The Georgetowner’s Holiday Season Theater Guide  


LAST CHANCE THIS MONTH…  

This weekend, Theater J will sew up its production of Lynn Nottage’s “Intimate Apparel,” about an African American seamstress on New York’s Lower East Side in 1905, directed by Paige Hernandez (through Nov. 13).  

Just how timely is Scena Theatre’s “The Time Machine,” closing Sunday at the Atlas Performing Arts Center? Founding Artistic Director Robert McNamara, who adapted the H. G. Wells classic with Ron Litman, directs (through Nov. 13).   

Also at the Atlas, Mosaic Theater Company is concluding its ambitious repertory presentation of Ifa Bayeza’s “The Till Trilogy,” directed by Talvin Wilks. The three plays are: “The Ballad of Emmett Till,” the world premiere of “That Summer in Sumter” — reenacting the 1955 trial through the eyes of three Black journalists — and “Benevolence” (through Nov. 20).  

One more at the Atlas, one night only: Miss Richfield 1981 in “Cancel Cultured Pearls,” with original songs, videos, audience interaction and “occasional dance moves” (Nov. 12).  

Another one-nighter, part of Anacostia Playhouse’s First Look series: Pamela A. Jafari’s “The Butterfly Waltz,” described as “a mature lesbian story” (Nov. 18).  

In Series Artistic Director Timothy Nelson’s latest synergistic creation is “Requiem,” melding Mozart’s unfinished Requiem Mass with “incomplete death musics” by Lili Boulanger and Claude Vivier. Remaining performances, directed by Nelson with musical direction by Emily Baltzer, are at St. Mark’s Capitol Hill (Nov. 11 and 12), Hand Chapel (Nov. 13) and Baltimore’s 2640 Space (Nov. 18 to 20).  

Wesley Snipes owned the screen as a drug lord in 1991’s “New Jack City.” Now check out “New Jack City Live” at the National Theatre, set to the film’s rap soundtrack (Nov. 10 to 13). Switching gears and cities, the next show moving in is “Chicago” (Nov. 15 to 27).  

More tunes: Composer-lyricist William Finn, who turned 70 this year, is the famed creator of “Falsettos” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Dupont Circle-based Keegan Theatre is presenting Finn’s “Elegies: A Song Cycle,” commemorating lives both real and fictional (through Nov. 20, with a Young Professionals Happy Hour on Nov. 18).  

Solas Nua — “new light” in Irish — will present J. M. Synge’s “The Playboy of the Western World” at the Atlas. Synge’s play, which premiered at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in 1907, has been adapted by Bisi Adigun and Roddy Doyle. Shanara Gabrielle directs (through Nov. 20).  

Ending Thanksgiving weekend at Arena Stage: “Sanctuary City” by Martyna Majok, originally directed by David Mendizábal at Berkeley Rep, the love story of two DREAMers (through Nov. 27).  

“Bluey’s Big Play” at the Kennedy Center brings TV’s lovable blue heeler pup to life. Attention parents: the VIP upgrade includes a lanyard, a gift and a meet-and-greet photo op (Nov. 22 to 27).  

What, you haven’t seen “Shear Madness”? Then head over to the Kennedy Center Theater Lab, where a Georgetown hair salon awaits (through Nov. 27).  

OPENING THIS MONTH AND PLAYING ON… 

Two fairy-tale musicals will set off in November: Sondheim and Lapine’s “Into the Woods,” directed and choreographed by Matthew Gardiner, at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia (Nov. 8 to Jan. 29), and a revival of last winter’s “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at Olney Theatre Center in Maryland (Nov. 9 to Jan. 1).  

Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Simon Godwin will direct “Much Ado About Nothing” in Harman Hall with Beatrice (Kate Jennings Grant) and Benedick (Rick Holmes) as news anchors (Nov. 10 to Dec. 11). Later this month, Round House Theatre in collaboration with Folger Theatre will raise the curtain on Aaron Posner and Teller’s adaptation of “The Tempest” at Round House in Bethesda, Maryland. Tom Waits songs and Pilobolus moves are part of the fun (Nov. 23 to Jan. 1).  

Studio Theatre Artistic Director David Muse will direct his first production in the new Victor Shargai Theatre, Duncan Macmillan’s “People, Places & Things,” exploring “the vivid and disorienting world of intoxication and lies” of an actress played by Kristen Bush (Nov. 9 to Dec. 11, with talkbacks on Nov. 10, 20 and 26).  

