- The Washington Times - Friday, October 3, 2008

NOW PLAYING

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their AccentsRound House Theatre — ★★★ Julia Alvarez’s best-selling 1991 novel of acculturation gets translated to the stage by Mexican-born local playwright Karen Zacarias with such broad, dedicated strokes that you miss the details that stipple the emotional landscape of four very different Latinas. The breadth and reach of Miss Alvarez’s novel is vivaciously evoked in this production, directed with a keen eye toward sun-soaked Caribbean color and light by Blake Robison. Though the performances are sharp and affecting and the production moves along entertainingly, the theme of straddling two cultures somehow gets compromised in the play’s picaresque pace. Through Oct. 12. 240/644-1100.

Host & GuestSynetic Theatre — ★★★★ Six years and recent events in the former Soviet republic of Georgia have only enhanced the intensity and artistry of one of Synetic Theater’s signature pieces. “Host and Guest” was adapted in 2002 by Roland Reed from an epic poem by Vazha Pshavela that was written at the turn of the 20th century and has become a classic in the Georgian literary canon. This production has renewed vigor and a stately beauty that gives you the shivers. Synetic’s trademark poetic imagery is particularly strong in this production. Through Nov. 9. 800/494-8497.

Romeo and JulietShakespeare Theatre — ★★ To he or not to he, that is the question posed in director David Muse’s all-male production of Shakespeare’s love-drunk tragedy “Romeo and Juliet.” Beyond wondering exactly when the Bard became the exemplar of boy love, you have to ask just what such a casting decision brings to a modern production of “Romeo and Juliet.” The answer is, nothing. The actors never melt into the female characters. In many cases, they take a broad, Monty Pythonesque approach to the roles, with shrill, piping voices, garish makeup, mincing gaits and frequent gestures alluding to the fact that man parts are lurking under their skirts. Through Oct. 18. 202/547-1122.

MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS



Compiled by Jayne Blanchard

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