Arena Stage is presenting Junk, written by Ayad Akhtar and directed by Jackie Maxwell, on The Fichandler Stage, thru May 5.The Wall Street drama is about a brilliant and calculating takeover artist who is preparing a hostile takeover of a family-owned manufacturing company. The story is “inspired by the volatile and cut-throat financial world and the junk bond giants of the 1980s.
Arena Stage will present the world premiere of the a capella musical Jubilee, written and directed by Tazewell Thompson, April 26-June 2.Thompson “brings an innovative and heart-stirring score to life” with uplifting spirituals and hymns including more than three dozen songs.
Theater Alliance will present Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem at the Anacostia Playhouse, May 19-June 16.The play, written and performed by Dane Figueroa Edidi, will be directed by Danielle Drakes. The one-woman slam poem is “a saga of strong women, the men who seek to destroy them, and the dangerous extremes this kind of society can reach if left unchecked. Fusing Kabuki, African dance, and play, it’s a dynamic retelling of the classic tale written to vindicate a mother slain by her own son’s hand.”
Mosaic Theater is presenting Nambi E. Kelley’s play titled Native Son, adapted from the novel by Richard Wright and directed by Psalmayene 24, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lang Theatre, thru April 28. The play is set amidst rat-infested poverty on the South Side of Chicago in the 1930s.The production features Clayton Pelham Jr. (as Bigger Thomas) with Lolita Marie, Melissa Flaim, Drew Kopas, Vaughn Midder, Tendo Nsuguba, Madeline Joey Rose, Stephen Schmidt, and Renee Elizabeth Wilson.
Mosaic Theatre will present LesDeux Noirs: Notes on Notes of A Native Son - from Helen Hayes award-winning director and playwright, Psalmayene 24 - in repertory with Native Son, April 7-27.The setting is the legendary Parisian café Les Deux Magots in 1953 and “reimagines the meeting between Native Son author Richard Wright and essayist/activist James Baldwin.”
Mosaic Theatre Company will present Sooner/Later, written by Allyson Currin & directed by Gregg Henry at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, May 15-June 16.The production will feature Erica Chamblee, Cristina M. Ibarra, and Tony Nam, with Kimberly Schraf and Sean McCoy.
The play will be the inaugural offering of the Trish Vradenburg Play Commission.
“When teenage daughter Lexie helps her reluctant single mother Nora re-enter the dating scene, an unlikely suitor emerges – the guy at the coffee shop who inadvertently witnessed Nora’s string of unsuccessful dates.”
The Baltimore Center Stage and Congo Square Theatre Company in association with The Apollo Theater and Mosaic Theater Company of DC will present Twisted Melodies - written and performed by Kelvin Roston, Jr. and directed by Derrick Sanders - at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, June 19–July 21. The one-man show is based on the life of '70s soul singer and composer Donny Hathaway, as it imagines the troubled and brilliant musician's last day on Earth. "Torn between the muses that inspire him and the mental illness that torments him, Hathaway evaluates the choices in his life."
Scena Theatre continuestheir 32ndSeasoninDCwithBeckett Trio, Part 2 and Pinter Rep—a dueling trio of short plays by Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter - at the Atlas Performing Arts Center thru May 5. Pinter Rep features the potent short playsThe Presand an Officer(US Premiere), One for the Road, Mountain Language, and The New World Order. Beckett Trio, Part 2 features the classicsOhio Impromptu, Come and Go, andCatastrophe. Both productions are performed in repertory on alternate nights and are directed by Scena’s Artistic Director Robert McNamara.
Image at left: Nanna Ingvarsson in Footfalls — part of The Beckett Trio. Photo Credit: Jae Yi Photography
Scena Theatre will present Bertolt Brecht's play The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, directed by Robert McNamara, at Atlas Performing Arts Center June 3-July 15. The "parable play" chronicles the ascent of a fictional 1930s Chicago mobster, and his quest to control the cauliflower racket by ruthlessly taking out his opposition. The drama is "a satirical allegory of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany prior to World War II."
