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An Octoroon is Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Obie-winning riff on a 19th-century antebellum melodrama. At a plantation on the brink of foreclosure, a young man takes a fancy to the part-black daughter of the estate's owner, while an evil swindler schemes to buy the girl for himself, while the slaves try to keep things sane. Billed as "part period satire, part meta-theatrical middle finger," this incendiary adaptation by Jacobs-Jenkins, a recent MacArthur "Genius Grant"-winner, was lauded by the Washington Post for handling "hot-button topics with wit and wisdom." Don't miss this reprise run when An Octoroon returns to D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre.
"Shear Madness" is one of the most popular entertainments in the world, delighting audiences night after night with its unique blend of madcap improvisation and spine-tickling mystery.
This unique comedy-whodunit takes place today in the "Shear Madness" hairstyling salon and is chock full of up-to-the-minute spontaneous humor. During the course of the action, a murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the funniest mystery in the annals of crime.The outcome is never the same, which is why many audience members return again and again to the scene of the mayhem.
The year is 1956, and the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein is having its annual quiche breakfast. Daily life is quiet, and excitement is kept to a minimum. But there's an unexpected item on the agenda this year: the very real threat of atom bombs being dropped on the ladies' idyllic town. As the meeting adjourns to the bomb shelter, things take a turn for the worse. Cramped in a small space with what may just be the last quiche on Earth, scandalous secrets come out and tensions -- sexual and otherwise -- rise among the women in this new hilarious production of the 2012 New York Fringe Fest top prize winner at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in D.C.
Ali Baba, Sinbad, Aladdin -- the list of classic characters and tales spun in The Arabian Nights is unrivaled in all of literature. Also known as One Thousand and One Nights, this timeless work of imagination has been captivating audiences for hundreds of years. Now, Constellation Theatre reprises its acclaimed production of Tony winner Mary Zimmerman's stage adaptation, bringing all of the original's magic to life. The young Scheherazade, desperate to stave off her own execution, spins tale after tale for her new husband, the king. Each night, she weaves a spellbinding story, hoping that her vivid imagination will buy her the time she needs to win both the king's heart and her own freedom. Experience this testament to the power of storytelling when The Arabian Nights comes to Source in Washington, D.C.
It's November 11, 1938, the day after Kristallnacht, when Sylvia Gellburg loses the ability to walk. Her husband Phillip desperately seeks the help of Dr. Harry Hyman to find the cause. Hyman's obsession with curing Sylvia uncovers a complex tangle of egos, resentment and guilt, as well as Phillip's own paralyzing struggle with his Jewish identity. The powerful, Olivier Award-winning and Tony-nominated psychological mystery Broken Glass is presented as part of a national celebration of the centennial of the birth of playwright Arthur Miller, at Washington D.C.'s Theater J at the Edlavitch DCJCC.
Best known as a film by Alfred Hitchcock, Dial M for Murder was first a successful stage play written by another English master of suspense, Frederick Knott (Wait Until Dark). In this production of the classic thriller, Tony Wendice plans to murder his unfortunate wife to claim her fortune for himself. He arranges for the perfect crime ... but things don't quite go according to plan. This timeless masterpiece of construction and plotting weaves a tangled web of clues and red herrings, back-stabbings and blackmail that will keep you hooked from start to finish. Catch Dial M for Murder at the Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children's Theater in Hagerstown. The ticket price includes a tasty dinner.
Even at 80, Andre remains a man of quick wit and domineering personality. But things are beginning to get strange in The Father, Florian Zeller's internationally acclaimed work. Andre's trusted watch goes missing, reappears and is lost again. His daughter's stories don't add up. His furniture disappears. And there are strangers sitting at his table. As the signposts of our lives disappear, this exploration of one man's mind and the loss of it, rings powerfully true. Ted van Griethuysen stars in this production at the Metheny Theatre.
