The 2019 Fringe Festival CAPITAL FRINGE FESTIVAL will take place, July 5 – 28 at eight venues with 13 stages—all within walking distance of each other in Southwest DC. There will be 89 productions, and 500 individual performances. In addition to the unjuried shows, the festival will once again present and produce a series of highly-ambitious productions through the Fringe Curated Series.The festival will feature: • A People’s History by renowned American monologist Mike Daisey
• Arcade by renowned DC artist and projectionist Robin Bell. Fringe will create a public interactive video arcade at The Wharf on Maine Avenue SW where audiences can both play and engage.
• Shakespeare’s Worst, a comedy by Mike Reiss and Nick Newlin (a local actor, clown, and all-around great guy) and an author talk and book signing for Mike’s book titled Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Liesfrom a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons.
• Two new plays by local DC playwrights Iris Dauterman and Claudia Rosales Waters.
Arena Stage will present Ann, a comedy by Emmy Award-winning actress and writer Holland Taylor - directed by Kristen Van Ginhoven - in Association with Dallas Theater Center - July 11-August 11. The unique play about the “feisty and unadulterated life of legendary Texas Governor Ann Richards” stars Jayne Atkinson, who “reprises her well-received performance in this intimate, no-holds-barred comedy chronicling Richards’s legacy and how she was determined to make her mark on the world.”
Scena Theatre is presenting Bertolt Brecht's play The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, directed by Robert McNamara, at Atlas Performing Arts Center thru 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."
The Keegan Theatre is presenting the regional premiere of Ripcord, written by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Megan Thrift, thru 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."
Image below: A scene from Ripcord, with Claire Schoonover (in purple) & Deb Gottesman (in red) Photo is by Mike Kozemchak
The Kennedy Center is presenting The Second City's America; It's Complicated! in the Theater Lab, thru 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 is presenting Evan Linder's play titled Byhalia, Mississippiin the Terrace Theater, thru 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 Kennedy Center is presenting The Band's Visitin the Eisenhower Theater thru August 4.The critically-acclaimed new musical “celebrates the deeply human ways music, longing, and laughter can connect us all.” The show won 10 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, and a Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theater Album. It is a “joyously offbeat story, set in a town that’s way off the beaten path, where a band of musicians arrive lost, out of the blue. Under the spell of the desert sky, and with beautiful music perfuming the air, the band brings the town to life in unexpected and tantalizing ways. Even the briefest visit can stay with you forever.” The show is recommended for age 12 and up.
Image below: The Original Broadway Company of The Band’s Visit – Photo by Matthew Murphy.
The Kennedy Center will present Disney's Alladin in the Opera House, July 18-September 7.The hit Broadway musical is from the producer of The Lion King. The timeless story of Aladdin is told in "a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy, and breathtaking spectacle.” The show is recommended for age 6 & up.
The Kennedy Center will present Freestyle Love Supreme in the Family Theater, July 16-21.The comedy is "the improv brainchild of Anthony Veneziale, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Thomas Kail.The stage show is "like no other. MCs, musicians, and beatboxers take the audience on a completely improvised musical ride all based off audience suggestions." To read more about the show, visit https://freestylelovesupreme.com/
The Kennedy Center will present Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Michael Greif in the Eisenhower Theater, August 6-September 8.The contemporary musical won 6 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2018 Grammy Award®. The show tells the story of “a letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, and a life that a boy never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in.” The show is recommended for ages 12 & up.
The Annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival will take place at The Kennedy Center August 31-September 2. The festival hosts more than 50 Washington-area theater companies in a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals. Audiences can see new works being prepared for Washington premieres in the upcoming season.Works in development will be presented by local, regional, and national playwrights, librettists, and composers—some with scripts in hand, others almost fully staged. Theater artists can receive feedback and network with others, allowing them to refine their works and develop relationships that lead to later collaborations. The full schedule of events will be released in early August.
Shakespeare Theatre Company will present Hamlet, directed by Craig Baldwin (original direction by Michael Kahn), in the annual Free for All, July 10-21 at Sidney Harman Hall. The classic revenge tragedy is set in a modern surveillance state - Denmark - where “the characters spy and report on one another, even in their most intimate and vulnerable moments of grief, agony and despair.”
Image below: Photo of Michael Urie as Hamlet in Hamlet by Scott Suchman.
Studio Theatre introduced SHOWROOM, a curated performance series in the summertime spirit—with spirits, in June. There are two limited-run shows and a few one-night-only engagements. Studio's Milton Theatre has been transformed into a laid-back hangout, serving up entertainments and specialty drinks alike. Performances are planned on:
June 19-July 7: Every Brilliant Thingby Duncan MacMillan, directed by Jason Loewith and starring Alexander Strain. "A hilarioius and compassionate light on dark corners of the human condition." Image below: Alexander Strain. Photo by Stan Barouh.
July 9-August 4: Bright Colors and Bold Patterns by 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."
Theater Alliance, under Artistic Leader Raymond O. Caldwell, will begin a lineup of bold plays celebrating works that center on people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and other underrepresented communities, August 5-18. Theater Alliance is the company in residence at the Anacostia Playhouse and the majority of performances are held there, though in some cases performances are held at other venues such as the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and Atlas Performing Arts Center. The season will begin with the Word Becomes Action Festival III: Everyday Revolutions, wherein six new works ask us to confront the revolutions and moments of resilience within our daily lives. Shining the spotlight on local theater artists, Word Becomes Action offers a dynamic glimpse into the themes and topics explored throughout the mainstage season.
Image below: The poster for Word Becomes Action Festival III: Everyday Revolutions.