LuPone, Patinkin, Cole Porter and ‘Moby Dick’
When you have a large performing arts community, as we are fortunate to have in Washington, diversity—and connections— make themselves felt during the course of a season.
To begin with, there’s “Moby-Dick,” Captain Ahab’s hunt for the great white whale, Herman Melville’s great American novel that has often seemed almost operatic in its themes and symbolism. And so it is as the Washington National Opera brings us Jake Heggie’s opera “Moby-Dick.” With Carl Tanner as Captain Ahab, evocative, powerful sets by Robert Brill and directed by Leonard Foglia, it’s the East Coast premiere of a production commissioned by the Dallas Opera Company. Evan Rogister conducts. At the Kennedy Center’s Opera House, February 22, 25, 28, and March 2, 5 and 8. American theater and music legends Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone—aka Che Guevera and Evita Peron—reunite since their spectacular co-starring stint in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s 1980 rock opera, Evita. Both Patinkin and LuPone have had spectacular Broadway careers buttressed by appearances in television and films. Patinkin has had three hit television series, including “Chicago Hope” (doctor), “Criminal Minds” (FBI profiler) and “Homeland” (CIA spy). “An Evening with Patti Lapone and Mandy Patinkin” is at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater, February 18-23. The theatrical and musical programing company, In Series, presents “The Cole Porter Project: It’s All Right With Me,” at the Source Theatre. The revue celebrates the words and music of the American master, February 22-March 9.
And there’s rock and roll on the horizon. The national tour of “American Idiot,” featuring the music of Green Day, with music and lyrics by lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, comes to town next week. The show—a musical about the search for meaning in a post 9/11 world by three boyhood friends—runs at the National Theatre, February 18-23.
And, as they say, now for something entirely different....but then we’re talking about Woolly Mammoth Theatre, where different is a matter of course. This time it’s a play called, “We are Proud to Present...” (Full title: “We are Pround to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the GermanSudwestAfrika, Between the Years 1884- 1915).
The play by Jackie Sibblies Drury is about a company of idealistic actors, three black and three white—who try to tell the story of a centuries-old conflict in South West Africa, the extinction of the small Herero tribe at the hands of German colonizers. The story follows the actors and how their own feelings about race in contemporary times affects their work and the play they’re producing. Directed by Michael John Garcés (who helmed “The Convert” at the Woolly Mammoth last year). “We are Proud….” runs through March 9