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Posted at 2:19 PM ET, 07/30/2009

On Stage in August

By Stephanie Merry

If you're thinking that the month following the insanity of the Fringe Festival will give you a little breather from theater, guess again. This month, a trio of great comedians take the stage, free Shakespeare returns to Olney Theatre and you can get your chance to take a piece of Studio Theatre home with you.

First up is the back-to-back theater extravaganza on 14th Street this weekend. Saturday, head to Studio Theatre for the annual garage sale. Props, costumes and furniture will be on sale, so if you've had your eye on that fantastic wicker peacock chair from "The Year of Magical Thinking," you might just get the chance to own it. But not if I get there first. (Aug. 1)

The next day, find another can't-miss event just down the street. Source is having its open house, so stop by for light-saber training, Spanish song and dance and a DJing workshop. (Aug. 2)

Source will also play host to Washington Improv Theatre's Neutrino Video Project, which combines improv, filmmaking and editing. After polling the audience for suggestions, WIT will head outside to various locations, shoot video and then screen it for the audience. If you thought the 48-hour Film Project sounded bonkers, then this will be certifiably insane. (Aug. 7-Sept. 25)

As for stand-up, the first big name to bring out the laughs is Bill Cosby, who will be taking the stage at Wolf Trap. Though he's best known for his fugly sweaters and for sparring with Claire Huxtable, he won't need either to put on an entertaining show. (Aug. 13)

For a less boomer, more Gen X/Y comic point of view, Janeane Garofalo will be bringing her interesting perspectives on life to D.C. The bespectacled comedienne with the deadpan delivery will be performing at the 9:30 club. (Aug. 21)

The same night, Wanda Sykes will be starting her two-night run at Warner Theatre. No doubt those will be two unforgettable shows, given Sykes' outrageous brand of comedy, loud-mouth delivery and knack for stealing scenes from the likes of Larry David and Jane Fonda. (Aug. 21-22)

Woolly Mammoth will be unveiling a world premiere with "Eclipsed." Set in war-torn Liberia, the play follows five women -- all the captive wives of a military officer -- who contemplate escaping their current situations. Playwright Danai Gurira is also responsible for the Obie-winning "In the Continuum" that played at Woolly (to rave reviews) in 2006. (Aug. 24-Sept. 20)

Olney Theatre's annual institution of free outdoor Shakespeare is back with "Much Ado About Nothing." This is the 20th year the National Players have put on some of the Bard's favorites. (Aug. 28-29)

As far as subjects for plays go, actor Zero Mostel is a pretty good one. He had talent (he played Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof"), personality to spare and an interesting story (he was blacklisted in the '50s because of his Communist leanings). So "Zero Hour," Jim Brochu's one-man show at Theater J, sounds like it has the makings for an entertaining evening. (Aug. 29-Sept. 27)

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | July 30, 2009; 2:19 PM ET
Categories:  Theater  
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