Arena Stage is presenting August Wilson's Jitney, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, thru October 20.It’s “the dramatic story of a Pittsburgh jitney station, a symbol of stability, struggling against an oppressive lack of opportunity and unnerving neighborhood gentrification that threatens the way they live and work. The drivers resist powerful forces while coming to grips with their pasts to fulfill their own hopes and dreams for the future." Arena Stage’s presentation kicks off the National Tour of one of Wilson’s masterpieces. The illustration below is by Charles Chaisson
Arena Stage will present Right to be Forgotten, written by Sharyn Rothstein & directed by Seema Sueko, October 11-November 10.The drama has been called “a striking allegory about privacy, social media and human forgiveness in the age of the internet.” It’s the story of a young man whose mistake online at 17 haunts him online a decade later. He goes to great lengths to erase his indiscretion and reclaim his right to privacy but faces resistance from big business, the tech companies, secrets, lies and political backstabbing.
Arena Stage will present Disney's Tony Award-winning musical Newsies, directed by Molly Smith, November 1-December 22. The show is set in the summer of 1899, when the newsboys of New York City took on publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst - and won. Inspired by true events, the Broadway smash hit musical features fan-favorites like “Carrying the Banner,” “King of New York” and “Seize the Day.” The show is deemed “perfect for the whole family.”
Arena Stage will present Ken Ludwig's Dear Jack, Dear Louise, directed by Jackie Maxwell, November 21-December 29. The play tells the joyous, heart-warming story of the courtship of Ken Ludwig’s parents during World War II “and the results are anything but expected.” “When two strangers meet by letter during World War II, a love story begins. U.S. Army Captain Jack Ludwig, a military doctor stationed in Oregon, begins writing to Louise Rabiner, an aspiring actress and dancer in New York City, hoping to meet her someday if the war will allow. But as the war continues, it threatens to end their relationship before it even starts.”
Theater Alliance is presenting Douglas Turner Ward’s Day of Absence, directed by Raymond O. Caldwell and Angelisa Gillyard, at Anacostia Playhouse, thru November 3. It’s about a shocking discovery that “sends a town topsy turvy.”
The play is said to “reclaim the complexity and depth of the African-American population.” “Ward’s 1965 script and this imaginative retelling is a comedic and pointed commentary on systemic racism that still bears relevance today.”
Image below: Kayla Warren (Courier), Kaisheem Fowler-Bryant (Jackson), Sisi Reid (Club Woman), Jared Shamberger (Mayor), Charles Franklin IV (Businessman) and Ezinne Elele (Businessman) in Day of Absence at Theater Alliance. Photo courtesy of Manaf Azzam.
Rorschach Theatre will present Qui Nguyen's play titled She Kills Monsters, directed by Randy Baker, at Atlas Performing Arts Center, October 18-November 10.It’s the story of a woman who leaves her childhood home following the death of her teenage sister. When the woman finds her sister’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, “she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge.”
Mosaic Theatre Company will present Norman Yeung's play titledTheory, directed by Victoria Murray Baatin, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, October 23-November 17.The production will feature Josh Adams, Musa Gurnis, Benairen Kane, Camilo Linares, Tony K. Nam, Andrea Harris Smith, and Tyasia Velines. The play tells the story of “a young tenure-track professor who tests the limits of free speech by encouraging her students to contribute to an unmoderated discussion group.”
Mosaic Theatre Company will present Eureka Day, written by Jonathan Spector & directed by Serge Seiden at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, December 4-January 5. The comedy will feature Regina Aquino, Lise Bruneau, Erica Chamblee, Sam Lunay, and Elan Zafir. The setting is at Eureka Day School in Berkeley, "where all decisions made by consensus, diversity and inclusion are valued, and vaccinations are a personal matter. When a mumps outbreak hits the school, it turns out that not everyone in the community has the same definition of social justice. Now the board of directors must confront the central question: how do you find consensus when you can’t agree on the facts?"
Constellation Theatre Company will present the musical Little Shop of Horrors at Source theatre, October 17-November 17.With book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, it’s a sci-fi smash hit set in the run-down neighborhood of Skid Row. A timid floral assistant becomes famous when he discovers a strange and unusual plant that brings him “cash, glory, and the girl of his dreams. But his good fortune takes a deadly turn......."
