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Posted at 03:52 PM ET, 04/28/2011

On stage in May


Bernadette Peters stars in “Follies” at the Kennedy Center. ( Fraver)
May theater promises fresh takes on familiar stories. At Arena Stage, the composer responsible for “The Pina Colada Song” takes on John Grisham’s “A Time to Kill,” Bernadette Peters comes to town to star in “Follies,” and the Washington Ballet puts its spin on “Carmen.”

First, the dependably entertaining Constellation Theatre Company presents Green Bird. The commedia dell’arte fairy tale is about a king mourning his deceased wife — only she’s not really dead. (May 5-June 4)

British musician and playwright Rupert Holmes is behind this world-premiere adaptation of A Time to Kill at Arena Stage. John Grisham’s compelling courtroom drama of racism and vigilante justice was also made into a 1996 movie starring Matthew McConaughey. (May 6-June 19)

Broadway fixture Bernadette Peters returns to Washington to star in Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s wistful Tony-winning musical Follies.” Signature Theatre’s artistic director, Eric Schaeffer, will direct the production, which follows two couples looking back on their lives in show business. (May 7-June 19)

Arnold Lobel’s children’s book A Year With Frog and Toad comes to life at Adventure Theatre. The story about a jolly frog and his cantankerous companion is a sort of kid-friendly take on “The Odd Couple.” (May 10-June 5)

There’s something intriguing about looking at Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart through the eyes of his jealous contemporary Antonio Salieri. That might explain why the play Amadeus garnered the Tony Award for best play and the film version took home eight Oscars. The tale comes to Round House Theatre with a cast of local standouts, including Edward Gero and Floyd King. (May 11-June 5)

Idaho-based dance troupe Trey McIntyre Project stages “Ma Maison” at Harman Hall. The charged performance features skull masks and is set to jazz music. (May 13-14)

Old Times,” Harold Pinter’s play about the tricky nature of memories, finds a stage at Lansburgh Theatre. The production marks celebrated actress Holly Twyford’s debut with the Shakespeare Theatre Company. (May 17-July 3)

The Washington Ballet ends its season on a saucy note with Artistic Director Septime Webre’s adaptation of Carmen.” The reworking of Georges Bizet’s opera about a tempestuous gypsy features a set inspired by Picasso. (May 18-22)

Irish theater company Solas Nua may be small, but it has grand ideas. The site-specific play Swampoodle,” about a long-forgotten Irish shantytown in Washington, will be staged in the massive, dilapidated Uline Arena. The erstwhile Washington Coliseum was also where the Beatles played their first stateside concert in 1964. (May 21-28)

Between an adaptation of “The Liar” for Shakespeare Theatre Company and Constellation Theatre’s “A Flea in Her Ear,” local theater fans have had plenty of opportunities to get to know playwright David Ives the past couple of years. And now his play Venus in Fur is coming to Studio Theatre. The show reflects Austrian novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s scandalous writings, which inspired the word “masochism.” (May 25-July 3)

Fans of Robert O’Hara’s Helen Hayes Award-winning play “Antebellum” have a reason to head to Woolly Mammoth. His new show, Bootycandy,” looks at the tribulations of growing up black and gay. (May 30-June 26)

By  |  03:52 PM ET, 04/28/2011

Categories:  Theater

 
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