After the champagne corks have been popped, winter is in full swing. Luckily, there are many reasons to head indoors in January. See the musical farce “La Cage aux Folles” at the Kennedy Center, meditate on Mark Rothko at Arena Stage and catch a centuries-old celebration of girl power at Folger Theatre.
First up, Studio Theatre presents “Time Stands Still” by Pulitzer winner Donald Margulies. This incarnation of the Tony-nominated play stars Holly Twyford as Sarah Goodwin, a photojournalist recovering from wounds she suffered in Iraq. But for all of her worldly adventures, the action takes place within the cozy confines of the Brooklyn apartment she shares with her boyfriend, when an old friend — and his much younger fling — come to visit. (Jan. 4-Feb. 12)
In Theater J’s premiere of Renee Calarco’s “The Religion Thing,” local talents Will Gartshore and Kimberly Gilbert play a couple forced to unexpectedly examine their relationship after a friend finds Jesus. (Jan. 4-29)
Washington Stage Guild mounts the premiere of Alex Webb’s romantic drama “Amelia.” The Civil War odyssey follows a couple divided by battles raging from Pennsylvania to Georgia, taking the characters to the infamous Andersonville Prison, where thousands of Union soldiers met untimely ends. (Jan. 5-29)
Scena Theatre stages Henrik Ibsen’s once-controversial play “Hedda Gabler” about a she-devil (some might argue), whose boring life and marriage get an infusion of drama when her husband’s professional rival enters the picture. (Jan. 7-29)
Local Commedia dell’Arte troupe Faction of Fools tries its hand at “Romeo and Juliet” with a high-energy, 60-minute adaptation of Shakespeare’s famed tragedy.
The meet-the-parents rigmarole gets hilariously complicated in this musical revival of “La Cage aux Folles,” the French farce that spawned the movie “The Birdcage.” George Hamilton stars as Georges, the gay owner of a St. Tropez drag club, whose son proposes to the daughter of an ultraconservative couple. (Jan. 17-Feb. 12)
In “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” a lifelong friendship hangs in the balance when Proteus and Valentine fall for the same girl. Former Shakespeare Theatre Company associate director PJ Paparelli returns to direct this version of the Bard’s beloved romantic comedy. (Jan. 17-March 4)
Mariinsky Ballet , the famed company from St. Petersburg, presents “Les Saisons Russes,” featuring three pieces, including the fairy-tale world of “The Firebird,” set to a score by Igor Stravinsky. (Jan. 17-22)
After portraying Scrooge at Ford’s Theatre, Edward Gero is heading to Arena Stage to tackle the role of another haunted character, although this one is slightly more nuanced. In the multiple Tony-winning play “Red,” the local actor will play troubled painter Mark Rothko as he struggles — in more ways than one — to complete a series of large-scale works slated to hang in a posh commercial space, the Four Seasons restaurant in New York. (Jan. 20-March 4)
Before Liz Lemon on “30 Rock,” there was Lucas Brickman, the fictionalized alter ego of playwright Neil Simon, who offers insights into the writer’s room of a comedy series. Colin Smith, who directed last year’s “Fool for Love,” helms Keegan Theatre’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.” (Jan. 21-Feb. 18)
As newspapers and magazines report on the waning popularity of marriage, it might be a particularly appropriate time to see Folger’s next show, “The Gaming Table.” Based on Susanna Centlivre’s 18th-century play “The Basset Table,” the story looks at a couple of female cousins who would rather avoid marriage and continue with their card playing and scientific experiments. (Jan. 24-March 4)