What's on Stage in July

by Jen Chaney
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Friday, July 2, 2004;

Technically, these first couple of plays have already debuted. But since they run through the month of July and were omitted from "What's on Stage" in June, they're included here. If you're a Rocky Horror freak, note that the Actors' Theatre of Washington is currently presenting its version of "The Rocky Horror Show" at Nation. Rick Hammerly -- who made a fabulous Hedwig in Signature Theatre's "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" -- stars as Dr. Frank N. Furter. Nelson Pressley didn't give it such a hot review in The Post, but if you're itching to do the Time Warp, you may not mind. Also, if you've seen the movie "De-Lovely" and still can't get enough of Cole Porter, you may get a kick out of Renegade Theater's production of Porter's "Anything Goes" at the Warehouse Theater. ("Rocky Horror," through July 25; "Anything Goes," through July 18)

Now that the cicadas are gone, it's officially safe to spend an evening outdoors with William Shakespeare. Olney Theatre's National Players provides an opportunity to do just that with its traveling Summer Shakespeare Tour of "Romeo and Juliet," which makes several stops throughout the coming month. See it at the Sandy Spring Friends School June 29 through July 3; Arlington's Lubber Run Amphitheatre July 12; Rockville's Courthouse Square Park, located near the Town Center at E. Montgomery and Maryland avenues, July 13; and Silver Plaza in downtown Silver Spring on July 25. FYI: All performances are free.

The well-received "Crowns" returns to the Arena Stage this month for an encore engagement. (Scott Suchman - Courtesy Arena Stage)

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Speaking of Olney Theatre, the Montgomery County center for the arts also presents several productions in its Potomac Theatre Festival. First, there's the Tony Award-winning drama "Copenhagen." The play, based on a historic meeting between scientists Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr, focuses on the tension between two men on opposite ideological sides regarding World War II, a theme that should resonate among the many currently debating Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." Later in the month, catch three more plays in repertory: Gore Vidal's "The Best Man," William Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" and "Perfect Pie." A ticket is $10 per production. ("Copenhagen," July 7-Aug. 8; "Man," "Measure" and "Pie," July 14-Aug. 8)

Every summer, theater-lovers head to West Virginia for the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University. This year's fest presents four premiere works: "Homeland Security," a Little League coaches' tale called "Rounding Third," "Flag Day" and "The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay." Patrons can buy festival passes or individual tickets, which range in price from $26 to $33. For more information, visit the festival Web site. (July 9-Aug. 1)

If you're craving "Food, Glorious, Food," make plans to visit Wolf Trap later this month, when the musical "Oliver!" commands the Filene Center stage for eight performances. Tickets range in price from $18 to $60. (July 13-18)

These days, you're more likely to hear a Who song in a TV commercial than anywhere else. That's why fans of Daltrey and Townsend should be pleased to know that Studio Theatre's Secondstage will present "The Who's Tommy" this month. The original rock-and-roll musical features classic tunes such as "Pinball Wizard," "See Me, Feel Me" and "I'm Free." Tickets are $30 and, yes, we call that a bargain. (July 15-Aug. 15)

You like her. You really like her. And that's why you must make plans to see Sally Field in Tennessee Williams's "The Glass Menagerie," the closing production in the Kennedy Center's "Tennessee Williams Explored" series. Field tackles the role of Amanda, mother of the fragile Laura, a role previously played on stage by such notables as Jessica Tandy and Maureen Stapleton. Will Field create a performance that goes down in drama history? Find out when the curtain rises, beginning July 17. (July 17-Aug. 8)

Did you miss "Crowns" -- the musically infused, spirited salute to the chapeau -- during its run earlier this year at Arena Stage? Don't worry your pretty little cap about it. Arena brings back the well-received show for a month-long run. Be there with bonnets on. (July 22-Aug. 22)

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