Nick Olcott directs Donizetti’s seductively beautiful, tragic tale of love fraught with power and deception, which becomes the first fully staged production from the Maryland Lyric Opera, a five-year-old, singer-focused company founded by Brad Clark. Maeve Höglund and Nayoung Ban alternate in the title role, with Yi Li and Yongxi Chen alternating as Edgardo and Wei Wu and Hunter Epoch alternating as Raimondo, all leading a cast also featuring SeungHyeon Baek, Antonio Chase, Daiyao Zhong, and Yang Chen, accompanied by the MDLO Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Louis Salemno. Performed in Italian with English surtitles. Thursday, Jan. 24, and Friday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. Kay Theatre in the Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $25 to $60. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit www.theclarice.umd.edu.
Tensions run high as a lone juror argues the innocence of a teenager accused of murder in Reginald Rose’s sizzling drama. The play ignites a conversation about how prejudice obstructs the quest for justice. Sheldon Epps directs Erik King, Christopher Bloch, Michael Russotto, Craig Wallace, Elan Zafir, and Paz López. To Feb. 17. 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17 to $64; those ages 35 and under can use code UNDER3519 for discounted tickets to select weeknight performances. Call 800-982-2787 or visit www.fords.org.
Pulitzer Prize-winning lesbian playwright Paula Vogel’s wry fantastical farce about a brother and sister on a European odyssey gets the Keegan treatment in a production directed by the company’s Artistic Director Susan Marie Rhea. When it premiered in 1992, the New York Times called the show “a crazy-quilt patchwork of hyperventilating language, erotic jokes, movie kitsch that spins before the audience in Viennese waltz time, replete with a dizzying fall.” With Michael Innocenti, Brianna Letourneau, and Ray Ficca. To Feb. 9. 1742 Church St. NW. Call 202-265-3767 or visit www.keegantheatre.com.
Colette Krogol and Matt Reeves lead this troupe, known for its virtuosic athleticism and evocative multimedia design, in a production based on research into personal dreams and stories of one family’s migration from Cuba in 1980. Waking Darkness. Waiting Light employs sophisticated sensor technology and digital-media interaction to explore the nature of recurring dreams in relation to timely themes of migration, exodus, and transformation. Featuring an original score and sound design by Dylan Glatthorn and Jeff Dorfman. Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 27, at 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit www.danceplace.org.
Veteran stage powerhouse Julia Nixon appeared on Broadway in the lead role of Dreamgirls and earned a Helen Hayes Award in Studio Theatre’s production of Caroline, Or Change. Nixon is also an R&B artist, and the recipient of multiple Wammies. “Julia Nixon Sings Burt Bacharach and Hal David” is a concert with accompaniment from longtime collaborator David Ylvisaker, a pianist leading his 12-person band. Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. Dumbarton United Methodist Church, 31311 Dumbarton St. NW. Tickets are $39 to $42. Call 202-333-7212 or visit www.dumbartonconcerts.org.
For its annual run of shows at the Kennedy Center, the New York company offers the D.C. premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s retelling of Marius Petipa’s 19th century comic ballet. In this “lost” classic, inspired by Petipa’s archival notes and set to original music by Riccardo Drigo, here brought to life by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Harlequin fights for his true love, Columbine. Playful costumes and vivid sets create a charming tribute to the Italian commedia dell’arte style, known for its slapstick humor and rollicking characters. Performances begin Tuesday, Jan. 29. Runs to Feb. 3. Opera House. Tickets are $39 to $199. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
One of the most innovative and imaginative modern dance companies returns to the George Mason Center for the Arts to perform another work melding dance and illusion along with spellbinding music and elaborate costumes. Opus Cactus offers a wildly inventive stage excursion to the American Southwest landscape, abounding with towering cacti and slithering lizards as brought to surreal and wondrous life by the minds and bodies of the MOMIX team. Friday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $30 to $50. Call 888-945-2468 or visit www.cfa.gmu.edu.
Baltimore’s Creative Alliance presents the 20th annual program in this thought-provoking, eclectic, and international series of 15 animated shorts. Films included in past incarnations have gone on to win Oscars, so you could say curator Ron Diamond, a veteran animation producer, knows how to pick ’em. Four of the 15 films this year have merited Academy Award consideration including Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas’ One Small Step, about a Chinese-American girl’s dream of being an astronaut and centered on her evolving relationship with her father; John Kahrs’ Age of Sail, the latest in Google’s series of Spotlight Stories about an old sailor’s rescue of a teenage girl after she falls overboard; Trevor Jimenez’s beautifully designed Weekends, about the complex emotional landscape of a young boy and his recently divorced parents; and The Green Bird, a mordantly funny work of computer animation harkening back to classic mid-20th century cartoons with a slapstick-rich depiction of a female bird’s efforts to keep its egg safe. Sunday, Jan. 27, at 4:30 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $10. Call 410-276-1651 or visit www.creativealliance.com.
At last year’s Old Time Banjo Festival at the Birchmere, the gay bluegrass musician Sam Gleaves performed with his mentor Cathy Fink and her wife Marcy Marxer. In addition to organizing that acclaimed annual festival, the Grammy-winning couple and female folk pioneers also co-produced and played on Gleaves’ 2015 debut album Ain’t We Brothers. As it turns out, that festival appearance helped launch their debut as a cross-generational roots music trio offering tight vocal harmonies, wide-ranging string-based instrumental virtuosity, and lyrics with messages of social justice activism and empowerment. They’ll showcase their debut set, Shout and Shine on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. at Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. in North Bethesda. Chao Tian, an alumna of the Strathmore Artist In Residence program and a master of the Chinese hammered dulcimer, opens Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.ampbystrathmore.com.
Seven years ago, Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza teamed up to launch a variety show featuring local musical theater actors performing on their night off, and including spoken-word poetry and comedy. The next La-Ti-Do, on Monday, Jan. 28, is a toast to all those who have helped make the event such a thriving success that it has expanded to New York and Los Angeles. The evening will also honor Russwin Francisco, owner of Bite The Fruit, who’s billed as La-Ti-Do’s “honorary co-founder” since he gave Cabico and Mendoza the space to start the event in his former venue, the Black Fox Lounge. Francisco will be presented with the Joel Markowitz Audience Award. The evening starts with a VIP Reception at 7 p.m., followed by the show at 8 p.m. with guest performers from the upcoming roster of 2019 Musical Features. It will climax with an afterparty hosted by DJ JDVBBS at 10 p.m. Dress code is cocktail attire. St Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $30 for VIP reserved seating and admission to reception and afterparty, or $20 general admission for show and afterparty. All ticket revenue goes toward 2019 programming. Call 202-328-1640 or visit www.latidoproductions.com.