On Stage in March
Washington-area theater has been going full throttle this year, and March threatens to kick shows into overdrive. With the worst of winter behind us, local stages offer the whimsy of "Midsummer." There is also a reason to "Doubt," along with a gender-bending take on a classic comedy. You'll find Shakespeare productions in Hebrew and French, a world premiere musical and much more after the jump.
Spirits tell the story when Theater Alliance leads audiences at H Street Playhouse on a trip to Nat Turner's rebellion. "Insurrection: Holding History" sends a gay graduate student and his 189-year-old great-great grandfather back in time to learn about tolerance through lessons in slavery, the rebellion, homosexuality and family acceptance. (March 1-25)
Washington Stage Guild dishes up a smÃ¶rgasbord of George Bernard Shaw with "Shaw's Shorts" at Arena Stage at 14th and T. Three short plays tackle war, theater and love with some historical characters. In World War I-era "O'Flaherty V.C.," an Irish soldier tramples social hierarchies. "The Man of Destiny" tackles a similar theme with a run-in between Napoleon and a cross-dressing young boy. Finally, "The Dark Lady of the Sonnets" creates a meeting between Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare. (March 1-April 1)
"Hamlet" is being performed several times during the Shakespeare in Washington festival. This run, produced by Tel Aviv's Cameri Theatre at Signature Theatre, however, is the only one in Hebrew. Performed with a screened English translation, Shakespeare's tormented protagonist grapples with the concept of vengeance. (March 6-11)
Playwright Sherry Glaser takes to Theatre J's stage as five members of a Jewish family in "Family Secrets." Playing a middle-aged man, his mother, a lesbian daughter and more characters, Glaser pays homage to dysfunctional families in this wild comedy. (March 7-April 15)
Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones reprises her critically acclaimed role on National Theatre's stage for the traveling production of "Doubt." Jones plays Sister Aloysius, the principal in a parochial school, who must weigh an accusation of sexual misconduct against a faculty member. (March 13-25)
Studio Theatre hopes to haunt dreams with "The Pillowman." Directed by the theater's artistic director, Joy Zinoman, the show follows a writer whose horror stories come true. Moving between the writer's imagination and his police interrogations, the show demonstrates the power of stories. (March 14-April 22)
Frank Capra's film "Meet John Doe" comes to life at Ford's Theater. Set in the Great Depression, this world premiere musical directed by Signature Theatre's Eric Schaeffer follows a reporter's fictitious hero and his quest to find a real man with a superhuman character. (March 16 - April 29)
Technology turns "The Tempest" into a virtual wonder when Canada's 4D Art performs at the Kennedy Center. Using multimedia special effects, the performance, in French with English surtitles, brings together actors -- of the real and virtual varieties -- with visual effects and holograms. (March 22-24)
A woman plays a man to win her lover, a woman playing a man, when Woolly Mammoth Theatre puts its own spin on Shakespeare. "She Stoops to Comedy" follows a jilted actress who, after being dumped by her lover, joins a local production of "As You Like It" in which her former lover has a lead role. Directed by the company's artistic director, Howard Shalwitz, the show features Woolly Mammoth Theater Company members Daniel Escobar and Michael Russotto as well as local darling Kate Eastwood Norris. (March 26 - April 22)
Washington Shakespeare Company takes on a play only recently attributed to the Bard with "Edward III." Staged at Clark Street Playhouse, the story follows Edward as he deals with temptation and threats from both Scotland and France. The play was published anonymously and is considered one of Shakespeare's lost plays. (March 29-April 29)
There's still time to see the whimsy of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," meet the grace of the New York City Ballet (and 30 darling young local girls selected to participate in its run) at the Kennedy Center (through March 4) and enter the warped world of Richard III at Shakespeare Theatre (through March 18).
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