Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 04/02/2012

On stage in April


The celebration of puppeteer Basil Twist continues this month with “Dogugaeshi.” (Richard Termine)
It’s a month of unexpected twists on area stages. Alice dances down the rabbit hole, thanks to the Washington Ballet, Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” gets a fast-paced, comedic spin, and “Hamlet” becomes nearly unrecognizable in the hands (and behind the masks) of commedia dell’arte clowns Faction of Fools.

The one-man show Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You! written and starring Jay Alvarez, was singled out with accolades during both the Hollywood and New York Fringe Festivals. After touring the country, the playwright stages the local premiere of the comedic and dramatic story of his family’s flight from Cuba to the United States. (April 4-22)

Local dance troupe Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co. celebrates its 20th anniversary with four critically lauded repertory works that adhere to the company’s signature style of East-meets-West. (April 5-6)

After success with last season’s “Art,” Signature Theatre revisits the work of French playwright Yasmina Reza with Tony winner God of Carnage,” which Roman Polanski recently made into a film starring Kate Winslet and Cristoph Waltz. The action takes place in a Brooklyn apartment where two sets of parents rehash a playground incident involving their kids. But what begins as a cordial discussion quickly devolves into droll warfare. (April 10-June 24)

The Washington Ballet takes a trip down the rabbit hole with the premiere of a fresh take on Lewis Carroll’s ALICE (in wonderland) with choreography by artistic director Septime Webre. (April 11-15)

The Cherry Blossom Festival always brings seldom seen morsels of Japanese culture to Washington. Dogugaeshispotlights a once-popular Japanese stage craft that employs sliding screens and traditional music. Puppeteer Basil Twist designed the production (commissioned by the Japan Society in 2003), which blends intricate screens, puppetry and the plinking sounds of the traditional shamisen stringed instrument. There are also video projections featuring the art form’s practitioners. (April 11-22)

Writer Studs Terkel was known for spotlighting American who rarely occupied center stage. For his book “Working,” he interviewed a parking valet, a barber, a waitress and a bar pianist and many others. Working: A Musical,” at Keegan Theatre, mines that source material, adding in catchy folky ditties from the likes of Stephen Schwartz and James Taylor. (April 14-May 13)

With selling points such as choreography by Twyla Tharp and Frank Sinatra’s songs, the plot fromCome Fly Away might not even matter. If you’re curious, somewhere between “Fly Me to the Moon” and “New York New York” you’ll find the ups and downs in the lives of four couples. (April 18-29)

Alfred Hitchcock doesn’t usually bring the big laughs, but this rendition of his classic thriller The 39 Steps sounds like it may take a turn for the funny. Four actors take on the role of 150 characters. (April 18-May 20)

Recent Got Plans? guest Paige Hernandez, known for her well-received solo show “Paige in Full,” brings a new production to the Dunes. Liner Notes,”which debuted during the Intersections arts festival, finds Hernandez joining forces with Baye Harrell, Akua Allrich and the Corner Store Jazz Trio for a look at hip-hop music and its many influences.(April 25-28)

After the success of “Sixty Miles to Silver Lake,” Studio Theatre’s 2nd Stage plays host to another work of playwright Dan LeFranc. The fast-paced The Big Meal” crams decades in the lives of one couple into an hour-and-a-half through telling vignettes that unfold over various meals at different restaurants. (April 25-May 20)

Faction of Fools, the commedia dell-arte troupe that had a hit with a rollicking version of “Romeo and Juliet” last year, is at it again. This time the masks are out for Hamlecchino, Clown Prince of Denmark.” (April 26-May 19)

Washington Stage Guild, the go-to company for your George Bernard Shaw fix, draws from the playwright’s lighter works with Wives and Wits.” The presentation of the love-themed one-act plays “Overruled” and “Village Wooing.”(April 26-May 20)

By  |  12:28 PM ET, 04/02/2012

Categories:  Theater

 
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