- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 10, 2007

OPENING

• King Lear — Classical Theatre of Harlem. The noted troupe joins with the Folger Theatre for this production of Shakespeare’s drama about the trials of an aging king. Opens tonight at the Folger Theatre. 202/544-7077.

• Macbeth — Synetic Theater. A wordless version of Shakespeare’s tragedy blends dance, movement and music. Opens tonight at the Rosslyn Spectrum. 703/824-6200.

NOW PLAYING

• The Boys From Syracuse — Centerstage — …1/2. Baltimore’s Centerstage brings out your inner vaudevillian with a pun-intended, bawdy and completely nutty production of the 1938 Rodgers and Hart musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” featuring unapologetic burlesque by George Abbott. The musical is warm, hearty and a little bit naughty — while leaving some things to the imagination. Don’t overthink it. Just put on your pasties and go. Through Sunday at 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. 410/332-0033.

• Desire Under the Elms — American Century Theater — …. For his 1924 foray into American realism, Eugene O’Neill looked to the Greeks, incorporating elements of the Oedipus trilogy, “Medea” and “Phaedra” into his tragedy about a New England farming family. And it is a bodice-ripper, a tale of sex, revenge, and a 19th-century game of “Who’s your daddy?” Character and psychological forces drive this stark and taut production, under the firm guidance of William Aitken. The strong acting and the epic characters make this “Desire” one that deserves to emerge from the shadows. Through Feb. 3 at Gunston Theater II. 703/553-8782.

• Noises Off — Arena Stage, Kreeger Theater — ….. You’ll find yourself helpless with laughter during Arena Stage’s production of British playwright Michael Frayn’s rowdy 1982 backstage comedy in which a third-rate British theater company tries to put on a third-rate sex farce while everything falls apart on both sides of the curtain. It’s a delirious depiction of backstage dramatics and the scarcely contained hysteria that goes into the making of live theater that will delight both showbiz insiders and innocents. Through Jan. 28. 202/488-3300.

• Son of a Bush — Gross National Product —… Gross National Product’s political comedy show is a sometimes endearingly low-tech deflation of inside-the-Beltway maneuvers, election-year posturing and the Bush administration. GNP does not bring anything new to the table, instead resorting to Dick Cheney’s gun mishap and Bushisms we have seen parodied a million times before. Extended indefinitely on Saturdays at the Warehouse Theater. 202/783-7212. MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS

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