From the Fringe to Sweet Success?

By Lavanya Ramanathan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 26, 2007

While certainly a forum for one-offs, the Fringe Festival is also a chance to get a peek at a few productions that aren't as likely to go away, ones with money and time behind them -- the ones with foundations in place to become something larger.

Perhaps the most commonly cited example from last year's Fringe is "Help Wanted," starring underemployed actor Josh Lefkowitz expounding on being . . . underemployed in D.C. That production ended up in a short but popular run at Woolly Mammoth (And Josh? Well, he found work, apparently.)

So just who might benefit from the Lefkowitz Effect this year?

"Glory Days": Okay, so this one's a gimme, since the Nick Blaemire musical is already on Signature Theatre's schedule for January. Signature is drumming up interest by hosting "concert readings" of the script, about four high school friends who reunite a year after graduation and find everything has changed. $20. Tomorrow at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7. 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington.

"Air Heart": The performance of this Amelia Earhart-inspired work was cut short by 15 minutes Saturday when Mara Neimanis's fantastic jungle gym of a plane malfunctioned (eerie, huh?). What we did see was a heated, intense mirage, a glimpse of how awe-inspiring Earhart probably was. The plane, a 12-foot steel construction, clearly created for a long haul, is fixed, and we have no doubt we'll be hearing more from her and from this show. $15. Tickets left only for tomorrow's 4 p.m. show. The Scientarium, 709 D St. NW.

"Collaterally Damaged": If Laura Zam has anything going for her besides big ideas and spunk, it's track record. She performed her "Human Frailty," about online dating in Washington, at the Fringe last year, then reprised it at a few other venues. She's already set to restage (at Busboys and Poets) her newest, "Collaterally Damaged," a 70-minute exploration of her mother's history as an Auschwitz survivor and the artistic practice of relying on -- or perhaps exploiting -- such histories. $15. Saturday at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5:30. The Warehouse, third floor, 1021 Seventh St. NW.

Sold out, but a name to know:

"Abstract Nude": Gwydion Suilebhan's work was read at last year's Fringe and returned for a full production this year. And already the play, about the ramifications of a nude painting, has been cited by one of The Post's critics as "hard to beat for polish." (And then there's the sold out thing . . . ) This one's a work in progress -- going somewhere, no doubt.

Various venues through Sunday. For a full schedule, visit http://www.capfringe.org. For tickets, visit the festival box office at 507 Seventh St. NW or call 866-811-4111.

Save the Date

THE SCENE The Truth According to Speakeasy DC Chatty folks and bookish types both seem to relate to the lure of Speakeasy DC, the monthly storytelling series that's been held at area clubs for some time now. No one takes the stage to share that crazy thing that happened to them on the Metro that one time -- each event is themed, and the next one, on Aug. 14, sounds awfully intriguing: "The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth: Confessional Stories That Expose and Reveal Our Deepest Secrets." Regular storytellers and open-mike entrants share the duties. To learn how to sign up, visit http://www.speakeasydc.org. $10. 8 p.m. Rumberos Restaurant, 3345 14th St. NW.

FOR FAMILIES National Museum of the American Indian Powwow The museum's annual cultural dance and drumming competition is a three-day affair at Verizon Center next month. This year, more than 800 competitors from across North America are expected for the event, which also features Native American food, arts and crafts. $36 three-day pass; $15 per day; ages 5-11, seniors and members, $12; 4 and younger, free. Aug. 10-12. 601 F St. NW. 202-397-7328 for tickets, http://www.nmai.si.edu/powwow/index.html for a full schedule or call 877-830-3224.

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