ON STAGE Will Work for Fulfillment We've been high on Woolly Mammoth's penchant for taking chances since we saw the remarkable "In the Continuum," so we've got an ear to lend to Fringe Fest alum "Help Wanted: A Personal Search for Meaningful Employment at the Start of the 21st Century," written by twenty-something performer Josh Lefkowitz. Lefkowitz uses as his muse Spalding Gray to explore the hardships of making a career as an artist. $15. 8:15 p.m. today, tomorrow and Saturday; 7:15 p.m. Sunday. Extended to Oct. 8. Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D St. NW. 202-393-3939.
ON STAGE A Sack of Stars Sherman Hemsley and singer Ginuwine are among the sweet tooths in the touring comedy "Mama's Sweet Potato Pie," about a black family's secret of happiness. $44.50-$51.50. 8 p.m. today and tomorrow; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Warner Theatre, 13th and E streets NW. $44. 202-397-7328.
FILM "Shaft" The 1971 film opens the Gordon Parks film series (Parks died in March) at the Reynolds Center tomorrow. It'll be followed by a discussion with New York University film professor Ed Guerrero, the author of "Framing Blackness: The African American Image in Film," and Marc Pachter, director of the National Portrait Gallery. Free. 6:30 p.m. McEvoy Auditorium, Eighth and F streets NW. 202-633-1000.
OPENING "State of the Union" Ford's Theatre, with all its presidential-assassination baggage, is not a bad place to dig into some political theater. It presents the 1940s Pulitzer-winning play "State of the Union," about a Republican presidential candidate whose every move on his way to office is manipulated by people behind the scenes. $25-$52. Through Oct. 22. 511 10th St. NW. 202-347-4833.