There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
At this point in our culture, the word “nuance” has pretty much been drained of the very property it seeks to define. So it’s just as well that when one of the characters in the Black Women Playwrights’ Group’s DNA: Drama, Nuance, Attitude drops the play’s titular buzzword, she’s referring to more than just a literal smattering of cells. The unifying element in this collection of 14 vignettes penned by a dozen playwrights is powerful stuff: It can imprison people, bestow (or revoke) parenthood, and, of course, sire dozens of detective shows. To the scribes’ credit, the required DNA references almost never seem contrived or gratuitous; monologues abound, allowing characters to sort through the past—represented both by experience and lineage. Josette Marina Murray and David Lamont Wilson, who make up the production’s entire cast, offer deft and textured portrayals of nearly 20 characters, switching convincingly between ages, backgrounds, and emotions. Just don’t dawdle at intermission: “DNA From Far Away,” which leads off the show’s second half, serves up some otherworldly levity by probing DNA of a more celestial nature. The show starts tonight at 2:30 p.m. (to Aug. 8; see City List for other dates) at Flashpoint’s Mead Theatre Lab, 916 G St. NW. $20. (800) 494-8497. (Joe Dempsey)