Things to Do

August Theater Guide

See Kathleen Turner as Molly Ivins, Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein, and Cirque du Soleil’s take on evolution this month.

Ted van Griethuysen as the King of France and Miriam Silverman as Helena in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of All’s Well That Ends Well. Photograph by Scott Suchman


Someone should invent a word for NT Live’s fusion of theater and cinema. Ceater? Thinema?
Either way, the program stages two screened performances of

at London’s National Theatre at Sidney Harman Hall. Directed by
Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, the brilliantly bonkers Olympic opening ceremonies), the show stars
Benedict Cumberbatch and
Jonny Lee Miller in alternating roles as the doctor and his undead monster. August 7 and 12.

The original Broadway production of

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
(which ran for nearly 1,600 performances) and the 1982 film starring Dolly Parton
and Burt Reynolds are hard acts to follow, but
Eric Schaeffer is game. Signature Theatre’s artistic director helms the musical about a group of
cheerful prostitutes threatened by a conservative reporter. August 14 through October

Kathleen Turner stars in

Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins
, at Arena Stage from August 23 through October 28. The one-woman show is written
by Bethesda journalist
Margaret Engel and her twin sister,
Allison Engel.

August 23 through September 5, Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Free for All returns

All’s Well That Ends Well
, first staged by Michael Kahn in 2010. The show tells the story of a poor orphan
who tricks a wealthy count into marrying her. Two free tickets per person are available
in a daily online lottery (for performances the next day) and in person two hours
before showtime (it’s recommended you get there early).

Theater J kicks off its new season with

Body Awareness
, a comedy by
Annie Baker (whose
Circle Mirror Transformation was a hit at Signature Theatre).
Eleanor Holdridge directs the gently satirical story of a college in Vermont disrupted by a visiting
photographer who likes to take pictures of nude women. August 25 through September


Olney Theatre stages

Little Shop of Horrors
, a musical about a carnivorous plant from outer space featuring songs by Oscar-winning
Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast,
Aladdin) and lyricist
Howard Ashman. August 1 through 26.

Keegan Theatre tackles
Tracy Lett’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama,

August: Osage County
, about an Oklahoma family forced to interact when its pill-popping matriarch is diagnosed
with cancer. August 3 through 26.

Continuing at Gunston Arts Center through August 25 is American Century Theater’s
production of

Marathon ’33
. The experimental play by the real-life Baby June—immortalized in the Sondheim musical

Gypsy—explores playwright
June Havoc’s experiences as a dancer during the Great Depression.

For one night only at the Folger, Taffety Punk puts on a free production of

Hamlet: The Bad-Ass Quarto
, using the play’s little-known first edition rather than the more familiar version.
August 6.

Rorschach Theatre stages

A Maze
Rob Handel at Atlas Performing Arts Center. The show has three threads featuring a graphic
novelist, a drug-addicted musician, and a young girl. August 10 through September

It isn’t strictly theater, but
Cirque du Soleil
pitches its tent at National Harbor for a six-week run of
Totem, the company’s take on evolution in the natural world. August 15 through September

August 27 through September 16, Theater Alliance presents

Gwydion Suilebhan. The show at the H Street Playhouse explores the darkly comic world of real-life

Rep Stage has a production of
Jon Marans’s

The Temperamentals
, which looks at the love affair between two gay-rights activists in the early 1950s.


Mike Daisey’s controversy-fueled

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs
closes August 5. Our review is

Also closing August 5 is Studio Theatre’s

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
. Read our review

The Hub Theatre’s production of

Big Love
also closes August 5. Read our review