By Mark Edelman
It’s February now, and that means Valentine’s Day is approaching. Besides flowers, candy and dinner, how about giving that special someone the gift of theater?
You can hold hands at one of these great productions, live, on regional stages.
“LAS HERMANAS PALACIOS” Gala Hispanic Theatre, Thursday through February 25
In “The Palacios Sisters,” Cuban siblings navigate Miami’s treacherous landscape circa 1985 in this freeform adaptation of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.” Clinging to memories of their homeland, the sisters survive in this poignant tale of longing, resilience and the unbreakable bonds of family. In Spanish with English subtitles.
“THE SENSATIONAL SEA MINK-ETTES” Woolly Mammoth, Sunday through March 3
High school performance team, Sensational Sea Mink-ettes, are days away from their homecoming halftime show and the pressure is on. The student body, the administration, the alumni, their families — everyone is expecting perfection. As the big day inches closer, the women must contend with flaring tempers, bodies pushed to their limits and what it means to be a team.
“PRIVATE JONES” Signature Theatre, February 6 through March 10
“Private Jones” is inspired by the true story of a deaf Welshman who hides his hearing loss and fakes his way through enlistment and becomes a celebrated World War I sniper. In its world premiere, this unexpectedly funny and gripping musical adventure is about service, friendship and the cost of war.
“LEND ME A SOPRANO!” Olney Theatre, February 7 through March 10
After he gave up his day job lawyering at Steptoe and Johnson, Washington, D.C.’s own Ken Ludwig wrote a slew of funny plays. For this new one, he swaps genders from his first Broadway hit “Lend Me A Tenor” to follow world-famous Italian soprano Elena Firenzi and her penchant for men and liquor. When Firenzi comes to town for a gala performance to save the opera, it falls to a lowly assistant to keep her on schedule and out of trouble. As expected, trouble ensues.
“ANNIE” Little Theatre of Alexandria, February 10 through March 2
See a local production of this Broadway classic and discover tomorrow’s stars-to-be right here in Alexandria. Our very own award-winning theater company takes on the comic strip turned musical theater favorite.
“AIN’T TOO PROUD” Kennedy Center, February 13 through 18
Get the inside scoop on the celebrated Temptations, whose career had as many hits as heartaches. “My Girl,” “Get Ready” and the eponymous track are just three of more than thirty songs that made R&B history.
“WHERE WE BELONG” Folger Theatre, February 15 through March 10
In 2015, Mohegan writer/ actor Madeline Sayet traveled to England, where she found a country unwilling to acknowledge its ongoing role in colonialism. In this solo piece – originally co-produced in 2021 by the Folger and Woolly Mammoth – Sayet echoes a journey to England braved by her Native ancestors in the 1700s following treaty betrayals. It forces us to consider what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world in the face of Brexit – Britain’s formal exit from the European Union – and isolationism.
“DESPERATE MEASURES” Constellation Theatre, February 15 through March 17
A gun-slinging nun teams up with a shrewd sheriff and salty salon dancer to save her bad boy brother from certain death in this Wild West musical version of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.”
“ROMEO & JULIET” Synetic Theater, February 16 through March 24
In fair Verona, two young lovers find themselves in the middle of a violent family feud. Reimagined as only Synetic can, Shakespeare’s tale of love and tragedy finds meaning in an unforgettable, wordless production.
“TEMPESTUOUS ELEMENTS” Arena Stage, February 16 through March 17
Born into slavery in North Carolina, Anna Julia Cooper was a visionary Black feminist and educator in the late 19th-and early 20th-centuries and only the fourth African American woman to earn a doctoral degree. Arena Stage shines a light on Cooper’s efforts to keep Black education alive despite racism, gossip and sexism that threatened to consign her to obscurity.
“THE LEHMAN TRILOGY” Shakespeare Theatre Company, February 22 through March 24
This brilliant new play introduces the three immigrant Lehman brothers who build an American dream that crumbles into a chaotic nightmare for future generations. Covering 160 years of family struggles, achievements and missteps, this cautionary tale examines the double-edged sword of capitalism and personal choices that created the largest financial crisis in American history.
The writer is a playwright who loves writing about theater. He is a lifetime member of the Broadway League and a Tony voter.