Erin Driscoll, Sam Ludwig, Jenna Sokolowski,
and James Gardiner in  [title of show]
(© Chris Mueller)
Erin Driscoll, Sam Ludwig, Jenna Sokolowski,
and James Gardiner in [title of show]
(© Chris Mueller)
Signature Theatre plunges us into the creative process with the area premiere of [title of show] (April 6 - June 27), the hilarious, Obie-winning musical looking at artistic collaboration from Jeff Bowen (music & lyrics) and Hunter Bell (book). In this zany take on musical theater, struggling writers discover the process of writing a musical to be more fascinating than the product they're creating. The only logical course, then, is to write about friends writing about what to write about.

Arena Stage says good-bye to their temporary home at the Lincoln Theatre with Sophisticated Ladies (April 9 - May 30), celebrating the life and music of DC-born Duke Ellington. Maurice Hines stars under Charles Randolph-Wright's direction.

Shakespeare Theatre Company stages a world premiere of the comedy The Liar (April 6 - May 23), originally quilled by seventeenth-century French dramatist Corneille, and now adapted by Broadway playwright David Ives. In it, the handsome Dorante discovers that each lie he tells creates a new set of problems for him. Synetic Theatre is back at the Rosslyn Spectrum for a new look at Kafka's Metamorphosis (April 9 - May 22). Visiting director Derek Goldman stages his own adaptation of the classic tale of a man's descent into madness, with stage movement by company co-founder -- and Helen Hayes winner -- Irina Tsikurishvili, and original music by the company's Konstantine Lortkipanidze. Olney Theatre Center is also spinning the classics into new work with Triumph of Love (April 14 - May 9), a musical comedy based on an 18th century farce by French dramatist Pierre Marivaux.

Theater J is serious this month with In Darfur (April 1-18). Playwright/journalist Winter Miller wrote this harrowing story after witnessing genocide while writing from Sudan and Chad for The New York Times. Studio Theatre has a fascinating two-hander at Stage 4. 60 Miles to Silver Lake (April 14 - May 9) from rising young playwright Dan LeFranc is set entirely in the front seat of a car speeding down a California highway. LeFranc warps time and utilizes expressive dialogue as a father and son deal with repercussions of a painful divorce.

Spain's great playwright García Lorca is also noted for lyrical dialogue, much of it on display in El retablillo de Don Cristóbal/The Farce of Don Cristobal and the Maiden Rosita (April 8 - May 2) at GALA. In Spanish with English surtitles, it's a bawdy farce as aging playboy Don Cristóbal pursues innocent young Rosita. This marionette play has been adapted to a setting in Spain's civil war in the 1930s. African Continuum Theatre takes us back to the 1940s and World War II Harlem for The Old Settler (Atlas Performing Arts Center, April 15 - May 15), John Henry Redwood's study of the fragile bonds between two sisters. In Series presents Searching for Gabriela (April 16-24), a "theatrical evening" about poet Gabriela Mistral at Source Theatre.

There's some familiar work onstage this month: Harvey Fierstein stars as Tevye in the tour of Fiddler on the Roof (April 13 - May 9) at National Theatre; Horton Foote's gentle classic The Trip to Bountiful (April 16 - May 16) is performed by Quotidian Theatre Company at the Bethesda Writer's Center; and Folger Elizabethan Theatre stages Hamlet (April 21 - June 6).

Finally, kids four and up have The Dancing Princesses (April 14 - May 30) to enjoy at Bethesda's Imagination Stage. The new musical re-sets Grimm's fairy tale in America's Roaring Twenties.