Performing Arts: This Week’s Top Theatre Picks

by Editorial

Experience rock anthems and social commentary with this week’s picks
By Candice Norwood

Pictured left to right: Kimberly Gilbert, Cody Nickell, Dawn Ursula, Jefferson A. Russell, Michael Glenn and Mitchell Hébert (Photo by Stan Barouh)

Clybourne Park

The subject of gentrification continues to be a controversial issue that raises questions regarding race and social class. Playwright and actor Bruce Norris explores this concept in his Pulitzer Prize and Helen Hayes Award winning play, Clybourne Park. 50 years separate the play’s two acts, both of which take place in the ficticious Chicago neighborhood of Clybourne Park.

Tensions rise among a middle-class, white community during the first act as a black family prepares to move into the neighborhood. Flash to 2009 where Clybourne Park has become an all-black neighborhood that is now gentrifying. This provocative production questions whether our society has truly evolved as far as we think.

The show will run from July 21 through August 14 at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Get your tickets here.

The Cherry Orchard

Presented by the Quotidian Theatre Company, The Cherry Orchard is the classic and final play by Anton Chekhov. It follows an upper class family during major societal changes taking place in 20th century Russia. The family is plagued by debt and must soon auction off their large estate. New industrial developments, the liberation of Russia’s class of serfs and personal experiences from Chekhov’s life drive the storyline behind the production.

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With a mixture of comedic and dramatic scenes, Chekhov’s work explores romance, class struggles and nostalgia.

The show will run through Aug. 7 at the Writer’s Center. You can get tickets here.

The US Tour Cast of Rock of Ages (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Rock of Ages

With retro costumes, wild hairdos and the sounds of Bon Jovi, Rock of Ages is a show for the ultimate rocker. The Tony-nominated musical takes place in LA where city boy Drew and small town Sherrie come to chase their dreams of making it big on the Sunset Strip and ultimately find love. This production stays true to the genre with former American Idol rocker, Constantine Maroulis, starring as Drew for the show’s US Tour. Featuring songs from a number of big-name groups such as Styx and Journey, fans can come pay homage to all the an era of music that truly rocks.

The show runs until July 24 at the National Theatre. Tickets are limited; get them here.

The Shrewing of the Tamed

Shakespeare’s continuously debated play The Taming of the Shrew is turned upside down in this feminist adaptation of the classic. The show’s writer, Francesca Chilcote stated on the play’s website that she hopes to “grapple” with issues that have entertained as well as angered audiences for many years. The original details the very old fashioned courtship between Katerina and Petruchio, however, in this adaption Chilcote intends to “explore perception versus reality and public versus private.

The production seeks to answer questions such as “Where is the disconnect between who Kate really is, and who she is pretending to be?” and  “How did this ‘tamed shrew,’ act when she and Petruchio were out of the public eye?”

The show is part of the Capital Fringe Festival and runs until July 24. Get your tickets here.

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