A Theatre Lover's Guide to DC/Capital Area Theatres January 2012 Offerings and 'Best of 2011'
It's that time of the year to take a look back at which shows and performances I enjoyed in 2011 on DC area stages, and since I saw over 200 of them this year in professional, community, university, children's, and in programs that train young actors, so let me give it a whirl and I'll pick my 'Top 5' in each category below.
If you live in the DC area and/or visited the Nation's Capital this year and saw some shows - chime in – will you? – in the 'comments' at the end of this article and tell me what you think and tell me who your favorites were in 2011.
A few changes this year in this column – no more 'Must Sees.' I can't tell you how many of my "Must Sees' turned out to be "Bust Sees," so I'll continue my huge lists of shows in this column, and if I see something that you just have to see, I'll give you a 'Shout Out.'
And go to Maryland Theatre Guide, where I am the Editor, and read our reviews, interviews, and our popular short interviews with people who work in the theatre called 'A Quick 5' and you'll see what others are saying about what's playing in the DC area during 2012. Congrats and thank you to the vibrant DC area theatre community. There's so much to cover that it's taking 40 writers on Maryland Theatre Guide to try to report on everything that's playing.
I'd like to wish all of you - and everyone who work in and supports the theatre – a happy, successful, and healthy 2012 filled with great theatre and sold-out houses! And come visit our theatres in DC. There's lots of great shows playing here.
My Favorite Productions/Performances of 2011
- The Drowsy Chaperone at McLean Community Players.
- Dreamgirls at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore.
- Follies at The Kennedy Center.
- Nevermore at Creative Cauldron at ArtsSpace Falls Church.
- The Wild Party at Teatro101.
(2) Performance in a Musical
- Larry Baird as The Man in the Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone at McLean Community Players.
- Danny Burstein as Buddy in Follies at The Kennedy Center.
- Carolyn Cole as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray at Signature Theatre.
- Kevin McAllister as Burrs in The Wild Party at Teatro 101.
- Chris Rudy as Mary Sunshine in Chicago and as himself in I Left My Heart, A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett, both at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia.
- The Chosen at Arena Stage.
- The Green Bird at Constellation Theatre Company.
- Macbeth at Synetic Theater.
- Return to Haifa at Theater J.
- Ruined at Arena Stage.
(4) Performance in a Play
- Natascia Diaz as Savage in Savage in Limbo at MetroStage.
- Edward Gero as Antonio Salieri in Amadeus, at Round House Theatre.
- Jenny Jules as Mama Nadi in Ruined at Arena Stage.
- Joshua Morgan as Danny Saunders in The Chosen at Theater J at Arena Stage.
- Rachel Zampelli as Callie in Stop Kiss at No Rules Theatre Company.
(5) Children's Theatre and Young Actors' Productions
- Children of Eden at Musical Theater Center.
- Mirandy and the Brother Wind at Adventure Theatre.
- Ragtime at The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts.
- Spring Awakening at Act Two @ Levine.
- The Wizard of Oz at The Puppet Co.
- Marc Kudisch: What Makes Me Tick at Signature Theatre.
- Audra MacDonald at WPAS at The Kennedy Center.
- Alexandra Silber Performs 'London Still' at the Barbara Cook's Spotlight Series at The Kennedy Center.
- NSO: Some Enchanted Evening: the Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein at The Kennedy Center.
- Villains from Young Artists of America at The Music Center at Strathmore.
OPENING IN JANUARY 2012
From January 4th through 29th, The Religion Thing at Theater J, in Washington, DC.
From January 7th to 29th, Hedda Gabler at Scena Theatre, at The H Street Playhouse, in Washington, DC.
From January 7th through 22nd, Barber & Barberillo at The In Series, at Source, in Washington, DC.
From January 12th to February 4th, Romeo and Juliet at Faction of Fools, at Flashpoint at Mead Theatre Lab, in Washington, DC.
From January 13th to February 12th, Ain't Misbehavin' at Spotlighters, in Baltimore, MD.
From January 13th to February 19th, Peter and the Wolf, at The Puppet Co., in Glen Echo, MD.
From January 17th to February 12th, La Cage aux Folles at The Kennedy Center,
January 20th to February 14th, The Snowy Day at Adventure Theatre, in Glen Echo, MD.
From January 20th to February 19th, The Gallerist at Rorschach Theatre at Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC.
From January 21st to February 18th, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, at The Keegan Theatre at Church Street Theatre, in Washington, DC.
From January 26th to March 18th, Josephine Tonight at MetroStage, in Alexandria, VA.
From January 27th to March 4th, Love Letters at The Bay Theatre Company, in Annapolis, MD.
ALREADY OPENED AND PLAYING THROUGH JANUARY 2012
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED CHILDREN'S/FAMILY PRODUCTIONS
Through January 8, 2012, Annie, at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore, in Baltimore, MD.
Through January 8, 2012, Dr. Dolittle, at Imagination Stage, in Bethesda, MD.
Through January 22, 2012, The Sound of Music at Olney Theatre Center, in Olney, MD
From January 11th to March 4th, Fiddler on The Roof at Riverside Dinner Theater, in Fredericksburg, VA.
From January 12th to March 25th, The King and I at Toby's Dinner Theatre, in Columbia, MD.
From January 19th to March 18th, Smokey Joe's Café, at Toby's Dinner Theatre, in Baltimore, MD.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED COMMUNITY THEATRE PRODUCTIONS
January 6th to 21st, Cinderella Waltz at Colonial Players, in Annapolis, MD.
From January 6th to February 5th, Arsenic and Old Lace at Vagabond Players, in Baltimore, MD.
From January 13th to February 12th, The Iceman Cometh, at Fells Point Corner Theatre, in Baltimore, MD.
From January 13th to 28th, Dreamgirls at Dominion Stage, in Arlington, VA.
From January 14th to February 4th, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.
January 20th to February 4th, Lend Me a Tenor at Reston Community Players, in Reston, VA.
From January 27th to February 11th, Man of La Mancha at McLean Community Players in McLean, VA.
From January 27th to February 18th, Rooms: A Rock Romance at Elden Street Players, in Herndon, VA.
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 radio program starring Judy Stadt on WeEarth Global Radio Network and can be heard on Maryland Theatre Guide on Fridays. 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.