There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Music prodigies tend to have attitude problems—maybe because they’re too busy memorizing Bach concertos to properly socialize. At least, that’s the premise suggested in Jon Marans’ play Old Wicked Songs. Stephen, an arrogant American pianist, decides he needs to overcome his artistic block by studying with an acclaimed teacher in Vienna. Off he jets to Austria, but he’s not met by a warm figure who encourages him to embrace his gifts; instead, the old master appears stubborn and aloof. It’s almost like Whiplash, if J.K. Simmons were an aging Austrian Jew. Only through music are student and teacher able to relate to each other, and even then, their connection is tenuous at best. With one character full of swagger and the other full of pain from years ago, the question of whether they’ll ever make beautiful music floats like a specter over the action. The play runs April 10 to May 3 at 1st Stage Theatre, 1524 Spring Hill Road, McLean. $15–$28. (703) 854-1856. 1ststagetysons.org.