Sondheim, Baryshnikov to come to the Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Theatre Company will fill out its mainstage 2013-2014 season with a production of the Stephen Sondheim musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and will add two new plays at its Lansburgh location later this year, the Company announced yesterday.

Forum will mark the mainstage directing debut of STC Associate Director Alan Paul. “This musical has a dynamite score and a ton of laughs, and I can’t wait to share the fun with D.C. audiences next fall,” Paul enthuses. “Forum elicits the kind of pure joy that only a classic musical comedy can.”

The musical, based on the writings of Plautus, tells the story of a Roman slave who wins his freedom by helping his master win the love of a courtesan who is pledged to another.

Forum will run from November 21, 2013 to January 5, 2014 at the company’s Sidney Harman Hall at 610 F Street NW. The Importance of Being Earnest, previously scheduled for a run from November 21 to December 29 of this year, will now be slotted to begin in January of 2014 at the Lansburgh Theatre, (450 7th Street NW).

Famed dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov will produce and perform in Man in a Case, a multi-media production which will run from December 5 to 22, 2013 at the Lansburgh. The production is an adaptation of two Anton Chekhov short stories, “Man in a Case” and “About Love” from his collection “The Wife and Other Stories” (to read this collection, go here). In one of these stories, an anti-social man is involved with an aggressively extroverted woman. In the other, a man foregoes his love for a married woman.

“Go expecting the unexpected and you should leave the theater with a little spring in your step,” advises Ken Ross of masslive.com. “Baryshnikov – and good theater – has that kind of effect on people.”

Notwithstanding the involvement of Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, principals of the Big Dance Theater, there is no dancing in Man in a Case.

Finally, the Lansburgh will also be the venue for Mies Julie, a co-production of the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town and the South African State Theatre, during its run from November 9 to 24 of this year.  Adapted and updated from Strindberg’s Miss Julie and set in South Africa eighteen years after the end of apartheid, Mies Julie tells the story of the passionately sexual feelings, all twisted up in race and class, between Julie, the white daughter of the house’s master and John, the black son of one of the servants.

Mies Julie, which originated in the Edinburg Fringe Festival, won this accolade from Lyn Gardner of The Guardian: “[Miss Julie] has never raged quite so fiercely as she does in this searing and fearless new version by Yael Farber…Farber’s production is like the pot that Christine [John’s mother] has on the stove: at first simmering, then boiling over as resentment, memory and the unresolved legacies of the apartheid era bubble to the surface. As the temperature rises, the red soil of the Eastern Cape mingles with blood on the floor. It’s a piece that suggests a nation’s neglected children will wreak havoc.”

For more information or to renew subscriptions, patrons can contact the Shakespeare Theatre Company Box Office by phone at 202.547.1122, option 2. View the complete season aand subscription information here.

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Shakespeare Theatre Company’s previously announced season

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