Like hungry bears, Washington-area theatres are primed to wake from their winter hibernations in the coming weeks.
I haven’t seen a single show yet this year, but that’s about to change — and the months that follow are full of tempting options. Here are some of the plays that have me most primed for 2019 to kick into high gear. Whether you prefer comedies, dramas, or musicals, you’ll find it coming soon to a District theatre.
Folger is on a white-hot streak right now, so I’m extra-excited to see this Globe-commissioned production, a rags-to-riches tale of one of the most famous women on the Restoration-era stage: a former fruit-seller who becomes mistress to King Charles II. Director Robert Richmond brought the Restoration to vivid life with his Folger production of Macbeth last year. I can’t wait to find out how he follows that one. Runs from Jan. 29 to March 10.
Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, about a visit that the devil pays to Moscow, is one of the weirdest novels that was ever censored in Soviet-era Russia. I’m rereading it now — I’ve gotten to the giant talking cat named Behemoth, but I’m still several chapters away from Pontius Pilate. The book has been adapted countless times, but I’m very interested to discover what the Constellation Theatre Company cooks up with with this production, which runs from Feb. 1 to March 3. To the Walpurgis Night feast!
With the exception of the Rob Marshall-directed film, I’d follow Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale extravaganza anywhere, certainly to Ford’s Theatre, where it runs from March 8 to May 22. Patter songs, quick-on-your-feet comedy, and bloody twists abound. Director Peter Flynn previously crushed Ragtime for Ford’s back in 2017. This sounds like it could be happily ever after…
Here it is: THE must-see production of 2019 D.C.-area theatre. For the final show in his last season as the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s artistic director, the legendary Michael Kahn takes the director’s chair for this new adaptation of Aeschylus’s tragic trilogy. Sound heavy? You better believe it — and that’s before we even get to the murder of Agamemnon. The Oresteia is set to run from April 30 to June 2, and I, for one, wouldn’t miss it for the world.
I don’t know word one about this “aftermath of a natural disaster” domestic drama, but check out this freaky concept art. Intriguing, no? Studio excels at telling small stories with big-world implications, and this, running from May 1 to June 2, certainly seems worthy of attention.
Current pop culture is glutted with unnecessary reboots, revamps, and origin stories. But I’m curious to see a sequel to one of theatre’s most famous endings: Nora Helmer slamming the door in her husband’s (and audiences’) face. Lucas Hnath’s 2017 sequel, which runs from June 5 to June 30, has a lot of pieces to pick up. Where will they land?
Feature photo Alison Luff as Nell Gwynn. Photo by Brittany Diliberto, Bee Two Sweet Photography.