Colorful Springtime Plays Pop Up Around D.C.

March Shows Range From Sisterhood to Church Hats

Posted March 20, 2009 at 2:09pm

Whether it’s hot or cold, tourist season or the loneliest winter month, every time is the right time for theater in Washington, D.C. And that includes springtime, with curtains rising on three compelling performances in the latter part of March.

Dysfunctional Sisters

The cast of “Crimes of the Heart— takes the stage Thursday at Theater on the Run in Arlington, Va. Led by director Patricia Foreman, the small Firebelly Productions cast includes four women and two men.

The play tells the story of the three MaGrath sisters in Hazlehurst, Miss., and the effects of each woman’s dysfunctional relationships. Written by Beth Henley, “Crimes of the Heart— won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and debuted on Broadway in 1981. It also led to the Oscar-nominated 1986 film of the same name starring Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange and Diane Keaton.

“Crimes of the Heart— will show at the Theatre on the Run at 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive in Alexandria until April 19. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.

More Than Just a Hat

Leading up to Arena Stage’s performance of the musical “Crowns,— the company is hosting a contest for “your most lavish and unforgettable— hats. Contenders can e-mail their photos to crownscontest@arenastage.org by Wednesday, and the winner will receive four tickets to the performance on April 2.

The hat contest is a fitting gimmick because “Crowns— is all about hats. The musical is Regina Taylor’s adaptation of the book of the same name. In the book, authors Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry interviewed and photographed African-American women in their Sunday head gear. The play weaves a plot through the monologues and church performances, as the hat serves as both fashion statement and metaphor.

Audiences can catch “Crowns— at Arena Stage’s Lincoln Theatre at 1215 U St. NW almost daily until April 26. Tickets cost $27, $57 or $62, depending on the level in the theater.

Before the War

“Antebellum,— the third onstage performance set to begin at the end of March, is seeing its worldwide debut at the Woolly Mammoth. Playwright Robert O’Hara melded the romantic story around the events leading up to World War II, both in Germany and in the U.S. Chay Yew will direct “Antebellum.—

At the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D St. NW, playgoers can see “Antebellum— at 8 p.m. from Wednesday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays through April 26. Tickets range from $38 to $60.

A Selection of Theater Events Around Town:

“Ion.— The Shakespeare Theatre Company offers an ancient Greek playwright’s story of an orphan who grows up at Apollo’s temple.
March 10-April 12; Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW; 202-547-1122

“Forbidden Broadway.— Gerard Alessandrini’s musical comedy parodies some of Broadway’s most famous productions.
March 12-April 5; Bethesda Theatre, 7719 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md.; 301-657-7827

“Marisol.— Forum Theatre is staging Jose Rivera’s story of a young Latina copy editor whose guardian angel abandons her.
March 14-April 5; H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St. NE; 202-544-0703

“Benedictus: An Iran-Israel-U.S. Collaboration.— In Motti Lerner’s play, a Jew and a Muslim meet in a monastery to head off an American attack on Iran.
March 14-29; Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW; 202-518-9400

“Elizabeth Rex.— “Elizabeth Rex— is Timothy Findley’s tale of the night before Queen Elizabeth’s rumored lover is executed, when she demands a play from Shakespeare’s troupe.
March 19-April 18; Church Street Theater, 1742 Church St. NW; 703-892-0202

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.— The classic novel set in a mental institution was adapted for the stage by Dale Wasserman.
April 1-26; Round House Theatre Bethesda, 4545 East West Highway, Bethesda, Md.; 240-644-109