- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 1, 2011

✔ Pick of the Pack: Concert Black Cat’s 18th Anniversary

The Black Cat arrived in the District shortly after President Clinton started his first term, and stuck around long after he left the White House. As far as D.C. venues go, you could say it’s unimpeachable - and tough. The club was founded with cash from Dave Grohl, who was between Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, and now opens its door every night to a different U Street than the one of 1993, when the best parts of the corridor were but low-rent shadows of a Jazz Age past. The Black Cat stuck it out though, moving only once - down the block. That persistence, as well as a carefully maintained punk aesthetic, has made the Black Cat something of a must-play for every kind of band - including Korn and Radiohead - touring the East Coast. On Friday, the acts - the Max Levine Ensemble, Garland of Hours, Oh So Peligroso and others - will be smaller. But then, Radiohead was small once upon a time as well. Friday at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Phone: 202/667-4527. Web: www.blackcatdc.com.

Exhibit ‘Covering Katrina’

By the time Hurricane Irene had finished dumping buckets over Queens, the media were full-throatedly debating whether they had devoted too much attention to the storm. Some folks argued that the storm received continuous coverage because, unlike previous hurricanes, it posed an inconvenience to media-saturated cities such as Washington and New York. Still others countered that the media didn’t cover the storm enough, that it switched to navel-gazing just in time to miss Irene beat the living daylights out of Vermont. While the jury’s still out on Irene coverage, it gave itself a happy verdict on Hurricane Katrina. To review what the media believe it did right before, during and after one of the worst storms in history, the Newseum has created an exhibit that “chronicles the dramatic tale of the media’s reporting of the killer storm.” Through Sept. 18 at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Phone: 888/639-7386. Web: newseum.org.

Theater ‘Or,’

The title of Liz Duffy Adams’ play is a nod to the habits of Restoration playwrights. Wordy fellows, 17th-century playwrights often gave their plays two names. There was “The Man of Mode, or, Sir Fopling Flutter” by George Etherege, “The Rump, or, The Mirror of the Late Times” by John Tatham and “All for Love, or, The World Well Lost” by John Dryden, to name but a few. Having dual titles is not the only thing Restoration dramas had in common. Like most other literary forms of the day, it was dominated by men. Aphra Behn would change all that with “The Rover, or, The Banish’d Cavaliers.” Having been a spy and a resident of debtor’s prison, Behn (the subject of Ms. Adams’ play) was familiar with the concept of duality by the time she became one of Britain’s most successful professional female writers. Through Sept. 18 at Rep Stage, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044. Phone: 410/772-4800. Web: www.repstage.org.

Book talk Sacha Z. Scoblic

The addiction memoir will come full circle any day now, from rare to ubiquitous and, let’s hope, back to rare. There is nothing wrong, of course, with turning tragedy into cash. But as the culture has liberalized, so has our sense of normalcy. People who drink, snort and smoke too much don’t feel the need to hide anymore, which makes stories about drinking, snorting and smoking too much rather dull. If the genre is to evolve, let’s hope it moves in the direction of Sacha Z. Scoblic’s “Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety,” in which Ms. Scoblic muses with humor and honesty about life after alcoholism. Thursday, Barnes & Noble, 555 12th St. NW. Phone: 202/347-0176. Web: www.barnesandnoble.com.

Theater ‘Imagining Madoff’

A better name for Deb Margolin’s play about Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff would be “To Hell and Back.” Originally slated to run last theater season, the production hit a roadblock when Ms. Margolin sent her script to author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, whom Ms. Margolin had made into a character opposite Mr. Madoff. Mr. Wiesel reportedly found the play so offensive that he pressured Theater J to drop the show. It did, and Ms. Margolin headed back to her workshop, where she replaced Mr. Wiesel with Solomon Galkin, a Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor, just like Mr. Wiesel, except fictional. The amount of wrangling that went into getting Ms. Margolin’s play from the page to the stage - not to mention a feature appearance by character actor Mike Nussbaum - will make this one worth it. Through Sept. 25 at Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW. Phone: 202/518-9400. Web: www.dcjcc.org.



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