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June Theater Preview

A “Simpsons”-themed apocalypse drama, rioting children and animals, and the man who created Superman are on Washington stages this month.

June is your last chance to catch Eric Bryant and Dylan Moore in Bachelorette, closing July 1 at Studio Theatre. Photograph by Scott Suchman.


Woolly Mammoth continues its apocalypse-themed season with Anne Washburn’s Simpsons-inspired Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, which runs through July 1. The show imagines a group of humans left to survive Armageddon without their electronic devices.

Through June 24, Round House has David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright’s new adaptation of the James M. Cain novel Double Indemnity—well known from the 1944 film noir starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck—about a wealthy woman who persuades an insurance agent to help her murder her husband.

Through July 31, Synetic Theater presents Home of the Soldier, a show exploring the impact of war. A young soldier enlists in the army to help find his missing-in-action father but is drawn into conflict himself.

The acclaimed 2008 Lincoln Center production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific —called “perfection” by the New York Times—comes to Wolf Trap’s Filene Center May 31 through June 3.

Keegan Theatre has two shows opening this month. Spring Awakening, running June 2 through July 8, is the Tony-sweeping rock musical about love and sexuality by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. Cuchullain, which runs June 9 through July 1, is the world premiere of a new work by Irish playwright Rosemary Jenkinson (Basra Boy, Stella Morgan).

American Century Theater presents Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, Christopher Durang’s satirical comedy about a nun who traumatizes young students with her stern Catholic dogma. June 8 through July 7.

At Theater J, David Bar Katz’s The History of Invulnerability looks at Jerry Siegel, the young Jewish man who first conjured up the character of Superman. June 6 through July 8.

Experimental British theater company 1927 presents its lauded production of The Animals and Children Took to the Streets, June 8 through July 1. The show combines acting, animation, cabaret, and mime to depict a gritty London neighborhood overtaken by riots.

The final show in Arena’s season is The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s semi-autobiographical drama about the early impact of AIDS in New York City, directed by George C. Wolfe. A version of this production with different actors in some roles won a Tony Award for best revival of a play when it ran on Broadway last year. June 8 through July 29.

June 12 through July 1, the Kennedy Center Opera House hosts Memphis, the Tony-winning musical featuring a pioneering white deejay in the ’50s who stirs up controversy by playing black music on the radio.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the musical based on the 1991 animated movie, comes to the National Theatre June 12 through 24. The show debuted in 1994 and became one of Broadway’s longest-running musicals, closing in 2007.

June 13 through July 8, Olney Theatre revives Sleuth, Anthony Shaffer’s 1970 play about a mystery writer who sets up an elaborate con involving his unfaithful wife.

June 12 through July 15, Shakespeare Theatre takes on The Merry Wives of Windsor for the first time in more than ten years. The ribald comedy, directed by Stephen Rayne, revolves around Falstaff’s attempts to find a wealthy lover, and is supposedly inspired by the hit TV show Downton Abbey.

The Source Festival returns to U Street this year from June 8 through July 1. The festival has its usual format, presenting three full-length plays, 18 ten-minute plays, and three “artistic blind dates,” or collaborations between diverse performing and visual artists. There’s also a talent show, open to artists and the general public, which offers a $100 prize. For details on this year’s slate of plays, visit

Opening June 8 in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater is First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb. The musical revue, which first ran at Signature Theatre, is directed by Eric Schaeffer and stars Heidi Blickenstaff, James Clow, Alan H. Green, and more singing hits from Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Zorba. Through July 1.


No Rules Theatre Company presents Suicide Incorporated, a black comedy about a business in the line of crafting the perfect suicide note. Through June 23 at the H Street Playhouse.

GALA Hispanic Theatre presents Puerto Rico … ¡fuá! June 7 through July 1. The satirical musical explores the history of the “enchanted island.”


The Taming of the Shrew closes June 10 at the Folger. Read our review here.

The Illusion by Forum Theatre closes June 16. Read our review here.

Playing Sinatra at MetroStage closes June 17.

God of Carnage closes at Signature Theatre June 24. Read our review here.

WSC Avant Bard’s The Bacchae closes July 1 at Artisphere. Read our review here.

Bachelorette at Studio Theatre also closes July 1. Our review is here.

And Xanadu at Signature also closes July 1. Read our review here.


Imagination Stage and the Washington Ballet have collaborated on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which uses dancers, actors, and puppets to tell C.S. Lewis’s classic story. June 20 through August 12.

Adventure Theatre stages If You Give a Moose a Muffin, its latest adaptation of the book from the popular Laura Numeroff series. The show stars Michael Russotto (Art, Bright New Boise) as the titular Moose. June 22 through September 2.

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