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Posted at 04:23 PM ET, 05/31/2011

On stage in June


Dan Istrate takes on the role of Don Quixote this month with Synetic Theater. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)
Washington has a reputation for becoming a quiet town in the summer months as locals flee the swampy weather for ocean and sand. But you wouldn’t know it from June’s impressive explosion of theater, which promises Tony-winning musicals, one dance troupe’s long-overdue return to the area and a seriously sinewy take on Cervantes.

Synetic Theater — the company that emphasizes impressive, acrobatic movement over dialogue — culminates its acclaimed season with a fresh take on Miguel de Cervantes’s masterpiece Don Quixote .” Co-founding artistic director Paata Tsikurishvili helms the production, which stars Dan Istrate, who wowed audiences in Synetic’s rendition of “Dracula.” (June 1-July 3)

The name alone — bobrauschenbergamerica — is evidence that this isn’t going to be your typical play. Forum Theatre, known for presenting productions that beg for post-show debate, offers up this series of vignettes that strive to portray America through pop artist Robert Rauschenberg’s eyes. (June 2-25)

Fans of “Glee” might feel an urge to buy tickets to Keegan Theatre’s next show, the Tony-winning musical “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ,” about a group of nerdy students teeming with quirks and the desire to be a spelling nonpareil (n-o-n-p-a-r-e-i-l, nonpareil). (June 4-July 3)

It has been quite some time since the Royal Danish Ballet made its way to Washington. The troupe is back for the first time since 2004 with a new artistic director — Nikolaj Hubbe — and fresh takes on Danish master August Bournonville’s “Napoli” and “A Folk Tale.” (June 7-12)

Washington’s coincidental celebration of Michael Hollinger continues at Olney Theatre with Opus.” The Philly-based playwright behind the Folger’s adaptation of “Cyrano de Bergerac” and Washington Stage Guild’s “Red Herring” also wrote this play about the drama brewing within a string quartet when one member goes missing. (June 8-July 3)

It’s hard to resist describing Penumbra Theatre Company’s next show as — in a word — “Unforgettable.” “ I Wish You Love ” follows the life of Nat “King” Cole and his role in the civil rights movement. And what better soundtrack for the show than Cole’s beloved hits? (June 11-19)

Washington’s zeal for the Tony-winning Broadway musical Wicked has been evident to a potentially frustrating degree. The day tickets went on sale, a “historic demand” for seats practically paralyzed the Kennedy Center’s Web site. Tickets are still available, however, so act fast to get your spot in front of this inventive reimagining of “The Wizard of Oz.” (June 15-Aug. 21)

Romantic entanglements make for high drama, not to mention knowing laughter. So there’s certainly promising fodder for David Cale’s The History of Kisses,” his new solo show, which marks his fourth visit to Studio Theatre. (June 15-July 3)

If you missed Inside/Out the last time it was in town in 2008, here’s another chance to catch the well-received production. VSA (devoted to spotlighting artists with disabilities) returns with Ping Chong & Company’s diverse slate of storytellers, whose interwoven tales are as poignant as they are funny. (June 17-19)

Director Ethan McSweeney is wasting no time getting back to work after Arena Stage’s “A Time to Kill.” Next up: Shakespeare Theatre’s The Merchant of Venice,” which the company hasn’t staged in a decade. (June 21-July 24)

Here’s something that will make you think twice before killing that spider — or eating that strip of bacon. Family-friendly Adventure Theatre presents a stage rendition of E.B. White’s timeless tale of friendship, Charlotte’s Web,” about an adorable piglet and the wise spider that saves him. (June 24-Sept. 5)

Shows like Next to Normal give D.C. the theater cred the city deserves. Washingtonians got an early peek at the rock musical at Arena Stage in 2008 before it made its way to Broadway and won a trio of Tonys, not to mention a Pulitzer Prize for drama. The emotionally evocative tale of a family grappling with mental illness finds a stage at the Kennedy Center this time around. (June 28-July 10)

By  |  04:23 PM ET, 05/31/2011

Categories:  Theater

 
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