A Theatre Lover's Guide to DC/Capital Area Theatres – December 2011 Offerings

It's holiday time in Washington, DC with so many gorgeous decorations adorning our Nation's Capital. Our local theatres are booming with new productions and there are holiday tree lightings, concerts, recitals and sing-alongs all through the DC area. Come visit us and see some shows and join in the holiday festivities that we have to offer during this very festive month. Happy Holidays everyone!

To read reviews and to see what's opening this month on DC area stages, go to Maryland Theatre Guide, where I am the Editor and a columnist.

6 PERSONAL 'MUST SEE' HOLIDAY SHOWS TO SEE IN DECEMBER 2011

(1) FROM DECEMBER 2ND TO 27TH, WONDERFUL LIFE, AT THE HUB THEATRE AT THE JOHN SWAYZE THEATRE, IN FAIRFAX, VA.

A-Theatre-Lovers-Guide-to-DCCapital-Area-Theatres-December-2011-Offerings-20010101Jason Lott is one of my favorite local actors and I am really looking forward to seeing him perform all the characters in his and The Hub Theatre's Artistic Director Helen Parfumi's new co-adaptation of Wonderful Life, based on the beloved Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life.

If anyone can pull this manic feat - it's Jason. I'm sure he will earn his wings and lose some weight after each performance.

(2) FROM DECEMBER 14TH TO JANUARY 14TH, A CHRISTMAS CAROL: A GHOST STORY OF CHRISTMAS, AT THE OLNEY THEATRE CENTER'S MULITZ-GUDELSKY THEATRE LAB, IN OLNEY, MD.

A-Theatre-Lovers-Guide-to-DCCapital-Area-Theatres-December-2011-Offerings-20010101I love the performance that Paul Morrella gives in this solo version of the Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas. Paul only uses the words from the original Dickens novella and his performance is full of passion, compassion, and is so heartwarming.

Paul Morella's performance is astounding. It's one I look forward to seeing every year, and I hope you and your family will see it too.

(3) THROUGH DECEMBER 18TH, A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS CAROL, AT METROSTAGE, IN ALEXANDRIA, VA.

A-Theatre-Lovers-Guide-to-DCCapital-Area-Theatres-December-2011-Offerings-20010101For the second year in a row, MetroStage has produced Kathy Feininger's A Broadway Christmas Carol, and this year - Helen Hayes Award-winning funnyman Michael Sharp (who also starred as Scrooge at Round House Theatre's production of this same show many moons ago) is joined by last year's hysterical cast member Matthew A. Anderson and new cast member Tracey Stephens, (they play several male and female characters and get one heck of a workout doing so) to tell the famous Dickens' Scrooge Tale by singing parodies of popular Broadway show tunes. It's really very silly, and with this talented cast you'll be leaving the theatre humming those ol' familiar tunes, but singing some new 'off-the-wall' lyrics.

(4) THROUGH DECEMBER 31ST, THE NUTCRACKER, AT THE PUPPET CO., IN GLEN ECHO, MD.

A-Theatre-Lovers-Guide-to-DCCapital-Area-Theatres-December-2011-Offerings-20010101It's an annual tradition that The Nutcracker graces The Puppet Co.'s stage and this popular production.This wonderful production sells out quickly, so order your tickets ASAP. Performers Christopher Piper, Nora Achrati, Brett Messiora, Matt Reckeweg, and Leslie Vincent are life-sized puppets. Isn't that cool? Filled with all that festive Tsakovsky music, this production will fill the entire family with the holiday spirit.

(5) THROUGH JANUARY 2ND, 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, ADVENTURE THEATRE, IN GLEN ECHO, MD.

A-Theatre-Lovers-Guide-to-DCCapital-Area-Theatres-December-2011-Offerings-20010101Ken Ludwig's new children's holiday production, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, based on the popular Clement Moore poem, is packing them in at Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, MD.

So get your tickets quickly and grab the kids and take them to see the incredible cast - Alex Perez, Rachel Zampelli, Rex Daugherty, Gary Sloan and Emily bring you some holiday cheer and some adorable mice.

(6) THROUGH JANUARY 8TH, WHITE CHRISTMAS, AT TOBY'S DINNER THEATRE OF COLUMBIA, IN COLUMBIA, MD.

A-Theatre-Lovers-Guide-to-DCCapital-Area-Theatres-December-2011-Offerings-20010101Not many holiday musicals can say they have a slew of Irving Berlin favorites like White Christmas has: "Happy Holidays," "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," "Blue Skies," "I Love a Piano," and of course "White Christmas." I've seen a dozen or so productions of this stage adaptation of the popular 1954 film of the same name, but Toby's production has something special – a fabulously talented Ensemble made up of great dancers who swirl and twirl and tap their hearts out while performing Paula Lynn's energetic and athletic choreography. There are great performances by the leads – Larry Munsey, David James, Janine Gulisano-Sunday, Julia Lancione, Samn Huffer, Jane C. Boyle and young Jacqueline Kempa. When you hear the audience swoon while singing "White Christmas" with the cast in the finale - and watch the snowflakes slowly drop -  you can't help but love this production of White Christmas. I'll even bet that the Scrooges among us might even crack a smile.

