Fall Performing Arts Preview
By September 13, 2023 0 587•
Partnering with Dupont Underground, The Washington Ballet will pop down for four pop-up performances (Sept. 28, 29 and 30). TWB’s main fall event, “Such Sweet Thunder: An Evening Inspired by William Shakespeare” — also looking ahead to Duke Ellington’s 125th birthday, April 29, 2024 — will happen at the Warner Theatre (Oct. 26 to 29).
Glade Dance Collective will share works in progress during a yearlong “In the Lab” series at the Atlas Performing Arts Center starting this Sunday (Sept. 17). Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the Atlas’s Café Flamenco, two cabaret-style performances by Furia Flamenca Dance Company with guitarists Torcuato Zamora and Juan L. Romero and percussionist Henry Rodriguez (Oct. 21).
Several of the Kennedy Center’s fall dance offerings originate in Asia: Kalanidhi Dance’s “Sagarika: The Sea-Maiden,” in the Terrace Theater (Sept. 22); China Arts and Entertainment Group’s “Mulan,” in the Opera House (Sept. 29, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1); and, back in the Terrace Theater, a solo work in the language of the classical Indian dance Bharatanatyam: Malavika Sarukkai’s “Anubandh – Connectedness” (Nov. 10 and 11).
Also in the Terrace Theater: Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company will kick off its 30th anniversary season with an evening of mixed repertory performed to live music (Nov. 30).
GALA Hispanic Theatre co-founder Hugo Medrano passed away on May 22, aged 80. His life and legacy will be celebrated this Monday evening at GALA’s home, the landmark Tivoli Theatre in Columbia Heights (Sept. 18). Top award-getter at this year’s Helen Hayes Awards, GALA is presenting “Baño de luna (Bathing in Moonlight)” (through Oct. 1), “Picasso” (Oct. 14 to 21) and “Leyendas de mi tierra (Stories from Home)” (Oct. 28 and 29).
Next from In Series: Euripides’ tragicomedy “Alceste,” sung to music by Handel, directed and conducted by Artistic Director Tim Nelson (Sept. 23 and 24 at Dupont Underground, Sept. 29 and 30 and Oct. 1 at Baltimore Theatre Project and Oct. 7 and 9 at GALA).
Don’t cry for me, William Shakespeare? Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita,” directed by Sammi Cannold and choreographed by Eily Maltby and Valeria Solomonoff, is at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Harman Hall (through Oct. 8). Rising star Whitney White will portray another memorable first lady in her musical “Macbeth in Stride,” directed by Tyler Dobrowsky and Taibi Magar and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly, in STC’s Klein Theatre (Oct. 10 to 29).
Though the Folger Shakespeare Library won’t reopen until next year, its Folger Theatre will admit the public for a seasonal dose of the Bard, “The Winter’s Tale,” directed by Tamilla Woodard (Oct. 24 to Dec. 3).
Theater J’s season at the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center begins with two intergenerational comedies — “The Chameleon” by Jenny Rachel Weiner, directed by Ellie Heyman (Oct. 11 to Nov. 5); and Iris Bahr’s “See You Tomorrow” (Nov. 14 to 22) — along with “Here I Am,” “a triptych of tour-de-force performances” (Nov. 14 to Jan. 14).
At Signature Theatre in Arlington, the audience follows “Lauren” on a quest through San Francisco’s Chinatown in Lauren Yee’s “King of the Yees,” directed by Jennifer Chang (through Oct. 22). Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner will direct “Ragtime,” the Tony Award-winning musical by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens based on E. L. Doctorow’s novel (Oct. 24 to Jan. 7). In November, a cabaret, “How Sweet It Is: The Men of Soul,” will pay tribute to Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Bill Withers (Nov. 7 to 19).
Playing at Bethesda’s Round House Theatre is James Graham’s “Ink,” directed by Jason Loewith, about the young Rupert Murdoch (through Sept. 24). After that comes Katori Hall’s jaw-dropping take on Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night, “The Mountaintop,” directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (Oct. 11 to Nov. 5).
