“Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me,” says Shakespeare’s Cleopatra (see below), before taking her own life. But a less drastic way to satisfy such longings is to dress up — or down — in clothes suitable for fall and catch some of the following shows.
Death of a Salesman. Star Washington actor Craig Wallace tackles one of the essential roles of American theater. Almost 70 years after the premiere of Arthur Miller’s drama, salesman Willy Loman’s tragic pursuit of the American Dream echoes like an alarm. Ford’s Theatre, Sept. 22 to Oct. 22.
The Wild Party. Constellation Theatre Company opens up with the show that won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for outstanding musical in 2000, Andrew Lippa’s perverse, high-powered show about a perverse, high-powered party. Sept. 21 to Oct. 29.
Antony and Cleopatra. The Folger Theatre presents another tale of star-crossed lovers by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Richmond with Shirine Babb as the Egyptian queen and Cody Nickell as her Roman lover. Oct. 10 to Nov. 19.
Word Becomes Flesh. Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s passionate show — which won five Helen Hayes Awards — returns to Theater Alliance, reprising its exploration of what it means to be a black man in the 21st century through hip-hop, dance and music. Anacostia Playhouse, through Oct. 8.
Sotto Voce. At Theater J, this show by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz deals with a young Cuban’s research into the fate of the S.S. St. Louis, which was bringing Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to the United States. Oct. 3 to 29.
Skeleton Crew. Part of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit trilogy, this play is described as a “searing portrait of livelihoods under siege in Detroit’s auto industry.” Studio Theatre, Sept. 17 to Oct. 8.
An Act of God. Washington acting treasure Tom Story takes on the biggest character of all in David Javerbaum’s wicked take on the Supreme Being. Signature Theatre, Oct. 3 to Nov. 26.
I’ll Get You Back Again. This rock-and-roll comedy by Sarah Gancher asks what happens when a struggling stand-up comedienne sits in as a bassist in her late father’s rock band. Round House Theatre, Oct. 4 to 29.
The Arsonists. Woolly Mammoth Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz returns to the stage to kick of the season in a political comedy by Swiss provocateur Max Frisch. Through Oct. 8.
The Lover and The Collection. Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn again brings us his original view on acerbic playwright Harold Pinter via this double bill. Sept. 26 to Oct. 29.
Native Gardens. Karen Zacarias penned this comedy about neighbors, fences, hot-button topics, class and culture. Arena Stage, Sept. 15 to Oct. 22.
Russian Masters. The Washington Ballet’s second season under legendary ballerina Julie Kent opens with a program, with live music, tracing the origins and evolution of classical ballet, featuring works by Michel Fokine, Alexei Ratmansky, Marius Petipa and George Balanchine. Kennedy Center, Oct. 4 to 8.
Lotus. Six award-winning tap artists who collaborated on “Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk” reunite to celebrate the genre. D.C. natives Joseph Webb and Baakari Wilder join Omar Edwards, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Derick Grant and Jason Samuels Smith, dancing to live jazz. Kennedy Center, Oct. 7.
Alcina. While the classic and spectacular “Aida” opened the Washington National Opera season, a rarely seen and heard production of George Frideric Handel’s “Alcina,” about a sorceress who falls in love — starring the gifted Angela Meade in the title role — is not to be missed. Kennedy Center, Nov. 4 to 19.
La straniera. The type of offering in which Washington Concert Opera specializes, Vincenzo Bellini’s “La straniera,” a passionate tale of a French king’s love affair with a mysterious foreign woman, will be performed at Lisner Auditorium. Nov. 19.
Guest artists at the National Symphony Orchestra’s all-Leonard Bernstein opening gala, under new Music Director Gianandrea Noseda, are cellist Yo-Yo Ma and singer-actress Cynthia Erivo (Kennedy Center, Sept. 24). But first, Steven Reineke conducts the NSO Pops in “Blue Suede Tunes: The Music of Elvis, the Beatles and More,” featuring singer Frankie Moreno and dancing duo Lacey and Benji Schwimmer (Kennedy Center, Sept. 15 and 16).
This fall, Washington Performing Arts is bringing to the D.C. area such international classical standouts as pianist Martha Argerich with the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia (Kennedy Center, Oct. 25), violinist Joshua Bell (Strathmore, Nov. 5) and pianist Daniil Trifonov with the Mariinsky Orchestra (Kennedy Center, Nov. 12).
Jazz, Hip-Hop, Pop, Rock and Country
At The Kennedy Center, pianist and composer Jason Moran, artistic director for jazz, and DJ and rapper Q-Tip, artistic director for hip-hop culture, will give a joint performance (Oct. 6). The Kennedy Center is also hosting two jazz centennials this fall, for Thelonious Monk (Oct. 8) and Dizzy Gillespie (Oct. 21), and performance-tributes to National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Lee Konitz (Oct. 14) and Ron Carter (Oct. 27).
Big names coming to Georgetown’s Blues Alley: trumpeter Terence Blanchard (Sept. 28 to Oct. 1), pianist Chick Corea and drummer Steve Gadd (Oct. 5 to 8) and vocalist Jane Monheit (Oct. 26 to 29).
Among the fall highlights at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia, are Max Weinberg’s Jukebox (Oct. 11), Herb Alpert & Lani Hall (Nov. 13 and 14), David Crosby & Friends (Nov. 28 and 29) and Loudon Wainwright III and Lucy Wainwright Roche (Nov. 30).
Legends of progressive rock King Crimson will appear at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium (Oct. 28 and 29). On a larger scale, the Capital One Arena — formerly the Verizon Center — is a stop on tours by Katy Perry (Sept. 25), Bruno Mars (Sept. 29 and 30) and Guns N’ Roses (Oct. 19).
An intriguing pairing at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, will be bluegrass artist Alison Kraus and English folkie David Gray (Sept. 23). And talk about a varied lineup: The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, has booked Randy Newman (Sept. 18 and 19), Herman’s Hermits (Oct. 3), The Psychedelic Furs (Oct. 4), Wynonna and the Big Noise (Oct. 9) and 10,000 Maniacs, who will perform “In My Tribe” in its entirety (Oct. 13).
D.C.’s newest venue is The Anthem, at the gargantuan Wharf development on the Southwest waterfront, which opens Oct. 12 with the Foo Fighters. Coming the following month: Bob Dylan (Nov. 14), Erykah Badu (Nov. 18) and Thievery Corporation (Dec. 31). Happy New Year!