A Theatre Lover's Guide to DC/Capital Area Theatres - November 2011 Offerings
November has over 60 more openings in the professional, community, universities, and children's theaters in the DC/MD/VA area. A week has already passed in November and over 20 new productions have opened. To read reviews of these shows, go to Maryland Theatre Guide, where I am the Editor and a columnist. A recent back surgery kept me from posting this earlier, so we have some catching up to do.
4 PERSONAL 'MUST SEE' SHOWS FOR NOVEMBER 2011
(1) November 11th to December 11th, Shining City at Quotidian Theatre, in Bethesda, MD.
Quotidian Theatre is one of the gems we have in Maryland -- where I live. They are a "theatre without histrionics; the gunshots and car crashes are kept offstage." They are 'in your face theatre' [which I love!] and they perform in the intimate The Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD. Quotidian is now doing a production of Colin McPherson's Shining City.
The production stars some of our best local actors: Michael Avolio, Steve Beall, John Decker and Laura Russell. "A guilt-ridden man believes he has seen his deceased wife and seeks the help of a therapist who has his own demons. Set in Dublin, this haunting, beautifully crafted play provides a shocking surprise. Jack Sbarbori directs.
Eric Schaeffer hot off his smash hit of Follies which received raves from the NYC critics at The Marquis Theatre, gets his hands on another Broadway musical classic - Hairspray. And what a blast it should be with so many Signature Theatre regulars and some new faces.
National radio host Robert Aubry Davis will star as Edna Turnblad. The cast will also feature Carolyn Cole (Tracy Turnblad), Nova Y. Payton (Motormouth Mable), Sherri L. Edelen (Velma Von Tussle), PatRick Thomas Cragin (Link Larkin), Harry A. Winter (Wilbur Turnblad), Erin Driscoll (Amber Von Tussle), James Hayden Rodriguez (Seaweed), Stephen Gregory Smith (Corny Collins), and Lauren Williams (Penny Pingleton).
The ensemble includes Jennifer Cameron, Matthew Conner, Parker Drown, Jamie Eacker, Nick Hovsepian, Brandi Knox, Sean-Maurice Lynch, Kirstin Riegler, Nickolas Vaughan, Kara-Tameika Watkins, Matthew Wojtal, and Stephen Scott Wormley.
Karma Camp is the choreographer, Dan Conway provide the set design, Kathleen Geldard is the costume designer, Colin K. Bills is the lighting designer, and Matt Rowe provides the sound design. Jon Kalbfleisch is the music director, with Gabriel Mangiante conducting a 9-piece orchestra.
With all this talented, this Hairspray will be hard to beat!
(3) From November 25th to December 13rd, Romeo and Juliet, at Synetic Theatre in The Crystal City Metro Stop in Arlington, VA.
I saw the original 2009 production of Romeo and Juliet at Synetic Theater 9 times. Why? Because it was a visually gorgeous and exciting production, and nothing could match the excitement of that talented cast wherever I went to see other shows, so I kept sliding back in to see it during its initial run. I am so excited that Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili have decided to bring it back as part of their 'The Silent Shakespeare Festival, so my friends and other DC area theatre goers who didn't see it the first time around will be able to enjoy it.
Romeo and Juliet is directed by Paata Tsikurishvili, choreographed by Irina Tsikurishvili, with set and costume design by Anastasia R. Simes, lighting design by Colin K. Bills, original music by Konstantine Lortkipanidze, and sound design by Irakli Kavsadze and Konstantine Lortkipanidze. The cast includes Alex Mills and Natalie Berk as the famed "star-crossed lovers," Ryan Sellers as Tybalt, Philip Fletcher as Mercutio, Synetic founder Irina Tsikurishvili as the Nurse, Scott Brown as Paris, Peter Pereyra as Lord Capulet, veteran Synetic performer Salma Shaw as Lady Capulet, and Irakli Kavsadze as Friar Lawrence. The production also features Vato Tsikurishvili, Sarah Taurchini and Mary Werntz.
"Love, passion and timelessness are all made stunningly physical in this rendition of Shakespeare's great romantic tragedy. Set within the gears of a giant clock, Synetic's adaptation explores the untimely nature of one of literature's greatest love stories. The gears of the clock become the world - the church, the balcony and the mausoleum all transform before the eyes. Using shadows, props, mime, dance, sinuous combat, and, most of all, passionate acting, Romeo and Juliet is a heart-stopping thrill to experience."
Ethan McSweeny returns to Shakespeare Theatre Company after directing his 'modern treatment' of The Merchant of Venice this past June, and this time he's back to direct one of The Bard's comedies - Much Ado about Nothing. I can't wait to see what surprises he has for the audience.
