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

Opening This Month

Constellation Theatre, Alison Arkell Stockman directs

, 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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

4000 Miles
closes at
Studio Theatre May 12. Read our

The Mountaintop
closes at
Arena Stage May 12. Read our

Faction of Fools’

The Lady Becomes Him
closes May 12. Read our

No Rules Theatre Company’s

The Personal(s)
closes May 18.

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

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.

Shakespeare Theatre,


run in repertory through June 2. Read our reviews of

’s production of

Twelfth Night
runs through June 9.


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