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May Theater in Washington DC: Can’t-Miss Plays, Musicals, and World Premieres

See “The Guardsman” at the Kennedy Center, “The Real Thing” at Studio, and “Company” at Signature.

Show Boat is at the Kennedy Center May 4 through 26. Photograph by Robert Kusel.

Opening This Month

At Constellation Theatre, Alison Arkell Stockman directs Gilgamesh, Chad Gracia’s version of the epic with text by Pulitzer-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa and a score by Helen Hayes Award winner Tom Teasley. May 2 through June 2.

The Washington National Opera stages Show Boat at the Kennedy Center, Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern’s 1927 musical known for songs “Ol’ Man River” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man.” May 4 through 26.

Derek Goldman directs Once Wild: Isadora in Russia, a new work by playwright Norman Allen, composer Dominik Maican, and choreographer Cythia Word, at Georgetown’s Performing Arts Center. Based on Isadora Duncan’s life, it stars actress Kimberly Schraf and dancer Ingrid Zimmer, who jointly play the adopted daughter of the American dancer blacklisted for her communist sympathies. May 3 through 5.

Mark A. Rhea and Susan Marie Rhea direct The Full Monty, about unemployed steelworkers moonlighting as strippers, at Keegan Theatre. The musical’s book is by Terrence McNally; music and lyrics are by David Yazbek. May 4 through June 1.

Synetic Theater presents The Three Musketeers, giving the Alexandre Dumas tale of D’Artagnan and his three gallant friends the physical theater treatment. May 9 through June 9.

Olney Theatre stages The Submission, Jeff Talbott’s play about a white male playwright who disguises himself as a black female writer to give his subject credence. The Village Voice described it as “sharp-edged, fast, [and] frequently funny.” May 9 through June 9.

At Shakespeare Theatre Rebecca Bayla Taichman directs The Winter’s Tale, the Bard’s romance about a jealous king who condemns his wife to prison and exiles his baby daughter. The coproduction with Princeton’s McCarter Theatre Center stars Brent Carver, Mark Harelik, Nancy Robinette, and Ted van Griethuysen. May 9 through June 23.

Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical Company gets a revival at Signature Theatre for the first time in two decades. Eric Schaeffer directs the production about a 35-year-old bachelor reluctant to settle down. May 21 through June 30.

Studio Theatre artistic director David Muse helms The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard’s drama about a playwright married to an actress who spins his life into his art. Teagle F. Bougere, last seen here in Studio’s Invisible Man, stars. May 22 through June 30.

At Round House Silver Spring, Derek Goldman directs Clementine in the Lower 9, Dan Dietz’s post-Hurricane Katrina retelling of the Agamemnon myth. The Forum Theatre show is named for New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward and incorporates the region’s jazz-and-blues culture. May 23 through June 15.

In its first big-budget original production since 2011’s Follies, the Kennedy Center stages The Guardsman, a new adaptation of Ferenc Molnár’s play about an unhappy marriage. Gregory Mosher directs a cast including Sarah Wayne Callies, Shuler Hensley, and Finn Wittrock. May 25 through June 23.

Woolly Mammoth presents the world premiere of Aaron Posner’s Stupid F—-ing Bird, a riff on Chekhov’s The Seagull that explores acting and the creative process. May 27 through June 23.


Andy and the Shadows closes at Theater J May 5. Read our review.

How to Write a New Book for the Bible closes at Round House Theatre May 5. Read our review.

Mary T. & Lizzy K. closes at Arena Stage May 5. Read our review.

4000 Miles closes at Studio Theatre May 12. Read our review.

The Mountaintop closes at Arena Stage May 12. Read our review.

Faction of Fools’ The Lady Becomes Him closes May 12. Read our review.

No Rules Theatre Company’s The Personal(s) closes May 18.

Hello, Dolly! closes at Ford’s Theatre May 18. Read our review.

Studio Theatre’s Pas de Deux closes May 19.

Washington Stage Guild’s The Elder Statesman also closes May 19.

Other Desert Cities runs through May 26 at Arena Stage.

GALA Hispanic Theatre’s DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story closes May 26.

At Shakespeare Theatre, Wallenstein and Coriolanus run in repertory through June 2. Read our reviews of Wallenstein and Coriolanus.

The Folger’s production of Twelfth Night runs through June 9.

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