The show is said to have “tongue-in-cheek humor, toe-tapping songs, and murderous hijinks."
The Folger Theatre is presenting 1 Henry IV directed by RosaJoshi, thru October 13. The plot tells how “Prince Hal spends his days carousing in taverns with criminals and lowly commoners, much to the dismay of his father, King Henry IV. Winding from the Boar's Head Tavern to the shadows of Gad’s Hill, Hal’s path to the throne may be unusual, but it eventually leads him to the one place where questions of honor and reputation come to a head: the battlefield.” The cast features Edward Gero as the irrepressible Falstaff and Peter Crookas King Henry IV.
A joyous moment between Falstaff (Edward Gero, left) and Prince Hal (Avery Whitted) - Photo by C. Stanley Photography.
The Folger Theatre will present Peter Shaffer's play titled Amadeus, directed by Richard Clifford, November 5-22.Amadeus won 5 Tony Awards®, including Best Play. The play explores what happens when “Genius and jealousy collide in the opulent salons and opera houses of 18th-century Vienna."
Ford's Theatre is presenting August Wilson's drama titled Fences, directed by Timothy Douglas, thru October 27.The play depicts the life of a former Negro League baseball star who is now – in the 1950s - employed as a sanitation worker in Pittsburgh. The play "explores the walls we build around ourselves and our loved ones, while also illuminating one family's struggles in a racist society." The play is part of Wilson's 10-play Century Cycle. The lead roles are played by Craig Wallace and Erika Rose.
Image below: Erika Rose and Craig Wallace - Photo by ScottSuchman
Ford's Theatre will present A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens and adapted by Michael Wilson, with direction by Michael Baron, November 21-January 1. The music-infused production was originally conceived by Michael Baron and “captures the magic and joy of the Yuletide classic.” The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Craig Wallace, on a journey of transformation and redemption.
Keegan Theatre is presenting the world premiere of Brandon McCoy's play titled West by God, directed by Jeremy Skidmore, thru October 20.The story is set in a small town in the Appalachia region of West Virginia, where “two different families grapple with issues of grief and love, memory and identity, and with the distance and time that both unite and divide generations.” The play has been called a “heartwarming, and gut-wrenchingly honest examination of the divide between urban and rural America, and the kinds of prejudice and intolerance too often left unchallenged in our society.
Image below: Colin Smith & Susan Marie Rhea in a scene from West by God - Photo by Cameron Whitman
Keegan Theatre will present the DC premiere of Chelsea Marcantel's Airness, directed by Christina A. Coakley and choreographed by Jessica Redish, November 8-30. The play is a comedy about competition, completion, and finding the airness inside yourself. The story is about a girl who enters her first air guitar competition, which she thinks will be easy to win until she discovers that there’s more to the art form than playing pretend. AIRNESS is co-produced with 1st Stage of Tysons, VA.
Urban Arias will present a new staging of contemporary American opera Glory Deniedat Keegan Theatre in D.C., January 16-19.Based on the book by Tom Philpott, the opera tells the true story of America’s longest held prisoner of war Col. Floyd “Jim” Thompson. With music and libretto by Tom Cipullo, Glory Denied examines the sacrifices made overseas and at home during times of war.
Keegan Theatre will present An Irish Carol 2019, written by company member Matthew J. Keenan and directed by Mark A. Rhea, December 12-31. The original work is an homage to Dickens’s classic – “told as only the Irish can.” The comic play is set in a modern Dublin pub, where it follows one evening in the life of a wealthy pub owner who has lost touch with his own humanity in the interest of self-protection and material success.
The Kennedy Center will present award-winning humor writer and master of satire David Sedaris in the Concert Hall on October 15.His latest collection of essays, titled Calypso, is a New York Times best-seller, and a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.
The Kennedy Center will present the world premiere of a commission for young audiences titled Kid Prince and Pablo in the Family Theater, October 19-November 3. Mark Twain’s classic story titled The Prince and the Pauper is “reimagined as a digital age American Hip Hop story. By standing in one another’s shoes, Kid Prince and Pablo unearth discoveries that could start a whole new revolution.” The show, written by Brian Quijada, with music by Marvin Quijada, is directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh.
