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November 13, 2002


by Gregory Gorton

It has been an exciting year with many ambitious projects and several outstanding showcases for the talented Equity actors of the Washington, Baltimore, and Northern Virginia locales. Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia was once again in the forefront of artistic endeavor with two productions that ran through the summer. What The Butler Saw featured Conrad Feininger, Tony Gudell, Deanna Harris, and Kevin Reese, and was stage managed by Shawn Dean. Later in the season, audiences were treated to The Diaries with an outstanding cast that included Edward Gero and native Washingtonian Julia Coffey. P.J. Paparelli directed and Lauren T. Hyland was the production stage manager.

Traveling further north, Everyman Theatre presented Side Man with Kyle Prue, Deborah Hazlett, Rosemary Knower, Stephen Schmidt, Nigel Reed, Brad Thoennes, and Doug Brown. Amanda Hall was the Equity stage manager. Kyle Prue barely had time to catch his breath before starting in on Taking Sides, also at Everyman. Joining him were the talents of Megan Anderson, Stan Weiman, and the wonderful Stephen Cupo.

Back inside the Beltway, The Kennedy Center's Theatre Lab presented their series, Programs For Children and Families. Gregg Henry directed the production of Dreams In the Golden Country with Equity actors Laura Ginnarelli, Terence Aselford, Lee Miksea Gardner, Rana Kay, Michael Laurino, Jeremy Goldman and stage manager Elizabeth Wiesner.

After being dark for the better part of the summer and early Fall for renovations, Ford's Theatre will once again present the holiday favorite, Dickens' A Christmas Carol The Yuletide cast includes Jim Beard, Christopher Bloch, David Covington, Sue Juden, Brandi Burre, Katherine Rice and John Leslie Wolf.

With a variation on the holiday theme, Metrostage is producing The Crummell's Christmas Carol. The Equity cast features Katherine Flye, Michael Tolaydo and the ageless June Hanson, who is celebrating sixty years in the theatre. Further in town, Studio Theatre is winding up a very successful run of Privates on Parade, with J. Fred Schiffman, John Cohn, Will Gartshore, David Jackson, and the redoubtable Floyd King. Flying in next will be Bat Boy featuring Buzz Mauro and The Shape of Things with Holly Twyford.

Theatre J is presenting The Last Seder and its talented cast includes Tricia McCauley, Kerry Rambow, Carla Briscoe, Sarah Winkler, Bill Hamlin and Susan Rome. They have also received terrific reviews for the production of Death and the Maiden. MAIDEN's cast includes area favorites Paula Grusciewitz, John Lescault, and Mitchell Hebert.

Arena Stage is presenting Moliere's The Misanthrope, directed by Penny Metropulos from a translation by Ranjit Bolt. The terrific cast includes local Equity actors Morgan Duncan, Naomi Jacobson, Ian LaValley, Lawrence Redmund, and Barbara Rollins.

Director Tazewell Thompson is bringing August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom to Arena with Equity performers Timmy Ray Jones, Hugh Nees, Kasha Tari and Fred Strothers.

After extensive repairs to their storm-damaged roof, Olney Theatre hasn't missed a beat and is presenting an exciting production of The Secret Garden, directed by Jack Going with musical direction by Chris Youstra. Jack and Chris have assembled a wonderful cast that includes Stephen Schmidt, Peggy Yates, Dan Felton, Christopher Flint, Joe Peck, Harry Winter, Mary Payne and Joanne Schmall. Nika Graham is the Equity stage manager. Closing this past weekend at Olney was a critically acclaimed presentation of Driving Miss Daisy, with Keith N. Johnson, David Marks, and the always wonderful Halo Wines. The show is directed by Thomas W. Jones III.

Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland, is doing George F. Walker's, Love and Anger. Daniel De Raey is directing with a cast that includes Marty Lodge, Michael L. Forrest, Sarah Marshall, Nancy Robinette, Thembi Duncan and Jerry Whiddon.

As you can see, this is an exciting time for Washington theatre and an excellent time for anyone planning to visit the Nation's Capitol to include in their plans an evening of outstanding and exciting theatre.

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