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Arena Stage opens 'Red' about artist Mark Rothko

Thursday - 1/26/2012, 12:00pm  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Broadway play "Red" about the famous abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko is opening at Washington's Arena Stage with a companion exhibit at the National Gallery of Art.

The play starring Edward Gero has its formal opening Thursday. Previews of the show sold out early, and Arena Stage has extended the run until March 11.

"Red" was the most honored play at the 2010 Tony Awards, winning the honor for best play and five others. The play set in the 1950s explores Rothko and his dilemma over whether to accept a rich commission to paint murals for a swanky restaurant.

The National Gallery of Art is showing three of Rothko's paintings for the so-called Seagram Mural Project depicted in the play. The museum is the largest repository of Rothko's work.

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