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OCTOBER 27-NOVEMBER 1
Maggie Cogan, the homeless subject of Jupiter’s Wife, has both the practical skills to survive outdoors year-round and a network of well-off friends, one of them an Upper East Sider who cheerfully visits Cogan’s Central Park shack one icy December. Cogan’s outward self-assurance, however, cannot mask her peculiarities: She mothers a pack of dogs; gives St. James Church’s address as her own; claims that she is Juno; and says the god Jupiter communicates to her via the radio (particularly through “Stairway to Heaven” and Golden Earring’s “Radar Love”). Documentary filmmaker Michel Negroponte suggests several reasons for Cogan’s retreat from conventional society, yet the filmmaker mostly demonstrates how many defining events of Cogan’s life have occurred in close proximity to the park: She grew up in suburban New Hyde Park, N.Y., graduated from high school in 1961, and eventually took a job in Manhattan as the driver of a horse-drawn carriage. This led to a late-’60s appearance on What’s My Line?, employed here to devastating effect. When host Wally Bruner asks the young Cogan, “So…your future is in Central Park?,” her optimistic nod seems to follow a perverse script. At the Biograph, 2819 M St. NW. $6. (202) 333-2696. (Nathalie op de Beeck)