In 1974 Germany, widow Emmi falls in love with the younger Ali, a Moroccan immigrant. Everyone is appalled when they marry, although family and friends ultimately accept the couple's unconventional marriage. However, the two find that they must face their own mounting fears and insecurities. Atlas Performing Arts Center presents the U.S. theatrical premiere, adapted from the renowned German film of the same name that won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival. Don't miss this bold exploration of multiracial marriage, star-crossed lovers, and how fear can destroy our hopes and dreams.
Get ready for a rollercoaster ride of romance when the stage play Simply Lace Finding Love Through Loss comes to THEARC Theater for one night of vibrant drama. After her boyfriend proposes to her, Jenna is on cloud nine, only to see her happiness shattered when her fiance dies in an accident just hours after the proposal. Now, trying to put her life back together, she reconnects with her best friend from high school and finds herself having romantic feelings once again.
Broadway's biggest new hit, Finding Neverland is "a must-see you'll remember for years to come" (Vogue). Directed by visionary Tony winner Diane Paulus and based on the Academy Award-winning film starring Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world's most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys' enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. See this magical production, which NPR called, "far and away the best musical of the year!" at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore.
Freed from her husband's oppression after he suffers a stroke, a suburban housewife lights the fuse on a revolt against patriarchy in Hir, aided by her newly liberated transgender son. But when her other son returns home from combat duty in Afghanistan, he's not exactly thrilled to find his family under siege from own mother. The New York Times raved "Perhaps no play this year inspired a greater sense of awe than Taylor Mac's audacious dive into the dysfunctional-family playpen of American theater." Check out the Woolly Mammoth production of this subversive comedy on stage in Washington, D.C.
Two years before his death in 2005, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson wrote and starred in How I Learned What I Learned, a solo show about the power of art, poetry and possibility. Now, actor Eugene Lee -- who appeared in Wilson's famed Fences -- takes on the role of the prolific author of classics like The Piano Lesson and Two Trains Running at Round House Theatre in Bethesda. With direction by Wilson's longtime friend and collaborator Todd Kreidler, Lee steps into Wilson's shoes to share the playwright's personal stories that take him from his first kiss, to a stint in jail to life-defining encounters with racism and more. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette called it "complex and surprisingly funny ... laced with the voice of the poet he always was."
With Independence Eve, American Opera Projects explores ideas of racial identity and acceptance in America. Through three scenes set in 1963, 2013 and 2063, two singers -- Brandon Snook and Jorell Williams -- deliver a study of black and white America, offering commentary on the intricacies of race relations and the persistent stain of racism. The duo will portray new characters in each scene, grappling with issues of race in the past, present and future. With music by Sidney Marquez Boquiren and libretto by Daniel Neer, this thought-provoking work makes its world premiere at The ARK at Arlington's Signature Theatre.
A sometimes comic and other times tragic exploration of the relationships between women who worked as prostitutes during the American occupation of Trinidad & Tobago, Jean and Dinah -- The Play is a highlight of West Indian theater. On the dawn of Carnival Monday in the Port of Spain, Jean comes to take her friend Dinah to the masquerade, just as they've done for the past 40 years. But when Dinah doesn't want to get out of bed, both women discover things about themselves that shaped their lives.
Jazz icon Billie Holiday -- dubbed "Lady Day" by her friends -- forever changed the world of jazz and popular music with her pioneering vocal style. Despite great success and critical acclaim, though, Lady Day struggled with substance abuse and legal troubles for much of her life. Months before her untimely death in 1959, Holiday played one of her final shows in a seedy little bar in South Philadelphia, singing some of her most beloved hits and telling stories from her life and career. Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, starring Anya Randall Nebel, recreates this singular night in music history on the stage at Anacostia Playhouse.
Laura Bush is an enigma wrapped in another enigma. She's shy, beautiful, bookish, and in 1963, she blew through a stop sign and killed a guy. It was probably just an accident. Or maybe, just maybe... it was murder. Join Mrs. Bush for this hilarious and heartfelt evening of real-life reminiscences of her childhood in Texas (untrue?), of her marriage to George W. Bush (a sham?), and of their rapid ascent to the very pinnacle of world power (an abomination?).
Nastier than Scorsese at his bleakest, more violent than Tarantino at his bloodiest, Shakespeare's Macbeth still shocks like no other tale on the page, stage or screen. Now cutting-edge director Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed, Ruined) stages this chilling portrait of temptation, ambition and betrayal at D.C.'s Sidney Harman Hall. Set in a gloomy world of ghosts and witches, the tragedy's cycle of corruption is thrown into motion when the popular King Duncan of Scotland is murdered by his trusted friend and general Macbeth. Driven by a supernatural prophesy and his wife's deadly ambition, Macbeth goes on to claim his destiny. But just as he grasps the crown, it starts to slip through his bloody fingers.
Conventional reality is simply a starting point in an astonishing universe just waiting for us to explore in The Man Who. Inspired by the Oliver Sacks bestseller The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, this hypnotizing theatrical work tells the stories of several patients as Sacks saw them: as heroes endowed with great courage and tenacity, moving through realities stunningly altered by neurological quirks. Called "one of the most magically effective explorations of the mind (also possibly the soul) ever be attempted on the stage" by The New York Times in its original Broadway run, The Man Who now comes to Spooky Action Theater in D.C.
One of the most glamorous celebrities of her time -- and the definition of a diva -- world-renowned opera star Maria Callas comes to vibrant life in this wickedly funny stage bio that won a Tony Award for Best Play. Terrence McNally's Master Class finds the singing legend leading a voice class, and while she both cajoles and terrorizes to get the best out of her students, she muses on her past glories and many heartbreaks. DC favorite Ilona Dulaski stars in this production at MetroStage.
Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Horton Foote, Night Seasons is anchored around the 93rd birthday of matriarch Josie Weems. Having outlived her daughter and husband, she finds that her biggest curse is longevity. Set in Harrison, Texas, the play moves back and forth through time, following the events of the Weems family as they try to find their place in the world. Unable to stand up against his wife, Mr. Weems, a banker, saves money for his daughter, Laura Lee, to do as she pleases. However, with no control over her own finances, Laura Lee finds her chances for independence constantly thwarted by her father, mother and brother. See this compelling drama take the stage of Writer's Center in Bethesda.
Back in the swingin' 60s, charming yet doltish Francis has just been fired from his British pop band. Soon, he finds himself with two jobs and two new bosses (one a small-time gangster and the other an upper-class criminal) who happen to be connected to each other in wildly improbable ways. Mistaken identities, outrageous farce, love triangles and inspired lunacy ensue. A dazzling smash in London and New York -- The Guardian called it "a triumph of visual and verbal comedy" -- One Man, Two Guvnors now makes its way to Silver Spring Stage in the D.C. area. Get ready for a rollicking romp through a swirl of cross-dressing twins, dead fiances, crooked lawyers and general buffoonery backed by a score that pays homage to rockabilly and a certain Fab Four.
"I don't hate you," Rosemary says to Anthony. "I just don't like you." In the Tony-nominated Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, Moonstruck), these two introverted neighbors have lived in rural Ireland and known each other for years, but their lives intersect sharply when a parent dies and property rights come into question. Ultimately a tenderhearted romantic comedy, Shanley's play proves that love, whether early or late, always shows up right on time. Come see why Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called Outside Mullingar "Shanley's finest work since Doubt," when it comes to the stage of Washington DC's Keegan Theatre.
In this Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning family drama, Catherine, the troubled daughter of a recently deceased mathematician, is gripped by the fear that she may've inherited her father's mental illness. Proof tracks her desperate attempts to stay in control -- despite complications including a budding romance with one of her father's former students, the appearance of a mysterious new work by her dad and the arrival of her long-estranged sister. Set in Chicago, the play chronicles the discovery of self identity through intellectual and emotional challenges and explores the power of love to help us reach our true potential. David Auburn's moving and thought-provoking play, which The New York Daily News called "rich and compelling ... full of life, laughter and hope," comes to the stage at the Olney Theatre Center.
