Scena Theatre's production of Orson Welles's War of the Worlds takes audiences into the CBS radio studios where an ensemble of actors, a soundman and Welles himself are performing that Halloween-eve radio play, which apparently drove some listeners to the frantic belief that a Martian invasion was indeed taking place. The spotlight and attention rightly goes to Regen Wilson's Orson Welles and the wholly organic and brilliantly spontaneous company of actors who portray the Mercury Theatre crew. They joke and tease and engage in the kind of juvenile horseplay one can easily imagine really did take place when sound was all that mattered to an audience. There is something completely engaging about War of the Worlds. Maybe it's that Scena leads us to believe that we're in on the greatest Halloween prank of all time. And maybe, just maybe, it's because they're showing us just how easily such a trick could be pulled again. What a treat. Now to Nov. 28. H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $40. Call 703-683-2824 or visit scenatheater.org.
Read Tom Avila's full review here.