- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2002

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 Duchess of Malfi
Shakespeare Theatre ****. The Christmas holidays at the Malfi house must have been something. One brother is a cardinal (Edward Gero) and craven in every way. His brother, Duke Ferdinand (Donald Carrier), seems spoiled, petulant and maybe more than a little off his rocking horse. In the middle is the widowed Duchess of Malfi (Kelly McGillis), Ferdinand's twin sister. Her brothers want to rule over both her person and her lands. For the cardinal, this is a matter of pure greed. For Ferdinand, it is another matter altogether. This being Jacobean tragedy, the body count rises and rises. Yet a gorgeous grace note is added by director Michael Kahn. Through Sunday. 202/547-1122. Reviewed by Jayne M. Blanchard.
Harlem Rose
MetroStage …. If you are looking for a way to celebrate the birthday of poet Langston Hughes or just get out and hear some good music, take in the world premiere of "Harlem Rose, a Love Song to Langston Hughes." It offers a vibrant tribute to the great poet and the world he inhabited during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and early '30s. Yet for all its magic, this musical leaves you wishing it gave more perspective for audience members who have never heard of Mr. Hughes or the Harlem Renaissance. Through Sunday. 703/548-9044. Reviewed by Guy Taylor.
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. 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.

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