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TO JUNE 17
The Gay Plays for Grownups series has done four years of plays about men; this time around, the organizers say, they wanted to hear the voices of women. In Jaime Damm, they found one who won’t shut up. And that’s a good thing. Jaime (Alissa Ford), a charming, smartass writer dodging a deadline, is at the center of þ And the Scent of Tiger Lilies; the play turns on her realization that a flood of clever words can’t make life into a simple story. The lesson that Jaime learns is one that playwright-director P.S. Lorio obviously already knows. Like the creators of American Beauty, Lorio buoys her script above its stereotypes (not-so-happy hooker, overbearing male, writer’s block, family closet-skeleton) with wit and heart. Jaime gets some of the best quips I’ve heard on stage since Lily Tomlin last searched for signs of intelligent life at the Kennedy Center, but Lorio keeps her motives murky enough to imply emotional depth. The theatrical experience is too often a tragedy for those who want to think and feel at the same time; audiences at this production won’t have that problem. Lorio calls her play a “dramedy.” Does it end with a bang or a whimper, a sob or a laugh? Find out at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday (except Friday, June 9), to Saturday, June 17, at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s Black Box Theater, 545 7th St. SE. $15. (202) 547-6839. (Pamela Murray Winters)