Onstage at Olney Theatre Center is “The Brothers Paranormal” by Prince Gomolvilas, co-directed by Hallie Gordon and Aria Velz, about two Thai American brothers assisting a Black woman who seems to be haunted by a Thai-speaking ghost (through Oct. 7). There’s also a ghost in Olney’s next show, “Fiddler on the Roof” — remember? — directed by Peter Flynn with music direction by Christopher Youstra and choreography by Lorna Ventura (Nov. 8 to Dec. 31).
At Ford’s Theatre, Seema Sueko is directing “Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard” by Pearl Cleage, who worked for legendary Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson (Sept. 22 to Oct. 15). More politics: Arena Stage is bringing us “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive” by Selina Fillinger, directed by Margot Bordelon and starring Naomi Jacobson and Natalya Lynette Rathnam (Oct. 13 to Nov. 12).
And Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is presenting the world premiere of Kellie Mecleary’s adaptation of Sasha Denisova’s “My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion,” translated by Misha Kachman and directed by Yury Urnov, a piece inspired by the playwright’s online chats with her 80-plus-year-old mother in Kyiv under siege (through Oct. 8).
Studio Theatre takes us to a Cancún resort — in “Espejos: Clean” by Christine Quintana, translated and adapted by Paula Zelaya Cervantes and directed by Elena Araoz (now playing) — and a North Carolina barbecue pit — in James Ijames’s reimaging of Hamlet, “Fat Ham,” directed by Taylor Reynolds (opens Oct. 25).
The new season for Mosaic Theater Company, based at the Atlas, has begun with Psalmayene 24’s “Monumental Travesties,” directed by Artistic Director Reginald L. Douglas, in which Abe Lincoln’s head is missing from the Capitol Hill Emancipation Memorial (through Oct. 1). Then comes “Confederates” by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Stori Ayers, about Sara, an enslaved rebel turned Union spy, and Sandra, a present-day tenured professor, united across time (Oct. 26 to Nov. 19).
Also at the Atlas: Solas Nua will present “The Honey Trap,” in which two British soldiers meet two local girls on the outskirts of Belfast in 1979, a world premiere by Leo McGann, directed by Matt Torney (Nov. 2 to 19).
But wait, there’s more at the Atlas. ExPats Theatre will present “Scorched” by Lebanese Quebecois playwright Wajdi Mouawad (Sept. 23 to Oct. 15). And check out these two one-nighters: “The Other Side of the Hallway,” from the Breaking Ground summer theater program for LGBTQIA+ youth of color (Sept. 30); and “Crucified,” from SDH Entertainment, about a young woman’s battle with addiction (Oct. 21).
Rejoice, lovers of Broadway movie remakes. Playing this fall are: “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” in the Kennedy Center Opera House (through Sept. 24); and “Mrs. Doubtfire” (Oct. 10 to 15) and “The Wiz” (Oct. 24 to 29), at the National Theatre.
A timely reminder: This is your last chance to Lynn Notage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning picket-line drama “Sweat” at Dupont’s Keegan Theatre (through Sept. 16).
For this fall’s free Opera in the Outfield presentation, Washington National Opera will stage Puccini’s “La bohème” in Nationals Park (Sept. 30). The regular season in the Kennedy Center Opera House begins with a world premiere. A co-production with the Met, Jeanine Tesori’s “Grounded,” based on George Brant’s play about a woman fighter-pilot, will be seen and heard first in D.C., with mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo as Jess (Oct. 28 to Nov. 13). Next up is Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet,” featuring Adam Smith and Rosa Feola and directed by Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Simon Godwin (Nov. 4 to 18). Cafritz Young Artists will appear in major roles on the second-to-last night (Nov. 17).
Washington Concert Opera’s late-fall production in George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium will be “a recovered gem”: Rossini’s Trojan War opera “Ermione,” with leads Angela Meade, Lawrence Brownlee, David Portillo and Ginger Costa-Jackson (Dec. 2).
