FEBRUARY 19

“The Name Is Burroughs”

William Burroughs survived success, obscenity charges, and gallons of heroin, but in August, death did, indeed, stop for him. No doubt the works of America’s favorite drug-addicted, wife-killing beatnik will live on in perpetuity. Or at least until Thursday, when local thespian Teman Treadway (pictured) will perform “My Name Is Burroughs,” a dramatic reading of 11 selections from Burroughs’ works, including excerpts from Naked Lunch, Exterminator!, and My Name Is Burroughs, the author’s autobiographical melange. Treadway (last seen in Washington Jewish Theatre’s Crossing Delancey), will team up with fellow Burroughs fan, director Alyn Beauchamp, who says, “Genius can exist only at the margins of society. And this is the case with Burroughs.” Treadway adds, “There’s sort of a mainstream malaise to our language…[but] Burroughs was out there on a little wire all by himself.” Joining Burroughs on that wire may be tricky though; after the film version of Naked Lunch debuted in 1992, Spy magazine caught up with several of the remaining beats who gave the flick mixed thumbs. Allen Ginsberg said, “It doesn’t have the coherence Burroughs has….[actor Peter Weller] didn’t sound like Burroughs at all….Burroughs never read the ‘talking asshole’ section that way. He was much more entertaining.” Treadway has no plans to read said section, (perhaps Burroughs’ most infamous), but at least he needn’t worry about Ginsberg panning his performance. At 6:45 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ James Madison Memorial Building, Mumford Room, 1st & Independence Ave. SE. FREE. (202) 707-5394. (Jake Tapper)

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