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by Rich See
Actor’s Theatre of Washington has extended its production of David Mamet’s lesbian themed “Boston Marriage” to April 2, 2006. The show has been a big hit for Washington’s only gay theater company, which is a nice treat for area audiences. Meanwhile other DC and surrounding area stages hold a few gay-related productions which are set to open in the coming weeks.
First up, Arena Stage is bringing a cabaret set to its Kreeger Theatre when it opens “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” on March 31st. Written by Lanie Robertson, the musical is about the life and loves of openly bisexual Billie Holiday, as told by Lady Day herself. A bit of trivia: Mr. Robertson was one of the first writers to tackle the AIDS crisis on stage with a small biographical play about the stories of six actors titled “AIDS Alive.” It happened at a tiny Manhattan bar called Don’t Tell Momma back in 1988.
On April 5th through May 21st, Theater J launches the world premiere of gay writer Richard Greenberg’s “Bal Masque.” It’s the playwright’s third world premiere of the current season and is set in the early morning hours after Truman Capote’s famous Black & White Ball in 1966. “Bal Masque” follows several party goers and weaves their lives into the greater fabric of cultural change that was happening across the country during that time period. Mr. Greenberg is most famous for the smash baseball hit “Take Me Out,” and is the author of more than 20 plays.
Tiny Scena Theatre is presenting the world premiere of Charles Marowitz’ “Silent Partners.” Written and directed by Mr. Marowitz, the piece examines the working relationship between German playwright Bertolt Brecht and his American translator, the gay writer Eric Bentley. Developed through an extensive collaboration between Mr. Marowitz and Mr. Bentley, the play examines Brecht and Bentley’s personal relationship and stars gay actor Barry Dennen. “Silent Partners” takes to the stage on April 18th and runs through May 21st.
And finally, Rorschach Theatre’s production of Tony Kushner’s “A Bright Room Called Day” will kick off on April 19th and run to May 21st. First directed by Kushner in 1985 at New York’s Theatre 22, the play is set in an apartment in Berlin. Alternating between the fall of the Weimar Republic in the early thirties and modern Germany in 1990, the story follows the lives of a German middle-aged actress and a young American woman seeking to escape the growing power of the Republican Party. Considering the piece was created in the mid-eighties, it is very prescient of Mr. Kushner! With Rorschach’s penchant for whimsical and fable-like stories that incorporate myth and magic, this production should be quite interesting.
And that is the wrap up from Washington! I’m especially looking forward to seeing our two world premieres and letting Purple Circuit readers get a glimpse of these theatrical treats.