May 2001

Survival of the Sexiest (Part One)

Our theme 2001, Survival of the Fittest, comes from Darwin's theory of natural selection, a process that involves, well, sex. On Tuesday, May 22, we begin our study of sex & survival with "The Homecoming" (1965), by British playwright Harold Pinter. A philosophy professor introduces his wife to his cynical, all-male working-class family. They instantly see her potential as a prostitute, & start negotiating. "Brilliant" & "outrageous" (New York Post), "The Homecoming" is "profoundly disturbing" (San Francisco Chronicle), "sexually taut and really weird" (Los Angeles Times). Yet  it's "oddly humorous" (Wall Street Journal), even "hilarious" (Saturday Review). "A one-of-a-kind masterpiece" (Chicago Tribune), "The Homecoming" established Harold Pinter as "the most significant playwright now writing in English" (Newsweek).

Our meeting features director Richard Romagnoli. Professor Romagnoli teaches at Middlebury College & directs frequently at Olney Theatre Center, where his recent productions include "The Importance of Being Earnest" (1997) & "Camille" (1998). Romagnoli's OTC production of "The Homecoming" opens June 5.

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.  Come home to "The Homecoming" at Backstage Books, 545 8th St., SE; & for a discount at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW; & Olsson's Books & Records, 1307 19th St., NW & 7647 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda.

The Olney "Homecoming"

At 2 p.m. Sunday, June 10, Footlights will attend "The Homecoming" at  Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. (MD-108), between Georgia & New Hampshire Avenues in Olney, MD. We'll have maps at our May meeting. Tickets are $19 & include a group discount & a post-performance discussion. To guarantee your seat, mail your check by May 24 to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852 (240-669-6300 & ([email protected]). No refunds after May 27. Robin will distribute tickets in the lobby just before the performance. Contact Robin for information about carpooling to the theater or dinner after the performance.

Survival of the Sexiest (Part Two)

The play that concludes our spring sex study "still shocks with its dark eroticism and sexual frankness" (Telegraph). "Lulu," by German playwright Frank Wedekind, graphically depicts a society driven by lust & greed. We will discuss "Lulu" (also known as "Earth Spirit" (1898) & "Pandora's Box" (1904)), on Monday, June 18. Critics have called "Lulu" "passionate" & "powerful" (New York Times), "exciting" (Newsweek) & "unsettling" (Independent), "scathing" & "prophetic" (Guardian). Lulu herself is "the most notorious femme fatale in Western dramatic literature" (San Francisco Chronicle). Professor Gerald Izenberg will lead our discussion. Izenberg is author of "Modernism and Masculinity: Wedekind, Mann, Kandinsky Through World War I" (2000). At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28, we'll attend "Lulu" at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater. This is a "gorgeous" (Financial Times), "inspired" production (Independent) London theatergoers have flocked to see. Including a 6 p.m. pre-show cast discussion, tickets are $29 ($21 without cast discussion). Mail your check today to Robin Larkin, 5403  Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852.

Just Days to the "Wedding"

Time's short to join Footlights at the 2 p.m. Sunday May 6 performance of "Blood Wedding" (1933), by Federico Garcia Lorca. This explosive tale of forbidden love drew raves from the Washington Post, which called it a "moving marriage of poetry and theater." The production features our own Debbie Minter Jackson & was co-directed by Footlights Advisory Board member Jose Carrasquillo. Tickets are $14 & include a post-show discussion with Jose, Debbie, & other members of the cast, all at the Washington Shakespeare Co., 601 S. Clark St., Arlington (Pentagon City metro). After the discussion, Jose will join us for an early dinner (about 5 p.m.) at Portofino Italian Restaurant, 526 23d St. South, Arlington, less than a mile from the theater. Call or e-mail Robin Larkin (240-669-6300 & [email protected]) for tickets, directions, carpooling, & dinner reservations.

Meeting Calendar

Tuesday, May 22: "Homecoming," Delray Viet Gdn
Monday, June 18: "Lulu," Delray Viet Gdn
Wednesday, July 18: "Andersonville Trial," Cafe Midi

All meetings start 6:30 p.m.
Watch for exciting news about our 2001-02 season!

More Information

For more information about Footlights, check our website, You can subscribe to our list & receive our monthly e-letter for free by sending any message--even blank--to [email protected]