Metro Weekly

Alexandria’s MetroStage turns 30

Alexandria's MetroStage celebrates three decades of providing powerful experiences

Metro Stage: 30th-anniversary and Three Sistahs Photo by Chris Banks

Three Sistahs – Photo: Chris Banks

“When you have a 130-seat theater with a semi-thrust stage,” Carolyn Griffin says, “you better have the best actors in town because there are no secrets on that stage.”

True to form, Griffin has consistently recruited the best actors for shows at Alexandria’s MetroStage. In fact, the 30-year-old outfit was originally named the American Showcase Theatre Company, “founded to showcase acting teachers and students.” Griffin changed the name after becoming artistic director a few years later, but never changed focus on presenting strong actors, working in tandem.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a critic say I had an uneven cast,” asserts Griffin, who has numerous Helen Hayes Award nominations for best ensemble performance to prove it. “I take pride in … these kind of remarkable ensemble pieces that resonate with an audience. And because the audience is so close to the stage, it is really a very powerful theater experience.”

It’s also consistently not the kind of experience — or show — you can get elsewhere. “All you have to do is look in the back of American Theater magazine and you’ll see what the hot shows are,” Griffin says. “Everybody is doing the same shows — and we’re not.” Instead, MetroStage has made its name with less buzzy, history-steeped plays featuring just a couple actors — such as Athol Fugard’s The Island, on tap for next spring — and for small, intimate musicals generally focused on the cultural experiences and impact of African Americans. Griffin concedes this can add to the challenge of attracting audiences to MetroStage’s location of the past 12 years, in a developing but still off-the-beaten-path area near the Alexandria waterfront. But it’s worth it in the end, for her, and for audiences, too.

Take, for example, the musical that kicks off MetroStage’s 30th anniversary season. Directed by MetroStage’s most frequent collaborator, Atlanta-based Thomas W. Jones, who also wrote the book and lyrics, Three Sistahs features original gospel, R&B and funk music by William Hubbard, and focuses on sisters who reconnect at their father’s funeral. The show stars MetroStage veterans Bernardine Mitchell and Roz White, along with newcomer Ashley Ware Jenkins — “three of the most terrific African-American performers you’ll ever see on a stage any place,” Griffin boasts.

Noting one theatergoer who vowed to renew long lost ties to her own sister after seeing the show, Griffin says, “It’s leaving people with a powerful feeling as they leave the theater, and that is what I think theater is meant to do and should do.”

Three Sisters runs to Nov. 2 at MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit metrostage.org.

Feed Your Email
News, Reviews, Contests, Coverboy, Discounts and More!

Metro Weekly's Emails are a great way to stay up-to-date with everything you want to know -- and more!

Email

Metro Weekly Discount Tickets & Offers!

$5 Comedy Night

at The State Theatre, Falls Church
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
FULL PRICE: $5
OFFER PRICE: COMP

This edition of $5 Comedy features Eric Dadourian, Bridget Geiran, Dominic Rivera, Elizabeth Norman, Winsoton Hodges, Joey Duffield and Andrew Cook. Hosted by Jose Sanchez!... [more+]

This edition of $5 Comedy features Eric Dadourian, Bridget Geiran, Dominic Rivera, Elizabeth Norman, Winsoton Hodges, Joey Duffield and Andrew Cook. Hosted by Jose Sanchez! [less-]

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

at Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
+ 24 more dates
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
Thu, August 29
Fri, August 30
Sat, August 31
Sat, August 31
Sun, September 01
Wed, September 04
Thu, September 05
Fri, September 06
Sat, September 07
Sat, September 07
Sun, September 08
Sun, September 08
Thu, September 12
Fri, September 13
Sat, September 14
Sat, September 14
Sun, September 15
Sun, September 15
Wed, September 18
Thu, September 19
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Sat, September 21
Sun, September 22
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $35 - $65
OFFER PRICE: $17.50 - $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-]

Presidential Neighborhood: White House & Pennsylvania Avenue Tour

at Lafayette Square at the General Rochambeau Statue- 701 Jackson Pl NW, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Fri, September 06
Fri, September 20
+ 2 more dates
Fri, August 23
Fri, September 06
Fri, September 20
Fri, October 04
Fri, October 18
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $35
OFFER PRICE: $25

Pennsylvania Avenue has been host to inaugurations, protests, and celebrations throughout our nation's history. But the development of this grand boulevard, connecting the Capitol to the White Hou... [more+]