Rorschach Theatre will present Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven by Reina Hardy, April 19-May 19 at Atlas Performing Arts Center.Annie Jump is a small-town teen and science genius who “comes face to face with her worst nightmare: a popular girl. When she learns that this girl with great hair might be an intergalactic super computer tasked with bringing humanity to the stars, she must decide what is worth sacrificing to fulfill her destiny.” The play is said to be for all audiences and is “about finding your place in the universe and intelligent life in your neighborhood.” The cast features Zach Brewster-Geisz, Vanessa Chapoy, Robin Covington, Aron Spellane, and Emily Whitworth.
Image below: The poster forAnnie Jump and the Library of Heaven
Constellation Theatre Company will present The White Snake, written and originally directed by Mary Zimmerman, April 25-May 26. The romance, which is based on a classic Chinese fable, will be directed by Allison Arkell Stockman, with live music by Tom Teasley. It’s the tale of an enlightened snake spirit who turns herself into a woman in order to experience the human world.”
The Folger Shakespeare Library will present William Shakespeare's Love's Labor's Lost, directed by Vivienne Benesch, in the Folger Theatre, April 30-June 9.It's the classic tale of "a young king and his three compatriots who renounce the company of women in favor of scholarly pursuits." Their pact is immediately jeopardized, however, when the Princess of France and her companions arrive. Shakespeare’s "delicious comedy is full of lovers and clowns, foolery and the follies of the heart."
Images below: Top Row (l to r): Yesenia Iglesias, Amelia Pedlow, Kelsey Rainwater and Bottom row: Matt Dallal, Joshua David Robinson, Zachary Fine -
Ford's Theatreis presenting Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods, directed by Peter Flynn, thru May 22.The show is "an imaginative, darkly comical remix of beloved fairytales in which a baker and his wife set out to reverse a witch's curse in hopes of having a child of their own." While in the woods, they encounter Little Red Ridinghood, Jack and his beanstalk, a cautious Cinderella, a sequestered Rapunzel and a couple of lovelorn princes. Sondheim's Tony-winning score and James Lapine's Tony-winning book conjure a world where "giants can be good and witches can be right."
The show is recommended for ages 12 and older.
Image below: The cast of Into the Woods - Photo by Carol Rosegg.
Keegan Theatre will present Yasmina Reza's play God of Carnage, directed by Shirley Serotsky, May 4-25.“A playground altercation between eleven-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters.”
The Keegan Theatre will present the regional premiere of Ripcord, written by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Megan Thrift, June 15-July 6. The setting is the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility, where a sunny room on an upper floor is prime real estate. "When the cantankerous Abby is forced to share her quarters with new-arrival Marilyn, she has no choice but to get rid of the infuriatingly chipper woman by any means necessary. A seemingly harmless bet between the old women quickly escalates into a dangerous game of one-upmanship that reveals not just the tenacity of these worthy opponents, but also deeper truths that each would rather remain hidden."
Broadway Center Stage will present The Who's Tommy in the Eisenhower Theater April 24-28. The production is based on the iconic 1969 rock concept album, The Who's Tommy, and is a story of hope, healing, and the human spirit. The five-time Tony Award®–winning one-of-a-kind musical tells the story of a pinball-playing, “deaf, dumb, and blind” boy who triumphs over his adversities. Broadway Center Stage performances are presented as semi-staged concerts. The actors will carry scripts in hands for various scenes of their performance. Please Note: This performance contains mature content not suitable for young children. It's recommended for age 14 and up.
The Kennedy Center will present The Second City's America; It's Complicated! in the Theater Lab, June 15-August 11. The comedy legends from Chicago will perform "an all-new, all-hilarious show that reaches way, way across the aisle for non-stop equal opportunity laughs. They offer a mashup of sketch comedy, world famous improv, and original music. No two shows are ever the same!" The show is recommended for ages 16 and up.
The Kennedy Center will present Tony Award®-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley in Hello, Dolly!in the Opera House, June 4-July 7. The show won four Tony Awards & the new production is breaking box office records week after week.
The production pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion. The show is recommended for age 10 and up.
The Kennedy Center will present Evan Linder's play titled Byhalia, Mississippiin the Terrace Theater, June 11-July 7. The play is an "uncompromising exploration of race, family, and betrayal in the American South." It's the story of Jim and Laurel Parker, who are about to become new parents. "They are broke. They are loud. They are proud Southerners. When Laurel gives birth to their long overdue child, she and Jim are faced with the biggest challenge of their lives. The play explores a couple in the midst of turmoil—and a town with a racially charged past that finds its way into the present." The play is recommended for age 14 and up.
