Metro Weekly

Stage: Spring Arts Preview 2020

Plays, musicals, and live theater in DC, Maryland and Virginia: March to August

stage, theater, dc

Jesus Christ, Superstar at the Kennedy Center

The second half of the theater season is as rich and potent as the first half, with powerful productions of works by August Wilson, Sarah Ruhl, and Kenneth Lonergan. One of the most anticipated undertakings is Mosaic’s staging of Ifa Bayeza’s epic The Till Trilogy. We also can’t wait to see what The Shakespeare’s Simon Godwin has up his sleeve for Much Ado About Nothing, as well as Woolly’s Teenage Dick, a modern update on Richard III set in a high school.

But it’s musicals that dominate the spring and summer, with the return of the drop-dead astonishing Hamilton to the Kennedy Center, as well as a new production of Jesus Christ Superstar, Once On This Island, and the Broadway Center Stage rendition of Bye, Bye Birdie, featuring the legendary Harvey Fierstein. There’s also a sure-to-be boisterous production of Guys & Dolls at Ford’s, Memphis and Hedwig over at Keegan, Pippin at Olney, Fun Home at Studio, and Hair at Signature, which we’re quite sure will retain its infamous nude scene. Signature also makes a rare departure from its Virginia home for a two-week stint at The Anthem, where Eric Schaeffer and company intend to turn us all into “Dancing Queens.”

Editor’s Note: Some events might be postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Please check ahead with the individual venues.

1ST STAGE

1524 Spring Hill Rd.
Mclean, Va.
703-854-1856
www.1ststagetysons.org

  • A New Brain — William Finn’s musical confronts the author’s encounter with a neurological disorder (3/26-4/19)
  • The Waverly Gallery — An art gallery in a small Greenwich Village hotel is threatened with replacement by a coffee shop. By Kenneth Lonergan (5/7-6/7)

ADVENTURE THEATRE MTC

7300 MacArthur Blvd
Glen Echo, Md.
301-634-2270
www.adventuretheatre-mtc.org

  • The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats — This beautiful show follows the character of Peter and his friend Archie around the neighborhood in four of Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved tales (Now to 4/5)
  • Lyle the Crocodile — When a crocodile turns up in a bathtub in an apartment, he becomes good friends with the folks in the building except Mr. Grumps (4/24-5/31)
  • Madagascar – A Musical Adventure — Based on the Dreamworks animated film. Directed by Natsu Onoda Power (6/26-8/23)

ALLY THEATRE COMPANY

Joe’s Movement Emporium
309 Bunker Hill Road
Mt. Rainier, Md.
301-699-1819
www.allytheatrecompany.com

  • Rasheeda Speaking — A tense workplace thriller that examines the realities of “post-racial” America when two co-workers — one black, the other white — are driven apart by the machinations of their boss (Now to 3/22)

ARENA STAGE

1101 Sixth St. SW
202-488-3300
arenastage.org

  • Seven Guitars — Pittsburgh in the 1940s is the backdrop for August Wilson’s fifth cycle play. Seven lives are interconnected when old friend and blues singer vows to turn his life around after a surprise windfall. Tazewell Thompson directs (4/3-5/3, Fichandler)
  • Toni Stone — Considered a African-American pioneer, Toni Stone blazed a path in the male-dominated world of baseball in the ’50s (4/23-5/31, Kreeger)

BALTIMORE CENTER STAGE

700 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, Md.
410-332-0033
www.centerstage.org

  • Where We Stand — A fable of penance filled with humor, heart, and music (4/2-4/26)
  • Bakkhai — Heads roll in this fresh, new take on a Euripides classic (4/30-5/24)

CONSTELLATION THEATRE

1835 14th St. NW
202-204-7741
www.constellationtheatre.org

  • The 39 Steps — A cast of four actors embodies over 150 characters in this fast-paced and riotously funny remix of Hitchcock’s 1935 spy thriller. Nick Olcott directs (Now to 3/15)
  • Eurydice — Sarah Ruhl’s fresh reimagining of the classic Orpheus myth, told through the eyes of its heroine. Directed by Mary Hall Surface (5/8-5/31)

EVERYMAN THEATRE

315 West Fayette St.
Baltimore, Md,
410-752-2208
Everymantheatre.org

  • Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains — As the Vietnam War rages and the Kent State killings ignite college campuses across the country, Jackie arrives in Vermont to begin college where she is forced to confront the space between white and black culture to find her place in the world. A World Premiere commission by Everyman (Now to 4/12)
  • Berta, Berta — In Mississippi, 1920, Leroy returns to the doorstep of his long-lost lover, Berta, covered in blood after committing a shocking crime. With his freedom in the balance, the clock is ticking for him to make amends (3/17-4/26)
  • Cry It Out — This no-holds-barred comedy by Molly Smith Metzler holds a microscope and a megaphone to the joys and perils facing new parents (3/31-5/3)
  • Awake and Sing! — A Jewish immigrant family must weigh the costs of holding onto an enduring belief in the American dream. By Clifford Odets (5/26-6/28)

