Theater;theater Mini-Reviews

By Pressley, Nelson | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 29, 1996 | Go to article overview
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Theater;theater Mini-Reviews


Pressley, Nelson, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


OPENING

* Four Dogs and a Bone - Signature Theatre. The area premiere of the Hollywood satire by John Patrick Shanley, author of "Moonstruck." Through March 31; 703/218-6500. Not reviewed.

* I Ought To Be in Pictures - Theatre J. A revival of Neil Simon's play about an ambitious young actress and her playwright father. Through March 29; 202/833-9665. Not reviewed.

* John Bull's Other Island - Washington Stage Guild. George Bernard Shaw's comedy about an Englishman in Ireland. Through March 31; 202/529-2084. Not reviewed.

* Taxi Driver (1976) (R: Sustained ominous stylization; frequent profanity and interludes of sexual candor involving child prostitution; exceptionally graphic violence during the finale) - (THREE AND ONE-HALF STARS). A 20th-anniversary revival of Martin Scorsese's eerie, contemporary classic about the countdown to violence in a time-bomb personality: Robert De Niro as the solitary, lovelorn New York City cabbie Travis Bickle. Barely deflected from an act of political assassination, Bickle{D-} contrives a blood-spattered redemption for himself as the self-anointed Galahad to a teen-age prostitute, Jodie Foster, in thrall to a pimp played by Harvey Keitel. Exclusively at the Cineplex Odeon Embassy.

* The Sea Gull - Theatre X. Chekhov's classic drama, at the District of Columbia Arts Center through March 30. 202/462-7833. Not reviewed.

NOW PLAYING

* All's Well That Ends Well - Shakespeare Theatre - (THREE AND ONE-HALF STARS). Director Laird Williamson fashions a warm fantasy out of Shakespeare's remarkably forgiving comedy, which is generally termed a "problem" play. Problems vanish by making Bertram (the count who Helena loves) more likeable, so the show goes romantic (rather than dark) in a gauzy, orangy production that is a delight to behold. The acting is lush and lucid, from Kelly McGillis's heroic, heartbroken Helena to Philip Goodwin's posing, pontificating Parolles. Through March 24; 202/393-2700.

* Conversation With A Diva - Actors' Theatre of Washington. A one-man show about a gay black man living with AIDS. At the Church Street Theater through March 24; 202/319-3939.

* Dance of Death - Arena Stage - (THREE STARS). Tana Hicken and Henry Strozier are ferocious as the married couple locked together in Strindberg's hellish view of marriage, and director JoAnne Akalaitis pushes the drama deep into the realm of the subconscious with brief interludes of slow-motion and mysterious freeze-frame gestures. John Conklin's spare, angular set is like a dreamy house crashed on the rocks; this is an utterly alluring production, even if Strindberg's drama is inevitably something that you witness, rather than feel. Through March 31; 202/488-3300.

* The God of Isaac - Washington Jewish Theatre - (TWO AND ONE-HALF STARS). When Nazis threaten to march on Skokie, Ill., in 1977, Isaac Adams figures it's finally time to come to terms with his Jewish heritage. Director Nick Olcott's well-acted production skips lightly between deliberately fragmented comedy's laughter and seriousness; too bad the second act sentimentally sidesteps the interesting stickiness of Isaac's marriage to a shiksa. Through March 10; 301/230-3775.

* Les Miserables - National Theatre - (TWO STARS). It isn't hard to see why this international musical hit is so popular: It's a simple tale of righteousness hounded by injustice, it's visually grandiose, and it's performed with chest-thumping passion.

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