On Stage in August
It's a fairly quiet month on local stages, but that doesn't mean you won't find some enthralling shows. Local theaters invite audiences to travel on a good-will mission to Africa, honeymoon in a tricky situation and explore the creative quirks of Beethoven. In the mood for a little schmaltz? Revel in the final days of the "Phantom" or traverse 50 years of love letters at Shakespeare Theatre.
Unexpected relatives cause mayhem and a reality check in Theater Alliance's world premiere of Lazarus Syndrome at H Street Playhouse. Interim artistic director Paul Douglas Michnewicz directs the show, which involves Jewish traditions and the other ties that bind a father and his two sons despite their opposing lifestyles and choices. (Aug. 16 -Sept. 9)
Sparks fly when Washington Shakespeare Company looks into "Private Lives" at 1409 Playbill Cafe. A recently divorced couple inadvertently book adjoining honeymoon suites with their new spouses at the same hotel and, despite initial outbursts, slowly rediscover their mutual affection. (Aug. 22-Sept 16)
" (Jody Hewgill)
Arena Stage kicks off its new season with the world premiere of "33 Variations." Written by MoisÃ©s Kaufman, creator of "The Laramie Project," and performed with Tectonic Theater Project, this new play focuses on Beethoven's genius and his motivation. When a publisher reached out to 50 composers for variations on a waltz that Beethoven had written, the great composer rejected the idea and created 33 variations on the publisher's theme. The story parallels Beethoven and a contemporary musicologist working to understand the musician's motivation. (Aug. 24-Sept. 30)
Annie Potts brings a touch of love to Shakespeare Theatre when she reprises her role in A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters." The story, produced by the California-based Consortium of the Arts, follows the lifelong correspondence between a rebellious artist and a realist lawyer as they navigate their lives, seeking love and relying on one another for advice. (Aug. 24-25)
Woolly Mammoth Theatre marches loudly into its 2007-2008 season with "The Unmentionables." This satire takes the notion of ugly Americans to the stage when a rag-tag group of aspiring philanthropists embarks on a mishap-plagued and self-absorbed trip to an African village. Pay-what-you-can previews are on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 27-28. (Aug. 27-Sept. 23)
There's still time to follow the path of fame in Brooklyn Boy, fall in love with music at "Phantom of the Opera" and explore the workings of post-Nazi German government in "Democracy" (all through Aug. 12).
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