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Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 08/ 1/2007

On Stage in August

By Erin

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)

"33 Variatons" (Jody Hewgill)

Arena Stage kicks off its new season with the world premiere of "33 Variations." Written by Moisés 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).


By Erin  | August 1, 2007; 12:07 PM ET
Categories:  Theater  
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