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Love and Lust! Shakespeare Goes Gay, Spring Awakens Anew and More Cross-Country Highlights

Love and Lust! Shakespeare Goes Gay, Spring Awakens Anew and More Cross-Country Highlights
Meredith Holzman & Ashlie Atkinson in 'January Joiner,' Priscilla Lopez in 'Somewhere,' Alyse Alan
Louis & Matthew Kacergis in 'Spring Awakening,' David Darlow & a scene from 'Shakespeare’s R&J'
Shakespeare gets twisted—twice!—in this week's Countrywide Guide.

Broadway.com knows what makes New York City theater tick, but what about the rest of the country? We’ve scoured the nation for the best theater offerings in your neck of the woods and come up with five can't-miss shows. From Shakespeare to Spring Awakening, these are the productions you’ve got to check out this week!


ARLINGTON, VA
Romeo Falls For Romeo
Love, lust, violence and betrayal: They're all part of Signature Theatre’s new production of Shakespeare's R&J, Joe Calarco's acclaimed 1998 re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet. Set in an all-male Catholic boarding school and starring a cast of four men, R&J is a gutsy retelling of the classic tragedy that reveals its universal themes. If you prefer a little more Romeo and a lot less Juliet, catch this show (directed by Calarco) through March 3.


OLNEY, MD
Maryland Has an Awakening

Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Tony-winning score is back in Olney Theatre Center's new productio of Spring Awakening, directed by Steve Cosson of the imaginative off-Broadway troupe The Civilians. This angsty Awakening, running from February 7 through March 10, is led by Alyse Alan Louis (a former Sophie in Broadway’s Mamma Mia!) as Wendla and newcomers Parker Drown as Moritz and Matthew Kacergis as Melchior. See it so you won't be "Left Behind"!


MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
Priscilla Lopez Moves Somewhere Out West
The clock is ticking to check out Somewhere, TheatreWorks' regional premiere of a musical starring Tony winner Priscilla Lopez (A Chorus Line, In the Heights) and written by her nephew Matthew Lopez. With a dance-heavy score, Somewhere tells the story of a Puerto Rican family of starry-eyed performers determined to make it in entertainment. You’ll tap your toes at director Giovanna Sardelli’s production, which closes at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts on February 10.


CHICAGO
Caesar Goes to Washington 
Shakespeare gets another modern makeover in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s new production of Julius Caesar, set in contemporary “Rome, D.C.” The Bard’s famous story of shady dealings and political assassination is reinvigorated in Jonathan Munby’s fresh take on the tale. The thriller (which has notably more men in pinstripe suits than most Shakespearean plays) runs through March 24 at the Courtyard Theater. Will President Obama fly home to see it?


NEW HAVEN, CT
Fitness Has Never Been So Funny
Billed as a “weight loss horror comedy,” Laura Jacqmin’s January Joiner will make you think twice about that New Year’s resolution you may or may not have already abandoned. Eric Ting directs the production, which ends its hilarious run at the Long Wharf Theatre on February 10. By the end of the show, you may find yourself with a new appreciation for the gym—and sexy men in yoga pants.

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