Arena Stage and Guthrie Theater are presentingNative Gardensby Karen Zacarías, directed by Blake Robison, in the Kreeger Theater, thru October 22.The new comedy is "about the clash of class and culture that pushes well-meaning neighbors over the edge."
The story unfolds when a very pregnant Ph.D. candidate, and her rising attorney husband, move next door to a deep-rooted D.C. couple with an impeccably trimmed backyard. "When a questionable fence line puts a prize-worthy garden in jeopardy, neighborly rivalry escalates into an all-out border dispute, challenging everyone’s notions of race, privilege and where to draw the line on good taste."
Arena Stage will present The Pajama Game, with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, directed by Alan Paul & choreographed by Parker Esse, on the Fichandler Stage, October 27-December 24.It’s the classic musical set in a pajama factory, where the new superintendent has fallen for the trouble-making head of the union grievance committee. “Sparks really start to fly when a workers’ strike pits management against labor and ignites an outrageous battle of the sexes.”The lively songs include “Steam Heat,” "Hernando’s Hideaway” and more.
Arena Stage will present Arthur Miller's play The Price, directed by Seema Sueko in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, October 6-November 5.It's the story of two brothers who return home to settle their late father's estate. An "enigmatic professional appraiser, played by Hal Linden, is committed to turning a profit, but the brothers are forced to reconsider the cost of personal sacrifices."
Arena Stage will present Nina Simone: Four Women - written by Christina Ham, directed by Timothy Douglas and starring Harriett D. Foy - in the Kreeger Theater, November 10-December 24.The esteemed songstress Nina Simone has been celebrated for her signature renditions of standards from the American songbook, but the loss of four little girls in a devastating explosion in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963 led her to find her true voice through storytelling & song. Simone’s activist themes including “Four Women,” “Mississippi Goddam,” “Old Jim Crow” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” helped define the sound of the Civil Rights Movement.
Image below:Illustration by Uli Knorzer
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop will host a Taffety Punk Theatre Company presentation of She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange by Amelia Roper, directed by Kelsey Mesa, September 27-30. “In a nice New England park, in a nice New England city, two nice New England couples try very, very hard to be nice to each other, while the world around them falls apart. An absurdly funny and terrifying ride through downsized, foreclosed America.” The production features company members Dan Crane and Tonya Beckman.
Folger Theatre will present William Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra, directed by Robert Richmond, October 10-November 19. The epic tale of politics and power, love and jealousy, alliance and misalliance will feature Shirine Babb as Cleopatra and Cody Nickell as Mark Antony.
Image below: Shirine Babb & Cody Nickell - Photo by James Kegley.
Ford’s Theatre will present Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, directed by Stephen Rayne, September 22-October 22.The classic play “challenges us to reconsider what it means to succeed and the cost of chasing the American Dream.”
The play will star Craig Wallace as the retired salesman Willy Loman and Kimberly Schraf as his wife Linda Loman.
Ford’s Theatre will present A Christmas Carol, as the theatre has done for more than 35 years, November 16-December 31. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future will lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. The production was originally conceived by Michael Baron, and the “music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Charles Dickens’s Yuletide classic.” Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace will return to Ford’s to play Ebenezer Scrooge. The show is recommended for ages 5 and older.
Keegan Theatre will present the tragicomedy Stones in His Pockets, which was written in 1996 by Marie Jones for the DubbleJoint Theatre Company in Dublin, Ireland, September 23-October 15.The tragicomedy "focuses on a movie location shoot in Ireland and the delightful, touching characters involved.
The script is a tour de force for two actors who perform all 15 characters (men and women), and much of this hilarious, wicked comedy is mined from the tone-deaf efforts of the production crew to create the proper "Irish feel" – a romanticized notion that often conflicts with the reality of daily life."
Keegan Theatre will present Top Girlsby Caryl Churchill, directed by Amber Paige McGinnis, November 4 – December 2.The setting is a dinner party in a London restaurant where a woman is celebrating her promotion to managing director of Top Girls employment agency.Her guests are five women from the past! They play was the 1983 Obie Award-winner for Best Play.
