Theater Minireviews

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 13, 2009 | Go to article overview

Theater Minireviews


Byline: Jayne Blanchard, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

NOW PLAYING

* Eurydice - Round House Theatre

With playful touches of surrealism and artfully elliptical language, playwright Sarah Ruhl re-imagines the Orpheus myth from the female point of view in this graceful, seriocomic look at love, loss and the stillness of memory at Round House Theater under the direction of Derek Goldman. In Miss Ruhl's modernistic and mournful version, Orpheus (Adriano Gatto) gnashes his teeth and pens frenzied love letters to his love, but in actuality, Eurydice (Jenna Sokolowski) takes the more potent journey. Through March 1. 240/644-1387

THREE STARS

* The Heavens Are Hung in Black - Ford's Theatre

It's an accepted fact that Abraham Lincoln loved theater, especially Shakespeare. Hard to say what he would make of The Heavens Are Hung in Black, a world-premiere commission by Ford's Theatre to commemorate the great man's 200th birthday. You probably could surmise,though that he would rather be at one his wife's cockamamie seances than endure this loggy and incongruously wacky play. Through March 8. 800/899-2367

ONE STAR

* Les Miserables - Signature Theatre

The turntable? You hardly miss it in Signature Theatre's emotive, blood-and-guts staging of the megamusical Les Miserables, directed by Eric Schaeffer and scaled down to fit in the 280-seat Max Theatre. Mr. Schaeffer's visceral approach to the material differs from the unfolding magisterial spectacle of the Broadway show. At Signature, there's no distance between you and the action, so you can almost smell the gunfire, the sweat of the great Gallic unwashed and the scent of spilled blood and red wine. Through Feb. 22. 703/573-7328

THREE STARS

* The Little Dog Laughed - Signature Theatre

A delectably caustic comedy of manners that satirizes the movie industry and our citizenry's relentless pursuit of happiness. Playwright Douglas Carter Beane is a throwback to such noted wordsmiths as Noel Coward and S.J. Perelman in the sophisticated sparkle of his writing. Adding to the fizz of Signature's production of Little Dog, directed by Michael Baron, is a dandy ensemble cast, including Holly Twyford, Matthew Montelongo, Casie Platt and Ivan Quintanilla, who are more than up to the physical and mental gymnastics the comedy demands. Through March 15. 703/573-7328

THREE STARS

* The Seafarer - Studio Theatre

Alcoholism isn't pretty - in Dublin or Dubuque - but this raggle-taggle collection of incorrigible tipplers makes boozing

so becoming you might be tempted to have a go at a lost weekend yourself They're losers, but lovable, and you wonder if that is what the playwright intended, instead of what was seen and felt in the hard-edged and clear-eyed production seen in New York last season. …

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