Kristine Nielsen (left) and Eliza Huberth in Theresa Rebeck’s “The Way of the World” at Folger Theatre. (Teresa Wood/Teresa Wood)

The weekly feature of what's happening on Washington stages.

New Women's Voices Theater Festival entries include Theresa Rebeck's "The Way of the World" at Folger Theatre and Timberlake Wertenbaker's "Jefferson's Garden" at Ford's Theatre. At the Kennedy Center, the American economy is a devouring haunted house in Stephen Karam's 2016 Tony winner "The Humans," led by Richard Thomas and Pamela Reed.

READ MORE: Women's Voices 2.0 arrives during #MeToo

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PREVIEWING

"4,380 Nights." A drama by D.C.'s Annalisa Dias about a prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay; part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival. Through Feb. 18 at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Shirlington. Tickets $40-$89. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.

"The Consul, The Tramp, and America's Sweetheart." A new comedy by John Morogiello about the German government trying to suppress Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator." This is the debut show from the comedy-oriented Best Medicine Rep in Gaithersburg, where even the address sounds funny ("second floor near Sears"). Through Feb. 10 at Best Medicine Rep, Lakeforest Mall, Gaithersburg. Tickets $25. Visit bestmedicinerep.org.

"Hamlet." Michael Urie plays the fretful prince in Michael Kahn's new production. Through March 4 at Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Tickets $44-$118. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.

READ MORE: Michael Urie on playing Hamlet

"Imogen." An adaptation of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" with shadow puppets by the D.C.'s progressive puppet troupe Pointless Theatre; part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival. Through Feb. 11 at The Dance Loft on 14, 4618 14th St. NW. Tickets $30. Visit pointlesstheatre.com.

"In Search of My Father: Walkin' Talkin Bill Hawkins." W. Allen Taylor's solo show about searching for his father, Cleveland's first black disc jockey. Jan. 24-Feb. 10 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets $20-$35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlas.org.

"Jefferson's Garden." The U.S. premiere from playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker ("Our Country's Good") about a Quaker who joins Jefferson to fight and falls in love with a slave. Through Feb. 11 at Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets $25-$62. Call 888-616-0270 or visit fords.org.


British playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker on stage at Ford's Theatre, where her drama “Jefferson’s Garden” makes its U.S. debut as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

"Love Is a Blue Tick Hound." Four one-acts by Audrey Cefaly ("Maytag Virgin," "The Gulf"), presented by Baltimore's Rapid Lemon Productions; part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival. In Baltimore this month, and coming to D.C. in February. Through Jan. 21 at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., Baltimore. Tickets $20. Call 410-752-8558 or visit theatreproject.org. February 9-17 at the Trinidad Theatre, Logan Fringe Arts Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets $25. Call 866-811-4111 or visit capitalfringe.org.

"See Rock City." The second play in a trilogy from Arlene Hutton, following last season's fetching "Last Train to Nibroc." Through Feb. 11 at Washington Stage Guild, Undercroft Theatre in the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Tickets $50-$ 60. Call 202-582-0050 or visit stageguild.org.

"Skeleton Crew." Dominique Morisseau's blue collar Detroit drama, staged at Studio Theatre last fall, is produced by Baltimore Center Stage as part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival. Through March 4 at Baltimore Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets $20-$64. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.

"Sovereignty." A world premiere from Cherokee writer (and lawyer) Mary Kathryn Nagle about broken treaties, sweeping from the 1830s to today; part of Arena Stage's 10-year Power Plays initiative and the Women's Voices Theater Festival. Through Feb. 18 at Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW. Tickets $40-$111, subject to change. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.

"This Is All Just Temporary." Convergence Theatre presents a new play by D.C. writer Olivia Haller about a young woman moving back home with her family and caring for her autistic brother; part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival. Through Feb. 10 at the Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE Tickets $18. Visit convergencetheatre.org.


Christie Prades and company in “On Your Feet!” (Matthew Murphy/Matthew Murphy)

"The Trial." The movement-driven Synetic Theatre adapts Franz Kafka's novel. Through Feb. 18 at Synetic Theater, 1800 S. Bell St., Arlington. Tickets $35-$60. Call 866-811-4111 or visit synetictheater.org.