The Kennedy Center will present stand-up comedian and actor Dave Chappelle with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in the Concert Hall on October 27. Chappell crafted his standup comedy as a 14-year-old student at D.C.'s Duke Ellington School of the Arts. His act was inspired by “the realities of his life growing up Black in the nation's capital.” The Prize, which is named to honor one of the world’s greatest humorists, will be given at a gala performance featuring some of the biggest names in comedy. The program will be broadcast on PBS stations on January 6, 2020.
The Kennedy Center will present comedy performances on:
November 1: Nick Offerman in an evening of "deliberative talking & light dance." November 10: No Such Thing as a Fish - from "the forefront of the British podcast scene." November 15: Janeane Garofalo - Actress & comedian. See photo below.
The Kennedy Center will present The Second City's Love, Factually in the Theater Lab, December 3-29. The show is a “romantic romp that parodies classic holiday film Love, Actually along with many other classic holiday rom-com moments.”
The Kennedy Center will present the award winning musical Come from Away in the Eisenhower Theater, December 10-January 5. The musical tells the true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. “Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.”
The Kennedy Center will present the Lincoln Center Theater production of Lerner & Loewe's My Fair Lady in the Opera House, December 17-January 19. It’s the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” The show has such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.”
Alfred Street Baptist Church Music and Worship Arts Ministry will present Joy to the World—A Christmas Celebration in the Concert Hall on December 2. It's "a dynamic presentation of the Christmas story told through music, dance, and drama." The concert, led by conductor Theodore Thorpe III, features a choir of over 100 voices accompanied by a full symphony orchestra, “with interpretations enriched by liturgical dance and drama. Guests will include 10-time Grammy Award® winners Take 6 - a world-class a cappella sextet specializing in jazz-styled sacred music classics - and Metropolitan Opera soprano Brandie Sutton."
The National Theatre will present Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville, October 8-13.The musical comedy features both original songs and most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics, including “Fins,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and many more.
The National Theatre will present Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour, October 18 & 19. Creator and original host Joel Hodgson will bring his movie-riffing robots, Tom Servo, Crow, and Gypsy, “on an exhilarating roller coaster ride through some of the cheesiest films ever made.“
The National Theatre will present RENT - 20th Anniversary Tour, November 12-17.Jonathan Larson’s original rock musical debuted on Broadway in 1996 and won a Pulitzer and Tony Award. The show reimagines Puccini’s La Bohème as it follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. Rent is recommended for ages 13 and up.
The National Theatre will present Tony Award-winner John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons, November 21-23.The one-man play tells of his “outrageously funny, frenzied search to find a Latin hero for his son’s school history project.” The show is recommended for ages 13 and up.
Image below John-Leguizamo – Photo by Matthew Murphy 2017.
The National Theatre will present Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Diaries on November 29.The acclaimed actor/singer/storyteller performs a “powerful, passionate evening of song, marrying many of Mandy’s favorite Broadway and classic American tunes with selections from his newest recording. He takes the audience on a musical journey from the songs of Randy Newman to Stephen Sondheim, and from Harry Chapin to Rufus Wainwright. The show is recommended for ages 4 and up.
The National Theatre will present The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays, December 3-8. The production showcases “the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth. The Illusionists has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage.”
The National Theatre will present Fiddler on the Roof, December 10-15. The Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and his team will bring “a fresh and authentic vision to the beloved theatrical masterpiece. The new production has movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins. The score features the Broadway classics “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “To Life.” The show is recommended for ages 8 and up.
The National Theatre will present Jersey Boys, December 17-January 5. The show tells the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were "just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note." The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”
Image below: (l to r) Corey Greenan, Eric Chambliss, Jonny Wexler and Jonathan Cable - Photo: Joan Marcus. The show is recommended for ages 12 and up.
The Shakespeare Theatre Company will present Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s EVERYBODY, directed by Will Davis, with D.C. comedic legend Nancy Robinett, October 15–November 17.An Obie Award-winner and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient, Jacobs-Jenkins “shines his light on the 15th century play Everyman with startling results."
