Between tons of free Shakespeare, The Capital Fringe Festival, and a bunch of exciting one-person shows, there’s something to see nearly every night of the month. It’s a great time to get out of your theatergoing comfort zone and see something entirely unique.
Twisted Melodies—In a collaboration between Mosaic Theatre Company, Baltimore Center Stage, Congo Square Theatre Company, and The Apollo Theatre, Kelvin Roston Jr. is Donny Hathaway in a melodious one-man show. The show centers around soul legend Hathaway’s last day alive as he deals with mental illness. The show runs until July 21.
Bright Colors and Bold Patterns—Actor/comedian Drew Droege (known from everything from his viral impressions of Chloe Sevigny to making appearances on shows like Happy Endings and Bob’s Burgers) wrote this one-man show as part of Studio Theatre’s new summer Showroom performance series. Jeff Hiller plays Gerry, a slightly drunk and bitter gay man about to attend the wedding of his ex and a much younger fiancé in Palm Springs. This biting and thoughtful romp is directed by Broadway darling Michael Urie. This performance runs July 9-28.
Hamlet—Apparently, like Beyonce, Michael Urie can do more in 24 hours than us mortals, because besides directing the aforementioned show, he’s also reprising his turn as Hamlet at Shakespeare Theatre Company. In the city’s most beloved theatrical summer tradition, Free for All, audiences can get a seat at this critically acclaimed production from last season for free through the theater’s online lottery or a ticket line. The second round of this show runs July 10-21.
The Band’s Visit—This Tony- and Grammy-winning show comes to The Kennedy Center. The musical tells the story of an Egyptian police band that gets stranded in an Israeli town, where new friends bond over the music they share. Israeli actor Sasson Gabay leads the cast in the role he originated in the film and on Broadway. The Band’s Visit appears July 9-August 4.
Capital Fringe Festival—Another beloved summer theater tradition in the District is this festival full of unique, one-of-a-kind, very limited run performances all over the city. It’s a great way to not only be introduced to your new favorite local performers but also to experience theater in unconventional spaces all over D.C. Performances begin July 5 and run through the 28.
America The Game Show—Ever wished you could play beer pong with a dead president? Kooky performance art and comedy group Astro Pop is back at The Gala Hispanic Theatre for an audience participation live game show with a raunchy and raucous twist on American history. For those who are stage shy, audience members have the option at the start of the show to opt out of being involved and can just sit back and enjoy the show. Perfect for fans of Drunk History, and like getting legally drunk, this show is only 21+. Catch this offbeat event July 19-20.
Joe Coleman: No Boundaries—The next show in Signature Theatre’s Summer Cabaret series features The Platters’ lead singer serenading audiences with the group’s hits like “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “Only You,” plus some of his personal favorite songs. Coleman will also weave in personal stories from his lauded music career at the show July 18-August 4.
Bootleg Shakespeare: Richard III—Taffety Punk Theatre Company returns to The Folger Shakespeare Theatre with another theatrical experiment. In Bootleg Shakespeare, actors appear on stage when the lights go down with only their lines memorized, and literally nothing else finished. This free production runs on July 27.