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WEDNESDAY

Dylan Thomas once crashed a car into the net of Charlie Chaplin’s tennis court in a drunken stupor. Later that night he relieved himself on one of Chaplin’s plants. A few days earlier, when he met actress Shelley Winters, he had declared that his reasons for coming to Hollywood were to “touch the titties of a beautiful blonde starlet and to meet Charlie Chaplin.” One hopes that he managed to reach both goals. Thomas (pictured), like many great artists, always had a lingering cloud of rumor surrounding his body of work. Various accounts lead us to believe that he was neurotic, needy, controlling, oblivious, shy, narcissistic, and, most of all, a smooth operator. He was also manipulative (faking sickness to get out of school) and precocious (first writing poetry at age 8). And he was a legendary pub-crawler, spouting dirty jokes where everyone knew his name. So what better place to celebrate “Dylan Thomas: The Man Behind the Myth” than one of Washington’s foremost taphouses? This evening features the best of brews, readings of Thomas’ work, and unpublished recordings of Thomas reading his own work. Adding to the atmosphere is playwright David Ponting, who developed a one-man show on Thomas with writer Owen Sheers. The program begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, at the Brickskeller, 1523 22nd St. NW. Free (drinks and food at cost). Books provided by Olsson’s Books and Records. (202) 252-0012.