There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
In the years since it put both Akira Kurosawa and Japanese cinema on the Western-culture map by winning the grand prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, Rashomon has become almost as ubiquitous as sushi. Even people who’ve never seen the film—or read the two Ryunosuke Akutagawa stories from which it was adapted—know enough to refer to a story told by several conflicting narrators as “Rashomon-like.” And the devotees can’t stop paying homage, as Jim Jarmusch does in the new Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. What’s been largely forgotten is that Rashomon was also a Broadway production, adapted from the Kurosawa film and the Akutagawa stories by playwrights and screenwriters Fay and Michael Kanin. (The original cast included Claire Bloom and Rod Steiger, the latter in the Toshiro Mifune role.) The play, which debuted in 1959, added another version of the violent but ambiguous incident at the center of the tale and, reportedly, some laughs. Generally well-received, it was revived in 1973 and 1988. This version is a production of Montgomery College’s Department of Speech, Dance, & Theatre, so it may not meet Broadway standards. But the story is so finely honed that would be hard to dull it too much. At 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, to Saturday, April 15, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 16, at Montgomery College’s Parilla Performing Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville. $8. (301) 279-5301. (Mark Jenkins)