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James Van Der Beek Gets a Gift, Good People Go to Philly and More Cross-Country Highlights

James Van Der Beek Gets a Gift, Good People Go to Philly and More Cross-Country Highlights
Denise Whelan & Julie Czarnecki in 'Good People,' Jaime Ray Newman & James Van Der Beek in 'The Gift,'
scene from 'Fanny and Alexander,' playwright Marisa Wegrzyn and James Newcomb in 'Measure for Measure'
'Measure for Measure,' 'Good People,' and 'The Gift' top our Countrywide Guide this week.

Broadway is buzzing with the start of the spring season, and so are theater companies across the country! In this installment of's Countrywide Guide, we shine the spotlight on notable offerings from coast to coast, including the L.A. stage debut of Dawson Leery (uh... James Van Der Beek), a Shakespearean turn by Jeffrey Carlson and more. 

James Van Der Beek & Kathy Baker Match Wits
TV favorite James Van Der Beek returns to his theatrical roots in the American premiere of Joanna Murray-Smith's The Gift, co-starring Kathy Baker, Chris Mulkey and Jaime Ray Newman. Described as a cross between God of Carnage and Art, this surprise-packed drama centers on two couples who survive a tragedy while on vacation in the Caribbean. Hurry to the Geffen Playhouse to see Tony nominee Maria Aitken's production, which closes March 10.

Stewardesses Serve Up Laughs and Drama
Mud Blue Sky isn't Harold and Maude, but it does center on the unlikely friendship between a teenage boy and a cynical middle-aged flight attendant. Set in a hotel room over the course of a single night, this moving new drama by up-and-coming playwright Marisa Wegrzyn, directed by Susanna Gellert, makes its world premiere at Baltimore’s Centerstage Theatre, running March 6 through April 14.

Jeffrey Carlson Gets Bawdy in a Shakespeare Classic

Taboo star Jeffrey Carlson takes on one of Shakespeare’s most notorious and bawdy clowns, Lucio, in the Goodman Theatre's staging of Measure for Measure. Directed by Tony winner Robert Falls, this drama about religious fervor, sexuality, government and hypocrisy also stars Alejandra Escalante as Isabella, James Newcomb as the Duke and Jay Whittaker as Angelo. Measure for Measure runs March 9 through April 14.

The City of Brotherly Love Welcomes Some Good People

Philadelphia gets a taste of South Boston thanks to the Philly premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s acclaimed dramedy Good People. Julie Czarnecki plays Margie (the role that earned Frances McDormand a Tony), a Southie mom who asks for help from a successful old flame who made it out of the neighborhood. Good People begins performances on March 12 and runs through April 28 at Walnut Street Theatre.

Fanny and Alexander Make the Leap from Film to Stage

Stockholm’s Royal Dramatic Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of Fanny and Alexander, a lush stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-winning saga about two children who live under the tyrannical rule of their evil stepfather. The fantastical drama, directed by Stefan Larsson, is performed in Swedish with English subtitles. The special engagement is part of the Kennedy Center’s Nordic Cool 2013 festivities and runs March 7 through 9.

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