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TO JUNE 26
Boy meets girl. But boy is a loser so he enlists witty, sensitive, intelligent friend Ben (Tim Tourbin) to pull a Cyberno de Bergerac and court girl via e-mail. Boy gets girl. Now, turn off your cliche alert: Since Ben is a fantastically hilarious gay man who happens to need some serious wooing help of his own, what ensues is a snafu of Three’s Company proportions. Courting Chris is local playwright Sam Schwartz Jr.’s fourth contribution to the Capitol Hill Theater Alliance’s Gay Plays for Grown-Ups Series. But Courting isn’t a “gay” or a “straight” play—it’s about love and the asinine things we all do to get it. Says Schwartz, “I’ve been single since July, so it’s a play about the dating scene. As they say, ‘You write what you know.’” E-mail figures prominently in premillennial courtship rituals, but what’s the worst that could happen after clicking Send? According to director Jeff Keenan, “the foible associated with love of the mind as opposed to love of the heart. It’s not platonic; it’s delusional.” The cast members—Jon Cohn, Christina Anderson, and Peter Finnegan, in addition to Tourbin (pictured, from left to right)—are uniformly strong, Keenan’s blocking is clever, sound designer Jesse Terrill and stage manager Jeremy Skidmore provide dead-on cues, and the play’s pacing never lags. It’s clear that the Theater Alliance’s productions are professional—but not pretentious. And since the black-box theater is so intimate, you can check your emoticons at the door and do something really crazy: talk to a stranger. At 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, to Saturday, June 26, at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s Black Box Theater, 545 7th St. SE. $15. (202) 547-6839. (Amanda Fazzone)