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Posted at 10:09 AM ET, 06/ 1/2007

On Stage in June

By Erin

Answering a phone opens up a can of worms for one ordinary woman at Woolly Mammoth, but crazier characters -- including a trio of witches, an off-key diva and a "Phantom" -- also await audiences on local stages this month.

Keegan Theatre transforms its Church Street venue into the Second Continental Congress for a comedic, musical look at John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. "1776," which nabbed three Tony Awards in 1969, uses documents and letters from the founding fathers to construct much of the dialogue. (June 1-July 1)

A new "Cell Phone" beckons. (Stan Barouh)

Woolly Mammoth premieres a new piece from imaginative and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl. In "Dead Man's Cell Phone," a woman becomes the guardian of a dead man's memories when she answers his phone. The play, which closes Woolly's season, is directed by Rebecca Bayla Taichman, who also took charge of the company's 2005 production of "The Clean House," another Ruhl work. (June 4 - July 1)

Prolific director Eric Schaeffer once again casts his spell over the American premiere of "The Witches of Eastwick" at Signature Theatre. Three miserable women engineer and conjure their ideal man and wallow in regret once they realize their mistake. Set in the local diner, around laundry lines and within the Lenox Mansion. (June 5-July 8)

Always-on-point actress Nancy Robinette takes center stage as infamously off-key '30s-era diva Florence Foster Jenkins in "Souvenir" at Studio Theatre. During her time in the spotlight, Jenkins funded her own opera concerts in flamboyant costumes. The show follows her relationship with accompanist, composer and pianist Cosme McMoon. (June 13-July 1)

A woman gets committed to an insane asylum for disagreeing with her conservative minister husband in "Mrs. Packard" at the Kennedy Center. Based on real events, this harrowing story follows Elizabeth Packard as she is declared insane -- without any public hearing -- and becomes her own advocate within the asylum. (June 16-24)

"Hamlet" ponders at Shakespeare. (Carol Rosegg)

Chandeliers will come crashing down when "The Phantom of the Opera" returns to the Kennedy Center. Though the storyline borders on kitsch, this long-running musical phenomenon about an angel, a dungeon, a masquerade ball and young love is a rite of passage for anyone who enjoys musical theater. (June 20-Aug. 12)

A best-selling novelist finds that fame does not pave the way to happiness in Olney Theatre Center's Brooklyn Boy. The story, from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies, explores family, fame and priorities. (June 20-August 5)

Shakespeare Theatre Company closes its season with the bard's tale of conscience, action and betrayal. Artistic Director Michael Kahn directs Jeffrey Carlson in the title role in "Hamlet," which is the theater's final offering for the Shakespeare in Washington Festival. (June 5-July 29)

There's still time to see Solas Nua's riveting "Scenes From the Big Picture," fly away with "Peter and Wendy" (both through June 24) and visit a brothel via "The Balcony" (through July 1).


By Erin  | June 1, 2007; 10:09 AM ET
Categories:  Theater  
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