Theater;mini-Reviews

Article excerpt

OPENING

* Footloose - Kennedy Center, Opera House. A Broadway-bound stage version of the hit 1980s movie. Through Sept. 20. 202/467-4600.

* Season in Hell - Scena Theatre. Kryztov Linquist stars in Otho Eskin's one-man play about Arthur Rimbaud. At Studio 1019 Tuesday through Oct. 13. 703/684-7990.

* Waiting for Godot - Studio Theatre. Thomas W. Jones II and Donald Griffin star in Samuel Beckett's landmark play. Wednesday through Oct. 4. 202/332-3300.

* A Woman of No Importance - Shakespeare Theatre. Michael Kahn directs Dixie Carter in Oscar Wilde's comedy. Tuesday through Oct. 17. 202/393-2700.

NOW PLAYING

* Camille - Olney Theatre Center - (THREE STARS). The queen of the weepies is brought to voluptuous life in Richard Romagnoli's arch and passionate production. Tyson Lien seems as innocent as a college freshman as Armand Duval, while Jan Maxwell's Marguerite Gautier - the worldly courtesan he falls in love with - is enchanting from beginning to end. The supporting acting is unfailingly sharp, and the design is lush, especially when the settings seem to be decadent and airless salons of the demimonde. Through Sept. 20. 301/924-3400.

* The Field - Keegan Theatre - (TWO AND ONE-HALF STARS). The Keegan's style of clean, low-wattage acting works well in John B. Keane's drama about a land squabble in rural Ireland. The passions are muted but palpable as Bull McCabe tries to bully his way into buying a grassy field he can't really afford; his violence and desperation gradually seem to define the region. Once in a while the understated style is overdone, but the sense of quiet shame is strong. At the Gunston Arts Center through Sept. 5. 703/757-1180.

* Good - Potomac Theatre Project - (TWO AND ONE-HALF STARS). A professor rationalizes his way into becoming a Nazi in C.P. Taylor's drama. At times the play is too calculating and planned, like an exercise showing "What happens if . . ." Still, it has its arresting moments as we watch fascism creep up on a conscience-stricken man who insists throughout his angst-filled descent that he is "good." The ever-sympathetic and intelligent Alan Wade is well cast as the professor. In repertory with "Mad Forest" off the main stage at the Olney Theatre Center through Sept. 6. 301/924-3400.

* Great Expectations - Interact Theatre - (ONE AND ONE-HALF STARS). This 1975 musical version of Dickens' novel only now is getting its U.S. premiere, and the delay is easily explained: The show turns a rich tale into thin soup. The songs are dull and extremely literal, nowhere near the exuberant and poetic standard set by another British Dickens musical, "Oliver!" The performers come through reasonably well by clinging to the strength of the book's characters (with the exception of Miss Havisham and Estella, whose grotesqueness barely registers). But the flat design and nondescript musical performances are well below Interact's usually high mark. At the Folger Elizabethan Theater through Sept. …