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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.

Dry spell’s over, and suddenly it’s a busy theater weekend, with four openings (and I’m in Miami). Here’s what I know about:

  • Spinning Into Butter, Journeymen Theater. Hate mail sparks an uproar (and some painful self-examination) on a supposedly liberal college campus. Jeff Keenan directs; critics see it tomorrow. Pay-What preview tonight, Thursday, at 7:30 p.m., and Pay-What performances every Wednesday (until it closes) at 7:30 p.m. At Clark Street Playhouse, 601 South Clark St. in Crystal City.
  • MacBird!, American Century Theater. LBJ meets the Scottish Play in this ’60s-era satire. It’s a musical, and the off-Broadway original starred Stacy Keach. ’Nuff said. Critics see it Saturday; Pay-What preview tonight, Thursday Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. Call 703-553-8782 or e-mail info@americancentury.org and use the code “JFK” if you wanna reserve in advance.
  • Red Light Winter, Studio Theatre. “[C]haracters always at the bottom of life, actions always the harshest and ugliest”; that’s Village Voice critic Michael Feingold on Adam Rapp’s plays, at least until he encountered this one. There’s still a lot of ugliness, apparently—but Rapp supposedly betrays his inner romantic, too. Critics see it Sunday, and we’ll have a review for you next week. Pay-What preview Saturday, Sept. 9, at 2 p.m. At Studio, 14th and P Streets NW.
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany, Round House Theatre. John Irving’s sprawling novel (about a boy who may or may not be a latter-day messiah, but certainly is an accidental killer) gets the stage treatment; critics raved in London, but your humble locals don’t see it until the 18th. Pay-What performance Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 16, at 3 p.m. At Round House, 4545 East-West Highway in Bethesda.