Pennsylvania Avenue has been host to inaugurations, protests, and celebrations throughout our nation's history. But the development of this grand boulevard, connecting the Capitol to the White House, is fraught with conflict and intrigue. Visit the White House front yard, walk Pennsylvania Ave, and learn how downtown Washington went from Murder Bay to America's Main Street on the Presidental Neighborhood Tour. Tour kicks off at Lafayette Square at the General Rochambeau Statue. [less-]

"Black Chocolate Fantasy" Male Revue

at DC Productions Music Hall and Comedy Club, Rockville
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
FULL PRICE: $30 - $40
OFFER PRICE: $11.99 - $20

Come see this African-American male revue at DC Productions Music Hall and Comedy Club in Rockville. Chocolate Fantasy/International Fire Hunks brings you the best male entertainment on the East Coast... [more+]

Come see this African-American male revue at DC Productions Music Hall and Comedy Club in Rockville. Chocolate Fantasy/International Fire Hunks brings you the best male entertainment on the East Coast. Ladies, get ready to experience the hottest and wildest male revue show in the Northeast. [less-]

Tour the Monuments & Memorials of the National Mall

at DC Design Tours - Washington Monument Lodge, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Fri, August 30
Fri, September 06
+ 7 more dates
Fri, August 23
Fri, August 30
Fri, September 06
Fri, September 13
Fri, September 20
Fri, September 27
Fri, October 04
Fri, October 11
Fri, October 18
Fri, October 25
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $35
OFFER PRICE: $25

Explore Washington's most iconic landmarks through an architectural lens on a two hour walking tour of the National Mall. Take in the towering Washington Monument, sobering Vietnam Wall and awe-inspir... [more+]

Explore Washington's most iconic landmarks through an architectural lens on a two hour walking tour of the National Mall. Take in the towering Washington Monument, sobering Vietnam Wall and awe-inspiring Lincoln Memorial while learning fro your expert guide about the designers and politicians that helped shape this monumental core of the nation's capital. Hear stories of the history, heroes and hopes of the United States on a stroll through the heart of D.C. You'll also see the White House, the WWII Memorial, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial on this informative walk. [less-]

Historic Taste of Georgetown Walking Tour

at The Washington Harbour, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
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-]

Bobby McKey's Dueling Piano Show: Hear the Hits in Fun, Interactive Show

at Bobby McKey's Dueling Piano Bar, National Harbor
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Fri, August 30
FULL PRICE: $15
OFFER PRICE: $8.50

Just try and stump the talented singer-piano duo on stage each night at Bobby McKey's. Whether it's Beyoncé or Beethoven, Jay Z or ZZ Top, Meatloaf or Mozart, these guys are sure to have it covered. ... [more+]

Just try and stump the talented singer-piano duo on stage each night at Bobby McKey's. Whether it's Beyoncé or Beethoven, Jay Z or ZZ Top, Meatloaf or Mozart, these guys are sure to have it covered. DC's only dueling piano bar hosts these entertaining and interactive shows, where the wait staff has been known to jump on stage to perform choreographed dance routines and where you and your friends are encouraged to get in on the action as well. Plus, Bobby McKey's boasts a full bar with specialty drinks, beer on tap and plenty of snacks and sandwiches to order. [less-]

Dave Landau

at DC Comedy Loft and Bier Baron Tavern, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
+ 1 more dates
Fri, August 23
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sat, August 24
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $15
OFFER PRICE: $8

Working the road nonstop since his 21st birthday, Dave Landau has grown into a true comedic juggernaut. Finding himself much in-demand among audiences and club owners due to his deadpan demeanor and t... [more+]

Working the road nonstop since his 21st birthday, Dave Landau has grown into a true comedic juggernaut. Finding himself much in-demand among audiences and club owners due to his deadpan demeanor and those jokes — my God, those jokes — that fluidly fly forth with breakneck pacing and perfect timing. Dave, it can be said with all due respect, is a throwback to another era of comedy. The entertaining everyman. Innocent enough at first blush; as he states his case, you begin to see where you and he have quite a bit in common. A wife, a house. An odd sense of calm in an increasingly crazy world. You’re on a tour of the familiar and prosaic, with Dave Landau as the bus driver. [less-]

