- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2002

Victor/Victoria The Little Theatre of Alexandria. A struggling female singer poses as a female impersonator in this musical comedy. Opens tomorrow. 703/683-0496.

Crazy Love Old Town Theater **1/2. Mark Anderson thinks comedy today is too raunchy. His antidote is this humorous celebration of the differences between men and women that illustrates the value of long-term commitment. Mr. Anderson, who plays a psychologist, and co-producer John Branyan, who plays his patient, share the stage for most of the production. Gilly Conklin plays the nurse. The whole show is essentially musical banter and a couple of monologues. But these guys are good at it. Through Aug. 31. 703/535-8022. Reviewed by Jon Ward.
Danny and Sylvia
MetroStage **. MetroStage is remounting this American Century Theatre musical, about the life of singer-comedian Danny Kaye and his wife and principal writer, Sylvia Fine, as the final show of its season. The songs are mostly forgettable and the plot is thin. Janine Gulisano plays Sylvia. Brian Childers as Danny chews the scenery and overdoes the manic gesticulations. The show provides little more than some sight gags and silly accents. Through Sunday. 703/548-9044. Reviewed by Eric M. Johnson.
The Laramie Project
Olney Theatre Center for the Arts **1/2. If literary awards were given for good intentions, this docudrama by Moises Kaufman would be a shoo-in. The play fairly glows with earnestness and altruism. It grew out of a trip to Laramie, Wyo. (the town where Matthew Shepard, a young gay man, was tortured and murdered in 1998) by Mr. Kaufman and his New York-based Tectonic Theatre Project. The play is based on more than 200 interviews with the people of Laramie and details the efforts of the playwright and his writers to talk things out with the citizens, as well as record their own feelings and impressions. The production, directed with grace and simplicity by Jim Petosa, has powerful moments. The cast does an excellent job portraying the Laramie residents working through their reactions to the murder. Yet the Olney cast also has to portray the New Yorkers portraying the locals. Confusing? You bet. It also dilutes the message. The show's length, more than two and a half hours, helps it descend into repetition and tedium. Finally, why is this a play? The cause may be better served through another medium. Through Aug. 11. 301/924-3400. Reviewed by Jayne M. Blanchard.
The Little Foxes
The Shakespeare Theatre **1/2. The Hubbard clan, the nouveau riche Southern family detailed in Lillian Hellman's play, gives greed a bad name. Miss Hellman's play is a melodramatic hoot meant to make us see the monsters in ourselves while watching the Hubbards plot and steal money from one another. But director Doug Hughes' production is almost camp, with nearly every line delivered with a sneer. The cast gnaws on every stick of scenery. As long as you relax into the overwrought quality of the show, you can have a walloping good time. Through Sunday. 202/547-1122. Reviewed by Jayne M. Blanchard.
Merrily We Roll Along
Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater ****. The yin and yang of enduring friendships is explored with a piercing, true ache in Stephen Sondheim's 1981 musical, which has been revived with a pure heart and infectious dynamism by director Christopher Ashley as part of the Sondheim Celebration. The Sondheim work, based on a George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play of the same title, is considered a confounding directorial puzzle, but Mr. Ashley has shifted the time frame and pared down the musical, combining scenes that once were confusing. The result is a production that is the cleanest and easiest to follow yet. it moves backward, allowing us to see what led up to three close friends' giving up on each other and how they moved from youthful optimism to the suffocating compromises they chalk up to "growing up." The cast is dynamic, the music luscious and the dialogue tart. Through Sunday. 202/467-4600. Reviewed by Jayne M. Blanchard.
Shear Madness
Kennedy Center Theater Lab **. This corny, hokey tourist trap now in its second decade is doubly maddening because the Kennedy Center displays it as art to the cultural center's unsuspecting pilgrims. The audience-participation murder-mystery farce (set in a Georgetown hair salon) is well-played, though, when the actors refrain from mugging and cracking up one another. Continues indefinitely. 202/467-4600. Reviewed by Nelson Pressley.


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