FORD’S THEATRE

511 Tenth St. NW
202-347-4833
www.fordstheatre.org

  • Guys and Dolls — Peter Flynn, who knocked Into the Woods out of the park last season, returns to direct this classic, featuring the showstoppers “Luck be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” (Now to 5/20)

GALA HISPANIC THEATRE

3333 14th St. NW
202-234-7174
www.galatheatre.org

  • Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter — Set in Peru during the 1950s, this funny and tender story of an 18-year-old student who falls for a 32-year-old divorcee is based on the real life experience of Nobel Prize-winner Vargas Llosa (4/23-5/17)

KEEGAN THEATRE

1742 Church St. NW
202-265-3767
www.keegantheatre.com

  • Memphis — In the segregated ’50s, a young white DJ n falls in love with an electrifying black singer named Felicia Farrell. The 2010 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical (4/10-5/10)
  • Yoga Play — A provocative comedy about authenticity and enlightenment in a world determined to sell it (6/5-6/27)
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch — John Cameron Mitchell’s award-winning, one-of-a-kind rock musical (7/24-8/23)

    Jesus Christ, Superstar at the Kennedy Center

KENNEDY CENTER

202-467-4600
www.kennedy-center.org

  • Jesus Christ, Superstar — In celebration of its 50th anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America from London. Just in time for Easter! (4/14-4/26, Opera House)
  • Broadway Center Stage: Bye Bye Birdie — A loving send-up of the early 1960s, small-town America, teenagers, and rock and roll featuring James Van Der Beek, Carly Hughes and Harvey Fierstein (4/23-4/26, Eisenhower)
  • Royal Shakespeare Company: The Taming of the Shrew — Justin Audibert turns Shakespeare’s fierce comedy of gender politics on its head (5/6-5/10, Eisenhower)
  • Tiny Beautiful Things — An original Kennedy Center production based on the best-selling book by Cheryl Strayed and adapted by Nia Vardalos (6/2-6/28, Terrace)
  • Hamilton — The astounding Tony-winning musical returns for 14 weeks (6/16-9/20, Opera House)
  • Once On This Island — Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s musical tells the sweeping, universal tale of a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world (6/23-7/12, Eisenhower)
  • A Monster Calls — A powerful new adaptation by visionary director Sally Cookson (7/21-8/9, Eisenhower)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird — Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork which took Broadway by storm (but are we getting Jeff Daniels? Please?) (8/25-9/27, Eisenhower)

MONUMENTAL THEATRE CO.

Ainslie Art Center
3900 Braddock Rd.
Alexandria, Va.
www.monumentaltheatre.org

  • Head Over Heels — The Greeks meet The Go Gos in this fun and flamboyant musical featuring the band’s greatest hits (Now to 3/23)
  • The Drowsy Chaperone — A lonely theatre lover listens to the album of his favorite show, which springs to life around him (7/9-7/26)

MOSAIC THEATER

Atlas Arts Center
1333 H St. NE
202-399-7993
www.mosaictheater.org

  • Inherit the Windbag — Liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley meet to reprise their infamous debate (Now to 3/29)
  • The Till Trilogy — Ifa Bayeza’s three plays — The Ballad of Emmett Till, That Summer in Sumner, and Benevolence — tell the story and impact of the life of Emmett Till. In rep (4/1-6/21)

NATIONAL THEATRE

1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
202-628-6161
www.thenationaldc.org

  • The Last Ship — Starring Sting! (3/27-4/5)
  • Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — Get your Golden Ticket (4/7-4/26)
  • Summer: The Donna Summer Musical — The life of the disco diva with a score featuring more than 20 of her classic hits including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff” (7/22-8/2)

OLNEY THEATRE CENTER

2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd.
Olney, Md.
301-924-3400
www.olneytheatre.org

  • The Amateurs — A mind-bending journey from the 14th Century to the present day by Jordan Harrison (Now to 4/5, Theatre Lab)
  • The Humans — A middle-class American family celebrates a difficult Thanksgiving. Directed by Aaron Posner (4/1-5/3, Mainstage)
  • Pippin — They’ve got magic to do, just for you (6/10-7/19, Mainstage)

REP STAGE

10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Md.
443-518-1500
www.repstage.org

  • Dames at Sea — Rick Hammerly directs this winning musical based on the Hollywood extravaganzas of the ’30s (4/30-5/17)

