Summer theater started with a bang when the Royal Shakespeare Company set up residency in New York in July. It'll be capped off with a bang, too, as Oscar winner Cate Blanchett headlines the Sydney Theatre Company's performance of Uncle Vanya at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. from August 4 through 27. The company received enthusiastic reviews for its smash-hit production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 2009, and Blanchett was universally praised for her powerful portrayal of Blanche DuBois. Now she returns as Chekhov's enticing Yelena, who visits a distant farm only to become embroiled in a complex love affair. Australian reviews from the company's fall run suggest we're in for a treat. August 4-27, tickets from $59. 2700 F St. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-467-4600; kennedy-center.org.
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Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh in Sydney Theatre Company's Uncle Vanya. Photo courtesy of the Kennedy Center