The DC Comedy Showcase

at Comedy Club DC, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Fri, August 30
+ 27 more dates
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Fri, August 30
Sat, August 31
Fri, September 06
Sat, September 07
Fri, September 13
Sat, September 14
Fri, September 20
Sat, September 21
Fri, September 27
Sat, September 28
Fri, October 04
Sat, October 05
Fri, October 11
Sat, October 12
Fri, October 18
Sat, October 19
Fri, October 25
Sat, October 26
Fri, November 01
Sat, November 02
Fri, November 08
Sat, November 09
Fri, November 15
Sat, November 16
Fri, November 22
Sat, November 23
Fri, November 29
Sat, November 30
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $10 - $15
OFFER PRICE: $5 - $7.50

Experience the DC Comedy Showcase in Adams Morgan, D.C. at Comedy Club DC. The showroom and tavern will have you feeling fresh and ready to kick back for the best laughs. Laugh Buzz Comedy hosts natio... [more+]

Experience the DC Comedy Showcase in Adams Morgan, D.C. at Comedy Club DC. The showroom and tavern will have you feeling fresh and ready to kick back for the best laughs. Laugh Buzz Comedy hosts nationally touring comedians and showcases the hottest local comedians. Talent from HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central are known to drop in on any given night. Bask in the cool atmosphere, enjoy friendly and attentive staff, and listen to famous comedy in a range of styles. It's the perfect idea for D.C. date night, meeting new people, or just a fun night on the town. [less-]

"The War Boys"

at Joe's Movement Emporium, Mt. Rainier
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sat, August 24
+ 5 more dates
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
Thu, August 29
Fri, August 30
Sat, August 31
Sat, August 31
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $25
OFFER PRICE: $12.50

Ally Theatre Company is proud to present the first show of our third season, Naomi Wallace's "The War Boys" as directed by Matt Ripa. In their spare time three vigilantes, childhood friends, enjoy pat... [more+]

Ally Theatre Company is proud to present the first show of our third season, Naomi Wallace's "The War Boys" as directed by Matt Ripa. In their spare time three vigilantes, childhood friends, enjoy patrolling the U.S./Mexican border. But these youths soon learn that even the most guarded borders are permeable. When the lines between fantasy and reality become dangerously blurred, these young men are forced to decide what it means to be an American, and who has the right to belong. [less-]

The Capitol Steps: Songs & Skits Skewer Politics

at Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Fri, August 30
+ 1 more dates
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Fri, August 30
Fri, September 06
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $36
OFFER PRICE: $26

A lighthearted antidote to the craziness of Washington, The Capitol Steps are a comedy institution (imagine a kinder, gentler "Veep" -- with songs!). And since they perform in the heart of D.C., you c... [more+]

A lighthearted antidote to the craziness of Washington, The Capitol Steps are a comedy institution (imagine a kinder, gentler "Veep" -- with songs!). And since they perform in the heart of D.C., you can go for a post-show stroll through the Mall and take in the sights while you relive your favorite jokes. [less-]

Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Walking Tour

at US Capitol Building, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
+ 6 more dates
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
Mon, August 26
Tue, August 27
Wed, August 28
Thu, August 29
Fri, August 30
Sat, August 31
[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-]

Speakeasies & Craft Cocktail Tour of the Capitol

at Temperance Fountain, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
+ 6 more dates
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
Mon, August 26
Tue, August 27
Wed, August 28
Thu, August 29
Fri, August 30
Sat, August 31
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $94
OFFER PRICE: $47

If there's one thing you'll immediately learn about the hardworking citizens of Washington, D.C., it's that they love a good happy hour! Urban Adventures helps you sip your way through the Capitol's v... [more+]

If there's one thing you'll immediately learn about the hardworking citizens of Washington, D.C., it's that they love a good happy hour! Urban Adventures helps you sip your way through the Capitol's vibing craft cocktail scene, where you'll sample sweet libations at hidden gems and even learn how to make your own drinks. Get a history lesson too on how prohibition shaped D.C., and discover the speakeasies that still thrive here today. [less-]

Top Comics on The Winery Comedy Tour

at Hidden Brook Winery, Leesburg
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Fri, September 13
Fri, September 20
+ 3 more dates
Fri, August 23
Fri, September 13
Fri, September 20
Fri, October 18
Fri, November 15
Fri, December 13
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: $9 - $10

Nationally recognized comedians travel the country tasting local wine and making new fans in this new comedy circuit that brings quality comedy to folks for a fraction of what antiquated comedy clubs ... [more+]

Nationally recognized comedians travel the country tasting local wine and making new fans in this new comedy circuit that brings quality comedy to folks for a fraction of what antiquated comedy clubs demand. Come for the wine and laughs at Hidden Brook Winery in Leesburg. [less-]

