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What's on Stage in March

A look at some of Washington's major theater debuts

By Jen Chaney
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 9, 2005;

If you saw the Folger Theatre's recent production of "Romeo and Juliet," you won't want to miss "columbinus." PJ Paparelli -- who also directed "Romeo" -- conceived and directed this drama, which explores the adolescent psyche through the prism of the Columbine High School shootings. It has its world premiere at the Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, then heads to Juneau, Alaska's Perseverance Theatre Company, where Paparelli serves as artistic director. (March 2-April 10)

If you're a fan of Betty (or a fan of the new theme song to "The L Word," which is performed by Betty), then you must head to Theater J at the D.C. Jewish Community Center this month. The veteran all-female rock band is starring in its own musical, "Betty Rules: The Exception to the Musical," which tracks the ups and downs of the indie group's longtime career. (March 2-April 3)

I Am My Own Wife
I Am My Own Wife
Jefferson Mays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning "I Am My Own Wife" are coming to Washington's National Theatre. (Joan Marcus - Courtesy Playwrights Horizons)

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Arena Stage takes on a controversial work by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee. In "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" a married couple grapples with infidelity of a, shall we say, highly unconventional nature. The drama, performed recently on Broadway in a production starring Sally Field, makes its Washington area debut with this Arena staging.
(March 4-April 17)

The Kennedy Center's Tennessee Williams series may have taken place last year, but there's still plenty of Tennessee to go around. The Washington Shakespeare Company proves it with a production of "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore," a drama that's rarely produced as it was considered Williams's first official failure (failure being a relative term when it comes to one of the all-time great playwrights). Also made into a film called "Boom," starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, "Milk Train" focuses on a diva attempting to write her memoirs. See how WSC tackles this tale at the Clark Street Playhouse. (March 8-April 3)

The Studio Theatre raises an interesting, albeit bizarre, question with its latest production: What would happen if two characters from two different Anton Chekhov plays got together and had a few drinks? The answers can be found in "Afterplay," which stars two respected veterans of the Washington theater scene, Ed Gero and Nancy Robinette.
(March 9-April 17)

The Kennedy Center series" A New America: The 1940s and the Arts" continues this month. Two of the more notable shows are "Regina," a musical version of "The Little Foxes" starring Broadway great Patti LuPone that runs for just four performances (March 10-12), and "Mister Roberts," a World War II comedy directed by Tony Award nominee Robert Longbottom. (March 12-April 3)

It's a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner and it's finally coming to Washington. "I Am My Own Wife," now touring the country after closing on Broadway, comes to the National Theatre this month for a two-week run. Jefferson Mays, the show's original star, plays more than 40 characters in this drama about a transvestite nun who survives the Holocaust. Mays also won a Tony for his performance, so this is one you won't want to miss. (March 29-April 10)

Dinner parties seem to be a running theater theme in Montgomery County this month. Olney Theatre Center is presenting the regional premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated "Omnium Gatherum" (March 30-April 24), a drama about a group of Manhattanites who gather for a friendly feast and wind up engaging in a heated discussion about post-9/11 America. For a lighter meal, Bethesda's Round House Theatre is serving "Life x 3," a comedy about a wild dinner party that leads to three different conclusions. (March 30-May 1)

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