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Kennedy Center will give ‘Carnival!’ a ride

Season also includes 'Light in Piazza,' 'Phantom'

A new production of the 1961 circus musical “Carnival!” will be staged next year as part of the Kennedy Center season, which also will include tour stops of Broadway hits “Twelve Angry Men,” “The Light in the Piazza” and “The Phantom of the Opera,” as well as D.C. dates for the “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” revival starring Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin.

Robert Longbottom will direct Bob Merrill and Michael Stewart’s tuner “Carnival!” slated for the Eisenhower Theater in February. Kennedy Center prexy Michael Kaiser also said during a press conference to unveil the upcoming season that Christine Baranski and Brian Stokes Mitchell will reprise their roles in the concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd,” first seen here five years ago during the center’s Sondheim Festival.

Kaiser disclosed details of a mammoth D.C.-area Shakespeare festival next year, to include participation of some 30 international theater orgs. Shakespeare Theater a.d. Michael Kahn will curate the event, running January through June.

The center’s contribution to the festival will be the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of “Coriolanus” along with productions by the Kirov Ballet and Opera, the National Symphony Orchestra and New York City Ballet, among others. Even the offbeat Woolly Mammoth Theater Company will join in with David Greenspan’s “She Stoops to Comedy.”

Kaiser also unveiled a partnership with D.C.’s innovative Synetic Theater for an open-ended residency relationship beginning next season. Move marks the first time the center has invited a local troupe to join as a constituent theater. Five-year-old Synetic has been attracting a steady following with its movement-based productions featuring little or no dialogue.

The center’s theater season will also include a visit by Ireland’s Gate Theater with “Waiting for Godot” and the McCarter Theater Company’s production of Emily Mann’s new play, “Mrs. Packer,” supported by the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays.

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