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Every Thursday, we round up Pay-Whats and other cheap seats at local theaters. Just so’s your weekend is a little easier.

Before we start, remember the general rules: (A) Reservations for these? Not so much. (B) They’re offered on a space-available basis, so have a backup plan. (C) Click each theater name for details and contact info. Oh, and you might tell ‘em City Paper sent you.

Just the one Pay-What this week, but there are plenty of cheap seats and freebies and one-offs coming up in the next few days.


  • The VSA arts Playwright Discovery initiative (yup, the same program that pegged Phoebe Rusch as a startling new talent) stages the one-act by this year’s winner, 18-year-old Floridian Jonathan Mayer, at 7:30 tonight, Thursday. The play: Mistakes, Inc., which “challenges the audience to imagine what would happen if they could have their mistakes erased simply by calling a 1-800 number.” Paul-Douglas Michnewicz (who staged Theater Alliance’s luminous production of Rusch’s 3/4 of a Mass for St. Vivian) directs. Tix are free, if any are left.
  • Speaking of Theater Alliance: They’re putting up another cabaret evening this Saturday at 8. Singers Joanne Schmoll, Rob McQuay, Jim Breen, and Judy Simmons are on the bill for The Women of Tin Pan Alley; tix are $15.
  • Busboys & Poets, meanwhile, has booked in the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble with a theatrical vaudeville called 10 Brecht Poems. One show Saturday at 10:30 p.m., two on Sunday, at 4 and 10:30. Tix are $12 at the door.
  • Ford’s Theatre has commissioned a one-scene show about the Lincoln assassination—told from the POV of one of the three brothers who owned Ford’s on the day that gave it its extra-theatrical reputation. One Destiny opens this Monday, Oct. 2, and runs for three weeks; Stephen F. Schmidt (the Helen Hayes–winning Officer Lockstock in Signature’s Urinetown), plays Harry Ford. Seats are free for all shows, or $1 if you want to reserve in advance.
  • And Journeymen Theatre is apparently offering half-price seats at all remaining performances of the well-reviewed Spinning Into Butter, which runs through Saturday. Check TicketPlace. Which, it’s worth noting, is always a good idea if you’re looking for discount seats.

As far as straight-up Pay-Whats, here’s the only one I know about:

  • Stripping Don Juan, Teatro GALA. The infamous seducer gets his, courtesy of a savvy young woman who hits him where it hurts: Squarely in the macho. Written Ana Caro Mallén de Soto, one of a handful of female playwrights from Spain’s 17th-century theatrical golden age. Gala boss Hugo Medrano updates the play with a modern setting; in Spanish with English surtitles. Critics see it Saturday. Pay-What preview tonight, Thursday, at 8 p.m. At Gala Theatre-Tivoli, 14th Street and Park Road NW.

And remember: Tell ‘em City Paper sent you.