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DC Metro Spotlight: June 2010

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Laurence Fishburne in Thurgood
(© Carol Rosegg)
Tony and Emmy winner -- and Oscar nominee -- Laurence Fishburne brings his critically-acclaimed look at the life of civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall to the Kennedy Center. Thurgood (June 1-20), written by George Stevens, Jr. and directed by Leonard Foglia, is the compelling story of how Marshall rose from humble Baltimore beginnings to becoming the first African American justice on the Supreme Court. In the Kennedy Center's Family Theater, Synetic Theatre presents its non-verbal take on one of Shakespeare's most poignant tragedies, Othello (June 3 - July 3), using their unique fusion of music and movement.

Tony Award winner and Shakespeare Theatre Company favorite Elizabeth Ashley stars in the title role of one of George Bernard Shaw's best -- and originally banned -- plays, Mrs. Warren's Profession (June 8 - July 11). In it, the idealistic, young Vivie is shocked to discover that her family's fortune comes from brothels. Shaw asks whether Mrs. Warren's profession represents moral failure or female accomplishment.

Lypsinka is back with a different take on female accomplishment, starring in a new adaptation of James Kirkwood's Legends! (June 16 - July 4) at Studio Theatre. We've seen Lypsinka (a.k.a. John Epperson) at Studio in a variety of roles, including the formidable Joan Crawford, over the years. Now Lypsinka is ready for the tale of two aging divas desperately trying to revive their fading careers. James Lecesne joins Lypsinka for this glitzy comedy.

Busy Keegan Theatre takes us to both an amateur theater in Dublin and a small Irish village with their June twin spin. A Man of No Importance (June 12 - July 11) is a musical from Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens, and Stephen Flaherty, the team which created Ragtime. A Dublin bus conductor and fan of Oscar Wilde wants his church theater group to stage Salome, despite objections from church authorities. The struggle forces him to confront his own sexuality. And Keegan's New Island Project has the American premiere of There Are Little Kingdoms (June 15 - July 7), described as "an Irish Our Town, which brings to life an Irish village full of secrets that everybody knows." Both are at DC's Church Street Theater. You can stay in Ireland, theatrically speaking, with Solas Nua's American premiere of johnny meister + the stitch (June 24 - July 17), at Flashpoint in DC. Rosemary Jenkins' play is a dark and funny portrait of two rough young men from the backstreets of Belfast.

Olney Theatre Center delves into science and faith with the area premiere of Trumpery (June 9 - July 4). It examines Charles Darwin's ethical dilemma over the decision to publish his theory on natural selection, knowing it will put him at odds with religion. 1st Stage ends its sophomore season with George F. Walker's Suburban Motel (June 11 - July 3), two one-act comedies set in a seedy motel, and part of the playwright's six-play cycle that introduces bizarre characters determined to survive, but without the capacity to think their way out of trouble.

Theater Alliance takes up residence in DC's H Street Playhouse for Gretty Good Time (June 3 - July 3). Set in 1955, it shows us a young woman with post polio paralysis, and her friend Hideko, a Hiroshima survivor, as they travel the globe of fantasy in search of peace. At Capitol Hill Arts Workshop is dog & pony dc's Courage (June 2 - June 26), which features original music from John Milosich and promises to "renovate" Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children. GALA takes us backstage for the world premiere of El Bola ~ Cuba's King of Song (June 3 - June 27) by Cuban playwright Héctor Quintero. This musical follows the antics surrounding the staging of a musical revue about legendary Cuban singer Ignacio Jacinto Villa. Known as Bola de Nieve (Snowball), he became famous in the 1940s and was unusual for being a gay supporter of Castro.

Finally, the Source Theatre brings back its Source Festival (June 12 - July 3) for a third year, with the 2010 version staging 25 new works organizers hope will launch new careers, as well as their First Annual Talent Show.

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