Now On Stage

The Curtain Is Rising To Reveal A Theater Season Filled With Top Performances

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After Bernstein, ABBA fans get Mamma Mia!—again. (Dec. 20–21). Then The Addams Family, based on Charles Addams’ brilliant cartoons, turns conventional romance on its head (Jan. 17–18) leading to … Chicago, with its surreptitious humanitarian content slyly packaged in (cynical?) musical comedy (Feb. 14–16).

Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins really did jam together—once. Million Dollar Quartet (March 28–29) recreates that session for the musical stage. One must ask, “Merely ONE million?”

At their home in the Wells Theatre, Virginia Stage Company ambitiously begins its 35th Season, and marks the 100th year of the Wells, with a stage adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, (one of) The Great American Novel(s) (Sept. 20–Oct. 6).

Hard on Gatsby’s heels comes The Woman in Black, which VSC touts as a “total immersion experience” in terror (Oct. 25–Nov. 10). (Online plot summaries are larded with phrases like “dreadful secret” and “terrible cost;” dense fog and an isolated mansion figure heavily.)

We all know how A Christmas Carol ends, but each annual VSC staging varies enough from the previous year to make it fresh (Dec. 6–22).

Honky Tonk Angels, a three-character, country western, live band concert musical, swings VSC back to the USA, romping through 30 classic C&W tunes, (Jan. 24–Feb. 9).

A different view of the American South informs The Mountaintop, an imagined conversation in Martin Luther King’s Memphis motel room in the final hours of April 3, 1968 (Feb. 28–March 6).

The VSC Season closes with Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, an eroto-romantic comedy, a soul and body-baring look at the progression that transforms lust into love— maybe (April 4–20).

Barely 2 years old, Lyric Opera Virginia has a peripatetic season. Hampton’s American Theatre, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art near the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the Kimball Terrace Theatre in Williamsburg and the University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts all play host to LOV’s varied programs of “World Class Artists in Intimate Spaces.”

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