“Shakespeare Cinema, Part I” kicks off today at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center with Laurence Olivier’s directorial debut, “Henry V.” Olivier starred in the 1944 film, as well, which was shot and released near the end of World War II, serving as a British boost to morale during wartime. Olivier is just one of the iconic directors who will be represented during the series, which commemorates the 450th anniversary of the Bard’s birth. “Part I,” the first of a planned three-part film series set to culminate in 2016 (marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death), will spotlight filmmakers such as Olivier, Kenneth Branagh, Orson Welles and Akira Kurosawa, as well as trendsetting films such as “My Own Private Idaho,” “West Side Story,” “Ten Things I Hate About You,” and many more. “Henry V” screens at 7:15 p.m. tonight, followed by his take on “Hamlet” at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and his “Richard III” at 4 p.m. Sunday. “Shakespeare Cinema, Part I” continues to June 29. For ticket prices, as well as a complete schedule, visit afi.com/silver.
In Prince George’s County, Andrew Lippa’s “The Wild Party” kicks off tonight at the Laurel Mill Playhouse. Adapted from a controversial poem penned during the Roaring Twenties, the tale of torrid and reckless romance and passion unfolds in the microcosm of a Manhattan apartment throughout the course of one night. Lippa’s award-winning score won raves with its fusing of past and future sounds and styles. Due to adult themes, the show is intended for mature audiences. For ticket prices and times, visit laurelmillplayhouse.org.
Finally, the D.C. area premiere of “Failure: A Love Story” launches tonight at the Hub Theatre in Fairfax, Va. Philip Dawkins’ play follows the Fail Sisters — Nelly, Jenny, June and Gerty — in 1928, the last year of their lives. Dawkins received the Joseph Jefferson Nomination for New Work in 2011. Directed by Matt Bassett, the show continues to May 18. For ticket prices and times, visit thehubtheatre.org.