The Weir, One Flea Spare and On The Razzle are on our radar for top theatre picks this week.
By Jordan Wright
No local company knows Irish theater better than Keegan does. Cast members have traveled to Ireland annually for the past 15 years to study, perform and perfect the region’s theatre and dialect. In “The Weir”, set in a local bar in Yeats’ country during the late 20thC, four men and a woman struggle with their personal demons. As with most Irish plays of this genre there is pathos and dark comedy with a dash of the faeries thrown in for good measure.
A solid cast led by Kevin Adams who crafts an elegant and haunting portrait of a boastful, self-righteous, and self-deprecating loser in a memorably mimed sandwich scene as he retells the loss of his true love.
Loaded with insider terms to spring on the barmaid at your local Irish pub. Try asking, “A small one, then?” for a shot of Jameson, and requesting a “jar” for a pint of Guinness. Then watch out for the “loolahs” (crazies) and “chancers” (dodgy characters) before you go home to your “leaba” (bed) to sleep it off. Through March 13th at the Andrew Keegan Theatre, Washington, DC.
One Flea Spare
Described as a searing and bawdy Black Plague comedy set in 1665 London, it explores the limits of compassion in a tale about sex, class and disease. This play won the 1997 Obie Award for Best Play for Kentucky native, Naomi Wallace. Provocative and gritty.
Artistic Director Michael Dove was inspired to do this play through the words of multi-award winning playwright and human rights advocate, Wallace, who writes in a poetical yet scathing political language. In “One Flea Spare” she articulates society’s predilection for labeling its neighbors with themes of universal human emotion. Dove explains, “She opens up a dialogue on how we live and react to one another and how can we break down those labels. While the play takes place in 1665 London, the accents and themes are modern and relatable.”
Forum Theatre has grown tremendously in the last two of their seven-year history. “Now that we are in our new space here in Silver Spring all our shows are focusing on home or origins and we have doubled our audience,” he marvels.
A former student at James Madison University and a big fan of DC United, “I’m always in the European bars watching overseas matches,” he grew up studying theatre under Dr. Ralph Cohen, co-founder of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA. “I love the ongoing political discussions in DC. This area is ripe for the kind of plays I like to do. It’s a great challenge. People here like to talk about big topics and share their thoughts.”
On The Razzle
This frothy Viennese farce by playwright Tom Stoppard is a kaleidoscope of clever wit and double entendres performed on a turntable stage. Crazy and campy. Keep your eyes on Matthew McGloin.