April 2003

"America's Hottest Young Playwright"

On Tuesday, April 8, Footlights tackles what Time Magazine called "one of the finest, most disturbing American plays in years": "Boy Gets Girl" (2000), by Rebecca Gilman. In "Boy Gets Girl," a sophisticated New Yorker endures an awkward blind date, then finds herself terrorized when her rejected suitor's persistent unwanted attention escalates into violence. "Chilling" (Chicago Tribune), "harrowing" (New York Daily News), "Boy Gets Girl" is both "fiercely intelligent" (Guardian) & "amazingly funny" (Financial Times). In print it's "as thrilling, entertaining, and subtly terrifying as it is on the stage" (Booklist). Critics consider Rebecca Gilman "America's hottest young playwright" (Chicago Sun-Times), "poised to have a major impact on the American theater" (Variety). 

Stalking torments over one million American women each year. Our April speaker, Tracy L. Bahm, has extensive experience addressing this particular criminal pathology. As a prosecutor in Washington State, Bahm specialized in cases of domestic violence & sexual assault. She then served in the Violence Against Women Unit of the American Prosecutors Research Institute, & now directs the Stalking Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime.

Make reservations by calling 202-898-4825 or e-mailing [email protected]. We'll meet at Luna Books, 1633 P St., NW (202-332-2543), three blocks east of Dupont Circle. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.; our discussion runs 7:30-9:30. Get "Boy Gets Girl" at Backstage Books, 545 8th St., SE, & for a special Footlights discount at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, & Olsson's Books & Records, 1307 19th St., NW, & 7647 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda.

A Learned Pleasure

The Nation found "Elizabeth the Queen" "a pleasure to listen to." We'll listen to & watch "Elizabeth," starring Michael Learned ("The Waltons"), on Sunday, April 13, 2 p.m. at Folger Shakespeare Library's Elizabethan Theatre, 201 East Capitol St., SE (near Capitol South & Union Station metro stations). Tickets are $32 & include a post-show discussion. We must receive payment by March 27, also the refund deadline. Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (240-669-6300 & [email protected]). We'll distribute tickets in the lobby just before the performance, & have dinner afterwards at a nearby restaurant.

May Showers

On Thursday, May 8, our Women at the Footlights series heads to the farm with "The Rainmaker" (1954), by N. Richard Nash. At a time of paralyzing drought, one young woman's family worries more about her marriage prospects than about their dying cattle. Suddenly a charming stranger promises, for the right price, to bring rain. This is "timeless" & "inspiring" drama (Chicago Sun-Times), a "touching" (New York Journal- American), "refreshing" work that "strikes home" (New York Herald Tribune). It's also "delightful," even "uproarious" (New York Times), & "very good fun" (Time Magazine). Our discussion will feature Gavin Witt, resident dramaturg at Baltimore's Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., where we'll see a performance of "The Rainmaker" at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 8. Tickets are $22 & include a post-show discussion. We can't issue refunds, but we can provide transportation to the theater; just ask. Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (240-669-6300 & [email protected]).

Long "Buried"

At 2 p.m. Sunday, May 18, our ongoing series Footlights' Greatest Hits continues with a performance of Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Buried Child" (1978), which we discussed in October 1997. "Buried Child" depicts a young man's search for identity in a family seized by sordid secrets. Jointly produced by the Keegan & Fountainhead Theatres, the performance takes place at the Clark Street Playhouse, 601 S. Clark St., Crystal City. Tickets are only $9. Call 240-669-6300 or e-mail [email protected].

The Envelope, Please

Last season we had our three best-attended dinner- discussions ever, for "Copenhagen"; "Shakespeare, Moses, and Joe Papp"; & "The Weir." On March 10, productions of these three plays earned ten Helen Hayes nominations. "Copenhagen" (Kennedy Center) took three, including outstanding nonresident production. "Joe Papp" (Round House) also took three, including one for playwright Ernie Joselovitz, our December 2001 speaker. And "The Weir" (Round House) took four, including one for outstanding resident play & another for director & Footlights Advisory Board member Nick Olcott, who discussed "The Weir" with us in January 2002. Footlights-related nominees also include "A Moon for the Misbegotten" (outstanding supporting actor), which we saw at Arena Stage; & FAB members director Molly Smith ("South Pacific" at Arena) & lead actress Lee Mikeska Gardner ("The Taste of Fire" at Charter Theatre). Two nominations, including outstanding resident play, went to "She Stoops to Conquer," directed by Richard Clifford (our March 2003 speaker) at the Folger Theatre, where on April 13 we'll see Clifford's production of "Elizabeth the Queen." The Helen Hayes Awards Ceremony & Gala takes place Monday, May 5 at the Kennedy Center. Active Footlights members can purchase discount tickets; see your postal newsletter for details.

Dinner Discussions

  Tues., Apr. 8: "Boy Gets Girl," Luna Books 
*Thursday, May 8: "The Rainmaker," Delray Viet Garden
  Wednesday, June 11: "Ghosts," Luna Books

*Note change from prior newsletters.

Theater Trips

Sunday, April 13: "Elizabeth the Queen," Folger Library 
Sunday, May 18: "Buried Child," Keegan/Fountainhead Theatre 
Sunday, June 8: "The Rainmaker," Center Stage 
Saturday, June 28: "Ghosts," Shakespeare Theatre

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