Comedian Shane Gillis

at Drafthouse Comedy Theater, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
+ 1 more dates
Fri, August 23
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sat, August 24
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: $10

Shane Gillis is a comedian based out of New York. In 2016, Shane was named Philly's Funniest Comedian at Helium Comedy Club. Shane can be heard regularly on "The Bonfire" on Sirius XM as well as "Legi... [more+]

Shane Gillis is a comedian based out of New York. In 2016, Shane was named Philly's Funniest Comedian at Helium Comedy Club. Shane can be heard regularly on "The Bonfire" on Sirius XM as well as "Legion of Skanks" and his own shows, "A Fair One" on Compound Media as well as "Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast". [less-]

"Disney's The Little Mermaid" - Dinner & Show

at The Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater, Hagerstown
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
FULL PRICE: Coming Soon
OFFER PRICE: Sold Out

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, "Disney’s The Little Mermaid" is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-t... [more+]

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, "Disney’s The Little Mermaid" is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award-winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with irresistible songs like “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” The Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children's Theater in Hagerstown invites you and your family on this magical journey that includes dinner before the show! [less-]

"The Phyllis Hyman Experience"

at Anacostia Playhouse, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
FULL PRICE: Coming Soon
OFFER PRICE: Sold Out

LA Young Entertainment, LLC & The All About the Drama Theatre Group Present: "The Phyllis Hyman Experience", directed by Ella C. Davis. Join us for an unforgettable weekend, Friday, August 23 – Sund... [more+]

LA Young Entertainment, LLC & The All About the Drama Theatre Group Present: "The Phyllis Hyman Experience", directed by Ella C. Davis. Join us for an unforgettable weekend, Friday, August 23 – Sunday, August 25 (3 performances only) at the Anacostia Playhouse as Ms. LA Young and the Unusual Suspects engage you from 1977 to 1995, the career path of the late Phyllis Hyman. "The Phyllis Hyman Experience" is not just a tribute concert but a musical biography bridging the gap between concert and theater; a blend of music, visual and theatrical arts. LA Young’s performance will dazzle you, leaving you with wonderful memories of the artistry and legacy of Phyllis Hyman. [less-]

"Jurassic Park"

at Sidney Harman Hall, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
FULL PRICE: COMP
OFFER PRICE: COMP

Based on Michael Crichton’s best-seller, "Jurassic Park" features a select group chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. While the park’s mastermin... [more+]

Based on Michael Crichton’s best-seller, "Jurassic Park" features a select group chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. While the park’s mastermind assures everyone that the facility is safe, they find out otherwise when various ferocious genetically engineered predators break free and go on the hunt in this classic 1993 blockbuster directed by Steven Spielberg. See it on the big screen at Sidney Harman Hall in D.C. [less-]

Smithsonian American Art Adventures

at Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
+ 6 more dates
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sun, August 25
Mon, August 26
Tue, August 27
Wed, August 28
Thu, August 29
Fri, August 30
Sat, August 31
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $40
OFFER PRICE: $20

Take a quirky tour of one of the most historic -- and underrated --buildings and museums in Washington, D.C. with Smithsonian American Art Adventures. You'll dive into American history through art whi... [more+]

Take a quirky tour of one of the most historic -- and underrated --buildings and museums in Washington, D.C. with Smithsonian American Art Adventures. You'll dive into American history through art while your guide regales you with amazing tales of the power players who shaped the country. At the same time, you'll be taking in one of the world's largest collections of art. [less-]

Jimmy O. Yang ("Crazy Rich Asians", "Silicon Valley" & "How To American")

at Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, Arlington
OFFER DATES:
Fri, August 23
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
+ 1 more dates
Fri, August 23
Fri, August 23
Sat, August 24
Sat, August 24
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $25
OFFER PRICE: $12.50

Jimmy O. Yang is an actor, standup comedian, writer. He played Bernard Tai in "Crazy Rich Asians" and currently stars as Jian Yang on the Emmy-nominated HBO series "Silicon Valley". He made his featur... [more+]

Jimmy O. Yang is an actor, standup comedian, writer. He played Bernard Tai in "Crazy Rich Asians" and currently stars as Jian Yang on the Emmy-nominated HBO series "Silicon Valley". He made his feature film debut on Peter Berg’s Patriot’s Day, alongside Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Bacon. As a comedian, Jimmy performed standup on "The Arsenio Hall Show" and received a rare standing ovation. He is also the author of his memoir "How To American". [less-]

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

Leave a Comment: