A Theatre Lover's Guide to DC/Capital Area Theatres - August 2011 Offerings

Thank God for air-conditioning in our DC/MD/VA area theatres! In August it will be sizzling in our local theatres. Signature Theatre has its 'Sizzlin' Summer Cabaret' series with visits from Broadway favorites Marc Kudisch and Julia Murney, and Signature favorites Erin Driscoll, Sandy Bainum, and Lauren Williams. The talk of the town is Cate Blanchett visiting The Eisenhower Theatre at The Kennedy Center, where a hundred yards away Wicked is playing to SRO audiences (what else is new?).

A Look Back at the Capital Fringe Festival

Maryland Theatre Guide - where I am the Editor - reviewed all 124 shows in this year's Capital Fringe Festival, despite sweltering temperatures. Thanks to the MD Theatre Guide Fringe Team who battled the elements. And to our friends at DC Theatre Scene who also covered all the shows - congratulations!

TOP PICKS: SHOWS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING IN AUGUST 2011

FROM AUGUST 4TH TO 21ST, THE RAMAYANA, AT CONSTELLATION THEATRE COMPANY, AT SOURCE, IN WASHINGTON, DC.

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Constellation's Artistic Director Allison Stockman has brought one of my favorite productions - The Ramayana - and what a great way to end the summer with Kendra Rai's stunning costumes, and two-time Helen Hayes Award winner Tom Teasley playing his original score onstage.

Rama must conquer The King Ravana and rescue his wife Sita in order to save the world from evil. And during this wild journey you meet goddesses and monkeys and demons and an occasional 'good guy' and watch the power of love save the universe. Hooray!

The incredible cast features Katie Atkinson (Nila/Maricha), Misty Demory (Mandodari/Bear), Megan Dominy (Soorpanaka/Monkey), Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (Vibishana/Monkey), Heather Haney (Sita), Andreu Honeycutt (Rama), Keith E. Irby (Jambavan/Mahaparshwa), Ashley Ivey (Indrajit/Bharatha/Monkey), Jim Jorgensen (Ravana), Drew Kopas (Lakshman), Matt McGloin (Hanuman), Jon Odom (Sugriva/Jatayu/Demon), and the very busy Amy Quiggins (Golden Deer/Tara/Sampati/Varuna/Demon/Mountain).

Don't miss this dazzling, visually stunning, exciting, and uplifting production. Watch a trailer here.

FROM AUGUST 4TH TO 27TH, UNCLE VANYA, AT THE KENNEDY CENTER'S EISENHOWER THEATRE, IN WASHINGTON, DC.

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Cate Blanchet wowed Kennedy Center audiences with her performance as Blanche DuBois in the sold-out Sydney Theatre Company's production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 2009, and now she returns in Sydney Theatre Company's U.S. engagement of Andrew Upton's new adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, alongside John Bell, Cate Blanchett, Sandy Gore, Hayley McElhinney, Anthony Phelan, Richard Roxburgh, Andrew Tighe, Jacki Weaver, and Hugo Weaving

"On a dilapidated, remote farm Uncle Vanya (Richard Roxburgh) and his niece Sonya (Hayley McElhinney) have worked slavishly for years to sustain an estate in decline. Now Professor Serebryakov (John Bell) and his wife Yelena (Cate Blanchett) have returned to visit, bringing with them chaos and disruption. Constant visits from the charismatic Astrov (Hugo Weaving) are not helpful. Lunch is no longer served at lunch time - now it is procrastinated until dusk - work is forgotten and the long, cool nights have become sleepless. From this hotbed of disarray grow three consuming love affairs, each of which is destined to wither in disappointment before it has reached bloom. It is in this climate of frustration and thwarted hopes that the Professor chooses to announce a shocking plan."

Uncle Vanya is directed by renowned Chekhov interpreter Tamas Ascher. Try to get a ticket to this production!




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Joel Markowitz Joel Markowitz grew up in Buffalo, NY. At a young age, between shoveling snow and eating hot Buffalo wings, he fell in love with theatre, particularly musical theatre. Moving to the DC area after graduating from Syracuse University, Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Social Group, where he leads groups to performances in the DC area, and theatre weekends in NYC and Philadelphia. This year, The Ushers is celebrating its 21st anniversary. Joel also coordinates Broadway Bound Meetup groups in the DC, Baltimore, and VA areas.

In May 2011, Joel became the Editor and Senior Columnist for Maryland Theatre Guide, after writing his popular column Theatre Schmooze, and recording interviews with DC, Philadelphia, and New York actors, directors, and composers for DC Theatre Scene for 5 years. Joel is also a regular contributor on the weekly NYC radio program ‘The Lunch and Judy Show’ where he talks with host Judy Stadt about theatre in NYC and the DC area. Joel is a fan of Stephen Sondheim, William Finn, Jason Robert Brown and Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. His favorite musicals include Ragtime, The Secret Garden, Spring Awakening, Gypsy, The Light in the Piazza, Sweeney Todd, The Last Five Years, and In The Heights. He is a huge supporter of children's theatre. Joel is also a Buffalo Sabres fan, so you may see him at hockey rinks, as well as at stage doors, where he schmoozes with the stars.


 
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