IT'S GONNA HAPPEN!" shouts Studio Theater founder/director Joy Zinoman, into the phone. Her excitement's understandable: Friday at 11 a.m., Studio dedicates its new home on the corner of 14th and P NW. It's the second warehouse Zinoman and Co. have transformed into a theater.
There'll be the usual new-building ceremonies: Effie Barry will smash a bottle of champagne on the side of the building. Balloons will be released. Robert Pincus, CEO of Sovran Bank, will speechify, as will Zinoman, before she leads everyone on a tour through the almost-finished third-floor school and offices, and the under-construction 200-seat theater space.
Zinoman said the first show in the new theater -- "North Shore Fish," with Sarah Marshall and Michael Wells -- will begin previews October 14, and will open with four nights of parties, October 22 to 25.
But it's bound to be a sentimental occasion too. "The other day," Zinoman said, "we were all sitting in the old building thinking, 'This was once a warehouse, too.' And it was so sad. We made a lot of plays and taught a lot of classes here, and you go into a new space, and you don't know what it's going to feel like."
Zinoman says she's been unearthing a lot of theatrical memories as she and the others pack up the Studio offices and rummage backstage. But they won't be taking along many souvenirs: Ten years of equipment, costumes and props will be sold at a big "garage sale" at the end of August.
There's no place like HOME. Not yet, not in Washington anyway. HOME Theater for New Columbia is the name of a new black professional theater about to emerge.
"We've long been interested in invigorating black theater in Washington," says actor Reginald Metcalf, who is establishing HOME with director Joni Lee Jones. "Now it seems almost every theater in town is doing a black show -- but one black show a year isn't really enough." Metcalf says HOME is not planning to produce "the same few plays people think of when they hear 'black theater.' I don't mean this as a put-down, 'A Raisin in the Sun' and 'Ceremonies in Dark Old Men' are wonderful classics. But we want to provoke audiences a bit more, especially in these conservative times."
Metcalf says HOME also plans to promote local playwrights, and will begin on Tuesday with a showcase of plays by two Washington writers Karen Evans ("Bowlie") and Bheki Langa ("Vusumuzi"). The showcase begins at 6 at d.c. space; admission is $5. 265-0407.
The Big Show must go on: About two weeks ago, when New York's traveling Big Apple Circus was playing in Bridgeport, Connecticut, equestrienne Katja Schumann approached ringmaster Paul Binder, and asked if she could be excused from the second act. "Sure," said Binder, who is also her husband, and Schumann retired to her sleeper trailer and gave birth to Max Abraham just two hours after she had ridden bareback in the one-ring circus. Next night, Schumann was back aboard her Arabian horses in true trouper tradition.
Binder, Schumann and the rest of this greatest little show on earth -- including the Woodcock Elephants, hula-hoop artist Vanessa Prater, aerialist Dolly Jacobs and the acrobatic Italian Ariz Brothers -- return to Glen Echo Park August 11 through 14, performing under a brand-new big top (dubbed the Trump Tent by the cast -- it was donated by Donald and Ivana Trump). Tickets: 800/233-4050.
Bulletin Board: Washington Theater Guild, which made such a fine debut last year, has posted its season: "The Blood Knot" by South African playwright Athol Fugard (begins September 15); "An Ideal Husband" by Oscar Wilde (January 6); and "Candida" by George Bernard Shaw (no date yet). To subscribe: 529-2084 . . . "Satchmo" snacks: The promoters of the new Louis Armstrong musical at the Kennedy Center are presenting five free lunchtime concerts with Dixieland jazz and red beans and rice from Popeye's. The concerts run from noon to 2 daily; here's the schedule: Monday, Dupont Circle; Tuesday, Market Square in Old Town Alexandria; Wednesday, Kennedy Center River Terrace; Thursday, Pershing Park, Fourth and Pennsylvania NW; Friday, Farragut Park, 17th and K NW . . .
Sara Scopp, a playwright from Leesburg, was selected to be a playwright in residence at Manhattan's Ensemble Studio Theaters, in tandem with Horton Foote. Scopp's play "Higher Command" will be presented Friday and Saturday at the Warehouse as part of an evening called "Remembrance of War: A Trilogy," also featuring Bill Triplett's "Greater Victory" and Rheda Henley's "Volunteer Army" . . . John Foley, one of the co-writers and original performers of "Pump Boys and Dinettes," is directing the musical at Barter Theater in Abingdon, through August 23 . . . When Smallbeer Theater presents Deborah Pryor's "The Man From Planet 52" at the Source Warehouse Theater Friday and Saturday at 11:30 p.m., the audience will be given "zombie behavioral instructions" on entering the theater, and -- shades of Ian McKellen -- everyone will be invited to join the cast onstage for the finale. It's part of the Source Theater Festival (festival director Keith Parker plays a "supporting zombie"), which continues at both Source stages through Sunday. Call 462-1073.