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She Hopes 'MacBird' Flies in a New Era

London Notices

The American Century Theater is resurrecting Barbara Garson's
The American Century Theater is resurrecting Barbara Garson's "MacBird." Performing in a scene are Joe Cronin, from left, Theodore M. Snead, Maura Stadem and J.J. Area. (Jeff Bell Photography)

The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Swingin' '60s take on "Love's Labor's Lost" won plaudits from most of London's print theater critics last month. Artistic Director Michael Kahn took his production to Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works season. Charles Spencer in the Telegraph wrote, "What a pleasure it is to see this dauntingly difficult comedy reinvented with such panache" and singled out Ted van Griethuysen's bloviating schoolmaster, Holofernes; Michael Milligan's stoner dude, Costard; and Geraint Wyn Davies's buffoon, Don Armado. Even Michael Billington in the Guardian, who called Kahn's premise "spurious," said the "largely cosmetic" changes were "at least applied with spirit."

Classika Season

Classika Theatre in Arlington will revive some of its popular shows for family audiences this season, beginning with "Aesop's Fables" (Sept. 16-Nov. 19).

Next, the company will reprise "Galactika" (Sept. 30-Oct. 29). Created with help from NASA, the show incorporates dance and mime in the adventures of a reporter, Halley Comet, as she tours the galaxy.

Both shows will be directed by Nicholas Allen and play at the company's longtime storefront space in the Village at Shirlington.

Over the holiday season, Classika will move temporarily to the Arts Barn in Gaithersburg and bring back E.T.A. Hoffman's "The Nutcracker" (Dec. 2-31 and Jan. 6, 13 and 27), adapted by Classika founding director Inna Shapiro with Lilia Slavova and directed by Slavova.

Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" (Dec. 2-31 and Jan. 6, 13 and 27), staged by Carrie Klewin, will open at the Arts Barn before moving to Shirlington (Feb. 3-25).

Also in Shirlington, an adaptation by Shapiro of "Little Red Riding Hood" (Feb. 10-May 20) will be staged by Slavova.

The shows are recommended for ages 4 and older, except for "Galactika," suggested for 5 and older. Call 703-824-6200 or visit http://www.classika.org/ .

Follow Spots

· Several actors with Washington connections will perform in "King Lear" at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, opening Saturday and staged by Goodman Artistic Director Robert Falls to kick off his 20th season. Shakespeare Theatre Company alum Edward Gero will play Gloucester. Howard Witt, a 10-year veteran of Arena Stage's long-ago resident company, will play the Fool. Stacy Keach, a past Macbeth and Richard III at the Shakespeare here, will play Lear.

· Round House Theatre has become the newest member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT). There are only 75 LORT theaters nationwide, including Arena Stage, the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Ford's Theatre and CenterStage in Baltimore. Artistic Director Blake Robison says this means Round House is committed to "the highest standards of excellence" and "nationally competitive wages and work conditions."


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