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JUNE 4-7

While he’s kissing cousin to both Figaro and Sweeney Todd, Lamparilla—the know-it-all, goody-two-shoes haircutting hero of El Barberillo de Lavapies (The Little Barber of Lavapies)—is neither matchmaker nor demon barber. Rather, he’s an affable fellow in love with a seamstress named Paloma and caught up in a vaguely sinister conspiracy involving a pair of clueless lovers, a black-caped villain, and a mysterious suitcase containing…something. The exact plot of Francisco Asenjo Barbieri and Luis Mariano de Larra’s 1874 zarzuela (a form of Spanish operetta that combines spoken dialogue with popular music) didn’t survive into the 20th century, but its score did, allowing the IN Series to resuscitate the work with a new book by Elizabeth Pringle. Cheekily, the writer has made this Barberillo an opera within a play, in which a frustrated couple attending a performance of the zarzuela suddenly find themselves sucked into its story. Pringle’s trick is an old chestnut, but it keeps the action zipping along, and there is great satisfaction in seeing the modern couple’s all-but-extinguished love re-ignite in the cobblestoned village of Lavapies. Snappily directed by Tom Mallan on a stage smaller than some doormats and with a cast that’s in good voice and having a great time—Ana Castrello, as Paloma, seems to be channeling Charro—Barberillo is moving and funny, sappy and smart, and charming, charming, charming. Best of all, nobody gets his throat slashed. With songs in Spanish and the book in English, Barberillo plays at 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 4, Saturday, June 5, and Monday, June 7, at Mount Vernon College’s Hand Chapel, 2100 Foxhall Road NW. $23-$25. (202) 625-4655. (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)