Nite at the Dew Drop Inn"

at Anacostia Playhouse, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
+ 2 more dates
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sat, September 21
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $40
OFFER PRICE: $20

Let the good times roll as you experience a raunchy, raucous night of song filled with laughter, high jinks, and tears of joy. This fun-filled musical journey will take you on a ride of those unforget... [more+]

Let the good times roll as you experience a raunchy, raucous night of song filled with laughter, high jinks, and tears of joy. This fun-filled musical journey will take you on a ride of those unforgettable moments of that first date, first kiss, the one that got away, or maybe the one you kicked to the curb! "A Nite at the Dew Drop Inn" is a musical celebration and tribute to the juke joint, to those iconic nightspots that were known for good food, music and maybe a little trouble (if you weren’t careful). This cabaret-style presentation at Anacostia Playhouse highlights themes of love found, love lost and love renewed. It features songs made famous by Big Mama Thorton, Fats Waller, Etta James, and Dinah Washington, just to name a few. [less-]

"Fabulation Or, The Re-Education of Undine" Featuring Felicia Curry

at Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
+ 3 more dates
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sat, September 21
Sun, September 22
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $50 - $65
OFFER PRICE: $20 - $32.50

Mosaic Theater Company stages Lynn Nottage’s "Fabulation Or, The Re-Education of Undine", the story of a spectacular fall from grace. With Felicia Curry in the titular role, Nottage’s funny dialog... [more+]

Mosaic Theater Company stages Lynn Nottage’s "Fabulation Or, The Re-Education of Undine", the story of a spectacular fall from grace. With Felicia Curry in the titular role, Nottage’s funny dialog and crisp observations on social and racial identities fully shines. [less-]

"A Few Good Men"

at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, Alexandria
OFFER DATES:
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
FULL PRICE: $21 - $24
OFFER PRICE: $10.50 - $12

First produced on Broadway in 1989 and inspiring an Academy Award-nominated film of the same name, this riveting courtroom drama tells the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a hi... [more+]

First produced on Broadway in 1989 and inspiring an Academy Award-nominated film of the same name, this riveting courtroom drama tells the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients, two U.S. Marines accused of murder. Based on events that took place at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in July 1986, the play investigates both the nature of our military mentality and the Marine code of honor. [less-]

Historic Taste of Georgetown Walking Tour

at The Washington Harbour, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Wed, September 18
Sat, September 28
FULL PRICE: $88
OFFER PRICE: $44

From sweet to savory, to locally sourced and all things artisan, this Georgetown food tour reveals where to find the best locally-produced bites in a neighbourhood that’s gone corporate. As you tast... [more+]

From sweet to savory, to locally sourced and all things artisan, this Georgetown food tour reveals where to find the best locally-produced bites in a neighbourhood that’s gone corporate. As you taste your way through one of the most historic areas in DC your local guide will regale you with tales of the neighborhood, how it has changed through the years, and where it will go in the future. [less-]

"Beehive: The 60's Musical"

at NextStop Theatre, Herndon
OFFER DATES:
Thu, September 19
Sat, September 21
FULL PRICE: $40
OFFER PRICE: $20

Take a trip down memory lane with six remarkable women as they celebrate the songs and the songstresses that empowered and defined a generation. A tribute to the women of 1960’s rock, pop and soul m... [more+]

Take a trip down memory lane with six remarkable women as they celebrate the songs and the songstresses that empowered and defined a generation. A tribute to the women of 1960’s rock, pop and soul music - from the Shirelles to the Supremes, from Diana Ross to Aretha Franklin, from Tina Turner to Janis Joplin -- this musical celebrates the talent, soul and power of the women who characterized a decade and whose legacies are still celebrated around the world. Join us for this incredible tribute musical and reminisce with hit songs like “Where the Boys Are,” “Natural Woman,” “Proud Mary,” “Cry Baby,” “Chain of Fools” and more! [less-]

Stand-Up Comedy at Moreland's Tavern

at Moreland's Tavern, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Thu, September 19
Thu, October 31
Thu, November 14
FULL PRICE: Coming Soon
OFFER PRICE: Sold Out

It’s happened to all of us before. You turn up at the venue for a comedy show only to find that it’s yet another speed dating event, exotic meat market, or ploy to steal your organs. That’s why ... [more+]

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"The Gulf"

at The Writer's Center, Chevy Chase
OFFER DATES:
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
+ 11 more dates
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sun, September 22
Sun, September 22
Thu, September 26
Fri, September 27
Sat, September 28
Sun, September 29
Mon, September 30
Thu, October 03
Fri, October 04
Sat, October 05
Sun, October 06
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $35
OFFER PRICE: $17.50

Two Women. A Boat. "The Gulf". Kendra and Betty. They want what we all want. To find peace. Two lost and lonely people, six years into a volatile, troubled love affair, and then one night, it breaks. ... [more+]

Two Women. A Boat. "The Gulf". Kendra and Betty. They want what we all want. To find peace. Two lost and lonely people, six years into a volatile, troubled love affair, and then one night, it breaks. On a quiet summer evening, somewhere down in the Alabama Delta, Kendra and Betty troll the flats looking for red fish. They banter, they bicker, as any long time couple. As the skies darken, the ordinary fishing trip becomes an intense journey through the twists and turns brought on by the runaway mine train that is their dying relationship. Peter’s Alley is proud to present The Lammy and Edgarton Award-winning, "The Gulf", by local star playwright Audrey Cefaly, as our Inaugural production at our new home in Bethesda! [less-]

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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