- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Adriaen Coorte could well be called the Johannes Vermeer of 17th-century Dutch still life, so luminous and perfect are his paintings of succulent gooseberries, wild strawberries, peaches and asparagus. The National Gallery of Art celebrates his visions with Small Wonders: Dutch Still Lifes by Adriaen Coorte, a small jewel of a show that traces work from the early “vanitas” paintings through later works that place vegetables and fruits on cracked stone ledges. They’re joyful and optimistic except for the cracks — a clear reminder of man’s mortality. At the National Gallery, Fourth Street at Constitution Avenue NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, through Sept. 28. Free. 202/737-4215.

Joanna Shaw-Eagle

Yes, Canadian playwright Jason Sherman’s Patience, a production of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, is an update of the Old Testament story of Job. Yes, Howard Shalwitz’s direction is intense and probing. Yes, the cast is more than up to the job. But there’s more: The play is a gorgeous spill of words, the language driven by anger, remorse, perplexity, and a great overarching sadness. Few modern playwrights possess Mr. Sherman’s talent for communicating loss — not just the loss of external things like a job or money, but a deeper loss, that of modern man’s break with divine forces larger than ourselves. Go see “Patience” if only for the language and the sense of loss. It’s at the Kennedy Center’s AFI Theater through July 20 at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 7 p.m. Sundays — but with no performances tomorrow. $21 to $38. 202/312-5261.

— Jayne M. Blanchard

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