A roundup of some of this week’s theatrical news and notes from Capital Fringe Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Kennedy Center, The Welders, Molotov Theatre, DC Hip-Hop Festival, Wolf Trap, and National Theatre.
A Fringe Deal You Won’t Want to Miss
The DC theater community is eagerly anticipating the 10th Annual Capital Fringe Festival, which takes place from July 9-26, but folks can celebrate the festival’s first decade a little early.
On Friday, June 19, Capital Fringe is holding a free Double Digit Music Bash at the Logan Fringe Arts Space (1358 Florida Ave. NE) beginning at 6 p.m.
Not only can you hear great music from local acts such as Cigarbox Planetarium, Time Is Fire, The CooLots, plus Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang, but a special one-day-only deal for Fringe tickets will be sold.
The deal is two tickets, two Buttons and $10 at the bar (a $54 value) for only $30. All tickets must be purchased in person. All details here.
New Second City Production Premieres at Woolly Mammoth
Famed Chicago comedy troupe Second City will present Let Them Eat Chaos, a show conceived for the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, from July 7 to Aug. 2. This will be the company’s sixth visiting production at the theatre.
“The Second City is a true kindred spirit to Woolly; they’re socially aware yet irreverent, loose and fun but committed to excellence,” Justin McCarthy, Woolly’s communications coordinator, says. “They’re both the gut-busting kind of funny and the makes-you-think kind of funny, which is a rare thing.”
Let Them Eat Chaos combines the best of The Second City’s recent material plus brand-new sketches and improvs reflecting the zaniness of the world we live in today. Topics explored include the chaos of national and world politics, the conundrums of contemporary lifestyles, virtual reality, workplace nightmares, dating, and more.
“Audiences can expect topical jokes, catchy songs, and the kind of comedy that makes you feel less alone in this crazy modern world of ours,” McCarthy says.
Improv fans will enjoy Friday night performances (July 24 and July 31) as it will feature a freshly improvised 3rd act, adding approximately 30 minutes to the total runtime. Details and tickets
The Second City will also offer improv classes at Woolly throughout the run, taught by the cast of Let Them Eat Chaos: Improv for Beginners on July 15-17, and Improv for Actors on July 22-24. To register for the classes, visit woollymammoth.net/improv-classes.
New Artistic Director for The Welders
The Welders, Washington’s only playwrights’ collective devoted exclusively to developing and producing new work, has named Renee Calarco as its new artistic director. She will lead the company through late 2015.
Calarco succeeds Bob Bartlett, who served as the company’s artistic director during the development and production of his own critically acclaimed play happiness (and other reasons to die), and Caleen Sinnette Jennings, author of Not Enuf Lifetimes.
In her time as artistic director, Calarco will develop and present a workshop production of her new play, The Museum of the Unforeseen, which is scheduled to be presented in November.
“This piece is kind of a departure for me,” Calarco says. “It’s a bit experimental, will probably involve some devising, and will most likely be refined with suggestions from our audiences. And there will be an accompanying museum exhibit. My fellow Welders are so amazingly supportive of this piece. I’m indebted to their generosity and willingness to dive into this project with me.” More on The Welders.
Bright Star Coming to the Kennedy Center
Bright Star, a new musical written by Grammy and Emmy winner Steve Martin and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell, will play a limited engagement at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater this winter ahead of an anticipated spring 2016 Broadway bow.
The story is a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. It follows successful literary editor Alice Murphy who meets an ambitious young soldier just home from World War II, and their connection inspires Alice to confront her past. Together they discover a stunning secret with the power to transform their lives.
Directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie, Bright Star will begin performances on December 2, with an official opening night of December 17, and play through January 10. Details and tickets.
Molotov Theatre Group Brings the Horror to Fringe
The Molotov Theatre Group will stage Jennifer Haley’s Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom as part of the Capital Fringe Festival. The horror show, directed by David Dieudonne, will also run 7:30 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, July 9-Aug. 9 at the DC Arts Center (2438 18th St, NW).
The play looks at a psychologically addictive video game that emulates players’ actual neighborhoods as the on-screen environment. Moving from one level to the next means destroying armies of zombies.
Hip Hop Festival Returns to DC
The 15th Annual DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival will run from July 6-12 at various venues throughout D.C.
The much-anticipated event will feature a collection of hip-hop panels, interactive workshops, classes, exhibitions, and of course, a slue of performances.
“Diggin’ DC excavates and displays rare gems of the city’s cultural history, while ‘loosening the soil’ for the seeds of tomorrow’s cultural communities,” says Baye StraightFoward Harrell, co-curator of the DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival.
Festival regulars, the DC Loves Dilla, will return for its 10th year with a performance at the Howard Theater on July 10, and the “Youth Hip-Hop Theatre Showcase” will be presented at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.
Also on tap is the 10th anniversary performance of the one-woman show from Anu Yadav called Capers, a youth summit, a play development summit, and “The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance” from award-winning dancer and choreographer Raphael Xavier at Dance Place on July 10 and 11.
For a complete schedule, visit hi-artsnyc.org.
Million Dollar Quartet Coming to Wolf Trap
Million Dollar Quartet, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical directed by Signature Theatre’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer, will play five performances at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, June 26-28, with 2 p.m. performances on Saturday and Sunday and 8 p.m. all three nights.
The musical is based on the true story of the first-and-only gathering of musical legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis, who joined forces at Sun Records recording studio in Memphis, Tenn., one cold December day in 1956, and created an impromptu recording that will forever live on in musical history. Newspapers termed this gathering, “the million dollar quartet.”
The show features music from all four rock stars, including tunes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” and “Hound Dog.”
The show stars Gabe Bowling? as Carl Perkins, Colte Julian as Jerry Lee Lewis, Scott Moreau as Johnny Cash and Jacob Rowley as Elvis Presley. Details and tickets.
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella to Make DC Debut at National Theatre
This fall, the 2013 Tony Award-winning musical, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, will make its Washington-area debut at the National Theatre for a limited engagement, November 18-29.
The musical, from the creators of South Pacific and The Sound of Music, takes a fresh take at the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess. Filled with romance and comedy, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella combines the story’s classic elements—glass slippers, pumpkins, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists.
Cinderella has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is directed by Mark Brokaw and choreographed by Josh Rhodes.
Tickets for Cinderella will go on sale Monday, June 22, and start at $48, plus applicable service charges. For more information, call 202-628-6161 or visit thenationaldc.org.