Friday, December 5, 2008

NOW PLAYING

Altar BoyzBethesda Theatre — ★★½ Scripture-quoting homies are in the house in the pop revue “Altar Boyz,” an oft-times divinely engaging parody of boy bands, the MTV sound and contemporary Christian music. The 90-minute musical depicts the final stop of the Altar Boyz’s Raise the Praise national tour — and you don’t have to feel sinful about simply enjoying the spoofy lyrics and well-choreographed dance moves. Through Jan. 3. 301/657-STAR.

BoomWoolly Mammoth — ★★★★ An erotic casual encounter through Craigslist takes on cosmic repercussions in playwright-biologist Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s sensational twist on the bedroom farce, which combines science fiction, sarcastic remarks and philosophical musings on fate and how life begins. “Boom” contains some of the brightest, most incisive dialogue heard in a long time, and its combustible mixture of smarts, sex and science-fiction “what ifs” makes for an apocalypse wow. Through Sunday. 202/393-3939.

Grey GardensStudio Theatre — ★★★½ The eccentricities and colorful co-dependencies of blueblood bizarros Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (kin to Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill) are set to music in the 2006 Tony Award-winning show “Grey Gardens,” which gets a richer and more psychologically affecting treatment at Studio Theatre under the direction of Serge Seiden. Through Jan. 4 202/332-3300.

Isn’t It RomanticMetroStage — ★★★½ — You couldn’t be in more chic company than that of Jimi Ray Malary and Lori Williams, the honey-voiced stars of the musical revue “Isn’t It Romantic?” currently classing up the joint at MetroStage. Mr. Malary has engaged local audiences before with his supple baritone and elegantly reserved manner, having played Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole previously at MetroStage. He is joined this time by jazz vocalist Miss Williams, who brings playful scatting and a more contemporary air to this melodious look at love found, savored and lost. “Isn’t It Romantic?” features the music of George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Rodgers and Hart, played with assured swing by pianist and arranger William Knowles, bassist Yusef Chisholm and drummer Greg Holloway. Through Dec. 21. 703/548-9044



Peter PanOlney Theatre — ★★½ Like its hero, “Peter Pan”shows few signs of aging. This is especially true with Olney Theatre’s fresh updating by director Eve Muson of the wistful classic, which features pop culture flourishes that will appeal to the moppets, hip-hop inflected choreography by Boo Killebrew, and Pei Lee’s wonderfully silly and circus-bright costumes. The production has a real find in actor/choreographer Killebrew, who plays Tiger Lily with Alpha Girl attitude and stages the “Indian Dance” and “Ugg-a-Wugg” numbers with her fellow Indians (Florrie Bagel, Elizabeth Fette, Jennifer Irons, Kara-Tameika Watkins) executing the aggressive, sassy dance-line-cheerleader moves you’ve seen in the “Bring It On” movies. Through Jan. 4. 301/924-3400.

MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS

Compiled by Jayne Blanchard

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