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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Jump on 'Streetcar'; Signature Moments this Saturday; Folger Offers a Magical Evening; and Famous Movie Lines

The Kennedy Center will be the home to some great theater this fall, and the ticket rush has already started. The Sydney Theatre Company's A Streetcar Named Desire starring Cate Blanchett runs from Oct. 29 - Nov. 21. It will be a rare opportunity to see Blanchett up close; she will also be doing a noon conversation open to the public on Nov. 3 ($15). The Ken Cen does a very cool thing with most big shows - they offer a few $25 tickets. But usually, you have to be a member to get a shot at these (there is always a member purchase period), though not always. Membership is just $60, so it can pay for itself pretty quickly. On Nov. 24, the Ken Cen starts a run of the Broadway production and Tony- and Pulitzer-prize winner, August: Osage County. Tickets will go on sale in September with the same deals in tact. Later on in the season, they will present the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein, two Terence McNally plays, Thurgood, starring Laurence Fishburne and Mary Poppins. Spend now, save later.

I wrote about this last week, but it bears repeating. This Saturday, Aug. 8, Signature Theater's Target Open House shines in Shirlington. And with high temperatures expected, it may be just the place to be. At 1:15 pm, hear a concert from Julia Nixon, who if she did not take a break to raise her son, would be a Broadway star by now. We saw her at Studio Theater in Caroline or Change a couple years ago and she nearly blew the house down. At 2:30 and again at 6:15, Emily Skinner performs. She IS a Broadway star. You'll also be allowed to take a photograph with Signature's recently acquired Tony Award, hear music from Dizzy Miss Lizzie's Roadside Revue, watch a master acting class given by Signature mastermind Eric Schaeffer, and hear the Nigerian singer Kuku. The day wraps up with a Broadway-style grand concert at 8:30 and it's all FREE!

The Folger Theater has been running a very cool series of free summer lectures, and there's one more on Aug. 12. Stories from the Folger Vaults: Practical Magic will invite viewers to experience "a magical evening with a rare treasure, a book of spells dating to the 16th century. Generations of users consulted the book to learn how to catch thieves, find love, or cure sickness. Heather Wolfe, curator of manuscripts at the Folger, shares stories from her work with this remarkable volume. The event also includes an after-hours viewing of the exhibition The Curatorial Eye: Discoveries from the Folger Vault and a dessert reception. Hello!

**First Friday this week.
August used to be a throwaway month but not any more.
**A Bike & Brunch picnic at Lake Needwood on Sunday
**The final Screen on the Green Monday - Rebel Without a Cause
btw, it was funny last Monday when we got to see yet another famous quote from movie history. It came in On the Waterfront: "I could've been a contender!" The requisite cheer went up. The last one I recall was from Treasure of Sierra Madre: "We don't need no stinking badges." It's kind of like when you're watching Shakespeare and you hear a line that's now a cliche. "Oh, that's where it came from!"

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