ROUND HOUSE THEATRE

4545 East-West Highway
Bethesda, Md.
240-644-1100
www.roundhousetheatre.org

  • Cost of Living — Two parallel narratives intersect as a wealthy graduate student with cerebral palsy and his newest caretaker build an uneasy trust, while a truck driver struggles to reconnect with his estranged wife, recently left paralyzed by a car crash in this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama (4/1-4/19)
  • Big Love — Fifty Greek maidens flee across the sea to Italy and claim refugee status to escape fifty arranged marriages. The fifty Grecian men follow in pursuit (5/20-6/21)

SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY

Sidney Harman Hall
610 F Street NW
202-547-1122
www.shakespearetheatre.org

  • The Amen Corner — A Harlem pastor rails at her congregation and her teenaged son for their vices. She must face the music herself when a figure from her own troubled past returns (Now to 3/15, Harman)
  • Timon of Athens — Artistic Director Simon Godwin makes his directorial debut at the Shakespeare with a restaging of his recent, acclaimed production, featuring Olivier Award-winner Kathryn Hunter (Now to 3/22, Michael R. Klein Theatre, formerly Lansburgh)
  • Romantics Anonymous — Two chocolatiers suffering from social anxiety fall in love in this heartwarming musical (4/7-5/17, Klein)
  • Much Ado About Nothing — Godwin takes the reins to close the season with one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies (5/5-6/14, Harman)

SIGNATURE THEATRE

4200 Campbell Ave.
Arlington, Va.
703-820-9771
www.sigtheatre.org

  • Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes — A world premiere comedy by D.C. area playwright Dani Stoller (Now to 3/29, Ark)
  • Camille Claudel — Turn-of-the-century French sculptor Camille Claudel was a groundbreaking artist and a revolutionary free-thinker, but her entire life was determined by the men around her. A new musical (3/24-4/19, Max)
  • Nijinsky’s Last Dance — A masterful tour-de-force that delves into the fascinating and troubled genius of the greatest dancer who ever lived (4/14-5/24, Ark)
  • Hair — The joyous, buoyant, and trippy musical that took the ’60s by storm, featuring classics as “Age of Aquarius,” “Let the Sunshine In” and, of course, “Hair” (5/19-7/12, Max)
  • Mamma Mia! — The mega-hit musical, set to the soundtrack of ABBA’s greatest songs, directed by Eric Schaeffer in a two-week limited run at The Anthem (6/25-7/5)

STUDIO THEATRE

1501 14th St. NW
202-332-3300
studiotheatre.org

  • Pass Over — A humorous and chilling collision of the Exodus saga and Waiting for Godot about the dreams of generations of young black men marooned in a cycle of violence (Now to 4/5, Milton)
  • Fun Home — Studio Artistic Director David Muse directs this heartfelt, powerful musical about coming out, based on the memoirs of lesbian cartoonist Allison Bechdel (5/13-6/14, Mead)
  • Aspen Ideas — The world premiere of a fast-paced and darkly comedic thriller about the poisonous appeal of believing that the best ideas win (6/24-7/19, Milton)

SYNETIC THEATER

1800 South Bell St.
Crystal City, Va.
800-494-8497
www.synetictheater.org

  • Life is a Dream — A modern take on Calderon’s Spanish Golden Age classic (4/22-5/17)
  • The Servant of Two Masters — Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte masterpiece, Synetic style (6/17-7/12)

THEATRE ALLIANCE

2020 Shannon Pl. SE
202-241-2539
www.theateralliance.com

  • The Bitter Earth — An introspective black playwright finds his lack of activism questioned by his white boyfriend, an impassioned member of the Black Lives Matter Movement (Now to 3/22)
  • The Blackest Battle — A revolutionary hip-hop musical written by Psalmayene 24 (5/16-6/14)

THEATRE J

1529 16th St. NW
202-777-3210
www.theaterj.org

  • Becoming Dr. Ruth — Naomi Jacobson returns in an encore performance as “America’s favorite sex therapist” (3/27-4/19)

WASHINGTON STAGE GUILD

900 Massachusetts Ave. NW
240-582-0050
www.stageguild.org

  • Sam & Dede — Subtitled, “My Dinner with Andre the Giant,” Gino Dilorio’s play chronicles one of the unlikeliest of friendships in history (3/19-4/12)

WOOLLY MAMMOTH

641 D St. NW
202-393-3939
woollymammoth.net

  • There’s Always the Hudson — Paola Lázaro’s new work takes an unflinching look at confronting trauma, and how the bonds with our chosen family can carry us through (4/6-5/3)
  • Teenage Dick — Mike Lew’s modern, darkly comic re-telling of Shakespeare’s Richard III set in high school. Bullied because of his cerebral palsy, Richard is willing to crush his enemies in order to become senior class president (6/1-6/28)

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