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Author Archive | Chuck Leonard

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Review: ‘Gilligan’s Fire Island’ at Dominion Stage

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a cheeky flip, begun with fun by castaways, who do everything but strip. Gilligan’s Fire Island is a parody, bringing back nostalgic memories of the 1960’s TV show with a tropical paradise, plenty of coconuts, and bamboo décor. The twist on the well-known […]

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Review: ‘Last of the Red Hot Lovers’ at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts

Neil Simon writes terrific comedy. Tonight, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, directed by Theater J’s Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr, performed by Walnut Street Theatre at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, relied on two wonderfully talented comedians to remind us how good Simon’s plays can be. The play, which first opened on Broadway […]

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Review: ‘Once’ at National Theatre

From the moment one enters the National Theatre, it becomes clear that Once is not your typical Broadway fare. Rather than seeing closed drapes and hearing piped-in pre-show music, the first view of the stage, designed by Bob Crowley, includes many audience members onstage with drinks in hand enjoying a live Irish/Indie/Folk/Rock band dancing and […]

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Review: ‘The Complete History of America (abridged) Special Election Edition! by The Reduced Shakespeare Company at Hylton Performing Arts Center

Paul Revere may or may not have ridden through the countryside yelling, “The Redcoats are coming,” but given a quick horse and a heavily padded saddle, this reviewer is writing to announce, “The Reducers are comic.” This company brings a quick-pace and witty satire to all of their works. Written by Adam Long, Reed Martin, and […]

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Review: ‘Almost, Maine’ at Providence Players of Fairfax

Almost, Maine is a series of short scenes reflecting love stories of characters in the same small town which never quite got organized enough to become official, so remains “almost.” The actors are an ensemble, moving the set pieces around between scenes, and doing so in character. Admiring the beauty of the night sky together […]

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Review: ‘Middletown’ at NextStop Theatre Company

Middletown, written by Will Eno, is a play with heft. It is not an easy play that you can relax and let wash over you. Timid souls who are out for an evening of light entertainment may struggle with it. The play engages and pushes, forcing the audience to question ourselves, and it is well […]

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‘Wish List’ at The Hub Theatre

The Hub Theatre has one of the most intimate spaces I have seen for professional theater in the Metro area. The collaborators who created this show have built a very informal, welcoming environment for the production of Wish List. The theatre seats less than 40 and felt especially intimate for those in one of the […]

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‘Motown the Musical’ at The National Theatre

Music! Sweet, sweet music. There is music everywhere… While it is town, you should make plans to see Motown the Musical. Plan on a night dancing in your seat to the music you have enjoyed for decades. Plan on clapping along, because you can’t stop yourself. Plan to go. Make plans, now. You have a […]

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‘The Most Happy Fella’ at The Catholic University

Be ready for a big production when you see The Most Happy Fella at The Catholic University of America’s Hartke Theatre. A 27-piece orchestra, lavish staging, more than 30 actors, gorgeous singing, and delightful dance numbers are part of a three act show that runs close to 3 hours. The show has a little dialogue […]

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‘Stickfly’ at Port City Playhouse

Port City Playhouse is a scrappy little theater company brave enough to tackle important plays. Their literature states that they specialize in top-quality, thought-provoking plays, within a diverse community, and are often area premieres. Hidden in plain sight, I drove by the space on Alexandria’s Quaker Lane, for years before learning of Port City’s productions, […]

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‘Old Wicked Songs’ at 1st Stage

Occasionally, a show blows me away and I want to grab the arm of people walking by on the street and steer them to the production. “Come. Join in experiencing this beautiful piece of art.” This is the reason why I write reviews of plays. I get to witness many performances and then share what […]

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