Whoopi Goldberg, the multitalented comedian, author, actress, and activist will return to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Friday, October 13 for a night of stand-up comedy presented as part of a 20th anniversary celebration of the Mark Twain Prize, which she won in 2001. She has been acclaimed for her work in film, television, theater, and recordings, plus tireless humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse, and the battle against AIDS..... as well as many other causes and charities. She is one of the few artists who have won an Emmy, Grammy®, Oscar, and Tony Award®. The presenter notes that the performance is recommended for mature audiences.
Image below: Whoopi Goldberg
The 20th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor will be presented to David Letterman on Sunday, October 22.The gala performance will feature some of the biggest names in comedy. Over 33 years, Letterman became the longest-running late-night broadcaster in American history. As a writer, performer, and producer, Letterman is one of the most-nominated individuals in Emmy Award® history & won 10 times. Letterman is also a two-time Peabody Award winner and a Kennedy Center Honoree.
Image below:David Letterman.
TheMark Twain Prize for American Humor Exhibit: The Art of Robert Risko will be exhibited in the Kennedy Center’s Hall of Nations October 2-27 as part of the Prize’s 20th Anniversary Celebration. Artist Robert Risko has created the caricatures for the prize since 2002. Risko started drawing iconic celebrity portraits in his graphic style for Andy Warhol’s magazine, Interview. His style is said to embody the spirit of the 1930s Vanity Fair caricaturists.
The Kennedy Centerwill present The Book of Mormon in theOpera House, October 24-November 19. The nine-time Tony®-winning Best Musical “follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word.” The show containsexplicit language.
Image below:The cast of The Book of Mormon.
The Kennedy Center will present the world premiere of a musical adaptation titled Me...Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall, directed by Aaron Posner, in the Family Theater, November 18-December 10. The Kennedy Center commission, with music & lyrics by Andy Mitton, is about “young Dr. Jane Goodall and her special toy chimpanzee Jubileeas they learn about the world around them and the importance of protecting all living species.” The cast will feature Eymard Cabling, Sam Ludwig, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Awa Sal Secka, and Erin Weaver as Young Jane. The show is most enjoyed by age 6 and up.
Image below: The logo for the show.
Comedian Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias will bring his FluffyMania World Tour: 20 Years of Comedytour to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Friday, November 17. “His style of stand-up comedy is a mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters, and sound effects that bring his personal experiences to life. Iglesias is one of America’s most successful stand-up comedians performing to sold-out venues around the world.” The show is Recommended for mature audiences.
Image below: Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias
Comedian Al Madrigalwill perform his act in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on November 18.“His true-life tales have been featured on The Tonight Show, Conan, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Jimmy Kimmel.”
Image below:Al Madrigal.
The Kennedy Center will presentGobsmacked! In the Eisenhower Theater, November 24-26.It’s a “mind-blowing, next-generation vocal show—the latest sensation from the UK—featuring reigning world champion beatboxer Ball-Zeeand an international cast of vocalists. Gobsmacked! weaves stories through all forms of a cappella, guaranteeing audiences will leave with a song in their hearts and smiles on their faces.” For those of us who didn’t know, “beatboxing” is a form of vocal percussion that mimicks drum machines, using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and voice.
Mosaic Theatre is presenting Angelo Parra’s The Devil's Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith, directed by Joe Brancato, starring Miche Braden at the Atlas Performing Arts Center'sLang Theatre, thru September 24.The hit Off-Broadway musical celebrates the legendary Bessie Smith, “whose life was as large and outrageous as her talent.” Miche Bradenarranged the music & is reprising the role she originated Off-Broadway. The musical “re-imagines Bessie’s final electrifying evening after she and her band are turned away by a whites-only theater.”Her all-time hits include “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “St. Louis Blues,” and “Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do.”
Mosaic Theatre will present Vicuña & The American Epilogue - an area & world premiere by Jon Robin Baitz, directed by Robert Egan, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center’sLang Theatre, November 1-26. It's the story of an Iranian tailor, Amir, and his apprentice as they struggle to make a custom-suit out of vicuña wool for an unlikely customer—a real-estate tycoon preparing for the final presidential debate. The play was originally produced during the 2016 election, and this newly-updated version is followed by a world premiere Epilogue drawn from the playwright’s own headline-making experience coming to DC on the night of the inauguration to be a witness to history, only to find himself--like his character Amir--becoming a casualty of it.”
