THE PSYCHE OF A CERTAIN drag artist is being investigated so thoroughly at Studio Theatre this month that the program could be subtitled "John Epperson Explored." Epperson's indelible character, Lypsinka, is front and center in "Lypsinka! As I Lay Lip-Synching," which returns on June 25. A short run of "Show Trash," a cabaret performance with Epperson out of drag and at the piano, concludes today. And there's still more: tomorrow, a benefit reading of "My Deah," Epperson's southern spin on "Medea," with Holly Twyford in the title role. Studio Artistic Director Joy Zinoman directs a cast that also includes Dori Legg, J. Fred Shiffman, Mark Sullivan, Kate Debelack and Christopher Block. Proceeds go to D.C.'s Whitman-Walker Clinic.

-- Peter Marks

At the Studio Theatre, 1333 P St. NW. Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. $33-$36. Call 202-332-3300 or visit


IN CONJUNCTION WITH its exhibit "Nordic Cool: Hot Women Designers," the National Museum of Women in the Arts is presenting a series of films by women from Finland, Denmark and Iceland. On Wednesday the museum will screen "Minor Mishaps," Danish director Annette K. Olesen's 2002 improvisational drama about members of a dysfunctional family coping with the death of their matriarch. The film's bittersweet humor, ensemble acting and intimate style have been compared to the movies of Mike Leigh.

-- Ann Hornaday

At the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. Wednesday at 7 p.m. $5-$6. Reservations required. Call 202-783-7370 or visit


FOR EXAMPLES OF ANIMAL-THEMED art that put the city's painted pandas to shame, stroll by the Hirshhorn. The latest installment of Gyroscope, the museum's ongoing reinstallation of its permanent collection, has a suite of rooms devoted to beasts and metamorphosis in art. There's an important early painting of the sphinx by Francis Bacon, as well as works by Matthew Barney, Stephan Balkenhol and Jacques Lipchitz. For those unfortunates who missed the Hirshhorn's Douglas Gordon retrospective earlier this year, there's also a second chance to see the Scottish artist's stunning, poignant video of an elephant at play.

-- Blake Gopnik

At the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue at Seventh Street SW. Open daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free. Call 202-357-2700 or visit