Editor’s Picks: Theater Openings, Closings, and Festivals in July

The Capital Fringe Festival, Second City at Woolly, and a new work by Natsu Onoda Power open this month in Washington.

By: Sophie Gilbert


Wolf Trap

The jukebox show Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story became one of the most successful West End musicals in history when it debuted in London in 1989, running for 12 years; a revival followed in 2007 and is still playing today. The show, about the ’50s rock-and-roll musician, includes the hits “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be the Day.” July 2 and 3.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Famed Chicago comedy troupe the Second City returns to Woolly with America All Better!!, inspired by the highs of 2013 (the economy’s upward swing, the progress of gay marriage, and the legalization of marijuana) compared with the lows of the recession. July 9 through August 4.

Studio Theatre

Studio stages The Rocky Horror Show 40 years after the cult musical's original London run. Mitchell Jarvis (Broadway's Rock of Ages) stars as Frank N. Furter, and the production's directed by Alan Paul and Keith Alan Baker with choreography by Michael Bobbitt. July 10 through August 4.

Forum Theatre

Forum presents a new work by writer, director, and Georgetown professor Natsu Onoda Power. The T Party features vignettes exploring stories of transgression, transgendered people, and theater. July 18 to 27.

Synetic Theater

Synetic reprises its popular A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a wordless adaptation of the Shakespeare classic by Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili. July 18 through August 4.

American Century Theater

American Century stages I Do! I Do!, Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s 1966 musical about a 50-year marriage. July 19 through August 17.

Contemporary American Theater Festival

The festival returns with five new plays—three world premieres—90 minutes from downtown DC at West Virginia’s Shepherd University. The slate includes Sam Shepard’s Heartless, which explores the human condition through a Los Angeles family; Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah, a premiere by Mark St. Germain about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway; and H20, a play by Jane Martin about an actor who wins the role of Hamlet. July 5 through 28.

Capital Fringe Festival

The Fringe Festival returns with more than 135 groups presenting offbeat shows over 18 days, most of them at Fort Fringe headquarters (607 New York Ave., NW). This year’s lineup includes shows by Faction of Fools, Bowen McCauley Dance, Pinky Swear Productions, and Washington Improv Theater. July 11 through 28.


Anything Goes is at the Kennedy Center through July 7. Read our review.

Angel Street is at Olney through July 14.

Caesar and Dada is at WSC Avant Bard through July 14.

Baby Universe is at Studio Theatre through July 14. Read our review.

Rabbit Hole is at Keegan Theatre through July 21.

One Night With Janis Joplin continues at Arena Stage through August 11, before it heads to Broadway in the fall. Read our review of last year’s run.