Government corruption and waste are running amuck, and the time has come to do something about it! Apparently, hyperbolic Tea Party rallying cries can double as delightful theatrical plot lines. Russian dramatist Nikolai Gogol’s most heralded work, The Government Inspector, satirically describes the pitfalls that ensnare a provincial town as it hurriedly tries to correct its civic ills before the arrival of an undercover inspector. Valuable lessons are in store: Offers of bribes and women are not always the solution—especially when the inspector’s identity is a mystery to the town’s mayor and his cohorts. In a culminating moment of absolution, the mayor chastises the audience for chuckling at his many blunders by asserting that they’re actually laughing at themselves. Which will probably be true, considering that federal bureaucrats will no doubt be among the audience at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s staged reading of Jeffrey Hatcher’s recent adaptation.

THE READING TAKES PLACE AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE LANSBURGH THEATRE, 450 7TH ST. NW. FREE; RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. (202) 547-1122.

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