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Only F.W. Thomas, and Nothing More

Adam Mazmanian at one his F.W. Thomas Performances, a series of literary readings immortalizing one of Edgar Allan Poe's lesser correspondents.
Adam Mazmanian at one his F.W. Thomas Performances, a series of literary readings immortalizing one of Edgar Allan Poe's lesser correspondents. (By Kevin Clark -- The Washington Post)

Hodgman and Mazmanian teamed up for a test run of the Thomas show in December at the Warehouse. It was so popular, they added a second show, a "ridiculous idea for a literary reading," Hodgman said. The next show is set for September.

Despite his undying appreciation for Thomas, Mazmanian has started taking liberties with his life story, throwing out false tidbits such as saying he invented Thomas' English Muffins. He doesn't mind if people think Thomas is fictitious, he said, because he doesn't want Thomas to become "this precious little thing."

"I'm not sure if he's worth saving, but I'm saving him nonetheless."

Another Bit of History

Local actress Hilary Kacser also channels history in her new one-woman show, "In Pursuit of the English Rose." Her show is about a woman named Rose who lives in post-World War II London. She based her character on Doris Lessing's 1960 book "In Pursuit of the English," and stories she heard her mother and grandmother tell about living in postwar England.

Rose survives by keeping her wry sense of humor intact -- something Kacser said is relevant in today's political climate.

"To say, 'I wish the war was back,' there's something incongruous about that," she said. "But also a little twisted and comical."

Kacser's 20-minute show is part of the Doris Lessing Tribute, and will feature a discussion led by a member of the Doris Lessing Society, which celebrates the English writer whose work includes science fiction, memoir, novels and essays. Kacser will also perform her show as part of the Capital Fringe Festival next month.

A first-generation American, she grew up hearing her mother lament the rationing that persisted after the war. "My mother loves oranges, and for many years after the end of World War II, you were lucky if you could have one orange a year," she said. "And your orange was at the toe of your Christmas stocking."

The next F.W. Thomas Performance will be Sept. 18 at the Warehouse Theater, 1017-21 Seventh St. NW. $3. 202-783-3933.

In Pursuit of the English Rose will be performed June 26 at 6 p.m. at Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. Free. 202-387-7638.


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