Theater;mini-Reviews

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OPENING

* Archy & Mehitabel - American Century Theater. Donna Migliaccio and Tony Gudell star in the musical, based on newspaper columnist Don Marquis' musings. Opens Wednesday. 703/553-8782.

* Clean - Studio Theatre Secondstage. Edwin Sanchez's drama explores childhood sexuality, machismo and Catholicism in Hispanic America. Opens tonight. 202/332-3300.

* The Dresser - The Folger Shakespeare Library's Elizabethan Theatre. Ronald Harwood's piece, inspired by Shakespearean actor Sir Donald Wolfitt, who toured England during World War II. Previews begin tomorrow. Opens Wednesday. 202/544-7077.

* Edmond - Source Theatre Company. A man explores the beast within himself in David Mamet's drama. Opens Saturday. 202/462-1073.

* The Gin Game - Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Friendship and rivalry develop between two feisty card players in the Broadway hit, directed by Charles Nelson Reilly. Opens Tuesday. 202/467-4600.

* Hoboken Station - Charter Theatre. A New Jersey police detective struggles with personal demons in the world premiere of Chris Stezin's drama at the Old Vat Theatre. Previews begin tomorrow. Opens April 8. 301/699-1925.

NOW PLAYING

* The Beauty Queen of Leenane - Studio Theatre - (FOUR STARS). Brace yourselves. Irish Wunderkind Martin McDonagh's play is not your standard-issue, happy-Paddys Irish laugh riot. It's the mother-daughter battle of the century, a grueling psychological slugfest set on a scruffy homestead in the small town of Leenane, amid the poverty of Ireland's west. Suspicious, domineering and petty, the elderly Mag Folan is determined to control her fortysomething single daughter, Maureen, milking every last bit of service out of her. Maureen dishes out as much abuse as she gets. Myra Carter as Mag and Nancy Robinette as Maureen give two dynamite performances. The intrusion of two neighborhood men - the goofy but likable Pato Dooley (Marty Lodge) and his punky, telly-loving younger brother, Ray (Tom Kearney) - sets the wheels in motion for the play's final, chilling confrontation. …