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You had a greater chance of being struck by lightening than walking into a grocery store at the end of 1996 and missing the heavily made-up face of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey on the covers of tabloids. Navel-gazing shows like Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition capitalized on the public’s sick fascination with the young beauty queen’s murder, featuring interviews with tertiary family members and improving ratings in the process. In his play House of Gold, Gregory S. Moss transforms the story of Ramsey’s life into a darkly humorous fairy tale, raising rather heavy questions about the significance of race, gender, and class in reporting about murder victims. Consider this: Less than a year after Ramsey’s death, Nancy Grace launched her television career on Court TV, ensuring round-the-clock coverage of young, white, well-to-do female murder victims everywhere.
HOUSE OF GOLD IS ON STAGE AT 8 P.M. WEDNESDAY TO SATURDAY (ALSO 3 P.M. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY) TO NOV. 28 AT WOOLLY MAMMOTH THEATRE, 641 D ST. NW. $30-$60. (202) 393-3939.