While working one Saturday at an auto repair shop in Herzliya, a Palestinian mechanic is confronted by an Israeli woman from his past, whose unexpected arrival will change both their futures forever. Five Pinteresque scenes unfold a story of love, betrayal and redemption between the play's two characters (known only as "Him" and "Her"), with the state surveillance apparatus cleverly serving as a third character. Palestinian-Israeli-American playwright Hanna Eady and Seattle-based playwright Edward Mast's gripping two-hander now makes its U.S. premiere at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in D.C.
Contemporary slang meets 17th-century farce in The School for Lies. Adapted from Moliere's The Misanthrope, playwright David Ives (Venus in Fur, All in the Timing) transforms Moliere's classic into a modern satire told entirely through verse. The result is a delightfully incongruous comedy of manners that lets you peer inside the Parisian salon of Celimene, a young widow with a sharp tongue and plenty of eager suitors. Tony Award-nominee David Ives and STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn, the team that created the award-winning French trilogy of The Liar, The Heir Apparent and The Metromaniacs, return to old stomping grounds in this uproarious update of one of the greatest masterpieces of French comedy. Outrageous gags and vicious couplets strike a hilarious balance of class and crass in this classic collision of Moliere's biting satire and Ives's modern wit. See it at Lansburgh Theatre in D.C.
Silent Sky is the true story of how a group of extraordinary women banded together to find a way to measure the universe while overcoming adversity. Set in the early 1900s, Silent Sky follows Henrietta Leavitt, an aspiring scientist who joins the Harvard Observatory's all-female "human computer" team. Once there, however, she finds the women are kept behind the scenes and told to keep their ideas and theories to themselves. As Henrietta navigates these impossible waters, she tries to keep her personal life and family obligations in focus. This powerful production from Silver Spring Stage examines a woman's place in professional society during a time of both historic discovery and endless oppression.
Shakespeare's tragic and ever timely satire on the steep price of prosperity tracks the fall of a rich and powerful aristocrat in Timon of Athens. Timon's lavish lifestyle and generosity lead to a downturn in his finances, and he's promptly abandoned by his so-called friends once his fortune is depleted. Starring in the title role is Ian Merrill Peakes, who won a Helen Hayes Award for his performance in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead this past year at Folger Theatre. This D.C. production is directed by Robert Richmond (Richard III, Othello and Henry V at Folger).
Everything's bigger in Texas, and that includes Christmas. In fact, the overheated holiday spirit of one tiny Texas town is enough to melt the North Pole in A Tuna Christmas. Radio station news personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report live on the holiday craziness that has gripped Tuna, Texas (population: 24), including an imperiled A Christmas Carol staging and a sabotaged yard-decorating contest. Enjoy this hilarious holiday play at the Bowie Playhouse.
Premiering in the U.S. as part of the Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival, this drama is set in an Israeli prison, where a Jewish lawyer takes on the case of an Arab literature teacher, bringing the lives of the Israeli middle class and those struggling in the Gaza Strip into sharp contrast. Gilad Evron's prize-winning Ulysses in Bottles brings James Joyce's classic novel into play too, exploring issues like personal independence and morality. This Mosaic Theater Company production comes to the stage at DC's Atlas Performing Arts Center.
When a terrible water shortage leads to a government ban on private toilets, a greedy company profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs -- until a hero decides he's had enough and rises up against the system. Urinetown is a musical, satirical tale of corruption, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. The show's irreverent score gives a nod to musicals from Broadway to Brecht and Weill, and parodies musicals such as The Cradle Will Rock and Les Miserables. The winner of three Tonys and two Obie Awards during its original Broadway run, Urinetown comes to Herndon's NextStop Theatre.