The Kennedy Center will present the all-new Lincoln Center production of the musical Falsettos in the Eisenhower Theater, June 11-23. It's William Finn and James Lapine’s groundbreaking, Tony Award®–winning musical about the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin along with his wife, lover, about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians next door. It’s "a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family... and a beautiful reminder that love can tell a million stories." The show is recommended for age 12 and up. It contains brief adult language and mature content. Visit www.kennedy-center.org/
The National Theatre will present STOMP, April 23-April 28. The eight-member STOMP troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps – “to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms.
The return of the percussive hit also brings some new surprises, with some sections of the show now updated and restructured, utilizing props like tractor tire inner tubes and paint cans.”
Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) will present the world premiere of Ellen McLaughlin's epic play titled The Oresteia, adapted from Aeschylus & directed by Michael Kahn, April 30-June 2.The new version of the classic, which was written in the 5th century BC, was commissioned by STC. McLaughlin’s play was three years in the making and is said to “weave together the works of Aeschylus with stunning poetry and emotional heft.” The production will mark the end of Michael Kahn’s tenure as Artistic Director of the company.
Studio Theatre’s Studio X will present the world premiere of P.Y.G.or The Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle, written & directed by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, April 3-28.The story is about a white pop star from Canada who hires black hip-hop artists Petty Young Goons from Chicago to ‘toughen up’ his image on reality TV. The play was inspired by Shaw’s Pygmalion and offers “a blistering and entertaining look at cultural and racial appropriation in a fictionalized exchange of ideologies, vernacular, and alleged street cred.”
Studio Theatre will present Lucy Kirkwood’s thriller titled The Children, directed by David Muse, in the Metheny Theatre, May 1-June 2.The story is set in a remote cottage on the British coast, where a long-married pair of retired nuclear physicists “live a modest life in the aftermath of a natural disaster, giving scrupulous care to energy rationing, their garden, their yoga practice. When former colleague Rose reappears after 38 years, her presence upends the couple’s equilibrium and trust. As the fallout from long-ago decisions comes hurtling into view, Rose unveils a proposal that threatens more than the couple's marriage.”
Image below: Richard Howard, Jeanne Paulsen, and Naomi Jacobson in The Children. Photo: Teddy Wolff.
Studio Theatre will introduce SHOWROOM, a curated performance series in the summertime spirit—with spirits, in June. There will be two limited-run shows and a few one-night-only engagements. Studio's Milton Theatre will be transformed into a laid-back hangout, serving up entertainments and specialty drinks alike. Performances are planned on:
June 19-July 7: Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan MacMillan, directed by Jason Loewith and starring Alexander Strain. "A hilarioius and compassionate light on dark corners of the human condition."
July 9-August 4: Bright Colors and Bold Patternsby Drew Droege, directed by Michael Urie and starring Jeff Hiller. "A hyper-verbal and tragicomic one-man show about assimilation, liberation, and gay fabulosity from the perspective of the worst wedding guest of all time."
June 28 & 29: Diana Oh in Concert with Matt Park aka Cute. "An evening of fiercely independent music"
July 6: Spokaoke, conceived and curated by Annie Dorsen. A karaoke bar unlike any other.
July 13: Mortified - "The strange and extraordinary things that kids create—and the adults that they become. Share the shame."
July 23: An Evening with Lady Dane, written and starring Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi......"a Goddess, healer, performer, and literary powerhouse."
Woolly Mammoth Theatre will present Describe the Night, a play written by Rajiv Joseph & directed by John Vreeke, May 27-June 23.The story begins in 1920, “when a Russian Jewish writer named Isaac Babel starts a diary while wandering the countryside with the Red Cavalry. In 2010, after the crash of an aircraft carrying the Polish president, Babel's diary is discovered among the wreckage. What did Babel write, and why does it matter so much to a low-level KGB agent who may or may not be Vladimir Putin? The play uncovers the mystery by tracing the stories of seven lost souls connected across decades by history, fiction, lies, and blood.” The production will feature Woolly company members Tim Getman and Kate Eastwood Norris.