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Posted at 03:05 PM ET, 05/02/2012

D.C. theater preview: “Metamorphoses,” “Xanadu” and “The Music Man” on stage in May


One of this month’s must-sees: Real-life husband and wife Cody Nickell and Kate Eastwood Norris star in Folger Theatre's production of “The Taming of the Shrew.” (Photo by James Kegley/Folger Theatre)
As Post theater critic Peter Marks noted, the Tony nominations offer up proof that Washington theater is gaining steam. Want to see for yourself? May is a busy month on area stages with a number of potentially thrilling shows.

First up: Aaron Posner, the Helen Hayes Award-winning director behind the Folger's “Cyrano,” directs husband and wife Cody Nickell and Kate Eastwood Norris in the lead roles of The Taming of the Shrew.” Shakespeare's often tricky battle of the sexes gets a new setting — the wild West. (Through June 10)

Vida Fitness doesn’t have the market cornered on new pools around U Street. The audacious Constellation Theatre has just installed a 4,000-gallon basin in the small black box theater of Source as the set for Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of Ovid's mythical vignettes, Metamorphoses.” (May 2-June 3)

Fans of the recent Helen Hayes Award recipient “Hairspray” may want to break out the legwarmers for Xanadu,” also at Signature Theatre. The campy musical rendition of the 1980 movie follows a Greek muse determined to save a struggling chalk artist. (May 8-July 1)

After a critically-lauded rendition of “Alice in Wonderland,” the Washington Ballet is back with a grab bag of dance. Noche Latina! features the work of Edwaard Liang (behind the lovely “Wunderland”), Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and the company’s first presentation of Trey McIntyre's “Like a Samba.” (May 9-13)

Small local company Factory 449 returns to the boards with the original play The Ice Child,” written by company members Lisa Hodsoll, Rick Hammerly and Hunter Styles. The story follows a woman held hostage in a freezer and trying to negotiate for her freedom. (May 10-June 3)

WSC Avant Bard will have a busy spring with two shows in repertory. First up is the ancient classic The Bacchae by Euripides. Meanwhile, Longacre Lea’s Kathleen Akerley will direct Sam Shepard’s lesser-known The Tooth of Crime,” a sci-fi-tinged cautionary tale about the perils of fame.(May 10-July 1)

After success with another feel-good musical standby — “Oklahoma!” — Arena Stage brings its signature energy to Meredith Wilson's beloved 1957 production, The Music Man.” Tony nominee Kate Baldwin will take on the role of Marian, the lovely librarian and object of protagonist Harold Hill’s affection. (May 11-July 22)

Shakespeare Theatre Company’s first foray into the work of Carlo Goldoni is The Servant of Two Masters.” Goldoni is having a bit of a resurgence of late with another buzzed-about adaptation of this play — “One Man, Two Guvnors.” This rendition follows the traditional commedia dell’arte model of the story about a man attempting to double his earnings by juggling two employers. (May 15-June 24)

Bachelorette is Leslye Headland's play about a group of wicked women at a bachelorette party for a woman they dislike. The script feels like “Bridesmaids” by way of Neil LaBute. (May 23-July 1)

While Mitchell Hebert just won a Helen Hayes Award for acting, he will go behind the scenes to direct Forum Theatre’s The Illusion.” Tony Kushner's loose adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s “L’Illusion Comique” and follows a man trying to reconnect with his son with the help of a magician. (May 24-June 16)

Playwright Anne Washburn (behind Folger’s “Orestes, A Tragic Romp”) is responsible for Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play,” in which a group of armageddon survivors escape their current horror by talking about “The Simpsons.” (May 28-July 1)

Everyone needs a good editor, even the suicidal. That’s the premise of No Rules Theatre Company’s new production, the darkly comic Suicide Incorporated, about a group of, well, ghost writers. (May 30-June 23)

Specialists in dance-infused theatrics, Synetic Theater took home four awards (of 15 nominations) at the recent Helen Hayes Awards. Home of the Soldier may not be a silent Shakespeare production, which has become a winning formula for the troupe, but it should promise some of the impressive fight choreography so prevalent in productions such as the group's critically-lauded “Host and Guest.” (May 31-July 1)

By  |  03:05 PM ET, 05/02/2012

Categories:  Theater

 
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