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Boston’s theater scene sizzles this season


Ballet and opera, modern dance and Pulitzer prize-winning drama – oh, and “Hamilton,” – the winter is cold, the theater scene is hot. Here is the best of the best from August Wilson to Alma Mahler.

“Preludes,” Jan. 6 – Feb. 5, Lyric Stage

Sergei Rachmaninoff has released a flop in his Symphony No. 1 in D minor. Now the virtuoso pianist has writer’s block. Thankfully fantasy and fever dreams come together with some inspiration from Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Tchaikovsky in Dave Malloy’s remix of Rachmaninoff. If you don’t know Malloy, Russian music and musicals are his wheelhouse – see the magic of “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.”

“Look Who’s Coming to Dinner,” Jan. 14 & 15, Plimpton Shattuck Black Box

Stefanie Batten Bland’s dance company uses the 1967 film of a similar name as a starting point to explore who gets a seat at the table. Seven dancers/artists use movement and music to delve into complex social, political, and racial relationships.

“Hamilton,” Jan. 17 – Mar 12, Opera House

People still haven’t seen “Hamilton.” It’s been so popular that all the tours and shows aren’t enough. Hopefully its return changes that for many people because it’s the one-in-a-hundred musical that exceeds the hype.

“Made in China 2.0,” Feb. 1 – Feb. 12, Jackie Liebergott Black Box

Theater fans know Wang Chong as one of Beijing’s brightest and boldest directors. With “Made in China 2.0,” he uses his life and career in global theater to explore the stereotypes about and expectations of his home.

“Seven Guitars,” Feb. 8 – March 6, Hibernian Hall

The Actors’ Shakespeare Project and director Maurice Emmanuel Parent take on one of August Wilson’s (many) masterpieces. At the close of 1948, six friends come together to mourn and fete a blues guitarist. Humor, faith, oppression and music power this edition of Wilson’s amazing Century Cycle series.

“Fairview,” Feb. 17 – March 11, Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

Booze, bickering, hijinx. Grandma’s birthday at the Frasier household is something to witness. Jackie Sibblies Drury’s 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning “Fairview” has the writer examining everything from race to power, genre to the meaning of theater.

“Alma,” Feb. 23 – March 26, Central Square Theater

Alma and daughter Angel once wished for a few simple things: good health, carne asada, and perfect SAT scores. But now 17, Angel’s wishes have changed in this smart, tender and funny play that wonders who can take part in the American Dream, and what does that even mean.

“Don Quixote,” March 16-26, Opera House

You loved “The Nutcracker.” You’ll love “Don Quixote.” It has the same epic sweep, grand romance, elaborate costumes and some of the most complex and astounding choreography in classical ballet.

“Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs,” March 22-26, The Terminal at Flynn Cruiseport Boston

The Boston Lyric Opera considers Bluebeard from two angles. Béla Bartók’s one-act opera “Bluebeard’s Castle” has the title character wondering if he can escape his bloody past. Alma Mahler’s “Four Songs” examines the Bluebeard fairytale from his wife Judith’s persecution. When paired, the works ask can love conquer all?



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