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Plays, Musicals, and Other Theater Must-Sees in January

See two Brits in action (and in “Contractions”) at Studio, “Zorro,” a Minotaur, “Cabaret,” and more this month.

Our Town opens at Ford’s Theatre January 25. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Opening This Month

At Studio Theatre January 2 through 27, Brit playwright Duncan Macmillan (Lungs) directs the US premiere of Contractions by Mike Bartlett. The dark satire about a controlling employer in a Big Brother-esque society was called “brutally entertaining” by the Daily Telegraph when it ran at London’s Royal Court Theatre.

We, Tiresias, Stephen Spotswood’s hit at last year’s Capital Fringe festival, gets a two-week engagement at Forum Theatre. The play explores the blind prophet who recurs in stories throughout Greek tragedy. January 3 through 13.

Washington Stage Guild presents the local premiere of Karoline Leach’s Tryst, about a con man and set in Edwardian England. The play debuted in 2006 off-Broadway, where the New York Times called it “a suspense drama of a distinctly old-fashioned stamp.” January 3 through 27.

American Century Theatre stages The Show-Off, the 1924 by George Kelly about a Philadelphia family infiltrated by a pompous social climber. January 24 through February 2.

In partnership with Georgetown University, Theater J presents Boged (Traitor): An Enemy of the People, an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play by Boaz Gaon and Nor Erez at Georgetown’s Davis Performing Arts Center. The production tells the story of a mayor and his environmentalist brother who become divided over a chemical leak in an industrial park. January 12 through February 3.

Constellation Theatre Company presents a new adaptation of Zorro by Eleanor Holdridge and Janet Allard January 17 through February 17. Directed by Holdridge at Source, the show is about fictional nobleman Don Diego de la Vega, who adopts a secret identity to fight tyranny and injustice.

January 18 through February 17, Rorschach Theatre offers The Minotaur, an adaptation of the Greek myth by Anna Ziegler. Randy Baker directs at Atlas Performing Arts Center.

At Folger Theatre, Robert Richmond directs Shakespeare’s Henry V. Having ascended the throne, Henry (formerly Prince Hal of Henry IV Parts I and II) is forced to deal with the Battle of Agincourt and an attempt on his life by the Earl of Cambridge. January 22 through March 3.

MetroStage presents the world premiere of Ladies Swing the Blues, a musical dedicated to vocalists Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, and Peggy Lee. Set in a New York jazz club in the 1950s, the show features music by William Knowles and book and lyrics by Thomas W. Jones Jr. January 24 through March 17.

Keegan Theatre turns its hand to eight-time Tony Award winner Cabaret, the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical set in a nightclub in 1931 Germany as the Nazis are gaining power. January 26 through February 23.

Our Town opens at Ford’s Theatre January 25. Director Stephen Rayne looks at the American classic with a newcomer’s eyes, and using a diverse cast to give the show a contemporary influence. Through February 24.

Ongoing/Last Chance

The Pajama Men: In the Middle of No One closes January 6 at Woolly Mammoth. Read our review.

Apples from the Desert closes January 6 at Theater J. Read our review.

Natsu Onoda Power’s collaboration with Synetic Theater, A Trip to the Moon, closes January 6. Read our review.

Arena Stage’s My Fair Lady also closes January 6. Read our review.

Also at Arena Stage, Pullman Porter Blues closes January 6. Read our review.

Million Dollar Quartet closes at the Kennedy Center January 6. Read our review.

Signature Theatre’s Dreamgirls closes January 13. Read our review.

An Iliad closes at Studio Theatre January 13. Read our review.


January 24 at the Kreeger Museum, experts Peter and Syril Kline and psychiatrist Richard Waugaman discuss the many claims about the provenance of Shakespeare’s plays.

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