On Stage in May
Though theater seasons are winding down, May is alive with slamming doors, crises of conscience and a Nantucket summer. Meanwhile, Shakespeare takes the stage with a haunting aria, against a paisley background and to a rock-and-roll score.
Theater J presents the world premiere of "Either, Or," a drama by the author of "Schindler's List." This new work follows the true story of a German Lutheran who was the only SS officer on record to notify the West and the Vatican about the atrocities of the concentration camps. (May 2-June 3)
Folger Theatre closes its season with a world premiere musical adaptation of Shakespeare's final play, "The Tempest." Directed by Aaron Posner, the prolific director of several recent Folger hits, the show modernizes the imaginative shipwreck love story with a rocking score and a caged protagonist hanging from the ceiling.(May 10-June 17)
The Washington National Opera takes a stab at Shakespeare with Verdi's "Macbeth" at the Kennedy Center. Performed in Italian with English supertitles, Verdi's opera features a dynamic and haunting aria during Lady Macbeth's dream sequence. (May 12-June 2)
Doors will slam at Olney Theatre when "13 Rue de L'Amour" takes the stage. Embittered spouses, bumbling policemen and a love-starved doctor come together in this farce of mistaken identities and moral compromises. Olney associate artistic director John Going brings method to playwright Georges Feydeau's frivolous madness. (May 16-June 10)
Studio Theatre takes a fringe approach to the Shakespeare in Washington festival with a 40th anniversary production of Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead." The comical play stars two minor characters from "Hamlet" confronting existentialism and philosophies through lengthy debates and ambling conversations, as major figures from Shakespeare's work make occasional appearances. (May 16-June 24)
Memorial Day weekend ushers in the return of Shakespeare Theatre's Shakespeare Free for All at Carter Barron Amphitheatre. This year's production transports Shakespeare to an Indian ashram for a hippie version of "Love's Labor's Lost." Set in the time of free love and easy spirits, the romantic comedy takes on a new level of hilarity. (May 25-June 4)
Round House Theatre prepares for beach season with "Summer of '42." Based on the popular film and novel, this musical follows three teenage boys who learn about love, friendship and loss during a summer on Nantucket during World War II. (May 30-June 24)
There's still time to see stunning puppetry and Celtic music enliven Peter Pan in "Peter and Wendy" (through June 24), revel in the idea of a working class hero with the musical premiere of "Meet John Doe" (through May 20) and witness the battle of hubris in Shakespeare's "Coriolanus" (through May 6).
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