The fantastic cast includes some of my favorites: Veanne Cox (Beatrice), Lawrence Redmond (Friar Francis), Floyd King (Verges) and Ted Van Griethuysen (Dogberry). They are joined by Colleen Delany (Ursula), Ryan Garbayo (Claudio), Carlos J. Gonzalez (Jose Frijoles), Bev Appleton (Antonio), Mark Hairston (Borachio), Rachel Spencer Hewitt (Margaret), Phil Hosford (Juan Arroz), Kate Hurster (Hero), Matthew McGee (Balthasar), Matthew Saldivar (Don John), Ashley Smith (Conrade), Derek Smith (Benedick), Adrian Sparks (Leonato), and David Emerson Toney (Don Pedro). The Ensemble includes Aayush Chandan, James Graham, Aaryn Kopp, Janel Miley, Jacob Perkins, and Andrew Wassenich.
"This holiday season, fall in love with one of the most romantic comedies ever written, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Everyone can see that Benedick and Beatrice are meant for each other except Benedick and Beatrice. Hero and Claudio, themselves newly betrothed, conspire to trick them into announcing their feelings and falling for each other. Meanwhile, a bitter and troublesome Don John schemes to destroy Claudio and Hero's engagement by besmirching Hero's honor."
ALSO OPENING IN NOVEMBER 2011
From November 3rd to December 4th, The Mistorical History of Henry (I)V at Washington Avant Bard, in Artisphere, in Arlington, VA.
From November 9th to December 10th, Beertown at dog & pony dc, in Washington, DC.
November 11th to November 27th, Stay, at Theatre of the First Amendment, at Lansburgh Theatre, in Washington, DC.
November 17th to November 26th, Legend of Buster Neal at African Continuum Theatre, at Atlas Performing Arts Theatre, in Washington, DC.
From November 23rd to December 21st, Pride and Prejudice, at Round House Theatre, in Bethesda, MD.
From November 29th to 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 DECEMBER 2011
Through November 13th, Barrymore, at Rep Stage, in Columbia, MD.
Through November 13th, Dreamgirls, At Toby's Dinner Theatre, in Baltimore, MD
Through November 13th, 2nd Annual Cabaret Macabre, at Happenstance Theater, at Round House Theatre, in Silver Spring, MD.
Through November 19th, The Crucible, at The Keegan Theatre, at Church Street Theater, in Washington, DC.
Through November 19th, 14th International Festival of Hispanic Theater at Teatro de la Luna, at Gunston Arts Center Theatre 2, in Arlington, VA.
Through November 19th, The 3 Billy Goats Gruff, at The Puppet Co., at the Puppet Co., in Glen Echo, MD.
Through November 20th, Arms and the Man at Constellation Theatre Company, at Source, in Washington, DC.
Through November 20th, Dreamgirls, at Riverside Center Dinner Theater, in Fredericksburg, VA.
Through November 20th, Sex and Education, at Doorway Arts Ensemble, Theatre 2 in the Cultural Art Center at Montgomery College, in Silver Spring, MD.
Through November 20th, The How and the Why, at 1st Stage, in Tyson's Corner, in McLean, VA.
Through November 27th, After the Fall, at Theater J, in Washington, DC.
Through November 27th, Greek, at Scena Theatre, in Washington, DC.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED CHILDREN'S/FAMILY PRODUCTIONS
From November 10th to January 8, 2012, White Christmas at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia, in Columbia.
Through November 13th, Twinderella, at The Elden Street Players, in Herndon, VA.
Through November 13th, Robin Hood, at Encore Stage and Studio, at The Rosslyn Spectrum, in Arlington, VA.
November 16th to January 1, 2012, The Sound of Music, at Olney Theatre Center, in Olney, MD.
November 17th to December 18th, A Broadway Christmas Carol, at MetroStage, in Alexandria, VA.
November 17th to January 8, 2012, Annie, at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore, in Baltimore, MD.
From November 18th to January 2, 2012, 'Twas the Night Before Xmas, at Adventure Theatre, in Glen Echo,
From November 25th to December 31st, The Nutcracker, at The Puppet Co, in Glen Echo, MD.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED COMMUNITY THEATRE PRODUCTIONS
Through November 19th, Hair, at Kensington Arts Theatre, in Kensington, MD.
Through November 19th, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, at Silver Spring Stage, in Silver Spring, MD.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED UNIVERSITY PRODUCTIONS
November 17th to 20th, The Language of Infinity, at Catholic University's Hartke Theatre, in Washington, DC.
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 Positive World Radio Network and can be heard on WTBQ 1110 AM in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Social 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.