Constellation Theatre Company will celebrate its tenth anniversary season with a wildly successful contemporary musical, a children’s story set on stage and Mary Zimmerman’s reanimation of a classic tale, the Company announced Friday. It will further leaven the season with a four-day showing of the classic Fritz Lang silent film, Metropolis, backed by original music from Tom Teasley.
Following up on their sold out success with Avenue Q, Constellation’s season will begin on August 31 with a production of Urinetown, a hilarious sendup of musical comedy convention disguised in a story about a city in which you have to pay to pee. The musical, which won Tonys in 2002 for best book and best score, has long been absent from DC’s professional stages, but will be performed at least twice this season — in late summer and fall by Constellation and next year by NextStop. Allison Arkell Stockman directs. The run will extend until October 9.
Metropolis, the pioneering 1927 science-fiction show, describes an inter-class love affair in a society so class-riven that poor children are taken on tours to see how rich children live. It is set a hundred years into the future — i.e., eleven years from now. The original score was performed by a large classical orchestra; Teasley, recently named Percussionist of the Year by Drum! Magazine, will accompany. From November 17-21, 2016.
From February 9 to March 12, 2017, Constellation will present Peter and the Starcatcher, the Rick Elice adaptation of the Dave Barry-Ridley Pearson’snovel that tells the Peter Pan story from Peter’s point of view. Christopher Henley, writing about an earlier production, called it “a lot of fun. It’s…genuinely funny, and anytime it felt as if a little something different was needed, that something was provided.” Well-regarded children’s theater director Kathryn Chase Bryer directs.
Finally, from May 4 to June 4 of next year, Constellation will present Mary Zimmerman’s Arabian Nights. Zimmerman’s reconceptualizing of this ancient story “astutely…measure[s] the healing power of storytelling,” DCTS said in this review, which called Zimmerman’s decision to focus not on Scheherezade, the storyteller, but on Shahryer, the made king who hears the stories, “a nervy move, and it pays tremendous dividends.” Stockwell directs, and Teasley provides live music.