"Unnecessary Farce." A sting operation to catch a corrupt mayor; the widely produced comedy is by Paul Slade Smith. Through Feb. 10 at Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets $35-45. Call 202-265-3767 or visit keegantheatre.com.

"Waxing West." A play about an immigrant's arranged marriage by Romanian-born Saviana Stanescu, with the Ceausecus lurking in the background. Presented by 4615 Theatre Company; part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival. Through Feb. 10 at The Highwood Theatre, 914 Silver Spring Ave., Silver Spring. Tickets $16.50. Call 301-928-2738 or visit 4615theatre.com.

"The Wolves." Sarah DeLappe's play (her first) of teenage girls on an indoor soccer team was a Pulitzer Prize finalist last year; part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival. Through March 4 at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. Tickets $52-$85, subject to change. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

CONTINUING

"45 Plays for 45 Presidents." "A largely spoofing, occasionally serious, sometimes capricious chronological overview of the men (all played by women) who have held the country's highest office. If you are amused by the idea of seeing James Garfield's career portrayed as a balletic silent movie, or the disputed 1876 election depicted as an actual boxing match, or if you need an irreverent refresher on the life of Millard Fillmore, this may be for you." (Celia Wren) Read the review Through Feb. 4 at Next Stop Theatre, 269 Sunset Park Dr., Herndon. Tickets $20-$55. Call 866-811-4111 or visit nextstoptheatre.org.

"Everything Is Illuminated." "A sort of cobbled-together book report for the stage. Fans of Jonathan Safran Foer's 2002 bestseller about a young American writer's quest to find his grandfather's Holocaust savior will doubtless forgive some of the choppier aspects of Simon Block's version, as it strives to integrate the pieces of a binary narrative. The surfeit of literary devices employed here — as in having the characters in Jonathan's novel-in-progress speaking directly to him — diffuse rather than help to focus the power of the evening's emotional arc." (Peter Marks) Read the review Through Feb. 4 at Theater J, in the Edlavitch D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets $37-$64. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.

READ MORE: Adapting Foer for the stage

"Guilt." Scena Theatre presents Australian writer John Shand's drama of a philandering priest suspected of casting spells on women. Through Feb. 4 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets $15-$45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit scenatheatre.org.


Richard Thomas, Pamela Reed, Daisy Eagan, Luis Vega and Therese Plaehn in “The Humans.” (Julieta Cervantes/Julieta Cervantes)

"The Humans." "Immaculately acted: Stephen Karam's wry, wise and deeply moving drama about a Pennsylvania family and the disappointments hovering over their Thanksgiving dinner in a Lower Manhattan apartment. What distinguishes this work, which ran for nearly a year on Broadway and won the 2016 best-play Tony Award, is the exquisiteness of the portraiture, the unerring accuracy of the humor and even the beautifully thought-out choreography of the characters moving about set designer David Zinn's cavernous duplex apartment." (Peter Marks) Read the review Through Jan. 28 in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets $49-$139. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

READ MORE: Stephen Karam: "I thought if one day I had a Broadway debut, it would be 20 years from now"

"On Your Feet!" "Gloria Estefan and husband Emilio and their group, Miami Sound Machine, have made some terrific music together. 'Dr. Beat,' 'Don't Want to Lose You,' 'Live for Loving You' are among the 26 songs that fill the hall. As a result, the pop-tune-packed show, slickly directed by Jerry Mitchell — and featuring exceptionally well-matched Christie Prades as Gloria and Mauricio Martinez as Emilio — exudes exhilarating amounts of Estefan-inspired passion, joy and that old-school, crowd-pleasing ingredient: pizazz." Read the review Through Jan. 28 at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets $59-$149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

READ MORE: Gloria Estefan: "I don't like being the center of attention"

"Rabbit Summer." "The relentlessly upbeat Wilson is at peace with his job as a police officer. But when his wife Ruby's friend Claire comes to stay, shortly after losing her husband to a white cop's gunfire, the trio grapple with warring ideas about police brutality, systemic racism and gun violence. Bold and thoughtful but often workmanlike, 'Rabbit Summer' is billed as a tragicomedy — fitting, given the somber themes and plot twists that complicate the banter and wry situations." (Celia Wren) Read the review Through Jan. 28 at Joe's Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mount Rainier. Tickets $25. Visit allytheatrecompany.com.


