On the evening of Friday, Sept. 7, all over town new works are premiering on well-trodden stages. The diversity of opening night experiences that theater enthusiasts can choose from speaks to the abundance of local productions and talent that we have across the city.
One of those opening nights worth catching is elite Dance & Theatre's totally original production, Mr. Mallard's Magical Menagerie & the Mystery of the Black Swan. This play is engineered by local playwright, thespians, directors, stage managers and technicians at every stage—that's the explicit mission of elite Dance & Theatre—all to create access to “unique storytelling” and “shows that are unparalleled.” This particular show opens on Friday at the North Fourth Arts Center (4904 Fourth Street NW) at 7pm and runs on weekends through Sept. 15. The play—a classic mystery featuring everyone's favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes—lurches into action when character John McFarlane is accused of murder and enlists the help of Holmes and Dr. Watson, too, of course, to prove his innocence. All this intrigue costs $22. Tickets are available online at elitedancetheatre.net and at the door.
If something a little less bloody and a little more saccharine is in your cards for Friday night, Adobe Theater might have your fix. They are premiering Morning's at Seven by Paul Osborn, under the auspices of Director Frederick Ponzlov at 7:30pm. This depiction of the needling travails of life in small town midwestern America in the late '30s has charmed folks since its premiere on Broadway in the '80s. The plot centers around the Gibb sisters, each of whom are in the twilight of their lives. Inspired by a love affair playing out between one of the Gibb sister's sons and young Myrtle Brown, the sisters begin to make changes in their lives, before they reach the end of them. Morning's at Seven will play through Sept. 30. Detailed schedules and tickets (which are $20 for general admission) are available online at adobetheater.org.
Looking for some combination of the two shows above? Something equal parts intrigue and classic flair? The Scarlet Letter at Aux Dog Theatre (3011 Monte Vista Blvd. NE) is a safe bet. We all know the classic tale of puritanical Boston religious-types, the slut-shaming and surprise paternity results, but Aux Dog offers up a visual map of the classic piece of literature. Adapted here by contemporary playwright Phyllis Nagy, the folks at Aux Dog hope that the defiant Hester Prynne might offer up inspiration in the face of persistent patriarchy in the acting world and well beyond, and follow the momentum of the “Time's Up” movement. With that framework—who would want to miss out? Aux Dog's iteration of The Scarlet Letter runs through Sept. 30, with curtains up at 8pm on opening night. Tickets start at $20 for general admission—but opening weekend specials offer viewers two tickets for $22. More information is up online at auxdogtheatre.org.