The Georgetowner’s Spring Theater Guide
By April 12, 2023 One Comment 586•
The National Capital New Play Festival at Bethesda’s Round House Theatre is featuring two world premieres: “On the Far End,” Mary Kathryn Nagle’s one-woman show about Muscogee leader Ella Jean Hill, directed by Margot Bordelon; and Morgan Gould’s “Jennifer Who Is Leaving,” about a caregiver at her breaking point (through May 7). A panel discussion, “The State of Indian Law,” will follow the April 23 performance of “On the Far End.”
Carrie Compere is singing up a storm as Sister Rosetta Tharpe in “Shout Sister Shout!” at Ford’s Theatre, Cheryl L. West’s adaptation of Gayle F. Wald’s book about the Godmother of Rock and Roll, directed by Kenneth L. Roberson (through May 13).
Do drop in at “Shear Madness,” the Georgetown hair salon in the Kennedy Center Theater Lab, to vote for the murderer — and the ending — of your choice (through Oct. 1).
LAST CHANCE THIS MONTH …
Extended: “A Nice Indian Boy” by Madhuri Shekar, directed by Zi Alikhan at Olney Theatre Center; and “Clyde’s” by Lynn Nottage, directed by Candis C. Jones at Studio Theatre (through April 16).
Closing soon: at Shakespeare Theatre Company, “King Lear” with Patrick Page in the Klein Theatre and the refugee drama “The Jungle” in Harman Hall; at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, “Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea,” Rorschach Theatre’s reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” (through April 16).
Arena Stage is presenting the first half of Tony Kushner’s AIDS-era epic, “Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches,” directed by János Szász (through April 23).
“Unseen,” Mona Mansour’s play about an American conflict photographer in Istanbul, is at Mosaic Theater Company, a resident arts partner of the Atlas Performing Arts Center, directed by Johanna Gruenhut (through April 23).
At Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, “The Nosebleed,” written and directed by Aya Ogawa, explores parenthood in “a series of absurd autobiographical vignettes” (through April 23).
Folger Theatre’s “Our Verse in Time to Come,” by Malik Work and Karen Ann Daniels in collaboration with Devin E. Haqq, directed by Vernice Miller, brings Shakespeare-inspired poetry and song to the DC Public Library (through April 23) and Woolly Mammoth (April 25 to 30).
Up next at the Keegan Theatre: “The Wilting Point,” a world premiere by Graziella Jackson, directed by Danielle A. Drakes, set in the drought-suffering Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado (April 13 to 30).
Feeling misérable? Join Jean Valjean in the Kennedy Center Opera House (through April 29). Or catch the next carpet for “Disney’s Aladdin” at the National Theatre (April 19 to 30).
Back on H Street NE at the Atlas: In Series will present the first fully-staged American production since its 1995 premiere of “I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky,” John Adams’s and June Jordan’s “song-play” about the Northridge, California, earthquake (April 14 to 30).
OPENING THIS MONTH AND PLAYING ON …
Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “’night, Mother” opens soon at the Anacostia Playhouse (April 19 to May 14).
Olney Theatre Center will pay tribute to the music of John Kander and the lyrics of Fred Ebb, composers of “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” with a new production of “The World Goes ’Round,” directed by Kevin S. McAllister (April 19 to May 21).
GALA Hispanic Theatre will stage the comedy “La valentía (Valor)” by Alfredo Sanzol, directed by José Zayas, about sisters for and against the sale of the family summer home (April 20 to May 14).
Kathleen Barth will direct the Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of “Mary Stuart,” a 223-year-old play by Friedrich Schiller, translated by Peter Oswald (April 22 to May 13).
“Bursting with energizing punk, blues, gospel and jazz music” by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, “Passing Strange,” directed by Raymond O. Caldwell, will shake the stage at Signature Theatre (April 25 to June 18).
ExPats Theatre will present “The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield,” an adults-only play by Matei Visniec, at the Atlas (April 28 to May 21).
