With every show that is created there is a story that comes along with it. A story of greatness, a story of sadness, a story of wildness, but there's always a story. In the case of The Countess I followed the show from the reading stage to Off-Off Broadway to Off Broadway. And it's no wonder the play has gone so far: Not only is the story of the play gripping, but the story of what it took to get the play up and running and successful is equally compelling. The Donkey Show is another Off-Off Broadway wonder whose backstory is just as wild as the success of the show itself. Who knew that theater could restore Studio 54 disco-ish shows and make it theater-brilliant.

So, while we acknowledge success stories, please allow me to call the next show predicted to reach for what they deserve and to be...well, Inappropriate in doing so. In my view, the show works so well because listening to young people tell their true stories, as they do in this show, often proves to be a valuable lesson to all of us. Inappropriate was an exceptional experience and unique opportunity to watch a show that is powerfully performed by teenagers, aged 14 through 19. The show is not to be missed and be sure to look for their CD [courtesy of Universal-MCA] in Spring 2000.

The Present Company requests your help. The Present Company is one of the hottest Off-Off Broadway theater companies; additionally it is also the Official Headquarters of the Annual International Fringe Festival that involves thousands of artists from around the world. To help this accomplished company open they must raise 100K and since it is tax season maybe some of you need a tax write off...oh just do it!

For more information on The Present Company, check out their website at www.fringenyc.com

Something to catch this weekend (Saturday, February 5, 8 PM) is the Won-during Quest, a guided muse-ing through Wondering Land with Dance, Spoken Word, and Vocal performances by: Marshell Jones, Diorgen, Rithm, Jo Skinner (of Buffalo Sol), Jamyla Amira-Brewton, Pierre Bonnett, Cheryl Irvin, Pamela Edwards, Michael Molina, and Mark Winston Griffith. Only $5 at the Tischman Auditorium of the NYU School of Law at 40 Washington Sq. So (corner of W 4th & Macdougal)