October is packed with over 50 local productions opening on DC area stages. In fact, after the month is over, the writers of Maryland Theatre Guide, where I am the Editor and a columnist, will have reviewed over 80 shows, concerts and cabarets.
Starting this month, I am going to name five shows/performances that I am really looking forward to seeing. It's not easy picking 5 shows from this incredible list. I'm sure by the end of the month - I will have seen 20 or more shows. There is so much great theatre to see here, so if you are visiting the DC area, come see a show or two or three.
5 PERSONAL 'MUST SEE' SHOWS FOR OCTOBER 2011
(1) OCTOBER 14TH TO NOVEMBER 5TH, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE AT RESTON, COMMUNITY PLAYERS, IN RESTON, VA.
I love The Drowsy Chaperone. I saw it 8 times on Broadway, and I was so glad when McLean Community Players introduced it to DC area theatregoers this past January with their hilarious production. And now other Community Theatres in DC, VA, and MD are producing it, and I'm sure they will all have a great time performing it.
This cast at Reston Community Players is filled with great actors and singers, and I can't wait to see what they do with this very funny musical. The cast is in great hands with Joshua Redford directing and with Musical Director Mark V. Deal conducting the orchestra.
Here's the amazing cast: Main in Chair (Andrew JM. Regiec), Mrs. Tottendale ( Barbara Wilson), Richard Durkin (Underling), Robert Martin (Danny McKay), George (Mark Hidalgo), Mr. Feldzieg (Buz Gibson), Kitty (Malinda Ellerman), Gangsters (Tomas Huntley & Michael McAdoo), Aldolpho (John Loughney), Janet Van De Graaff (Colleen Arnold), The Drowsy Chaperone (Jen Lambert), Trix (KJ Jacks), and Superintendent (Kevin Gunn). The ensemble is: Blake Green, Amanda Russell, Kevin Gunn, Dean Maldonato, Michael Lynch, and Erica Clements.
"A musical comedy superstar... a forgetful (but adorable) matron... a tap-dancing leading man... and a tipsy (drowsy) chaperone head up this critically acclaimed musical-comedy that pays tribute to the Jazz-age shows of the 1920s. It boldly addresses a great unspoken desire in all of our hearts: to be entertained. The "Man-in-the-Chair," who is a die-hard musical theater fan, plays his favorite cast album for you and speaks directly to the audience as the musical literally bursts to life in his living room. Immerse yourself in the glamorous, hilarious tale of a celebrity bride and her uproarious wedding day. Complete with thrills and surprises, dancing and tons of laughs!" Don't miss it!
(2) OCTOBER 15TH TO NOVEMBER 27TH, GREEK, AT SCENA THEATRE, AT THE STREET PLAYHOUSE, IN WASHINGTON, DC.
The 1998 Scena production was really 'out of sight' and I am thrilled that they are remounting British playwright Steve Berkodff's wacky production of Greek. (of course- it's based on Sophocles' Oedipus Rex - accounting for the very unfunny 'out of sight' pun above). Robert McManara, who returns as director says, "The recent fall of the economy in Greece and the riots in London make GREEK as relevant as ever. It is something that needed to be onstage then and that must be seen now."
"Set in modern-day London, this twisted version of the well-known myth combines Shakespearean grandeur and Cockney rhyming slang to riotous effect. Greek is a modern rags-to-riches story, filled with sarcasm and scatological humor as only the "Bad Boy of British Theatre" can serve up. Join "Eddy" as he voyages beyond the confines of his home in London's East End to his date with destiny. Along the way he encounters love, wealth, and his true identity. Berkoff first conceived of GREEK in 1979, claiming it came to him "via Sophocles, trickling its way down the millennia until it reached the unimaginable wastelands of Tufnell Park." He drew from Oedipus for the central plot, borrowed from his own experiences growing up in East London for the details, and made a political statement about Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister..."
Local actors Nanna Ingvarsson, Eric Lucas, David Bryan Jackson, and Danielle Davy make up the talented cast.