The Washington Post

Onstage in April

2009 photo from Lucinda Childs' piece "Dance." The company will perform at Clarice Smith in April. (Sally Cohn)

Exotic adventure comes to Eisenhower Theater when the Washington Ballet premieres its rendition of Marius Petipa’s classic, “Le Corsaire.” This love story is populated with pirates and pashas against a backdrop of shipwrecks and bazaars. (April 6-10)

Nats Park isn’t the only place to catch some baseball this time of year. Head to Church Street Theater for National Pastime.” The world premiere of Tony Sportiello’s musical follows a radio station that fabricates the story of a can’t-lose ball team to boost ratings during the Great Depression. (April 9-May 15)

Kids and adults with a soft spot for James Marshall’s books (Who could forget the clever twist ending of “Miss Nelson Is Missing”?) have a reason to head to Imagination Stage. Marshall’s story about a couple of adorable hippos George & Martha: Tons of Fun! gets a musical treatment. (April 9-May 29)

A grab bag of Samuel Beckett’s short works comes to the stage when famed director Peter Brook returns to the Kennedy Center for the first time in nearly 30 years to present Fragments.” There are just five chances to see the playlets, which include “Rockaby,” a bleak examination of one woman’s life, and the more lighthearted “Come and Go,” about three old gossips trading secrets on a park bench. (April 14-17)

If the rave reviews of “Penelope” are any indication, Irish playwright Enda Walsh knows how to write a compelling script. Studio Theatre’s celebration of his work continues with The New Electric Ballroom,” the story of three sisters in rural Ireland who constantly reminisce about the past. The production stars local standouts Nancy Robinette and Jennifer Mendenhall. (April 13-May 1)

Let the witch hunt begin. Rep Stage presents Stephen Karam’s critically lauded musical Speech and Debate,” about three teenagers set on exposing a sex scandal. It’s even set in Salem (in Oregon, but you get the idea). (April 13-May 1).

Lucinda Childs Dance resurrects the choreographer’s 1979 work, which consists of dancers and ephemeral counterparts created by projections cast against a black backdrop. Music by Philip Glass adds to the otherworldly effect. (April 21-22)

Ruined,” Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for best drama, finds a stage at Arena. The story centers on the proprietor of a Congolese brothel, which is a safe haven, compared with the civil war raging beyond its front door. (April 22-June 5)

Playwright Michael Hollinger seems to be all over the D.C theater scene, between Washington Stage Guild’s production of his farce “Red Herring” and Olney’s upcoming staging of “Opus” in June. Folger Theatre is getting in on the action with Hollinger’s Cyrano,” adapted from Edmond Rostand’s comedy about the Frenchman with an impressively large schnoz. (April 26-June 5)

It’s hard to escape politics living in Washington. Thankfully, affairs of state can be pretty entertaining. Olney Theatre gives both wonks and theater fans a reason to make the trip to Maryland with Farragut North,” which offers a look at the campaign process with a side of corruption. (April 27-May 22)

Washington-area native Stephanie Merry covers movies and pop culture for the Post.


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