Herndon, VA’s NextStop Theatre Company will be presenting musicals, serious drama, and seriously dramatic musicals for its 2017-2018 season.
NextStop starts its season earlier than most companies, with a July 20, 2017 opening for the Rodgers and Hammerstein revue, A Grand Night for Singing. The New York Times’ Stephen Holden called it “a smooth two-hour entertainment” in which “the songs flow together in a sequence that treats them as lighthearted extensions of one another.” The NextStop production, which will run through August 20, will feature Karen Vincent.
NextUp at NextStop will be Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-winning Disgraced, in which an assimilated Muslim lawyer, on the verge of being named partner, is suddenly called to account for a brief contact with an imam suspected of terrorism and finds all his gains at risk. In reviewing Arena’s 2016 production, DCTS’ Roy Maurer observed that, “[t]he 90-minute one act asks tough questions, presents thorny dilemmas, uncorks usually well-kept prejudices and provokes an intellectual and emotional reaction from viewers… the theme of cross-cultural identity, and especially what it’s like to be Muslim or perceived as Muslim in the West after 9/11 is engaging, vital and acutely now.” From September 7 to October 1 of this year.
Starting October 9, NextStop will be producing Stephen Sondheim’s classic Assassins, a musical about, well, Presidential assassins and attempted Presidential assassins, from John Wilkes Booth to John Hinkley. “Mr. [John] Weidman’s hallucinatory book, which finds the killers mixing it up as they encourage one another to grab that brass ring as it whizzes past, may be the sharpest-edged ever written for a Sondheim show,” the New York Times’ Charles Isherwood writes, “but it is Mr. Sondheim’s score that continues to beguile, astonish, unsettle.” To November 12, 2017.
Then, to watch our Presidents under somewhat less stressful circumstances, NextStop will start off the new year with 45 Plays for 45 Presidents, two-minute vignettes on each of our Chief Executives. (Presumptively Grover Cleveland, who was both our 22nd and our 24th President, will get four minutes). Onstage blog.com’s Angelica Potter called 45 Plays “unique and very funny”. January 11 to February 4, 2018.
NextStop will usher next year’s Easter season with a production of the Stephen Schwartz smash Godspell, based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. Godspell ran over 2,000 productions on and off Broadway and cemented Schwartz’s reputation as a Broadway-quality composer. From March 1 to April 1 of next year.
The company will close its season with a play about the ultimate fake news story, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Miller originally wrote this story, about a gaggle of teenage girls who launched a string of hangings through false witchcraft accusations, with the McCarthy investigations in the background, but it may have resonance during a period in which a former Secretary of State is rumored on the internet to run a crime ring out of the back of a pizza parlor. From May 17 to June 10, 2018.