ALSO OPENING IN DECEMBER 2011

From December 1st to 18th, Bust, at The Studio Theatre, in Washington, DC.

From December 2nd to 11th, Arlen Blues & Berlin Ballads, at The In Series, at The Atlas Performing Arts Center, in Washington, DC.

From December 2nd to January 8th, Becky's New Car, at Bay Theatre Company, in Annapolis, MD.

From December 3rd to 31st, An Irish Carol, at The Keegan Theatre, at Church Street Theater, in Washington, DC.

From December 5th to December 31st, Black Nativity, at Theater Alliance at H Street Playhouse, in Washington, DC.

From December 6th to January 8th, Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies, at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, in Washington, DC.

From December 13th to January 15th, Billy Elliot the Musical, at The Kennedy Center Opera House, in Washington, DC

From December 16th to January 8th, Parfumerie, at 1st Stage, in Tyson's Corner, in McLean, VA

From December 17th to January 8th, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, at The Kennedy Center's Family Theater, in Washington, DC.

From December 17th to January 15th, Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards, at The Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theatre, in Washington, DC.

Through December 18th, Madman and the Nun Or, There is Nothing Bad Which Could Not Turn In to Something Worse, at Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, in Washington, DC.

ALREADY OPENED AND PLAYING THROUGH JANUARY 2012

Through December 4th, Krapp's Last Tape, at Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre, in Washington, DC.

Through December 4th, The Mistorical History of Henry (I)Vat Washington Avant Bard, in Artisphere, in Arlington, VA.

Through December 10th, Beertown, at dog & pony dc, in Washington, DC.

Through December 11th, A Second Chance, at Signature Theatre, in Arlington, VA.

Through December 11th, Shining City at Quotidian Theatre, in Bethesda, MD.

Through December 12th, The Golden Dragon, at The Studio Theatre, in Washington, DC.

Through December 18th, Bust, at The Studio Theatre, in Washington, DC.

Through December 18th, Madman and the Nun Or, There is Nothing Bad Which Could Not Turn In to Something Worse, at Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, in Washington, DC.

Through December 21st, Pride and Prejudice, at Round House Theatre, in Bethesda, MD.

Through January 1, 2012, Equivocation, at Arena Stage, in Washington DC.

Through January 1, 2012, Much Ado About Nothing, at Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall, in Washington, DC.

Through January 1, 2012, You Nero, at Arena Stage, in Washington, DC

Through January 7, 2012, Jersey Boys, at The National Theatre, in Washington, DC.

Through January 29, 2012, Hairspray, at Signature Theatre, in Arlington, VA.

ALSO HIGHLY RECOMMENDED CHILDREN'S/FAMILY PRODUCTIONS

Through January 8, 2012, The Sound of Music, at Olney Theatre Center, in Olney, MD.

Through January 8, 2012, Annie, at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore, in Baltimore, MD.

Through January 2, 2012, A Christmas Carol, at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC.

Through January 8, 2012, Dr. Dolittle, at Imagination Stage, in Bethesda, MD.

OTHER HIGHLY RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY PRODUCTIONS

Through December 8th, A Christmas Carol, at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, in Alexandria, VA.

Through December 31st, White Christmas, at Riverside Center Dinner Theatre, in Fredericksburg, VA.

From December 1st to 18th, Christmas Cabin of Carnaween, at Creative Cauldron, at ArtSpace Falls Church, in Falls Church, VA.

From December 1st to 19th, Seasonal Disorder, at Washington Improv Theater, at Source, in Washington, DC.

From December 1st to 24th, The Santaland Diaries, at The Capital Fringe's The Shop, in Washington, DC.

From December 2nd and 3rd, A USO Christmas, at Tantallon Community Players, in Fort Washington, MD.

From December 2nd to 11th, It's A Wonderful Life, at Sterling Playmakers, in Sterling, VA.

From December 2nd to 18th, A Christmas Carol, at Fauquier Community Theatre, in Warrenton, VA.

From December 2nd to 18th, A Christmas Carol, at Montgomery Playhouse, at The Arts Barn, in Gaithersburg, MD.

From December 3rd to 18th, Miracle on 34th Street, at Laurel Mill Playhouse, in Laurel, MD.

From December 9th to December 18th, Sorry! Wrong Chimney!, at Prince George's Little Theatre, at Bowie Playhouse, in Bowie, MD.

From December 9th to 30th, The 8 Reindeer Monologues, at Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET), in Frederick, MD.

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Joel Markowitz writes about theatre in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York for Maryland Theatre Guide, where he is The Editor and Senior Columnist. He is a regular guest on The Lunch and Judy Show weekly radio program starring Judy Stadt on We Earth Global Radio Network, and can be heard on WTBQ 1110 AM in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, and co-organizes Broadway Bound Meetup. For five years. he wrote a column called Theatre Schmooze and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. Joel also writes this monthly preview of what's about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. His work can also be seen and heard in "Columns" and "Podcast" on BroadwayStars.

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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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