1. ‘The Royale’ at 1st Stage.
“This is a must-see production. The strength of the script transcends the boxing world to encompass a world of bigotry and hatred where humans are denied being human, and hard choices have to be made. It’s incandescent.” – Mary Ann Johnson.
Synopsis: Jay “The Sport” Jackson dreams of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, but in the racially segregated world of boxing in 1905, the odds are stacked against him. When a crooked boxing promoter hatches a plan for “the fight of the century,” “The Sport” might land a place in the ring with the reigning white heavyweight champion.
2. ‘Loserville’ by The Fredericktowne Players.
“If you enjoy teen-centric musicals, or if you just want to see something you’ve never seen before, this show is sure to please.” – Johanna Alonso.
Synopsis: It’s 1971. Misfit computer geek, Michael Dork, and his friends are about to change the world. It’s just that no one knows it yet. Michael’s also discovered a girl, Holly, a prospect (almost) as exciting as his love of binary. If only he had the courage to talk to her! Perhaps things haven’t changed that much after all!
3. ‘Silent Sky’ at Ford’s Theatre.
“This show is a graceful confluence of cast, script, direction and staging that brings this incredible story fully to life. This show is an incredible gift to all of us. Go see it–it demands to be seen and shared and reveled in.” – Mary Ann Johnson.
Synopsis: A decade before women gained the right to vote, Henrietta Leavitt and her fellow women “computers” transformed the science of astronomy. In the Harvard Observatory, Leavitt found 2,400 new variable stars and made important discoveries about their fluctuating brightness, enabling fellow scientists to map the Milky Way and beyond. This inspiring drama explores the determination, passion and sacrifice of the women who redefined our understanding of the cosmos.
4. ‘Be Here Now’ at Everyman Theatre.
“Be Here Now’ is an emotional jewel-box.” – Max Garner.
Synopsis: Bari rolls her eyes at yoga classes, doesn’t see the point in dating, and just got fired from teaching nihilism in New York. Now back in her rural hometown, her despair has reached new levels—and so have her recurring headaches. Somehow they are giving her bizarre, almost religious experiences that are making her feel… happy… ecstatic… and in love? They’re also killing her. Now, Bari must decide whether it’s better to live a short, joyful life, or risk a lifetime of depression. From acclaimed playwright, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Be Here Now is a comedic look at what we’re willing to do for love and happiness and to create meaning in our lives.
5. ‘Miss You Like Hell’ at Olney Theatre Center.
“‘Miss You Like Hell’ is a poignant story of a mother and daughter trying to hold on in a world that is full of obstacles. All of us are affected by its message. – Susan Brall.
Synopsis: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning co-creator of In the Heights comes a new musical as big as America and as intimate as love between a mother and her daughter. Beatriz arrives in Philadelphia to convince her estranged 16 year-old daughter Olivia to join her on a road trip to California. Along the way, they encounter a mosaic of characters as diverse and weird as America itself, but the hard truth of Beatriz’s undocumented status and pending deportation to Mexico threatens to build a wall between them. With sharp comedy and a winning acoustic score by folk-rock star Erin McKeown, Miss You Like Hell is an American story for our time.