Opening this month or next: The U.S. premiere production of Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse’s “Strong Wind” by Scena Theatre at the DC Arts Center, directed by Robert McNamara (dates to be announced).
COMING IN MAY …
In Kenneth Lin’s “Exclusion,” directed by Trip Cullman at Arena Stage, a historian’s book about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is optioned for a mini-series (May 5 to June 25).
Coming to Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Harman Hall: “Here There Are Blueberries” by Moisés Kaufman and Amanda Gronich, conceived and directed by Kaufman, focuses on an album of Nazi-era photos that turns up at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (May 7 to 28).
Commissioned by Studio Theatre from 2022 Pulitzer Prize winner James Ijames, “Good Bones,” directed by Psalmayene 24, depicts an urban planner’s troubled homecoming (May 10 to June 11).
Another round of Broadway on tour: Monty Python’s “Spamalot” in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater (May 12 to 21); and “Beetlejuice,” based on Tim Burton’s 1988 wacky classic, at the National (May 16 to 28).
Signature Theatre brings its Sondheim expertise to “Sweeney Todd” in a production directed by Sarna Lapine with music direction by Jon Kalbfleisch and choreography by Alison Solomon (May 16 to July 9).
A world premiere directed by Monty Cole at Woolly Mammoth, Dave Harris’s “Incendiary” uses techniques from comic books and video games to tell the story of a mother’s attempt to break her son out of death row (May 29 to June 25).
Margaret McAuliffe’s “The Humours of Bandon,” directed by Stefanie Preissner for Solas Nua at the Atlas, follows a teenage Dublin dancer on the eve of the Irish Open Championships (May 31 to June 11).
NEW IN JUNE …
Three Black queer men “in an ethereal waiting room” greet audiences in Donja R. Love’s “One in Two,” directed by Raymond O. Caldwell for Mosaic at the Atlas (June 1 to 25).
Jazz pianist and composer Janelle Gill will lead an ensemble of performers — some of whom played with Chuck Brown — in “Chuck & Eva,” an In Series production based on Brown and Eva Cassidy’s 1992 album “The Other Side.” Performances are at Source Theatre (June 1 and 2) and at Baltimore Theatre Project (June 23 to 25).
The Longest Title Award goes to the Little Theatre of Alexandria for “The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years,” Pearl Cleage’s play about African American debutantes in Montgomery, Alabama, directed by Eleanore Tapscott (June 3 to 24).
Another award winner — this time of eight Tonys — “Hadestown,” by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, directed by Rachel Chavkin, will bring Orpheus, Eurydice, Persephone and, naturally, King Hades to life, or afterlife, at the National (June 6 to 18).
Max McLean stars as the Narnia chronicler in “C.S. Lewis On Stage: Further Up & Further In,” in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Klein Theatre (June 7 to 18).
Next at GALA, directed by co-founder Hugo Medrano: the Afro-Peruvian musical revue “Kumanana!” by Zelmira Aguilar, with music and lyrics by Victoria and Nicomedes Santa Cruz (June 7 to 25).
From August Wilson’s landmark 10-play Century Cycle set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District: “Radio Golf,” directed by Reginald Douglas at Round House (June 2 to July 7).
Johanna Gruenhut will direct the U.S. premiere of “One Jewish Boy,” Stephen Laughton’s comic love story addressing antisemitism, at Theater J (June 7 to July 2).
Heard a Who lately? “Seussical: The Musical,” by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, will lure Horton, the Cat in the Hat and more of the good Dr.’s characters to the Keegan (June 17 to July 22).
June Musicals: Elton John and Tim Rice’s “The Lion King” in the Kennedy Center Opera House (June 22 to July 29); the American Repertory Theater/Roundabout Theatre Company production of “1776,” directed by Jeffrey L. Page and Diane Paulus, “with a cast that reflects multiple representations of race, gender and ethnicity,” in the Ken Cen’s Eisenhower Theater (June 27 to July 16); and, at Studio, “Fun Home,” Lisa Kron’s adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel about coming out, with music by Jeanine Tesori, directed by David Muse (June 28 to July 30).
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