- The Washington Times - Friday, September 26, 2008

NOW PLAYING

AceSignature Theatre — ★★ This new musical by composer Richard Oberacker and lyricist Robert Taylor, which seems destined for an aviation museum theater rather than the Broadway stage, depicts the shedding of emotional and past burdens so one can soar freely. The show is weighed down with too many ambitions and subplots and an overriding sense of angst and malaise that keeps it from gaining altitude. Even a top-notch cast; vibrant costumes by Robert Perdziola; a snazzy, streamlined steel set by Walt Spangler; and the gifted director Eric Schaeffer can’t make a Gulfstream jet out of this bucket of bolts. Through Sunday. 703/573-7328.

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. 12. 202/547-1122.

Wishful DrinkingArena Stage at the Lincoln Theatre — ★★★★ Carrie Fisher’s winning one-woman show, “Wishful Drinking,” is part Hollywood confessional, part astutely wry observation on a life roaringly spent. In her 51 years, she has left few stones unturned. There was that Princess Leia thing, a tempestuous marriage to Paul Simon, a second marriage to a gay man that produced her daughter Billie, drug and alcohol addictions, a bipolar diagnosis after a stay in a mental institution, a career as a successful author. What emerges in this freewheeling autobiographical evening is not just that Miss Fisher’s life has produced a wealth of material, but that she knows how to use it. Through Sunday. 202/488-3300

MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS

Compiled by Jayne Blanchard

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