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Posted at 4:12 PM ET, 01/28/2010

On stage in February

By Stephanie Merry

Michael Hayden takes on the roles of both Richard II and Henry V at Harman Hall this month. (Katherine Frey - The Washington Post)

February may be the shortest month, but it's long on drama. In the coming weeks, catch a Jazz Age-inspired ballet, a creative take on the life of a Nazi propagandist and a pair of historical plays courtesy of Shakespeare Theatre Company.

First up, Rep Stage tries its hand at "The Glass Menagerie," the story of a dysfunctional family that could have sprouted only from the tortured imagination of Tennessee Williams. (Feb. 3-28; pay what you can Wednesday evenings)

Shakespeare Theatre Company is opening two shows this month with many of the actors doing double duty in the history plays "Henry V" and "Richard II." The dueling performances juxtapose two flawed leaders, one learning management skills on the job and the other inching closer to ruin. ("Henry V," Feb. 4 through April 10; "Richard II," Feb. 2 through April 11)

Aerial artist Mara Neimanis resurrects her 2007 Fringe Festival production, "Air Heart," a show about Amelia Earhart that finds Neimanis maneuvering in and out of a 12-foot plane sculpture suspended above the stage. (Feb.4-5 at 8 p.m.)

"Sweeney Todd," the tale of the revenge-hungry barber, was the first musical staged at Signature Theatre, and the play is being revived to commemorate the theater's 20th anniversary. (Feb. 9-April 4)

The Kennedy Center continues its Focus on Russia with two renowned dance companies: Mariinsky Ballet brings "Sleeping Beauty" to the stage, and "Spartacus" marches to town with the Bolshoi Ballet. ("Sleeping Beauty," Feb. 9-14; "Spartacus," Feb. 16-21)

Theatergoers wanting to see their favorite T-Birds, Pink Ladies and "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks won't want to miss "Grease." (Feb. 9-21)

Comedians from Second City -- responsible for launching the careers of Steve Carell and Tina Fey, among others -- hit close to home when they return to Washington with the political sendup "Barack Stars." (Feb. 10-21; pay what you can Feb. 10)

"The New Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley," based on the popular series of children's books, tells the story of a boy flattened by a bulletin board who travels the world in an envelope. (Feb. 12-April 6)

Cupid's arrow flies in "Bus Stop," William Inge's tale of some unlikely pairings after a handful of bus passengers are stranded at a diner during a snowstorm. (Feb. 17-March 14)

"That Face," a play written by Polly Stenham when she was just 19, comes to Studio Theatre's 2nd Stage; the edgy tale follows a family in the midst of implosion after a daughter's violent act.
(Feb. 17-March 14. $25-$30)

The Washington Ballet Company presents a new take on "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald's chronicle of roaring '20s excess. (Feb. 24-28)

Fresh off the success and critical acclaim of "Angels in America," Forum Theatre is back with "Amazons and Their Men," an inventive take on the life of Leni Riefenstahl, the Nazi filmmaker behind "Triumph of the Will." (Feb. 25-March 20; pay what you can Feb. 25-26)

-- Stephanie Merry

By Stephanie Merry  | January 28, 2010; 4:12 PM ET
Categories:  Theater  
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