In “Just For Us” at Woolly Mammoth, directed by Adam Brace, playwright Alex Edelman personally shares autobiographical comedic episodes, including his not-entirely-comedic infiltration of a White Nationalist meeting (Nov. 16 to Dec. 23).  

Ford’s Theatre has been the D.C. home of Dickens’s immortal “A Christmas Carol” since 1979. Howard University grad and former Shakespeare Theatre Company intern Craig Wallace, one of the capital’s most accomplished actors, made his debut as Ebenezer Scrooge in 2016 (Nov. 18 to Dec. 31).  

More kid stuff at the Ken Cen: Jacqueline Woodson has adapted her picture book “The Day You Begin” with music and lyrics by Toshi Reagon and puppetry by Emma Wiseman. Charlotte Brathwaite directs (Nov. 19 to Dec. 18).  

On the second-to-last day of the month, “Breakthrough,” a gospel musical by Verna Craighead Green, will begin its run at Anacostia Playhouse (Nov. 29 to Jan. 8).  

And on the last day of the month, Scena Theatre will open “Playing Burton,” directed by Robert McNamara, at a venue to be announced. Mark Jenkins’s one-man show stars Brian Mallon as Sir Richard (Nov. 30 to Dec. 20).  

COMING IN DECEMBER…  

Whether or not the capital region has a white Christmas (you never know), the flakes will fall at Synetic Theater in Arlington. Co-founder Irina Tsikurishvili created “Snow Maiden” based on the folk tale of a lonely man who builds a woman from snow (Dec. 1 to 23).  

Also across the Potomac, Little Theatre of Alexandria will present Ken and Jack Ludwig’s “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol,” directed by Madeleine Smith (Dec. 3 to 17).   

Discovery Theater will present “Seasons of Light,” an interactive, multicultural event recommended for ages 5 to 10, at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center (Dec. 5 to 16).  

The Kennedy Center will host the Los Angeles-based Improvised Shakespeare Company, a comedy troupe that geeketh out Bardly. Expect “mild mature content” (Dec. 6 to 18).  

Pianist Mona Golabek will return to Theater J to tell and play her mother’s story of escaping Vienna in 1938 and living in London during the Blitz. Adapted and directed by Hershey Felder, “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” is based on “The Children of Willesden Lane,” written by Golabek and Lee Cohen (Dec. 6 to 18).  

Signature Theatre Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard will direct “Which Way to the Stage,” about obsessed Idina Menzel fans (Dec. 6 to Jan. 22).  

Mosaic will present workshop performances at the Atlas of “Mexodus,” a new hip-hop musical about enslaved people who went south by Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson (Dec. 9 to 18).  

Broadway’s “Wicked” will fly in to the Kennedy Center Opera House (Dec. 8 to Jan. 22). Overlapping in the Eisenhower Theater: Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Soldier’s Play” (Dec. 13 to Jan. 8).  

In Talene Monahon’s “Jane Anger” at Shakespeare Theatre Company, the title character (Amelia Workman) climbs in a window to help Will (Michael Urie) write “King Lear.” Jess Chayes directs (Dec. 13 to Jan. 8).  

More ways to celebrate: “An Irish Carol,” the Keegan Theatre’s homage to Dickens, set in a Dublin pub (Dec. 15 to 31), and “A Magical Cirque Christmas” at the National Theatre, with music, acrobatics and magic galore (Dec. 16 to 18).  

TIME TO PLAN FOR JANUARY?  

Former Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr will return to Theater J from his new base of operations, Village Theatre in that other Washington, to direct Seth Rozin’s “Two Jews Walk Into a War …,” a “vaudeville” about the last Jews in Afghanistan (Jan. 11 to Feb. 5).  

In Sanaz Toosi’s “English,” directed by Knud Adams at Studio Theatre, four adult students study for the Test of English as a Foreign Language in Iran (Jan. 11 to Feb. 12).  

Arena Stage will roll out “Ride the Cyclone,” directed by Sarah Rasmussen, a “quirky cult musical” by Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond in which six teenagers from a Canadian choir come to terms with fate (Jan. 13 to Feb. 19).  

  

 

 

 

 

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