A Theatre Lover's Guide to DC/Capital Area Theatres - March 2010 Offerings

The DC area stages' theatre choices in March are dizzying! There's a new play by Terrence McNally at the Kennedy Center, and an off-Broadway gem at Signature Theatre. Adam Guettel's gorgeous Tony Award-winning harmonies will fill Arena Stage in Crystal City. Fagin and his orphans and zaftig Edna Turnblad and her daughter Tracy - will be singing and dancing at Toby's Dinner Theatre in Baltimore and Columbia, MD, and a blood-thirsty musical will be establishing roots at Ford's Theatre. With over 30 shows opening this month, come visit the DC area's 205 theatre venues, and have a monumental time!

SPECIAL EVENT: In the Heights, at The Hippodrome, in Baltimore, Maryland - through March 7, 2010.

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The DC area finally has a chance to see the Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights, at the renovated Hippodrome, in Baltimore, MD, through March 7th. I have loved this show since it blew me away at 37 Arts in NYC, and the national tour is equally fantastic, filled with talented singers, actors, and incredible dancers, (some from the Broadway cast), all singing and dancing to award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda's score and Andy Blankenbuehler's award-winning, eye-popping choreography. My favorite performances were Kyle Beltran as Usnavi, Rogelio Douglas, Jr. as Benny, Sabrina Sloan as Vanessa, and Broadway veteran Natalie Toro, as Camila, who I had the honor of interviewing.

High Fidelity, which lasted only 14 performances in its original Broadway run, has been resurrected by Landless Theatre Company, which performs in a teeny-tiny space called the DC Arts Center (DCAC). I interviewed Artistic Director Andrew Baughman, actor Stephen Gregory Smith, and Director Julie Herber who talked about their new production..


(1) From March 4th to August 2nd, Hairspray, at Toby's - The Dinner Theatre of Columbia, in Columbia, Maryland.

Helen Hayes Award-winning Toby's - The Dinner Theatre of Columbia, is the first DC area theatre to mount a production of Hairspray, and I can't wait to see how Director Toby Orenstein and choreographer Mark Minnick stage the show in the round. They have a great cast to work with: Lawrence B. Munsey as Edna Turnblad, David James as Wilbur Turnblad, Jeffrey Shankle as Corny Collins, David Jennings as Link Larkin, and Celia Blitzer as Tracy Turnblad. These are all great singers and actors and they will sing the heck out of Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman's bouncy Tony Award-winning score.

I've seen Celia Blitzer's fine work in many productions in the smaller theatres in the DC area, and I'm so glad many theatergoers in the area will get to see her as she sprays her aerosol cans and dances up a storm as the chunky, beehive-wearing dancing wonder. Congrats Celia!

(2) March 5th to April 11th, The Light in the Piazza, at Arena Stage in Crystal City, in Arlington, Virginia.

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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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