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Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 12/27/2012

Washington theater in January


Danny Gavigan plays Zorro in Constellation Theatre’s upcoming adaptation. (Andrew Propp)
A new year may be upon us, but old theater acquaintances will hardly be forgotten in January. Among the fresh takes on beloved tales is a balletic spectacle of “Alice in Wonderland,” a modern retelling of the Minotaur myth and a Zorro origin story.

But first, something shiny and new: The buzzed-about Contractions,” penned by British playwright Mike Bartlett, is coming to Studio’s 2nd Stage. The satire revolves around a series of increasingly absurd conversations between a woman and her boss regarding the employee’s office romance. (Wednesday-Jan. 27)

If you spent the holidays squelching your wicked sense of humor, then prepare for release with the Washington Stage Guild’s tale of twisted justice and sweet comeuppance. Playwright Karoline Leach’s Tryst follows a con artist going after a lonely spinster who turns out to be less clueless than she appears. Cue the evil laughter. (Jan. 3-27)

Purveyors of fine storytelling, Speakeasy DC hosts an annual best-of showcase, and Top Shelf of 2012 could prove bigger than ever. After years of selling out Woolly Mammoth Theatre, the group is upping the capacity. The 9:30 Club will be hosting the eight performers, who will regale the audience with eclectic tales, ranging from meeting “The One” to the hazards of steroids. (Jan. 6)

Last year, local commedia dell’arte aficionados Faction of Fools demonstrated that a Shakespearean tragedy could be a real knee-slapper. They’re at it again this month, remounting their acclaimed, rollicking “A Commedia Romeo and Juliet.” (Jan. 11-26)

Theater J and Georgetown University present Boged: An Enemy of the People,” based on a Henrik Ibsen play and adapted by Boaz Gaon, the Israeli playwright behind the 2011’s successful “Return to Haifa.” The morally complex story is about two brothers who have very different responses to a scandal: One seeks to cover it up, while the other wants to expose the truth. (Jan. 12-Feb. 3)

Director Eleanor Holdridge, who helmed Theater J’s wry “Body Awareness,” makes her foray into scriptwriting with Zorro,” an adaptation she wrote with Janet Allard. Constellation Theatre Company brings the origin story to the stage, looking at how one man became a masked vigilante. (Jan. 17-Feb. 17)

The National Ballet of Canada unveiled its eye-popping production of Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 2011 to positive reviews. The company is touring the show in the United States, including a trip down the rabbit hole at the Kennedy Center. (Jan. 18-27)

Playwright Anna Ziegler received accolades for her witty “Photograph 51” when it premiered at Theater J in 2011. Fans of that production — or witty scripts, for that matter — might be interested in the premiere of her modernized adaptation of the Greek myth The Minotaur,” a joint production between Rorschach Theatre and Atlanta-based Synchronicity Theatre. (Jan. 18-Feb. 17)

Tap is not just alive and well, but it’s also exciting and evolving because of dancer- chore­ographer Savion Glover. Catch his latest at George Mason’s Center for the Arts. SoLe Sanctuary pays homage to Sammy Davis Jr., Gregory Hines and other rhythmic greats. (Jan. 20)

After success with “Henry VIII” and last season’s dazzling “Othello,” Robert Richmond returns to Folger Theatre to direct another Shakespeare play, “Henry V.” (Jan. 22-March 3)

Ford’s Theatre celebrates the 75th anniversary of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Our Town,” with a new take on the poignant drama about the nature of life. Stephen Rayne, who directed “Parade” and “Sabrina Fair” at Ford’s, is behind this production, which features an uncharacteristically diverse cast. (Jan. 25-Feb.24)

The intimate Church Street Theater seems like just the space to re-create the seedy Kit Kat Club of Cabaret.” Keegan Theatre appears to have gotten the memo, presenting Kander and Ebb’s hit musical about life in pre-war Germany. (Jan. 26-Feb. 23)

It seemed like every positive descriptor imaginable was lavished on Fela! when it came to Harman Hall in 2011. It can only be good news, then, that the foot-tapping, heart-pounding musical about Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti is returning. (Jan. 29-Feb. 10)

In case the title isn’t clear enough, The Mother------ With the Hat isn’t going to be the family-friendly hit of the season. Stephen Adly Guirgis’s play might be crass, and the erstwhile drug-dealing subjects unsavory, but the zippy dialogue and well-drawn characters earned the show a 2011 Tony nomination for best play. (Jan. 30-March 10)

By  |  11:59 AM ET, 12/27/2012

Categories:  Theater

 
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