Performing Arts: This Week’s Top Theatre Picks

Gender reversals, murder plots and breakdancing…what a week in theater.
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and . (Photo by Ian C. Armstrong)

The Importance of Being Earnest

The infamous Irish author and playwright was known for his daring wit and colorful personality. His highly acclaimed The Importance of Being Earnest, which tells the story of two English gentlemen living double lives in order to escape social obligations, offered a captivating and fresh perspective for the late 19th century era. The Scena Theatre seeks to keep the “Wildean” spirit alive with the restaging of their successful adaptation of the show. Set in the Roaring 20s, Scena pushes the identity concept further by casting male actors as the strong, female characters and women playing the effeminate, male characters.

The show will run at the H Street Playhouse from July 14 until August 14. You can purchase tickets here.

The Hip-Hop Theater Festival

More than 10 years ago, the founders of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival sought to fill a void in the art world that neglected urban and hip-hop culture. The festival, which merges different elements of hip-hop themed art, was originally started in New York, but has also taken place in the District, California and Chicago. This year’s event is the 10th anniversary festival for the DC area and features a diverse group of work from both veteran and upcoming artists. With eight events in total, the festival includes an “Old School Hip-Hop Jam” and a huge east coast “B-Boy” battle. The party kicks off tonight with MC’s, Mics and Metaphors a showcase of emerging artists from around the country.

The festival runs from July 11 to July 16. For a list of all the events and locations, click here.

Pop!

Explore the mind of the artistic visionary with this new musical that takes place on the day Warhol was shot and critically wounded in 1968. The story is set in the artist’s legendary Factory; though the culprit of the Warhol shooting is well-known today, in Pop! Warhol spends the duration of the show attempting to discover what happened. Was the shooter , a beautiful poster girl who finds herself getting pushed out of the spotlight, Viva, the embittered actress who is fed up with Warhol’s attitude, or the headstrong feminist who will do anything to get her film script produced. All of the women have motive. All of the women have opportunity. The ultimate question is: who was pushed to the limit?

The show will run from July 13 to August 7 at The Studio Theatre. You can purchase tickets here.

stars as Andy Warhol in Pop! at the Yale Repertory Theater. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Annie

This Broadway classic about the fiery, red-headed orphan will be staged at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville, MD. With one of Broadway’s most well-known scores, the musical follows Annie as she wins the heart of the wealthy Oliver Warbucks and escapes the harsh supervision of Ms. Hannigan. The show offers both a somber and inspiring story that can can be enjoyed by the entire family.

The show will run from July 8 through July 24. For more information, please visit their website here. For tickets, please call 240.314.8690.

Oklahoma!

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s all-American musical is full of  dancing cowboys, romance and a whole lot of fun. As the charming Curly McLain vies for the attention of sassy farm girl Laurey Williams, so does the lonely farm hand Jud Fry who is tortured by his unrequited love for her. Simultaneously, the lovestruck cowboy Will chases after boy-crazy Ado who has her eye on another man. After a successful run on the Arena Stage last November, the Mead Center for American Theater will restage the production. The show’s creative director, wanted to bring a modern representation of the American frontier to the classic production that includes a “diverse, cross-cultural” community.

Oklahoma! will run July 8 through Oct. 2. You can get tickets here.

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