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, a recap of 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.

It’s all about the prisoners this week, what with two plays about Americans captured in the Middle East and a Shakespeare about a deposed king. Here’s what I know about:

  • Someone to Watch Over Me, Catalyst Theater Company. Irish heavyweight Frank McGuinness wrote the latest installment in the hostage-drama sweeps, based on the story of Brian Keenan: Three guys—an Irishman, an Englishman, and an American—in a cell in Lebanon. (See also: Theatre Alliance’s Two Rooms.) Critics see it Saturday. Pay-What previews Thursday (that’s tonight) and Friday at 7:30 p.m. At Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE.*
  • Godzilla, Landless Theatre Company. Yasuhiko Ohashi’s “comic romance” imagines an affair between the city-stomping fire-breather and a nice young Japanese girl; it sounds cute, but alas, word is the copyright cops are shutting it down this weekend. $10 seats available Thursday (tonight) at 7:30 p.m. At DCAC, 2438 18th St. NW.
  • Richard II, Washington Shakespeare Company. The sceptered isle gets punked in Robert MacNamara‘s production. Pay-What performances every Saturday at 2 p.m. to May 14. At Clark Street Playhouse, 601 S. Clark St. in Crystal City
  • Two Rooms, Theatre Alliance. Lee Blessing‘s 1988 hostage drama, about an American imprisoned in Beirut and the wife bucking an unfeeling State Department bureaucracy to get him sprung, “plays unpersuasively in post-9/11 D.C.,” CP says. Pay-What performance Sunday at 8 p.m. (Print this blog entry to qualify.) At H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St. NE.

* FYI: If you can’t make the Pay-What at Catalyst, it’s worth noting that the company’s new policy is that all seats, at all shows, are just $10.

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