- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2006

OPENING

• 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.

NOW PLAYING

• Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead — Studio Theatre Secondstage — ***1/2. Bert V. Royal’s sublimely rancid little comedy — an unauthorized parody of Charles Schulz’s long-running comic strip — owes more to “South Park” than to Schulz. But those not too proprietary over the beloved Peanuts characters — here a bunch of messed-up adolescents — should find plenty of caustic humor and inventiveness in this short work, directed with a talent for the snark by Keith Alan Baker but marred somewhat by a warm-and-fuzzy ending that’s out of place. Through Sunday. 202/332-3300. Reviewed by Jayne Blanchard.

• Ellington: The Life and Music of the Duke — Metrostage — ***. This evening of pop-jazz songs from the legendary Duke Ellington never sheds light on Mr. Ellington?s inner thoughts or personal compulsions, but anchored by a jazz quartet as tight and swinging as something out of Harlem in its heyday, it is a tuneful and elegant tribute to the jazz great. Through Sunday. 800/494-8497. Reviewed by Jayne Blanchard.

• 3 Mo’ Divas — Kreeger Theatre, Arena Stage — ***. The time-crunched now have a musical to call their own, a tornadic sampler of musical genres and eras featuring a trio of female performers with powerhouse voices and outsized attitudes. Conceived by Marion J. Caffey, who also came up with the popular ?3 Mo? Tenors,? showcasing the male operatic range, ?Divas? gives the soprano, contralto and other female voices their due. It’s affable entertainment that exudes sass and style — though at times the divas speed through the songs so fast you’re unsure if you just saw a musical revue or an infomercial. Through Aug. 13. 202/488-3300. Reviewed by Jayne Blanchard.MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS

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