September Theater Preview

See Jekyll turn into Hyde, a throwback to ’80s rock, a few world premieres, and much more this month on the area’s stages.

By: Sophie Gilbert

DON’T MISS

Woolly Mammoth stages Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. The New York Times called the comedy about TV wrestling “an able-bodied satire enjoying a rollicking love affair with its subject.” September 3 through 30.

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo gets its local premiere at Round House Theatre. Rajiv Joseph’s offbeat story of two Marines in Iraq and the ghost of a tiger that haunts them was nominated for three Tonys when it ran on Broadway in 2011. September 5 through 30.

Studio Theatre kicks off its new season with Invisible Man, Oren Jacoby’s take on the Ralph Ellison novel about African-American identity. The coproduction with Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company is directed by Classical Theatre of Harlem cofounder Christopher McElroen. September 5 through October 14.

Shakespeare’s Globe brings its acclaimed, pared-down production of Hamlet to the Folger Theatre September 8 through 22. The show, which stars Georgetown grad Michael Benz, clocks in at a trim two and a half hours, and features only eight actors.

At Shakespeare Theatre, Michael Kahn directs The Government Inspector, Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of the Nikolai Gogol satire about a corrupt civil servant. Tony-nominated actor Derek Smith stars. September 13 through October 28.

Also at Shakespeare Theatre, the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Black Watch—a drama about a Scottish regiment deployed in Iraq—returns following its sold-out 2011 run, which the Washington Post described as “soul-piercing.” September 19 through October 7.

The first of four world premieres at Synetic Theater this season is Jekyll & Hyde, starring Alex Mills as the alter egos created by Robert Louis Stevenson. Running September 20 through October 21, the show, like most Synetic productions, is wordless.

The local premiere of Fly, Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan’s drama about four World War II Tuskegee Airmen, plays at Ford’s Theatre September 21 through October 21. The production mixes theater, dance, and video and is directed by Khan.

Forum Theatre presents the world premiere of Kara Lee Corthron’s Holly Down in Heaven. The play—at Round House Silver Spring—is a comedy about a 15-year-old born-again Christian who discovers she’s pregnant. Corthron received the 2010 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award for being “an emerging playwright of exceptional promise.” September 27 through October 20.

At Arena Stage later in the month is One Night With Janis Joplin*—written and directed by Randy Johnson with collaboration from Joplin’s siblings—which celebrates the ’60s blues rocker. September 28 through November 4.


ALSO NOTEWORTHY

Kathleen Turner gives a gutsy, nuanced performance in Arena Stage’s Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, running through October 28. Read our review here.

Signature Theatre’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which got a rave review from The Washingtonian’s Leslie Milk, runs through October 7 in Shirlington.

MetroStage’s Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris runs through October 21. The production showcases the music of Brel, and is choreographed by Signature Theatre’s Matt Gardiner.

September 4 through October 7, Constellation Theatre presents Alan Ayckbourn’s Taking Steps, a comedy about six British friends in a haunted house.

Rock of Ages, the ode to the ’80s that starred Tom Cruise in its 2012 film adaptation, stops by Wolf Trap September 9.

September 13 through October 7, GALA Hispanic Theatre presents Agustin Moreto’s In Spite of Love, the tale of a count and a princess committed to celibacy who find themselves unwillingly swayed by romance.

Opening September 14 at American Century Theatre is J.B., Archibald MacLeish’s circus-themed update of the story of Job. Through October 6.

Keegan Theatre’s A Couple of Blaguards opens September 21. The two-man show by Frank and Malachy McCourt follows the Irish brothers from their underprivileged childhood toward literary fame.

Taffety Punk presents The Rape of Lucrece at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, September 27 through October 6. The production interprets Shakespeare’s epic poem through theater, music, and dance, with a typically Taffety-esque modern spin.

September 20 at the Phillips Collection, Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Alan Paul directs a staged reading of Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things. The 2001 rom-com of sorts was made into a movie starring Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz in 2003.


LAST CHANCE TO SEE

Rorschach Theatre’s A Maze, which explores the intersecting storylines of three very different characters, closes September 9. Read our review.

Olney Theatre Center’s Little Shop of Horrors also closes September 9.

Theater Alliance’s Reals, a world-premiere play about powerless superheroes, closes September 16. Read our review.

Rep Stage’s The Temperamentals, a Drama Desk Award-winning play about two gay men and their clandestine relationship in the 1950s, closes September 16.

Theater J’s Body Awareness, about a clash of cultures at a liberal arts college in New England, closes September 23. Read our review.


FOR KIDS

September 21 through October 7, the Puppet Co. in Glen Echo stages Carnival of the Animals, a bilingual production timed to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month.

Adventure Theatre Musical Theatre Center has the world premiere of Big, the Musical, a theatrical adaptation of the 1987 Tom Hanks hit. September 21 through October 28.

Imagination Stage revives its popular production of P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical, Psalmayene 24’s urban spin on the classic tale. September 29 through October 18.

*This post has been updated from a previous version.