Theater;theater Mini-Reviews

By Pressley, Nelson | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 8, 1996 | Go to article overview

Theater;theater Mini-Reviews


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


OPENING

* All's Well That Ends Well - Shakespeare Theatre. Kelly McGillis stars in Laird Williamson's production of Shakespeare's comedy. Through March 24; 202/393-2700. Not reviewed.

* Interviewing the Audience - Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater. Monologuist Spalding Gray interviews several members of the audience. Through Saturday ; 202/467-4600. Not reviewed.

* Les Miserables - National Theatre. The megamusical based on Victor Hugo's novel. Through April 28; 202/447-7400. Not reviewed.

* Njinga the Queen King - Folger Shakespeare Library. A dance/drama about a contemporary woman who discovers her connection with an ancient African ruler. Through Sunday, Feb. 18; 202/544-7077. Not reviewed.

NOW PLAYING

* An Asian Jockey In Our Midst - Round House Theatre. Carter W. Lewis' drama, which uses body-swapping to examine racism, gets its East Coast premiere. Through Feb. 25; 301/933-1644.

* Caballero de Milagro - GALA Hispanic Theatre - (TWO AND ONE-HALF STARS). Lope de Vega's 17th-century comedy about a playboy and his ruses among a moneyed international set nicely survives director Hugo Medrano's time warp to the 20th century. The acting is uneven, but the story's pell-mell plotting (fluidly rendered by the director, and by the simultaneous English translation to this Spanish-language performance) is energizing. Through Feb. 18; 202/234-7174.

* Coming of the Hurricane - Arena Stage, Fichandler Stage - (THREE STARS). Keith Glover's drama uses a black ex-slave who has vowed never to fight again and a vengeful white boxing champion to refight the Civil War. (Not for nothing is the play set near Antietam.) The script's angels and devils are easy to spot, but the sheer energy of the play begins to connect near the end of the first act. There's a lot of raw shouting in the early going, but director Marion McClinton's cast comes around with a bundle of rascally performances, and Keith Randolph Smith's taut rage is potent. Through Feb. 18; 202/488-3300.

* Lynnwood Pharmacy - Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - (TWO AND ONE-HALF STARS). Meet the Hicks: Johnny breaks into his own house, Ma totes a rifle and calls her boy "gahbage," and Dad cheerfully hobbles on a pair of canes and does all the housework. It's a farce, of course, and playwright David Bucci has an uncomplicated good time being trashy and irreverent. Kerry Waters, Steve Hadnagy and Hugh Nees anchor the vivid, foulmouthed cast. Through Feb. 11; 202/393-3939.

* The Magnificent Yankee - Ford's Theatre. James Whitmore and Audra Lindley star in this revival about the life and times of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Through March 10; 202/347-4833.

* The Man Who Laughs - Le Neon French-American Theatre - (THREE STARS). Richard Bauer, who has spent most of the past 30 years acting at Arena Stage, is in exquisitely antic, snarling form in this original adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel about a man whose face has been carved into a grotesque smile. The masked Didier Rousselet gives a splendid physical performance, and the dreamlike staging puts an absorbing glow on this crusading melodrama. Through Feb. 18; 703/243-6366.

* The Merchant of Venice - Washington Shakespeare Company - (TWO STARS). Director Christopher Henley chooses the vaguely sexual clubbiness of Italy's moneyed, pleasure-mad class (circa 1959) to illustrate the tribalism at work in this play. The pouty prancing is overdone at times, as is a lot of the supporting acting, and Brian Hemmingsen's breathy Shylock doesn't put much of an angle on the outsider. …

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