June 2001

Sex and Survival 

On Monday, June 18, our theme 2001--Survival of the Fittest--continues with the climax of our spring sex series: "Lulu" (1894), by German playwright Frank Wedekind. "Lulu" depicts the "archetypal femme fatale" (Newsweek), a notoriously bewitching waif who leaves a trail of blood from Berlin & Paris to Jack the Ripper's London, dominating, exploiting, & finally destroying the men & women whose lust she ignites. Critics have called "Lulu" "strange and unforgettable" (New York Times), "compelling" (Financial Times), "disturbing" (London Daily Telegraph), & "gloriously savage" (Independent). "Sophisticated" (Evening Standard) & "prophetic" (Sunday Times (of London)), "Lulu" inspired the G.W. Pabst film "Pandora's Box" (1929), Alban Berg's opera "Lulu" (1937), & much of 20th-century western drama.

Our meeting features Gerald Izenberg, author of "Modernism and Masculinity: Wedekind, Mann, Kandinsky Through World War I" (2000). One of  America's leading psychohistorians, Professor Izenberg earned his B.A. from the University of Toronto & his Ph.D. in history from Harvard. He co-directs the program in literature & history at Washington University in St. Louis.

Make reservations by calling 202-638-0444 (24 hours/day) or e-mailing [email protected]. We will meet at Delray Vietnamese Garden, 4918 Del Ray Ave. (301-986-0606). Dinner begins at 6:30; our discussion is 7:30-9:30. From Bethesda metro, take both up escalators, turn left onto Old Georgetown Rd., walk a few short blocks to Del Ray Ave. & turn right. Drivers can find inexpensive garages on Cordell Ave. & Old Georgetown Rd. 

Any version of "Lulu" will suit our discussion. Get Eric Bentley's "The First 'Lulu'" (1994) for a special Footlights discount at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, & at Olsson's Books & Records, 1307 19th St., NW, & 7647 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda. Backstage Books, 545 8th St., SE, may also have copies (but no discount). Carl Mueller's "Frank Wedekind:  Four Major Plays" (2000) has a good translation. You can find copies of the Nicholas Wright "Lulu" (2001)--opening soon at the Kennedy Center--only at the Kennedy Center giftshop. For further guidance e-mail Sybil Keats at [email protected].

Sex at the KenCen

On Thursday, June 28, Footlights will attend "Lulu" at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater. In London, this "exuberant" (Evening Standard), "erotically charged" production (Daily Express) earned acclaim as the "perfect 'Lulu' for our time" (Financial Times). We have only a few tickets left & cannot get more. A pre-performance cast discussion starts at 6 p.m., the performance itself at 7:30. Tickets are $29 ($21 for performance only). Mail your check today to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (240-669-6300 & [email protected]). We regret we cannot issue refunds for this event. Watch your mailbox! We may be mailing your tickets to you.

Come Home to Olney

We have a few $19 tickets left for the 2 p.m. performance this Sunday, June 10, of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming" at Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. (MD-108), in Olney, MD. Tickets include a post-performance discussion. Dick Sullivan, filling in for Robin Larkin, will distribute tickets in the lobby just before the performance. Call or e-mail Robin (240-669-6300 & [email protected]) regarding tickets, directions, carpooling, & dinner. 

Surviving the Camps

Confederate general Stonewall Jackson liked to say "My duty is to obey orders." The defense made infamous at Nuremberg originated in the 1865 war-crimes trial of an officer in Jackson's own army. Captain Henry Wirz commanded the brutal prisoner-of-war camp at Andersonville, Georgia. American playwright Saul Levitt dramatized his trial. On Wednesday, July 18, Survival of the Fittest ends at Andersonville when we discuss "The Andersonville Trial" (1959). "Vital" (The Los Angeles Times) & "effective" (New York Post), "The Andersonville Trial" is "a walloping piece of showmanship" (New York Herald Tribune). We'll meet in July at Cafe Midi Cuisine, 1635 Connecticut Ave., NW, just north of Dupont Circle. Our meeting will feature director Jack Marshall, whose production of "The Andersonville Trial" we'll attend at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28 at The American Century Theater, Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. in Arlington, VA. Tickets are $17 & include a post-show cast discussion. Mail your check to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Court, Rockville, MD 20852.