On the program for the National Symphony Orchestra’s season-opening gala in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall: works by Rossini and Elgar, Carlos Simon’s “Fate Now Conquers” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” (Sept. 23). Music Director Gianandrea Noseda will also conduct an all-Rachmaninoff program featuring the Piano Concerto No. 4, with soloist Denis Kozhukhi, and “The Bells,” with the Choral Arts Symphonic Chorus (Sept. 28 to 30). Other NSO highlights: the Halloween Spooktacular (Oct. 22) and performances conducted by Kevin John Edusei of “JFK: The Last Speech” with Phylicia Rashad, inspired by President Kennedy’s 1963 speech at Amherst College (Oct. 26 to 28).
In the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater: the Pan American Symphony Orchestra will perform “Tango Sinfónico” (Oct. 14).
New Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jonathon Heyward will mount the Strathmore podium for programs featuring Dvořák’s “New World Symphony” and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, with soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Sept. 30) and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1, with soloist Emanuel Ax (Nov. 18).
Also at Strathmore: National Philharmonic Music Director & Conductor Piotr Gajewski will conduct a “Gershwin, Price & Beethoven” program with Michelle Cann as “Rhapsody in Blue” piano soloist (Oct. 14). The Washington Chorus will join the Nat Phil for “Universal Longings/Anhelos Universales,” with works by James Lee III and Venezuelan composer Antonio Estévez, conducted by Eugene Rogers (Nov. 5).
And at the Atlas: Capital City Symphony, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Victoria Gau, will play works by Louise Farrenc, Canteloube, Hovhannes and Grieg (Oct. 15) and, on two successive afternoons, synchronize performances of Andrew Earle Simpson’s original score to screenings of Buster Keaton’s “One Week” (Nov. 11 and 12).
Let’s add some voices. The Russian Chamber Art Society will return to the Embassy of France for performances of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” “The Nursery” and “Songs and Dances of Death” by mezzo-soprano Anastasiia Sidorova, baritone Anton Belov and pianists Artyom Pak and Thomas Pandolfi (Oct. 13).
At Washington National Cathedral, Steven Fox will lead the Cathedral Choral Society, joined by Washington Bach Consort, in the program “Two Cathedrals: Baroque Splendor from Mexico City” (Oct. 22).
Marin Alsop will conduct the Choral Arts Symphonic Chorus and Orchestra with Chorus Master Anthony Blake Clark at a “Festival of Voices” in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall celebrating British composers (Nov. 8).
Turning to the chamber music scene: Music from Chamber Dance Project’s upcoming season of contemporary ballet, always with live music, will be performed across the river at the Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum (Sept. 21).
As part of the Kennedy Center’s Fortas Chamber Music Concerts in the Terrace Theater, violinist Augustin Hadelich and pianist Orion Weiss will perform sonatas by Beethoven and Prokofiev, along with pieces by Amy Beach, John Adams and Daniel Bernard Roumain (Oct. 15); and the 47-year-old Emerson String Quartet will give its second-to-last-ever performance; the show is “currently sold out” (Oct. 20).
Right here in Georgetown: Trio Con Brio Copenhagen at Dumbarton Oaks (Oct. 15 and 16) and cellist David Teie at Dumbarton United Methodist Church’s Dumbarton Concerts (Oct. 21).
The Phillips Collection’s Sunday Concerts in the Music Room will start off with British pianist Isata Kanneh Mason (Oct. 15) and Vijay Iyer with the Parker Quartet, playing Iyer’s music for piano quintet (Oct. 22).
Led by Angel Gil-Ordóñez, PostClassical Ensemble’s 2023-24 opening program in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater is titled “Bouncing Off The Walls: Music and Architecture,” featuring overtures by Beethoven and Rossini and works by Gabrieli and Haydn, with commentary by Washington Post critic Philip Kennicott (Nov. 16).
