- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

DanteSynetic Theater — ★★★★ Sin and corruption become this movement-based, startlingly physical theater troupe’s divinely inspired adaptation of Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy,” under the direction of Paata Tsikurishvili and dancer-choreographer Irina Tsikurishvili. This version of Dante’s poetic masterpiece dwells mostly in Inferno but gives us a brief glimpse of Purgatory and Paradise in the beatific, cleansing denouement. Through March 22. 800/494-8497

A Delicate BalanceArena Stage at Crystal City — ★★★½ Arena goes back to its roots for this gleaming production, notable not only for capturing the classy uppercuts of Edward Albee’s upper-crust dialogue, but also for the look of the show. The trappings of East Coast gentry are Mr. Albee’s milieu, and few playwrights capture the neuroses and velvet-shrouded prickliness of this world with such precise wit and insight. In “A Delicate Balance,” which premiered on Broadway in 1966, Mr. Albee examines the domestic lies that bind — and enmesh — a suburban WASP family undergoing a startling invasion. Through Sunday. 202/488-3300

The Little Dog LaughedSignature Theatre — ★★★ A delectably caustic comedy of manners that satirizes the movie industry and our citizenry’s relentless pursuit of happiness. Playwright Douglas Carter Beane is a throwback to such noted wordsmiths as Noel Coward and S.J. Perelman in the sophisticated sparkle of his writing. Adding to the fizz of Signature’s production of “Little Dog,” directed by Michael Baron, is a dandy ensemble cast, including Holly Twyford, Matthew Montelongo, Casie Platt and Ivan Quintanilla, who are more than up to the physical and mental gymnastics the comedy demands. Through Sunday. 703/573-7328


Compiled by Jayne Blanchard

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