The Shakespeare Theatre Company will present PETER PANby J.M. Barrie in a world-premiere adaptation by Lauren Gunderson directed by Alan Paul, at Sidney Harman Hall, December 3-January 12, 2020. Lauren Gunderson “places Wendycenter stage, a budding scientist breaking free from the constraints of Edwardian traditions. Whisked away by Peter Pan to Neverland, they confront menacing pirates, a formidable crocodile and the dastardly Captain Hook.” The classic tale of adventure and wonder is “sure to delight adults and children alike.”
The Shakespeare Theatre Company will present Susan Hill's The Woman in Black, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt and directed by Robin Herford, in the Lansburgh Theatre, December 4-22. Robin Herford’s production has been called “a gripping study in atmosphere, illusion, and controlled horror. A lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the specter of a woman in black engages a skeptical young actor to help him tell his terrifying story and hopefully exorcise the fear that grips his soul. As they reach further into his darkest memories, they find themselves snared in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds.”
Studio Theatre has extended the run of John Patrick Shanley's drama titled Doubt, directed by Matt Torney, thru October 20. The play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a 2005 Tony for Best New Play. Set in The Bronx in 1964, the play centers on suspicions at a parochial school about a charismatic young priest’s interest in a Catholic school’s first and only Black student.
Doubt addresses “questions of how to handle unprovable suspicions—and how the most vulnerable usually bear the brunt of unequal justice.”
Image below: Sarah Marshall in Doubt: A Parable. Photo: Teresa Wood.
Studio Theatre will present Anchuli Felicia King's play White Pearl, directed by Desdemona Chiang, November 6-December 8.The “twisted” corporate comedy is about the ugliness of the beauty industry. The setting is "a cosmetics company on the rise: Based in Singapore, launching a global skincare line, and bringing a start-up mentality to the big leagues."
Studio X will present Keep, written and performed by monologist Daniel Kitson, November 19-December 1.It's "a new show about how much past the present should contain. About rigor and generosity and the value of regret and the possibility of hope and the delusion of starting again and the inevitable sadness of ever holding on to anything."
Theater J will present Edward Albee’s play titled Occupant, directed by Aaron Posner, November 7-December 8.The play tells the true story of “a little Jewish girl from Russia who immigrated to the US and became the renowned sculptor, Louise Nevelson. In Albee’s play, she’s been invited to participate in an interview — from beyond the grave. Through her ups and downs, her contradictions and evasions, we witness the deep inner turmoil and intrepid triumphs of one of the 20th century’s greatest artistic minds.” The production will star Susan Rome in a “surprising, touching, and delicious play that offers an unabashed exploration of how a pioneer for free-thinking women everywhere found her voice.”
The Washington Stage Guild is presenting Candida, by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Laura Giannarelli, at The Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, thru October 20. It's the classic tale of a preacher and a poet who are both in love with the same woman. "The former is her husband, the latter wants to woo her away and both are shocked by her ultimate choice and the reasons for it…”
Washington Stage Guild will present Charles Dickens's Hard Times, adapted for the stage by Stephen Jeffreys, November 14-December 8.Dickens’s tale of love, loss, and circus folk is set against the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution in England. This version, in which four actors play dozens of characters, has not been seen in Washington for over two decades.
The Movement Theatre Company will present Aleshea Harris's play titled What to Send Up When It Goes Down, directed by Whitney White, at Woolly Mammoth, October 30-November 10. "Meant to disrupt the pervasiveness of anti-blackness and acknowledge the resilience of Black people throughout history, this theatrical work uses parody, song, and movement in a series of vignettes to create a space for catharsis, reflection, cleansing and healing. Boundaries blur as the audience is asked to not only observe the performance, but participate in the ritual as well."
Woolly Mammoth will present The Second City's She the People: The Resistance Continues! directed by Carly Heffernan, December 1-January 5. The new show was inspired by the 2018 all-female blockbuster, She the People. Last year’s all-female all-star team further satirizes “the reality of being a woman in this wild world, exploding the myths and misrepresentations surrounding body positivity, bachelorettes, Beyoncé, and the 2020 ballot.”