City Smarts

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Washington, D.C

Remember detective Lester Freamon from “The Wire”? Long before Clarke Peters played the smart cookie who solved crimes in the streets of Baltimore, he wrote a hit musical called Five Guys Named Moe—an homage to swingin’ songwriter and saxophonist Louis Jordan—which debuted at London’s West End Theatre in 1990. The story follows Nomax, a recently dumped, whiskey-swilling romantic who finds new hope from five cheerful jazz musicians who pop out of his 1930s-style radio. Jump on the “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” bandwagon when director Robert O’Hara deftly revives the show for a six-week run, starting Nov. 14, at Arena Stage. arenastage.org

Philadelphia

One of the most innovative design companies in the world, Swiss family-owned Vitra has been creating eye-catching artwork, accessories, furniture and more since 1950. In Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots, you can learn the colorful story behind the company’s U.S. connections, inspired collaborations (with the likes of Philippe Starck) and contemporary campus that includes a museum and offices designed by Frank Gehry. Nov. 22 to April 26, 2015, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. philamuseum.org

New York City

Yeah, yeah, we know. A shirtless Bradley Cooper is a sight for sore eyes. But the Oscar-nominated actor’s chiseled figure will be the last thing on your mind when you see him take on the heartbreaking role of Joseph Merrick in the second Broadway revival of Bernard Pomerance’s late-1970s play, The Elephant Man. Based on the true-life story of Merrick—a Victorian Englishman who was given the titular alias at a freak show due to his physical deformities—Cooper follows in the footsteps of David Bowie and Mark Hamill, who’ve both taken on the part. Also starring: the incomparable Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola, whom we’ve loved since “Laurel Canyon.” Premieres Nov. 7 at Booth Theatre. elephantmanbroadway.com

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