- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is hosting Echoes of Illumination, the riveting exhibit of self-taught artist Nahum Halevi and his visual search for what he feels is Judaism’s transcendent meaning. Mr. Halevi paints shattered images of God, Noah, Jacob and others; his painterly name is the Hebraic acronym of Nathan Chaim Moskowitz, who works primarily as a neurosurgeon. Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Free. 703/328-0880.

—Joanna Shaw-Eagle

Stephen Sondheim’s musical Assassins, at Signature Theatre, elevates a group of misfits to the level of art in its stirring, often forlornly funny look at nine infamous American assassins who successfully and unsuccessfully tried to shoot a president. Director Joe Calarco may not ask us to embrace these anti-heroes of U.S. history, but he does ask us to at least consider that the assassins are part of society. This brash, confrontational production reflects some of America’s most painfully violent moments back at the audience, much the way we see our faces reflected among the dead on the Wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The result is almost uncomfortably intimate, as Signature’s production blurs the lines between audience and actor, assassin and citizen. At 3806 S. Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, through July 30. $31 to $55. 800/955-5566.

— Jayne Blanchard

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