By Jenna Milliner-Waddell | September 10, 2015 | Culture
We tell you what shows to watch and where to eat beforehand during this year's Women's Voices Theater Festival.
Arena Stage is one of the many theaters showcasing this year's Women's Voices Theater Festival's productions.
This fall, Arena Stage joins six major DC theaters (Ford's, Round, Signature, Studio, Woolly Mammoth, and Shakespeare Theatre Company) and over 50 other participating theaters in the DC area to present the inaugural Women's Voices Theater Festival (through November 22). The theaters will present a world premiere production by one of more female playwrights and, below, we round up the ones that excite us more. Plus: where to eat and who to attend the show with.
Destiny of Desire at Arena Stage (Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St., SW, 202-554-9066)
What: Two girls are switched at birth in Mexico by a power-hungry former beauty queen, and grow up living opposite lives. One experiences privilege while the other suffers through poverty, but two misfortunes lead to a remarkable destiny. Playwright Karen Zacarías and director José Luis Valenzuela use music, drama, and passion to bring this comedic telenovela—winner of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award—to life.
Who Should See It: Telenovela lovers looking for a comedy.
When: September 11 to October 18
Where to Eat First: Located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Muze (1330 Maryland Ave. SW, 202-787-6148) offers international Asian-inspired dishes, an extensive wine list, and waterfront views. Catching more than one show at this local performing arts venue? Try a new spot before each performance—the neighborhood is full of options with pre-theater specials, including Station 4 (1101 4th St. SW, 202-488-0987; enjoy a 10% discount), Osteria Morini (301 Water St. SE, 202-484-0660; enjoy a complimentary glass of wine), and Masala Art (1101 4th St. SW, 202-554-1101; half off a bottle of wine, three-course prix fixe dinner.)
Queens Girl in the World at Theater J (1529 16th St. NW, 202-518-9400)
What: In this one-woman show, 12-year-old Jacqueline Marie Butler is plucked from her familiar surroundings in 1960s Queens, New York, and forced into a predominately Jewish school in Greenwich Village. Follow Jacqueline as she discovers a new city and a new world. Eleanor Holdridge directs this semi-autobiographical world premiere from Caleen Sinnette Jennings.
Who Should See It: Women of all ages.
When: September 16 to October 11
Where to Eat First: Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier (2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-296-1166). Indulge in a three-course pre-theater menu at one of the District’s most highly acclaimed restaurants. Guests can choose from steak, seafood, and pasta options for the first two courses and can end the night with a rich dessert. Pick from a wide selection of Belgian beers to pair with any combination. Can't get a reservation? Try the more casual pre-theater menu at Hank's Oyster Bar (1624 Q St. NW, 202-462-4265).
The October Issue at Washington Improv Theater (1835 14th St. NW, 202-204-7770)
What: An all female cast brings to life the articles, interviews, photo shoots, horoscopes, and advice columns of traditional women’s magazines. Directed by Jaci Pulice, this improvised show promises to keep it real and Photoshop free.
Who Should See It: Anyone who has ever read a women’s magazine.
When: September 17 to October 10
Where to Eat First: Treat your self at the District’s only five-star restaurant, Plume (1200 16th St. NW, 202-448-2300). Located at the Jefferson Hotel, the menu reflects the harvest from Thomas Jefferson’s kitchen gardens at Monticello. For a less formal night out, hop over to the patio at Barcelona (1622 14th St. NW, 202-588-5500) and enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired meal.
No Spring Chicken at Nextstop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Dr., Herndon, 703-481-5930)
What: Playwright Gina Hoben presents a one-woman comedy about infertility, pregnancy, and motherhood at 40.
Who Should See It: You mother, your sister, your (adult) daughter, and all your girlfriends.
When: September 24 to October 11
Where to Eat First: Begin your night at PassionFish (Reston Town Center, 11960 Democracy Dr., Reston, 703-230-3474) for the ultimate fresh seafood experience. Enjoy a raw bar, a sushi chef, and caviar service set in a contemporary nautical setting. For a quick and casual alternative, check out Bar Taco (2021 Town Square St., Reston, 703-787-8226) and enjoy tasty Mexican fare and a long list of tequila options.
Trish Tinkler Gets Saved at Unexpected Stage Company Randolph Road Theater (4010 Randolph Rd., Silver Spring, 301-337-8290)
What: After a series of mishaps, Trish Tinkler is left in aisle seven of an Eat ‘n’ Save with two dollars in her pocket on her 40th birthday. When a higher power appears to Trish promising to give her the secret to getting everything she wants in life she camps out to wait for the answer. Playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger presents this comedic tale about finding a home in the most unexpected place.
Who Should See It: Mature audiences only.
When: October 8 to October 18
Where to Eat First: Check out the prix fixe menu at Medium Rare (515 8th St. SE. 202-601-7136)—it won’t be hard to decide on a dish with only one option on the dinner menu, their award-winning culotte steak and hand cut fries. Looking for something less meaty? Head to Agua 301 (301 Water St. SE, 202-484-0301) for modern Mexican cuisine at Yards Park.
Clover at Pallas Theatre Collective (1231 Good Hope Rd. SE, 301-909-8497)
What: The audience is transported to 19th century Washington, DC, where historic socialite Clover Adams lives an exciting life of dinner parties and portrait sitting sessions. The loss of her father and trouble in her marriage change an older Clover as she deals with her family’s dark forces. Writers Laura Rocklyn and Ty Hallmark join forces to create this trip down memory lane.
Who Should See It: District dwellers and admirers alike.
When: October 8 to October 31
Where to Eat First: Enjoy a seasonal menu at Seasons 52 (11414 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, 301-984-5252), with fall favorites like caramelized Brussels sprouts and Asian-glazed Chilean sea bass. Pair the perfect vino from their master Sommelier hand-selected wine list. Summer House Santa Monica (11825 Grand Park Ave, North Bethesda, 301-881-2381) is another nearby option, boasting a laidback, California beach house feel with something on the menu for everyone.
The Magic Tree at The Keegan Theatre (1742 Church St. NW, 703-892-0202)
What: A connection blossoms between a boy who wants to belong and a girl who wants to be forgotten on a stormy night in Dublin. The potential for something great is there, but the evening takes an unexpected turn. Writer Ursula Rani Sarma brings tragedy, comedy, and mystery all to one stage in this play directed by Matthew Keenan and Colin Smith.
Who Should See It: Date night worthy.
When: October 10 to November 13
Where to Eat First: Urbana’s (Hotel Palomar DC, 2121 P St. NW, 202-956-6650) art deco décor puts you right in 1920s New York. Their version of Italian food is more modern. Whether you decide on pasta or pizza, savor the fresh herbs and vegetables used from their rooftop garden.
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