Theater J's production runs in conjunction with Arena Stage's Arthur Miller Festival. Arena has the classic Death of a Salesman (March 14-May 18) -- with Rick Fouchex in the challenging of role of Willy Loman, constantly haunted by missed opportunities and a troubled past -- playing in repertory with A View from the Bridge (March 21-May 18), which examines the promise and failure of the American Dream through Brooklyn longshoreman Eddie Carbone, played by Delaney Williams of The Wire fame.
Not to be outdone, Signature Theatre kicks off its four-month Kander & Ebb Celebration on March 11, focusing on the great Broadway songwriting team (and Signature supporters) John Kander and the late Fred Ebb. First up is Kiss of the Spider Woman (March 11-April 20), starring Will Chase, Natascia Diaz, and Hunter Foster. Two men -- a window dresser and a socialist rebel -- are forced to share a jail cell in Argentina and find comfort in the other's company as the line between reality and fantasy blurs. Signature is also presenting Karen Akers in her new cabaret show First You Dream: The Songs of Kander & Ebb (March 11-16) in the intimate ARK.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents August Wilson's 20th Century (March 4-April 6), staged readings of the playwright's complete ten-play cycle with costumes, lighting, and scenery in the Terrace Theater. Each work is set in a different decade in the 1900's, chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th century. A company of more than 30 actors, led by Louis Gossett, Jr., perform the works (with nearly all of them playing multiple roles).
Fans of the late, great novelist Kurt Vonnegut won't want to miss a rare staging of his riotous comedy/fantasy Happy Birthday, Wanda June (Theatre II of the Gunston Arts Center, March 7-29) by American Century Theater. Vonnegut's first play, it satirizes the Hemingway-hero role model. Solas Nua opens playwright Marina Carr's "modern epic" Portia Coughlan (March 13-April 6) at the H Street Playhouse. Haunted by the death of her twin brother Gabriel, Portia traverses the Irish landscape in search of the "missing part of herself."
There are two world premieres for DC audiences this month. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has David Adjmi's Stunning (March 10-April 6). 16-year-old Lily knows nothing beyond the Syrian-Jewish community in Brooklyn where she lives with her much older husband. Soon, an unlikely relationship with her enigmatic African-American maid opens Lily's world to new possibilities. And Keegan Theatre has Last Days of the Killone Players (Arlington's Theatre on the Run, March 6-April 5) from their very own Eric Lucas. In a dying town in west Ireland, an amateur theatre group comes together for the first read of their final production.
For another look "backstage," there's Landless Theatre Company's DC area premiere of the recent off-Broadway hit, Gutenberg! The Musical (DC Arts Center, March 13-April 6). Aspiring playwrights Bud and Doug perform a backers' audition for their new project, a musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg.
We hear there are three ways a "sistah" can get a husband: love him, live with him, or leave him. That's according to Je'Caryous Johnson's new romantic comedy, Three Ways to Get a Husband (March 11-16). Billy Dee Williams stars in the touring show at the Warner Theatre. Check out a different view of mating rituals in Bad Dates (March 19-April 20). Olney Theatre Center has Teresa Rebeck's one-woman comedy about a divorced single mom who moves to New York and reenters the dating scene.
And local fave Floyd King ends the month by starring in The History Boys (March 26-May 4) at Studio Theatre. Alan Bennett's 2006 Tony Award winner for Best Play is sharply funny and touching as it takes us to a British boys school, where two teachers become rivals for the minds and hearts of eight unruly students.
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