Top 5 shows of the week

November 7 – 14, 2021

1. “Disney Beauty and the Beast” on the main stage of the Olney Theater

“The production of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ by the Olney Theater Center is transformative.” – Susan Brall

READ the review.

Synopsis: It’s a tale as old as time, but it gets a new look from Tony-nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge (one of the professional directors featured on the Disney + Bis), who wowed Olney audiences with his production of Once. Our biggest show of the year brings the whole family together for a magical and memorable musical about the redemptive power of love. Join Belle, Lumière, Cogsworth, and the rest of the gang in Cursed Beast Castle for an escape to a world where beauty is more than skin and luckily is just a rose petal.

Jade Jones (Belle) and Evan Ruggiero (The Beast), “Beauty and the Beast” at the Olney Theater Center
Photo by Teresa Castracane Photography

2. “Disgraced” at the Peace Mountain Theater Company

“Disgraced” teaches without preaching. His characters are windows on society and on ourselves. This production is top notch in all respects. – Susan Brall

READ the review.

Synopsis: This gripping contemporary drama, first produced in 2013, explores the many issues surrounding identity, discrimination and the costs of success. Among his many awards are the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the 2013 Obie Prize for Dramatic Writing and a Tony Award nomination for Best Play in 2015. Business lawyer Amir Kapoor lives a wonderful life; he is happy, in love with his wife and about to land the biggest promotion of his career. But when he briefly helps his nephew in a case defending a Muslim man, the carefully crafted image of Amir, his career and personal life slowly begins to crumble. The play is a tense and gripping story that raises probing questions about the opposing tensions between cultural heritage and assimilation.

Emily Joyce (Emily) and Omar LaTiri (Amir) in “Disgraced” at the Peace Mountain Theater Company.
Photo by Ira Levine.

3. “RENT” at the Signature Theater

“… sensational new staging … soaring.”Charlotte selton

READ the review.


The Bohemian life ! The sheer rush of adrenaline, passion, energy and joy of the iconic rock musical is boldly and immersively reinvented in Signature style for a triumphant reopening.

At the turn of the millennium, a group of bohemians from New York’s East Village struggles with gentrification, love, loss and inheritance amidst the HIV/ AIDS crisis. Through songs such as “Seasons of Love”, “One Song Glory”, “I’ll Cover You”, “Out Tonight” and more, they embrace hope, find strength and survive.

Tony Award® and Pulitzer Prize winner, Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking phenomenon defined a generation in redefining American musical comedy and has never been more essential in today’s world.

The cast of RENT at the Signature Theater. Photo by Christophe Muelle

4. “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” at Toby’s Dinner Show

“‘Irving Berlin’s White Christmas’ is another Toby’s triumph.” – Dr Mark Dreisonstok

READ the review.

Synopsis: Based on the beloved and timeless film! Two World War II veterans with successful song-and-dance numbers follow a duo of singing sisters-in-law to their Christmas show at a rural Vermont lodge owned by their former commander. They are planning a fun Christmas extravaganza to help fill the hostel! Seventeen Irving Berlin songs such as: “Blue Sky”, “How Deep Is the Ocean” and “White Christmas” make this a family musical worthy of becoming a holiday tradition!

The cast of “White Christmas”. Photo credit: Jeri Tidwell Photography.

5. “Elf, the Musical” at The Newtowne Players

“Faison’s character work for Buddy was amazing… a good dose of Christmas cheer in advance…”Lindsey Pommerenck

READ the review.

Synopsis: Buddy, a young orphan, slips by mistake into Santa’s gift bag and is transported to the North Pole. The so-called elf is brought up, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities force him to face the truth. Courtesy of Santa Claus, Buddy sets out on a trip to New York City to reunite with his biological father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his dad is on the villain list and his stepbrother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York City remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day holiday classic is sure to get everyone to embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way to spread the joy of Christmas is to sing it out loud so everyone can hear it.

Buddy (Kenneth Faison) and Jovie (Kellie Podsednik) enjoy a first date together. Photo by Chris Maulden.

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