- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2008


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 the well-choreographed dance moves of the cast. 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 that 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 Dec. 7. 202/393-3939.

Frost/NixonKennedy Center — ★★★½ Peter Morgan, the superb British screenplay writer, has had experience with larger-than-life figures before, having tackled both the glorified (Elizabeth II in “The Queen”) and the vilified (Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland”). With “Frost/Nixon,” his first stage play, Mr. Morgan takes on the fascinating conundrum of Richard Nixon, and the results avoid patent caricatures to create something quite elegant and polished — two more words not normally connected with the 37th president. The play is set amid the tense events and negotiations leading up to the 1977 televised interviews between British talk-show host David Frost (Alan Cox) and Mr. Nixon (Stacy Keach). Through Nov. 30. 202/467-4600.

Honey Brown EyesTheater J — ★★★½ Grotesqueries and moments of grace in the Bosnian War are illumined in Theater J’s world-premiere production of Stefanie Zadravec’s play “Honey Brown Eyes,” directed with taut intensity by Jessica Lefkow and featuring searing performances by a first-rate cast. This is not an easy play to watch, and it does not give easy answers, but it allows us to experience the ways humanity and horror coexist in a war where the “enemy” is not made up of faceless strangers, but of people we know and perhaps once loved. Through Nov. 30. 800/494-TIXS.

Playing From the HeartImagination Stage — ★★★ Imagination Theatre is hosting the American premiere of this British import, which depicts the formative years of percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who was pronounced “profoundly deaf” at age 12 but went on to be accepted at the Royal Academy of Music and become an internationally acclaimed musician. The play concentrates on Miss Glennie’s childhood, the years leading up to her playing in a student concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Evelyn (Erica Siegel, an actress with a hearing impairment) stands poised at what she knows is “her moment” and looks back at the forces that influenced her. Charles Way’s play, directed by Janet Stanford, is ingeniously conceived, as it integrates the idea that for lip readers, words and music form shapes. Through Nov. 30. 301/961-6060.


Compiled by Jayne Blanchard

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