Would you accept a dream job if it meant continuous supervision?


With such a wide selection of live theater on offer this spring, it’s almost like the days before. Well, almost. Masks and proof of vaccinations are still required at DMV sites, but there’s also a renewed sense that productions will wrap up their tours. Here are some plays and musicals that are flourishing in the city.

Until March 27, the Washington Stage Guild presents the George Bernard Shaw classic “Ms. Warren’s Craft,” the story of a mother and daughter who are at odds over aspects of morality and business. When Shaw’s play premiered in 1905, it was considered outrageous for its frank discussion of the hypocrisy surrounding prostitution. Michael Rothhaar conducts. Stageguild.org

Arena Stage is bringing some counter art to its campus this spring with “Catch Me If You Can” (until April 17). First a book, then a movie by Leonardo DiCaprio, and finally a Broadway musical with a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and a libretto by Terrence McNally, the late great playwright who died of COVID-19 early in pandemic, the show is about Abagnale Jr. who “possessed as an airline pilot, a lawyer, and a doctor — then escaped police custody, all before he turned 22.” Arena Artistic Director Molly Smith directs. arenastage.org

In Arlington, Signature Theater presents “She loves Me” (until April 24), a romantic musical from Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, the creators of “Fiddler on the Roof”. Set in a 1930s perfumery, it’s the story of quarrelsome colleagues who don’t realize that each is the other’s secret love correspondent.

Directed by Matthew Gardiner, the artistic director of Signature, the promising production brings together musical director Jon Kalbfleisch, choreographer Kelly Crandall d’Amboise, set designer Lee Savage and a formidable cast that includes, among others, actors Bobby Smith, winners of the Helen Hayes Award. and Maria Rizzo. Sig-theatre.org

Ford’s Theater dives into spring with “Grace” (March 19-May 14). The world’s first musical from DC composer Nolan Williams, Jr., “Grace” celebrates African-American tradition as it is experienced during a day in the life of a Philadelphia family who come together to mourn the loss of their matriarch and dealing with the future of their family restaurant in a rapidly changing neighborhood. Directed by our director and choreographer Robert Barry Fleming. Fords.org

Renowned non-binary actor and queer activist Temídayo Amay stars alongside New York actor Eric Berryman in Mona Pirnot’s play “Private” (March 23 – April 17) at Mosaic Theater Company. What might once have been seen as a far-fetched plot now seems more than doable: “Set in the not-too-distant future, Corbin has just been offered his dream job at an industry-leading technology company. But there is a catch. The terms of his employment state that Corbin and his wife Georgia must both agree to 24-hour surveillance and audio surveillance by Corbin’s potential employer. Knud Adams directs.

Also coming to Mosaic is the queer romantic comedy from young playwright Benjamin Benne “In his hands” (June 22 – July 17). Directed by our director José Carrasquillo, it’s the story of video game magician and aspiring Lutheran pastor Daniel (Michael J. Mainwariing), who develops feelings for Christian (Josh Adams), but as the pair explore the possibilities of relationships, voices from Christian’s past threaten to put a stop to mixed feelings. Mosaictheater.org

Keegan Theater presents the regional premiere of Dipika Guha’s “Yoga Game” (March 26-April 23), a bitter comedy in which fat shaming, enlightenment and commerce collide. Keegan’s dynamic artistic director, Susan Marie Rhea, directs. Keegantheatre.com

At the Shakespeare Theater Company, Arin Arbus directs a modern dress version of “The merchant of Venice” (March 22-April 17). The Bard’s exploration of prejudice and mercy features famed African-American actor John Douglas Thompson making his STC debut as Shylock, the eponymous moneylender.

After “Merchant”, this is the masterpiece of gay playwright Thornton Wilder “Our city” (May 12 – June 11), a poignant depiction of a shared human experience in the small town of Grover’s Corners, NH at the turn of the century Directed by director Alan Paul, production – postponed from February to May due to COVID – features a truly breathtaking array of local talent, including actors Sarah Marshall, Tom Story and Holly Twyford. Shakespearetheatre.org

In April, the Round House Theater launches the National Capital New Play Festival, an annual event celebrating new work by some of the country’s leading playwrights and new voices. Among the first is “It’s Not a Journey, It’s a Journey” by playwright Charly Evon Simpson (April 5-May 8). Four wildly disparate girlfriends leave New York and their cellphones behind for an eye-opening Grand Canyon road trip. Nicole A. Watson directs.

Another festival offering is Tim J. Lord’s “We declare you a terrorist…” (April 7-May 8), a tense thriller inspired by the 2002 Moscow Dubrovka theater crisis, in which Chechen rebels took hundreds of hostages with deadly results. Ryan Rilett and Jared Mezzocchi co-direct. Roundhousetheatre.org

At Tysons, 1st Stage presents Lisa B. Thompson’s “The Mamalogues” (April 21-May 8), a satirical comedy about three friends who share the joys, challenges, and anxieties of being single, middle-class black mothers in predominantly white suburbs. Angelisa Gillyard directs. 1ststage.org

Olney Theater Presents “Black Parade: a drag show in tribute to black music icons” (April 29). For one night only, the queens of color take to the stage for “fabulous parades, lip-syncing and dancing.”

In May, Olney presents “The joy that carries you” (May 11-June 12), a drama about an interracial couple in crisis by local drama team Awa Sal Secka and outgoing Dani Stoller art director Olney Jason Loewith and Kevin McAllister are co-directing.

And in June, Olney’s main stage travels to River City with Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” (June 17-July 24), the Broadway hit about a con artist whose best scam is posing as a boy band organizer in small-town America. Olney’s groundbreaking production is performed in American Sign Language and English is directed by Michael Baron and Sandra Mae Frank and features the formidable actor James Caverly who is deaf as a trusty man, Professor Harold Hill. Olneytheatre.org

Studio Theater spins the witchy story of Salem Village on its ear with world premiere of Kimberly Belflower “John Proctor is the villain” (April 17-June 6). In present-day rural Georgia, high school kids read “The Crucible.” But the mission becomes too relevant when scandal rocks their town. Marti Lyons directs. Studiotheatre.org

At Théâtre J, spring brings “Nathan the Wise” (March 16-April 10). Here is the gist of the play: In 12th century Jerusalem, Jews, Christians and Muslims live side by side in peace. But when tensions inevitably rise, the ruling sultan asks which religion is most beloved by God. The Jewish merchant Nathan tries to answer the question. Adapted by Michael Bloom, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s 18th century fable is filled with mistaken identities, foiled romances and relationships across cultural and religious divides. Adam Immerwahr, artistic director of Théâtre J, directs.

And then it’s “Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Other Identities” (June 9 to July 3). Originally brilliantly conceived, written and performed by Anna Deavere Smith, the documentary’s set time dates back to August 1991, when the racially divided neighborhood of Crown Heights erupted in riots after a child black was killed by a car in the motorcade of a prominent Orthodox rabbi and a white Jewish scholar was killed in retaliation. The work uses textual testimonials from individuals in the diverse community. January LaVoy is the only actress (she plays more than 25 characters) and she co-directs with Adam Immerwahr. Theatrej.org


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