Image below: The poster for Vicuña & The American Epilogue
Mosaic Theatre will present The Real Americans - in rep with Draw the Circle - written & performed by Dan Hoyle& directed by Charlie Varon at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lab II, November 10-December 22. The Real Americans wasinspired by 100 days travelling in a van through small-town America. Actor/journalist Hoyle enacts a multi-character encounter with the people at ground zero of our country’s growing economic inequality and polarized politics.”
Draw the Circlewas written by & will be performed by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, directed by Chay Yew, at the Atlas's Lab II, as mentioned above, December 1-24. “Gender transition can be a test for any household—but when Mashuq Mushtaq Deen comes out to his conservative Muslim family, traditional values and Western ideals collide in an hilarious and moving immigration journey unlike any other. Told entirely from the point of view of family and friends, yet performed by Deen himself, Draw the Circle is a moving story about survival, transition, and unconditional love.”
The National Theatre will present the world premiere ofMeanGirls, directed by Tony® winner Casey Nicholaw, October 31-December 3 - prior to its opening on Broadway.The new musical will have a book by Tina Feywithoriginal music by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin. The show's about a sheltered young girl who moves to a new school, where she encounters unfamiliar personalities and challenges.The show is said to be "full of razor-sharp wit and remarkable insight, as it takes a look at friendships — and human nature — through a ferociously funny lens." The show is produced by Lorne Michaels and Stuart Thompson. Image below: The logo for Mean Girls
The National Theatre will present Cameron Mackintosh’s production Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical LES MISÉRABLES, December 20-January 7. Tickets went on sale on September 22.
The celebrated production will come to The National Theatre direct from a two-and-a-half year Broadway engagement. The production features new staging and “dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo…. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, LES MISÉRABLES tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Featuring one of the greatest scores of all time, with thrilling and beloved songs including “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars," “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” “Do You Hear the People Sing” and many more.”
Rorschach Theatre is presenting Robert Kauzlaric's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's modern cult classic titled Neverwhere, directed by Jenny McConnell Frederick, at Atlas Performing Arts Center, thru October 1. The play is “about a man who stumbles upon adventure in a dangerous and magical world that exists below the streets of London." The ensemble cast includes returning cast members Sarah Taurchini as Door and Daniel Corey as Richard Mayhew. Other returning cast members includeLee Liebeskind, Cam Magee, Scott McCormick, Christian Sullivan, and Grady Weatherford. Actors new to the cast include McCaul Baggett, Thais Menendez, Robert Pike, Robert Bowen Smith, Dina Soltan and Megan Reichelt.
The play is produced by Jenny McConnell Frederick, Randy Baker, and Jonelle Walker.
Scena Theatre will present a modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, directed by & featuring Robert McNamara, in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, September 1-24.The cast, with Barry McEvoy, Ian Blackwell Rogers & David Bryan Jackson, comes from the DC area & Dublin, Ireland. The producers note that theatre-goers can“discover the parallels of modern Washington to ancient Rome.”
The Shakespeare Theatre Company will present The Pinter Plays: The Lover and The Collection, directed by Michael Kahn in the Lansburgh Theatre, September 26-October 29.The production will be comprised of a double bill of one act plays by Harold Pinter.
In The Collection, "a jealous husband confronts a rival, whom his wife may or may not have met. In The Lover, a couple calmly plans for their scheduled infidelity.
In Pinter’s darkly comic world of revealing silences and pregnant pauses, the characters—and the audience—never know quite where they stand, embracing reality and fantasy with equal conviction."
The Shakespeare Theatre Company will present Twelfth Night, directed by Ethan McSweeny, in Sidney Harman Hall, November 14-December 20. The tale of a girl who has been shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria features “an explosive love triangle in which identity, passion and gender all threaten to come undone.”
Studio Theatre is presenting Dominique Morisseau's play Skeleton Crew, directed by Patricia McGregor, thru October 8.The play is set at one of the last auto-stamping plants in Detroit, where rumors are spreading about a plant shutdown.
