By Kate Gibbs | December 1, 2016 | Culture
Three local theaters have dreamed up quirky new plays for the holidays.
The Signature Theatre’s Golden Girls-esque Silver Belles is one of three original holiday shows bringing off-beat charm to the DC stage.
DC’s theater scene is rich with Scrooges every holiday season, but this year a handful of venues is foregoing the classics in a bid to come up with some modern holiday favorites.
The Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre premieres an original commission, Silver Belles (November 22 to December 24, Shirlington, 703-820-9771), a musical comedy about a Christmas pageant in disarray. When the longtime director dies unexpectedly, well-intentioned ladies of a certain age band together to put on a show. “Silver Belles is The Golden Girls meets Designing Women wrapped in a fun new holiday musical,” says director Eric Schaeffer.
There’s something about Mary in Laura Gunderson’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (November 23 to December 18, Bethesda, 240-644-1100) at Round House Theatre. The comedy of manners considers the lonely heart of Pride and Prejudice’s most challenging character: Elizabeth Bennet’s bookish and single sister. “It’s the kind of feel-good play you love to see in December,” says artistic director Ryan Rilett—“romantic, whimsical, and perfect for the whole family.”
Three guesses as to the subject of Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men (November 11 to December 18, 202-332-3300) at the ever-provocative Studio Theatre. When three adult sons return to their childhood home to celebrate Christmas with their widowed father, fraternal high-jinks give way to hard conversations about the measure of a man’s success. The truest expression of the seasonal goodwill: A Korean-American woman playwright mines middle-age Caucasian male identity politics for laughs and compassion by the light of an artificial tree.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTOPHER MUELLER