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FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS
May 2004

Ari Roth’s Oh, the Innocents on May 17

Playwright and Theater J Artistic Director Ari Roth comes to Footlights on Monday, May 17 to discuss his play Oh, the Innocents. Footlights member Lorna Jaffe will moderate our discussion. As Theater J’s website describes Innocents: "Betsy sings from the heart; Jeremy plays in his head; Josh watches from his window in this rueful comedy about young people striving to make honest music in a corrupting market. Acclaimed for its premiere at GeVa Theatre [Rochester, NY], this update moves to late 90s Washington, when Bohemia was on the take and a gilded class was trying to reclaim its innocence." This new production of Oh, the Innocents will play at Theater J June 23 - July 25. Ari Roth will direct his own play with his own music, with eleven new original songs.

We will meet at Guapo’s, 4515 Wisconsin Ave, NW, upstairs (202-686-3588). By Metro, Guapo’s is right next to the Tenleytown station. Take the east side exit. Turn right on Wisconsin Ave to 4515. If you do come by car, try to park on the street, on Albemarle, 42nd or 40th Streets, behind the Metro station. Arrive for dinner at 6:30 p.m.; the meeting is from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Guapo’s is providing a buffet for us for $15. Coffee, tea or sodas are included; a cash bar is available. Pay us as you arrive, by cash or check, no credit cards. $20 covers the buffet and meeting contribution. To make reservations for the May 17 dinner-discussion meeting, call or e-mail Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825 or gruenberg@ footlightsdc.org. We will need a firm commitment; please do not make a reservation if you are not sure you will be able to attend.

How innocent are the innocents? Ari Roth’s new play, Oh, the Innocents, is available at our bookstores. Get your copy soon. When their stock runs out you have to order your own copy. Backstage Books (202-544-5744) 545 8th St, SE, Washington, D.C. caters to the theater crowd. Olsson’s has two stores with the play on the theater shelf: Dupont Circle, 1307 19th St., NW (202-785-1133) & Bethesda 7647 Old Georgetown Rd. (301-652-3336); or check with Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW (202-364-1919). Ask for the Footlights discount at Olsson’s and Politics & Prose. Discounts are only available as long as the bookstores buy and sell a large order of our plays. So, whenever possible, please patronize our bookstores.

Footlights will see Oh, the Innocents at Theater J, located at the DCJCC, 1529 16th St., NW, Washington, D.C. on Sunday, July 11, 3 p.m. Tickets are $28, and include a post-show discussion.

Looking Ahead – Machinal in June

On Tuesday, June 22, our play for discussion is Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal (1928), a modern age tragedy of isolation turned to murder. Loosely based on the sensational 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder, the play examines what circumstances might drive a seemingly harmless stenographer to commit murder. Footlights member Scot Stone will moderate; our return-visit guest is Lee Mikeska Gardner, Helen Hayes award-winning director and actress (and Footlights Advisory Board member). Lee is directing Machinal for the American Century Theatre (T.A.C.T.)

We will see Machinal on Saturday, July 24 at 2:30 p.m. at T.A.C.T., performing at the Gunston Arts Center II, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington, VA. Machinal runs June 17-July 24.

Family News

Footlighters are invited to the Theatre Lobby’s 17th annual Mary Goldwater Awards ceremony and reception on Monday, May 24, 8 p.m. at the Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St, Bethesda, MD (301-654-8664). These awards honor the outstanding work of Washington area theater artists and smaller theater organizations who achieve excellence despite limited resources. Footlights member Lonna Shafritz is an active Theatre Lobby member.

Plays, plays and more plays . . .

Footlights is planning a number of theater events this spring and summer. In addition to seeing performances of plays we have discussed recently, we are revisiting plays discussed in past seasons, such as Boy Gets Girl and The Cripple of Inishmaan. Please check our schedule and join us!

About Footlights

To get Footlights updates on-line, send any message — even blank — to join@footlightsdc.org. Subscribers can post to our on-line list by sending brief messages to list@footlightsdc.org. Visit our website at www.footlightsdc.org. Address all inquiries to Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825 or gruenberg @footlightsdc.org.

Please support Footlights, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Send your tax-deductible contributions to Footlights, c/o Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852.

For all reservations to dinner-discussions, contact Mark Gruenberg, 202-898-4825 & gruenberg@footlightsdc.org.

For theater tickets contact Robin Larkin, 240-669-6300 & rlarkin@footlightsdc.org. Don’t forget to sign up for plays we will see soon. Send your check payable to Footlights, to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852. Contact Robin for further information and to check ticket availability.

To volunteer, contact Mark. We need people willing to help find speakers, lead/moderate discussions, publicize Footlights to potential members, help with site coordination, write and distribute newsletters, assist with tickets at theaters, attend to a few legal matters and anything else you can think of offering. Just ask Mark.

Is This Your Last Newsletter?

A ladybug sticker on your postal newsletter indicates we have not seen you for awhile—either at a dinner-discussion or a performance, and we miss you! Contact Mark to find out how you can stay on our mailing list. (Hint: a donation to Footlights to help defray the cost of newsletter mailings may be one answer.)

Calendar: 

Monday, May 17, 6:30 p.m., dinner and discussion of Oh, the Innocents by Ari Roth. Guest: Ari Roth. Moderator: Lorna Jaffe. Location: Guapo’s, 4515 Wisconsin Ave., NW, D.C. (202-686-3588).

Sunday, May 23, 2 p.m., go see Boy Gets Girl at Theater Alliance (H St. Playhouse), 1365 H St., NE, D.C. Tickets $17; payment by May 17.

Saturday, June 12, 2 p.m., go see The Cripple of Inishmaan at Studio Theatre, 1333 P St., NW, D.C. Tickets $25; payment by May 28.

Tuesday, June 22, 6:30 p.m., dinner and discussion of Machinal by Sophie Treadwell. Guest: Lee Mikeska Gardner. Moderator: Scot Stone. Location: tbd.

Saturday, June 26, 2 p.m., go see Cyrano de Bergerac at the Shakespeare Theatre, 450 7th St., NW, D.C. Tickets $32; payment by May 26.

Sunday, July 11, 3 p.m., go see Oh, the Innocents at Theater J, DCJCC, 1529 16th St., NW, D.C. Tickets $28; pay by June 25.

Saturday, July 24, 2:30 p.m., go see Machinal at the American Century Theater, Gunston Arts Center II, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington, VA. Tickets $18; pay by July 12.