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FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS - April, 1999

"Drive," He Said

On Monday, April 19, Footlights will discuss "the sweetest and most forgiving play ever written about child abuse" (Village Voice): "How I Learned to Drive" (1997), by DC native Paula Vogel. "How I Learned to Drive" tells the disturbing & darkly comic story of a woman who learns more than the rules of the road from behind the wheel of her uncle's car. New York Magazine found the play "a masterly composition of delicacy and humor," while the New York Times called it "wryly objective and deeply empathetic; angry and compassionate; light-handed and devastating." "How I Learned to Drive" won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Our meeting will feature playwright Paula Vogel herself. Vogel's other plays include "And Baby Makes Seven" (1986), "The Baltimore Waltz" (1992), & "Hot 'n' Throbbing" (1994), scheduled to open Arena Stage's 1999-2000 season. You can find "How I Learned to Drive," separately or in "The Mammary Plays," in NW DC at Backstage Books, 2101 P St.; Olsson's, 1307 19th St.; & Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. (at Nebraska). We will meet at Stanford in Washington, 2661 Connecticut Ave., NW (Woodley Park metro). Our meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. Stanford in Washington will not provide food, but nearby restaurants have take-out. If you plan to bring dinner please arrive by 7. Doors open at 6:15. TO ATTEND OUR APRIL MEETING YOU MUST HAVE A TICKET. If you haven't got one, call Mark Gruenberg (202-638-0444) to get on the waiting list.

"Drive" to the Arena

On Thursday, May 13, at 8 p.m., Footlights will attend "How I Learned to Drive" at Arena Stage, 1101 6th St., SW (Waterfront metro). Ticket prices are $24 (orchestra) & $21 (balcony). We will sell out; call 240-669-6300 or e-mail robin.larkin@erols.com to make sure we still have tickets. If we do, mail your check, payable to Footlights, to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852. We will hold your ticket when we receive your check. There will be no refunds. Robin will distribute tickets in the lobby just before curtain.

More Paula

On Monday, April 26, 7 p.m. at the Arena Stage, "How I Learned to Drive" director Molly Smith will host an hour of conversation with Paula Vogel. The event is free to Arena subscribers; for others admission costs $3.00. For reservations call 202-488-3300. Paula Vogel's early work "Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief" (1979) looks at "Othello" from the perspective of the play's women. The Theatre Conspiracy will present "Desdemona" April 30-June 5 7:30 p.m. at the DC Arts Center, 2438 18th St., NW. Footlights has $12 discount tickets for Saturday, May 8. Mail your check, payable to Footlights, to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852.

"What's Hecuba to Him?"

May's first week brings multiple answers to Hamlet's question. At 2 p.m. Saturday, May 1, at the Shakespeare Theatre, 450 7th St., NW (Gallery Place metro), the University of Chicago Club (one of our sponsors) will attend Euripides' "The Trojan Women." This harrowing tale of the Trojan War's impact on Queen Hecuba & her family so enraged Athens it cost Euripides his Athenian citizenship. The production features a new translation by Chicago professor D. Nicholas Rudall. Everyone is invited; tickets are $27. Send your check, payable to the University of Chicago Club of Washington, to Susan Kimmel, 7405 Barra Dr., Bethesda, MD 20817-4608 (301-229-3037 & skimmel@compusnet.com). On Thursday, May 6, from 12-2 p.m., Professor Rudall will join Footlights for lunch. Founder of Chicago's Court Theatre, actor, director, & playwright, scholar of theater from Plautus to Pinter, Rudall will discuss "Lessons of Euripides: What Modern Drama Owes to the Greeks— and What It Doesn't." We will meet at Luna Books, 1633 P St., NW, just E of Dupont Circle. Make reservations by calling Mark Gruenberg (202-638-0444). Admission is free. On the evening of May 6, Professor Rudall will speak at the University of Chicago Club's annual dinner. Everyone is invited. This event takes place 6:30-9 p.m. at the Hilton Arlington and Towers, 950 N. Stafford St. (Ballston metro). Admission is $40. Mail your check by April 26, payable to the University of Chicago Club of Washington, to Jeffrey Wright, 9907 Wildwood Rd., Kensington, MD 20895 (301-571-9177).

Outsiders in Ireland (Part Two)

On Tuesday, May 18, Footlights continues its "Outsiders & Outlaws" series with "The Cripple of Inishmaan" (1996), by Anglo-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. A "macabre, wildly funny and over-the-top" tragicomedy (Time), "The Cripple of Inishmaan" "confirms McDonagh as a star writer" (London Sunday Times), "destined to be one of the theatrical luminaries of the twenty-first century" (New Republic). Our meeting will feature Dr. Christina Hunt Mahony, associate director of Catholic University's Irish Studies Program, who joined us last April for our discussion of "The Steward of Christendom."

Calendar: Outsiders & Outlaws

Monday, April 19: "How I Learned to Drive," Stanford in Washington
Thursday, May 13: "How I Learned to Drive," Arena Stage
Tuesday, May 18: "The Cripple of Inishmaan," Delray Vietnamese Garden
Wednesday, June 16: "Angels in America (Part I)," Luna Books
Sunday, July 11: "Angels in America (Part I)," Signature Theatre
Thursday, July 22: "The Road to Mecca," Delray Vietnamese Garden
Sunday, August 29: "The Road to Mecca," Olney Theatre


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