Arts Focus: The Arlington theater scene

This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington has one of our region’s most vibrant theater scenes. The next several weeks offer a number of opportunities to step-out and enjoy a wide range of theater offerings right here in Arlington!

Chalice Theatre: The Pirates of Penzance

Now through March 18 | Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington | Barcroft

No matter if you are the Very Model of a Modern Major General or simply a Poor Wand’ring One in search of some quality entertainment, this production offers fun and foolishness for audiences of all ages, along with gorgeous music and memorable banter.

Avant Bard: Julius Caesar
Now through April 1 | Gunston Theatre II | Long Branch Creek

Join Avant Bard as they explore Kathleen Akerley’s modernization of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar with an ensemble of seven actors. Witness a dismantling of the classic story that asks what determines historical outcomes: the ambition and speeches of a few or the shifting personalities and demands of the citizenry? Video and contemporary text will place this question squarely in post-2016 America.

Synetic Theater: Beauty and the Beast
Now through April 2 | Synetic Theater | National Landing

Synetic Theater’s Beauty and the Beast draws on the darkness and sensuality of the original French novel, La Belle et la Bête, and the 1946 Cocteau film of the same name. Told through the vengeful narration of a handsome Prince’s first love, Synetic’s dark and mystical take on the fairy tale explores and challenges the dynamics of love and power as it asks the question, “who is worthy of true love?”

Signature Theatre:

Pacific Overtures
Now through April 9 | Signature Theatre |Shirlington

A stunning exploration of tradition and transformation based on historical events.

In 1853, after 200 years of stability, Japan faces an American expedition determined to open the “floating kingdom” to trade. The isolationist island’s reckoning with the unwelcome western influence is brilliantly illuminated through a kaleidoscope of stories about sailors, samurai, “someone in a tree” and two friends who choose radically different paths. This innovative epic of East meets West is one of Sondheim’s most ambitious and rarely produced musicals.

Selling Kabul

Now through April 9 | Signature Theatre |Shirlington

A suspenseful drama about family and sacrifice from an exciting new voice.

In 2013, a sister secretly shelters her translator brother from an increasingly powerful Taliban while he awaits the ever-delayed arrival of a promised American visa. On the eve of his son’s birth, the walls begin to close in, threatening him, her and everyone they love in a heart-racing exposé with devastating echoes to the present day. Breathtaking and unpredictable through the final curtain, this unflinching exploration exposes the human toll of American withdrawal.

For more information about these and other theater presentations, as well as dance, music and the visual arts, visit ArlingtonArts.org.