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March 29, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.: ART OPENS AT SIGNATURE THEATRE

By Dispatch Departures | Arts + Culture

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In recent years the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, just across the river from Washington, D.C., has been on a hot streak. First came the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award, then last year a celebrated performance of Sweeney Todd in honor of Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday, and now Art, which opened March 29. Written by Yasmina Reza, author of the Broadway hit God of Carnage, the dark comedy won a Tony for Best Play in 1998 and revolves around a blank canvas, a so-called piece of art purchased for nearly $43,000 by one of three friends—Serge, Marc and Yvan—who proceed to argue the question: Is this piece an avant-garde painting or a sham? Starting as a theoretical debate, the conversation spins into a wildly funny yet acerbic argument that exposes personal rifts and ultimately tests their 15-year friendship. A trio of much-lauded local actors—John Lescault, Mitchell Hébert and Michael Russotto—take the stage as the three friends and are accompanied by original music from Peter Lerman, winner of the 2010 Jonathan Larson Award. Tickets start at $50. At 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA; 703-573-7328; signature-theatre.org.

Photo Chris Mueller

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