Do you know D.C.?
Get our free newsletter to stay in the know about local D.C.
Many staples of Americana, if not adopted as “retro,” will inevitably be left behind with the 20th century. So I admire any attempt to sift through our multifarious cultural lapses, especially when it’s free. The Shakespeare Theatre opens the 1998-1999 season of its Re-Discovery Series, which presents readings of lesser-known works by the world’s great playwrights, with Thornton Wilder’s last major work, The Alcestiad, a reinterpretation of the Greek myth of Alcestis. But this ain’t your father’s Our Town: The Alcestiad is fraught with love, death, sacrifice, and communication breakdown on a classical scale. Wilder’s grandson and literary executor, Tappan Wilder, will lead a post-reading discussion with the audience and the cast, which features Jennifer Harmon (pictured), Philip Goodwin, Floyd King, Ted van Griethuysen, and Tana Hicken. No stranger, though, to retro, Wilder: “I am not an innovator but a re-discoverer of forgotten goods and I hope a remover of obtrusive bric-a-brac.” At 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, at the Shakespeare Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 547-1122. (Amanda Fazzone)