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At National Theatre, 'Six Degrees' is searingJohn...


At National Theatre, 'Six Degrees' is searing

John Guare's searing social comedy, "Six Degrees of Separation," opens a three-week run at Washington's National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., on Tuesday.

Based on an actual incident, the play stars Ntare Mwine as a young con artist who insinuates himself into New York society by claiming to be Sidney Poitier's son. Marlo Thomas plays one of the rich socialites he easily dupes. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Through April 4. Tickets are $27.50-$42.50. (202) 628-6161.

@ "Only the Strong" -- a new musical about an urban black family facing such problems as alcoholism, teen-age pregnancy

and gangs -- will play eight performances at the Lyric Opera House beginning Tuesday.

Gospel singer Vanessa Bell Armstrong stars as the wife of a prominent businessman, played by Fred Hammond, co-founder of the gospel group Commissioned. The cast also includes the show's author, director and producer, Bennie S. Rodgers, who plays a gang leader.

Curtain times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, with matinees at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10.50-$23.50. (410) 481-7328.


J. Wynn Rousuck Pianist Ann Schein and violinist Earl Carlyss, members of the Peabody Conservatory's faculty, are two of the finest musicians in a town that's filled with them. They will give a free concert at 2 p.m. today at Har Sinai Congregation (6300 Park Heights Ave.) that will include sonatas by Brahms, Grieg and Debussy. With such experienced musicians -- Mr. Carlyss was a member of the Juilliard String Quartet for more than 20 years, and Ms. Schein's brilliant recordings are prized by collectors -- fine performances are to be expected. What will add to the interest is that the performers will talk about the pieces from the stage. Tickets are available by calling Har Sinai at (410) 764-2882. Non-ticket holders will be seated 10 minutes before the performance.

Stephen Wigler

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