Erika Rose in “Queens Girl in Africa.” (Stan Barouh/Stan Barouh)

"Queens Girl in Africa." "The wide-eyed lens of a black American youth is fascinating once again in Caleen Sinnette Jennings's bouncy 1960s memoir, and it's another fine showcase for the solo performer who impersonates the family, friends and boyfriends who captivate and confound Jackie. Erika Rose picks up in this Mosaic Theater Company production where actress Dawn Ursula left off in the 2015 'Queens Girl in the World' at Theater J. She narrates with spunk, and she's a whiz at voicing males and female roles in her U.S. family's internationally populated slice of Nigeria." (Nelson Pressley) Read the review Through Feb. 4 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets $20-$65. Call 202-399-7993 or visit mosaictheater.org.

READ MORE: Caleen Sinnette Jennings recalls her teen years in 1960s Nigeria

"The Skin of Our Teeth." "A harder play to reanimate than Thornton Wilder's similarly simple-yet-cosmic 'Our Town.' Constellation Theatre's production is a straight-up serving of the famously twisted show about the across-the-eons Antrobus family. 'I don't understand a word of this play,' housekeeper Sabina gripes to us. Tonya Beckman, whose performance deepens appreciably by the show's darkening end, peevishly gives us these asides but then regroups as Sabina, carrying on. That, says Wilder, is what we do." (Nelson Pressley) Read the review Through Feb. 11 at Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets $25-$55. Call 202-204-7741 or visit constellationtheatre.org.

"The Very Last Days of the First Colored Circus." A revised version of the show presented by Restoration Stage earlier this year, a new play with music chronicling the challenges faced by African American circus performers in 1920s La Plata, Md. Through Jan. 28, 2018 at the Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Pl. SE. Tickets are $45-55. Call 202-714-0646 or visit restorationstage.biz.

"The Way of the World." "In this unripe transplanting of 'The Way of the World' to Long Island's over-pampered East End, the material doesn't reveal much of anything about the rich and shallow we haven't heard elsewhere — with more devastating bite. Theresa Rebeck, the prolific playwright who shepherded the Broadway-centric 'Smash' to television, writes amusingly well about modern problems. But most of the easy jokes in this new 'Way of the World' come across as stale." (Peter Marks) Read the review Through Feb. 11 at Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets $35-$79. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

READ MORE: Showbiz vet Theresa Rebeck brings her modernized comedy to the Folger

CLOSING

"Curve of Departure." "The occasion is the funeral of an old man named Rudy's universally loathed son Cyrus. Rudy shares the hotel room with his daughter-in-law, Linda, who was abandoned by Cyrus but affectionately tends to Rudy as dementia bedevils him. Linda's grown son Felix will also be sharing the room. So will Felix's boyfriend, Jackson. Rachel Bonds meticulously crafts her 85-minute slice of life in one long, unbroken scene (with a coda) that is impeccably designed and played." (Nelson Pressley) Read the review Through Jan. 20 at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. Tickets $52-$90. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

ETC.

Tonya Beckman and Lilian Oben in “The Skin of Our Teeth.” (Daniel Schwartz/Daniel Schwartz)

The Capitol Steps. The longtime political satirists, tearing laughs from the headlines. Fridays and Saturdays in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center Amphitheater, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets $40.50. Call 202-397-7328 or visit www.capsteps.com.

"Here." A one-night-only two-person musical improv with Tara DiFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto. Jan. 19 at Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave., Bethesda, Tickets $15. Visit eventbrite.com.

READ MORE:

Washington's Best of 2017

2017 Favorites from Peter Marks

The SpongeBobbing of Broadway, where plays are Frozen out

'Not In Our House' fights abuse in theaters and takes root in D.C.

A dozen actors to watch

NEW YORK NOTES:

The $20 million "SpongeBob" musical

Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower," with Amy Schumer

"The Band's Visit" is Broadway's best new musical

Springsteen on Broadway

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