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TO APRIL 20
Throughout her writing career, which spanned 50 years, Frenchwoman Colette blurred the line between fiction and autobiography, drawing heavily on her own life and relationships for her books. She married three times, but was known for her unconventional lifestyleshe had male and female lovers, scandalously bared a breast on the Paris stage, and turned her husband’s home into a hospital during World War I. Le Neon Theater (barely) relies on her novel La Vagabonde for the structure of its musical tribute of the same name. Its plot has Colette the actress trying to decide if she should bring her suitor Maxime along on a tour of southern France or cut him loose, thereby choosing the lonely but liberated life. The lion’s share of Le Neon’s production, though, is about the other members of Colette’s company, their problems, their performances, and their relationships with the troupe’s patrons. (Le Neon actors sit at cafe tables among the audience and periodically come to the fore.) The songs are in French, but aside from a few French phrases here and there, the dialogue is in English. After 16 seasons, Le Neon’s artistic directors, Didier Rousselet and Monica Neagoy (pictured here with Dominique Montet), are closing the company after this production to pursue other interests. Perhaps they were inspired by Mme. Colette, whose decision regarding Maxime is given away by the title. The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays with matinees Saturdays, at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., to Sunday, April 20, at Gunston Arts Center’s Theater II, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington. $25. (703) 243-6366. (Janet Hopf)