DO YOU HOWL when a pie hits someone smack in the face? Swoon at the sight of the perfect pirouette? Or do you delight in both new and old performance styles?
Come one, come all. There's something for every performance lover this weekend.
Solo performer Larry Goldstein belongs to a young breed of funnymen dubbed "The New Vaudevillians." This wacky and very cerebral crowd, whose numbers include the Flying Karamazov Brothers, Bill Irwin and Avner the Eccentric, combine age-old clowning, mime and stand-up comedy routines with a distinctly contemporary point of view.
Goldstein, a University of Virginia graduate who studies with American Mime master Tony Montanaro, has developed two very different shows -- one of them geared toward adults, the other for the entire family.
The first, "Male Myths and Wise Guys," is a comic assault on male chauvinism. Through the use of illusions, gags, monologues and physical stunts, he creates an array of characters -- poets, romantics, crooners, controllers and fools -- who stumble and fall due to their old-fashioned, sexist ways.
Goldstein's "Solo Follies," the first offering of Dance Place's new Sunday afternoon family series, takes a more conventional approach. Here Goldstein pantomimes, strums a ukulele, sings and engages in some time-honored, red-nosed antics. (Children 12 and under will be happy to learn that their admission to "Solo Follies" is free if they bring along a parent.)
Judging by its inclusion on the Kennedy Center's subscription series, the Washington Ballet has certainly come of age. It opened this week's run at the Opera House with a retrospective of works by the late resident choreographer Choo-San Goh; this weekend, the troupe will perform George Balanchine's "Donizetti Variations," the pas de deux from John Cranko's "Holberg Suite" and the Washington premiere of Fernand Nault's "Carmina Burana," set to Carl Orff's raucous and stirring score.
Those fascinated with artistic process as well as product should also take note of two additional Washington Ballet events. Saturday matinee ticket holders may arrive one hour early to watch the company take class on stage and see the stagehands set-up afterward. And at 6 the same day, Artistic Director Mary Day and students from the Washington Ballet School will discuss and demonstrate the various levels of ballet training.
LARRY GOLDSTEIN -- Saturday at 8 in "Male Myths" and Sunday at 2 in "Solo Follies" at Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. Call 202/269-1600.
WASHINGTON BALLET -- Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8 (company class on stage Saturday at 1, lecture/demonstration at 6) and Sunday at 1:30 at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Call 202/467-4600.