- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 14, 2002

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Signature Theatre. A man forms a rock band hoping to be a star after a botched sex change operation. Opens Tuesday. 800/955-5566.
Lord of the Flies Rorshach Theatre. A group of boys tries to maintain order after being stranded on a deserted island. Opens Saturday at Calvary Methodist Church. 703/715-6707.
No Exit Catalyst Theater Company. Three mismatched individuals discover the truth behind their surreal situation in life in Sartre's classic. Opens Wednesday at D.C. Arts Center. 202/462-7833.
Prometheus Studio Theatre. New version of Aeschylus' rarely staged play, with a new act written by novelist Sophy Burnham. Opens Wednesday. 202/332-3300.

Contact National Theatre ***1/2. Not since Bob Fosse's "Dancin'" have we seen such an exuberant, stirring and razzle-dazzle evening of pure dance as "Contact," directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman and written by John Weidman. The show consists of three dance pieces, which are actually short stories told in movement. The third piece is the most notorious, "The Girl in the Yellow Dress," featuring the most staggering entrance since Cyd Charisse in her green costume in "Singin' in the Rain." Through Saturday. 800/447-7400. Reviewed by Jayne M. Blanchard.
Copenhagen Kennedy Center **1/2. Michael Frayn's work is an impeccable and handsome play about a shadowy 1941 meeting between Danish physicist Niels Bohr (Len Cariou) and his German counterpart, Werner Heisenberg (Hank Stratton). Why did Heisenberg take such a risky journey to Nazi-occupied Copenhagen to see his old mentor and friend, as well as Bohr's wife, Margrethe (Mariette Hartley)? Did they discuss the race to make the atomic bomb? That question is not definitely answered. Unfortunately, "Copenhagen" resembles some of the skating seen in the 2002 Olympics flawless, but stiff. Through March 24. 202/467-4600. Reviewed by Jayne M. Blanchard.
The Marriage Classika Theatre **. Russian literary star Nikolai Gogol's play contains many funny insights and lines about the timeless, fierce apprehension people have about getting married. However, in the hands of Classika Theatre's eight-member cast and director Yuri Kordonsky, the comedic pacing is so off and the dramatic tension so lacking that one wonders whether the play is a comedy or a tragedy. Through March 31 in the Village at Shirlington. $15-$20. 703/824-6200. Reviewed by Gabriella Boston.
She Stoops to Conquer Folger Theatre **1/2. Oliver Goldsmith's "She Stoops to Conquer," considered one of the masterpieces of 18th-century theater, is a breezy commentary on English life circa 1773. Although director Richard Clifford's pacing is steady, several spirited but ultimately disappointing performances weaken the production. Through March 31. 202/544-7077. Reviewed by Eric M. Johnson.
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. I>Reviewed by Nelson Pressley.
Tommy J & Sally D.C. Jewish Community Center **1/2. This co-production by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Theatre J starts, if not with a literal bang, then with an uneasy menace and ends with a simper or at least a feel-good conclusion. In Mark Medoff's play, Thomas Jefferson (Craig Wallace) is an angry black man in Los Angeles looking for meaning, a sign and he gets it in the form of some pop-song lyrics. Sally Hemmings (Sue-Anne Morrow) is the hottest pop star in the business, who writes goopy anthems of racial harmony. Thomas Jefferson arrives at her apartment, posing as a grocery-delivery man. He makes several observations and later picks the locks on her doors, setting in motion an intense and intensely personal examination of race and identity. Through March 24. 800/494-TIXS. Reviewed by Carol Johnson.
True West Arena Stage **1/2. Sam Shepard's 1980 play once gave off hints of danger in its tale of dysfunctional brothers competing as screenwriters in Hollywood. We've seen so much dysfunction since then that it's not surprising that Arena Stage with Woolly Mammoth Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz directing the production goes for the laughs. The production has no element of danger or duel-to-the-death energy that once made Mr. Shepard's play dark as well as darkly funny. The two losers don't seem particularly terrifying, either to the world at large or to each other and there's no reason we should take their antics seriously. Through April 7. 202/488-4377. Reviewed by Jayne M. Blanchard.

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