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saturday

In his one-man monologue, Help Wanted: A Personal Search for Meaningful Employment at the Start of the 21st Century, writer/performer Josh Lefkowitz sits at a desk with a glass, a pitcher of water, and a short stack of neatly typed pages laid out in front of him. It’s an overt homage to his “last great hero,” monologist Spalding Gray, whose solo work was all about communicating angst and his own corrosive brand of narcissism. Those two traits may not be ones that Lefkowitz—an all-smiles, 20-something Jewish Midwesterner—can actually relate to, but his adoption of Gray’s painstaking experiments in striking “a balance between specificity and universality” is compelling nonetheless. Lefkowitz’s total immersion into the collected works of Gray forms the narrative thrust of his monologue: It’s probably not spoiling anything to reveal that he ultimately gets to shake hands with his idol—or that the encounter falls short of meeting his lofty expectations. The play runs at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, and Saturday, Sept. 23, and at 7:15 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s Rehearsal Hall, 641 D St. NW. $15. (202) 393-3939. (Nick Green)