Roll out the pianos! The first performance in Washington Performing Arts’ Hayes Piano Series in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, by 2022 Van Cliburn Competition-winner Yuchan Lim (Sept. 23), is sold out, but tickets are still available for Mahani Teave (Oct. 28). Also from Washington Performing Arts in the Terrace Theater: “Between Boundaries: An Evening with Paul Huang,” with the violinist joined by pianist Helen Huang and the Percussion Collective (Oct. 19); and a four-hand piano program by Simone Dinnerstein and Awadagin Pratt (Oct. 30).
One more: Chih-Long Hu will perform in Catholic University’s Ward Recital Hall as part of the Washington International Piano Series (Oct. 7).
JAZZ, POP, ROCK AND HIP-HOP
Highlights of the fall lineup at Georgetown’s Blues Alley: Gerald Albright (Sept. 21 to 24), Bill Charlap (Oct. 13 and 14), Najee (Nov. 2 to 5) and Stanley Jordan (Nov. 9 and 12, solo; Nov. 10 and 11, with Kevin Eubanks). The Oct. 5 to 8 performances by the Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band have been postponed.
Coming to The Birchmere in Alexandria: Marshall Crenshaw’s 40th Anniversary Tour (Oct. 1), The Bacon Brothers (Oct. 7, 8 and 9), Jeffrey Osborne (Oct. 13 and 14), Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin (Oct. 26, 27, and 28), Sheila E. (Nov. 10) and Rufus Wainwright (Nov. 16). The Birchmere will present Lucinda Williams at Capital One Hall in Tysons (Oct. 24).
Did you celebrate the Judy Garland Centennial in 2022? You can still join the party at Strathmore with Michael Feinstein (Sept. 21). Also at Strathmore: Itzhak Perlman performs a klezmer program, “In the Fiddler’s House” (Sept. 28); Anoushka Shankar leads an all-star quartet playing Indian masterworks, presented with Washington Performing Arts (Oct. 6); and Brian Stokes Mitchell sings show tunes and American Songbook favorites (Oct. 21).
Meanwhile, in the Barns at Wolf Trap: Andy Summers of the Police (Oct. 13), the Branford Marsalis Quartet (Oct. 17 and 18), Pablo Cruise and Jim Messina (Oct. 20 and 21), Max Weinberg’s Jukebox (Oct. 25 and 26), Linda Eder (Nov. 2), Pinchas Zukerman’s musical birthday celebration (Nov. 3 and 4), and Kathy Mattea (Nov. 8 and 9).
The Warner Theatre is running the gamut from Hot Tuna (Sept. 30) and Little Feat’s The Albums Tour (Oct. 3 and 4) to American Girl Live! In Concert (Oct. 18) and Randy Rainbow for President (Oct. 20).
Capital One Arena is a stop on the big tours, such as: Peter Gabriel’s i/o The Tour (Sept. 20), Wu-Tang Clan and Nas’s NY State of Mind Tour (Sept. 26), Aerosmith’s Peace Out: The Final Farewell Tour, with The Black Crowes (Sept. 27), Ms. Lauryn Hill and The Fugees’s Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 25th Anniversary Tour (Oct. 21) and Depeche Mode’s Memento Mori Tour (Oct. 23).
The Anthem has snagged a few tours too, some already sold out: Janelle Monáe’s Age of Pleasure Tour (Sept. 24 and 25), Hozier’s Unreal Unearth Tour (Sept. 26 and 27) and Thundercat’s In Yo Girl’s City Tour (Oct. 19).
Here’s to hip-hop at the Ken Cen. Lady Wray (Oct. 12) and Flex Matthews (Oct. 13) will appear on Millennium Stage; Wale (Nov. 10) and Clipse (Nov. 17) in the Concert Hall; and Beat Street in the Terrace Theater (Nov. 19).
Finally, as your Spidey-Sense has already hinted, the National Theatre will screen the Academy Award-winning animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” with live symphonic music by Daniel Pemberton and a DJ adding songs by Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Jaden Smith and Nicki Minaj (Sept. 30).