The play is said to be "a timely and searing portrait of the American working class."Morisseau has been called "one of the most significant and talented emerging African-American voices in the theatre."
Studio Theatre Studio X will present Lucy Prebble’s play The Effect, directed by David Muse, October 4-29.“When two volunteers for an antidepressant clinical trial start to feel the tell-tale signs—sweaty hands, thumping hearts—they know they’ve fallen for each other hard. Or are their bodies processing a chemical romance?”
Studio Theatre will present Rachel Bonds’s comic play Curve of Departure, directed by Mike Donahue, November 29-January 7, 2018.The tale takes place the night before a funeral, “as family members gather in a single hotel room in New Mexico, shuffling sleeping arrangements, dealing with absent family members, and preparing for their uncertain futures.” The theme is “family, funerals, and an uncertain future.”
Studio Theatre Studio X will present the world premiere of Daniel Kitson’s show titled A Short Series of Disagreements Presented Here in Chronological Order, November 8-25.Supported by Studio R&D, Studio’s New Works initiative, the show “is likely to be both funny and thoughtful, absurd and serious, rich with humanity and riddled with frustration.”
Theater J will present Nilo Cruz’s drama Sotto Voce, directed by José Carrasquillo, October 3-29.The Pulitzer Prize-winner has written about a young Cuban man whose research into the fate of the S.S. St. Louis “leads him to a reclusive writer who refuses to talk about the ship of Jewish refugees that fled Nazi Germany only to be denied entry into both Cuba and the U.S. As he strives to uncover the mysteries she’s hiding, an old romance is relived and a new one blossoms.”The play “explores the plight of the refugee, the resilience of love, and the sensuality of imagination.”
Theater J will present Alfred Uhry’s play titled The Last Night of Ballyhoo, directed by Amber McGinnis, November 29-December 31.“The year is 1939 and Atlanta’s posh German Jews are preparing for Ballyhoo, their annual lavish country club ball. The Freitag family hopes that the party of the year will be the chance for their daughters to meet their future husbands—but when their uncle brings home his new employee, a handsome Eastern European bachelor from Brooklyn, everyone must confront their own prejudices, desires, and beliefs.” The play, by the writer of Driving Miss Daisy, won a Tony Award for Best Play.
Washington Stage Guild will present Widowers' Housesby George Bernard Shaw, at Undercroft Theatre in downtown DC, September 28-October 22.It's the story of "an ambitious young doctor who falls in love with the daughter of a predatory real-estate speculator, but while her wealth is appealing, he balks at its source.”
Washington Stage Guild will present A Child’s Christmas in Wales & Other Stories adapted by Bill Largess, November 24-December 17.“An evening of works adapted from Dylan Thomas, Charles Dickens, AA Milne, Louisa May Alcott and others, will receive its world premiere in a warm and nostalgic production.”
Woolly Mammoth Theatre is presenting The Arsonistsby Max Frisch, as newly translated by Alistair Beaton, and directed by Michael John Garcés, thru October 8.It’s the story of a man who is a respected member of his community with a loving wife and a flourishing business.
As such, he believes that “the arsonists will spare him. As an upstanding citizen, he’s even happy to do his civic duty by opening his home to two new guests… but when they start filling his attic with drums of gasoline, will he end up starting the fire himself?” The play was written as a reflection on the rise of both Nazism and Communism and is said to have an “uncanny new relevance today in light of the rise of populist nationalism around the globe.” Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz has returned to the Woolly stage in the lead role.
Company members Kimberly Gilbert, Tim Getman, and Emily Townley also star in the production.
Image below:From The Arsonists - Photo by Scott Suchman
Woolly Mammoth Theatre will present Felonious Munk’s Nothing to Lose (But Our Chains), directed by Billy Bungeroth, November 11-December 31. The show tells “the hilarious and harrowing story of how one Black man went from six years in a state prison to a six-figure job in corporate America to a new life as an activist and satirist. Performed by Felonious and a cast of Chicago’s sharpest comedians, the latest installment in the long-running partnership between Woolly and The Second City will combine sketch, stand-up, and music to remind us that true freedom comes only from within.”
Image below: Felonious Munk in Nothing to Lose (But Our Chains) - Photo by Scott Suchman