- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2006

NOW PLAYING

• An Enemy of the People — Olney Theatre Center for the Arts — ***. Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 drama about a small town that turns on its doctor when he discovers that its lucrative mineral spas may be toxic, is a taut, swiftly moving indictment of mob thinking and tragic shortsightedness, and this production is white-hot. With a noisy and rabble-rousing staging, director Jim Petosa takes a feral, itching-for-a-fight approach to the play, a scathing rant against small-town groupthink and pea-brained poobahs. The performances are excellent. How fitting that the politically charged Potomac Theatre Project, in its final offering at Olney Theater before moving to New York next summer, goes out in a blaze of fire. Through Aug. 27. 301/924-3400. Reviewed by Jayne Blanchard.

• Evita — Open Circle Theatre — ***1/2. Director Joe Banno takes a rough and tumble approach to the 1979 Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical retrospective of Eva Peron’s life — from illegitimate rube to ruthlessly ambitious actress in Buenos Aires and, finally, to political and cultural icon. The production is stripped of glitz, but joltingly powerful. The specific talents of the Open Circle Theatre Company, dedicated to artists with disabilities, are expertly integrated in this earthy, impassioned production. Through Aug. 27 at Round House Silver Spring. 240/683-8934. Reviewed by Jayne Blanchard.MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS

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