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FRIDAY & SUNDAY
The place is the second circle of hell. The damned is the sexual predator Don Giovanni, last seen at the end of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s tragicomic opera of the same name, being dragged into the eternal flames. Picking up where Don Giovanni leaves off, the In Series’ new operetta, Mozart’s Men, finds the don and another of Wolfie’s sinners, Count Almaviva from Le Nozze di Figaro (condemned for trying to destroy his valet Figaro’s love for chambermaid Susanna), playing checkers—for all eternity. “I hate this game,” Giovanni complains. “You’ve hated every game we’ve played for the last 200 years,” shoots back Almaviva. Moments later, the men are singing—in deep, rich voices—a selection from Cosi fan Tutte, another of the maestro’s masterpieces. Indeed, Charlotte Stroudt’s book does little more than provide a showcase for some of the most sublime music ever composed. Not that Stroudt’s script isn’t clever or funny—it is, particularly in the second act, when Giovanni and Almaviva escape hell to prey on Figaro’s descendants. But Mozart’s the star here, and his music is well served by some seriously talented singers (especially Dennis Blackwell as Giovanni’s long-suffering servant Leporello). Currently well-represented in New York with the Broadway revival of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, the greatest, most insolent of classical composers is doing fine in D.C., too, with this charming, droll deconstruction of his operas playing in rep with Paul Lavrakas’ Mozart’s Women. At 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, and 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, at Mount Vernon College’s Hand Chapel, 2100 Foxhall Road NW. $25. (202) 625-4655. (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)