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DC Metro Spotlight: September 2008

Road Work

Holly Twyford and Tana Hicken in The Road to Mecca
(© Megan Lloyd)
Studio Theatre kicks off its season with local favorites Holly Twyford and Tana Hicken in Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca (September 3-October 12). This South African drama has Hicken playing elderly Miss Helen, who reaches out to her only friend, Elsa (Twyford), a younger Cape Town schoolteacher, when Miss Helen's home is threatened by repressive, small-town attitudes.

Several big-name solo performances are on the boards this month. Carrie Fisher brings her autobiographical show Wishful Drinking to Arena Stage, September 5-28. The daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, the actor and best-selling writer (Postcards From the Edge) will perform the show at the historic Lincoln Theatre, as renovations on Arena's southwest campus continues. Also on his own is actor Richard Thomas, briefly stopping by the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater for Blanche and Beyond (September 24-26), based on the letters of Tennessee Williams. Cutting-edge comedian Sandra Bernhard is making Theater J downtown the first stop on the worldwide 20th anniversary tour of Without You I'm Nothing (September 9-28). Presented in a new version, Bernhard blends her own brand of fearless satire with clever cabaret and rock 'n' roll, backed up by her band, The Rebellious Jezebels.

Meanwhile, Shakespeare Theatre Company is staging an all-male version of Romeo & Juliet (September 9-October 12), just like the Bard himself would have done in Elizabethan England. This is the first time the thrust stage configuration is being used at the new Sidney Harman Hall downtown. Later in the month, it's a return to the theater company's old Lansburgh stage a few blocks away for William Congreve's The Way of the World, (September 30-November 16). This English comedy of manners sends up courtship and marriage and is considered one of the finest comedies of the Restoration era. The cast features Veanne Cox, Christopher Innvar, and local favorite Floyd King.

Playwright Callie Kimball gives us Peace (through September 28), at Washington Shakespeare Company, which is still operating out of the condemned Clark Street Playhouse near Crystal City. This world premiere, about a Tennessee landowner who rides a hot air balloon to Mt. Olympus, is inspired by Aristophanes' similarly titled satire. Bethesda's Round House Theatre is presenting another world premiere; based on the novel by Julia Alvarez, Karen Zacarias' How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (September 17-October 12) is set in 1960 New York, as the four Garcia sisters leave behind a genteel life in the Dominican Republic and plunge headfirst into the American mainstream.

Signature's smaller ARK theater will host Martin McDonough's witty and wild The Lieutenant of Inishmore (September 23-November 16). The mayhem begins when someone kills a cat belonging to an Irish Liberation Army enforcer on one of the island of Inishmore's lonely roads. Synetic Theater will reprise its movement-based show, Host and Guest (Rosslyn Spectrum, September 26-November 9). Based on a famous Georgian poem, it's the tale is of what happens when two hunters meet each other in the deep woods, one a Muslim, the other a Christian.

Elsewhere, The American Century Theater has Ira Levin's thriller set in a small town seeking perfection, Dr. Cook's Garden (September 9-October 4), at Arlington's Gunston Arts Center's Theater II. Olney Theatre Center presents Steve Martin's adaptation of Carl Sternheim's German comedy, The Underpants (September 24-October 19). Catalyst Theatre Company has Christopher Gallu's stage adaptation of the George Orwell classic, 1984 (through October 25), and GALA Hispanic Theatre has the work of Aristedes Vega of Ecuador and Argentina, La Edad de la Ciruela (The Aging of the Plum) (September 18-October 12).


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