Author Archive | Leslie Weisman

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Review: National Symphony Orchestra with Guest Conductor Juanjo Mena and Pianist Garrick Ohlsson at The Kennedy Center Concert Hall (Final Performance TODAY, 10-15-17 at 3:00 p.m.)

It’s not unusual for concertgoers to be greeted by the sounds of orchestra members tuning their instruments, so commencing Thursday night’s concert with Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates’s Auditorium, whose opening scrapes, bleats, squeaks and toots could easily be taken for those of an orchestra warming up, was both genial joke and masterstroke. Making his […]

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Review: ‘Barnaby Rudge’ at Lumina Studio Theatre

Of Charles Dickens’s fifteen novels, there are few, if any, that are less well-known than his first historical, Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty—and few, with its forty-plus characters and complex plots and plotting, that would seem less likely to succeed as a play. Adapted by John O’Connor, and in the capable […]

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Review: ‘LEAR’ at Lumina Studio Theatre

On the night of the J20 Art Strike, a protest movement asking that “business . . . not proceed as usual in any realm” of the creative arts on Inauguration Day, I felt a little guilty attending a play. That said, if any such endeavor was apt, this “politically resonant story of an arrogant business […]

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Review # 2: ‘The Comedy of Errors . . . at Colonus’ at Lumina Studio Theatre (Green Cast)

If you’re a lover of impossible opposites, or have ever wondered what it would be like to wander into a mirthful merge—or, in the company’s assuredly less elegant, but admittedly (and amusingly) more accurate “mash”—of two wildly disparate classic works of theater, does Silver Spring’s Lumina Studio Theatre have a show for you.  Its two […]

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2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Romanov’

Romanov, at Flashpoint Mead Theatre Lab, is a show that will pull you in different directions, musically (electro-pop opera?) and emotionally (did wrong or done wrong?)—and leave you sitting straight up. Staring at a dark and nearly empty stage as you find your seat (true to Fringe aesthetics and economics, it’s minimalist: a blond wood […]

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2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘In a Nutshell’

If you’re intrigued by In a Nutshell because you read the promo and you like your play-watching sprinkled with meta, this adroitly selected, astutely seasoned (by Director, Producer and “conceiver” Christopher McDonnell) five-course meal of one-acts by modern American playwrights does not—in a nutshell—really break open the tantalizing premise of “A couple attends a one-act […]

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Review: ‘Tender Tears and Love and Life: Songs by Anton Rubinstein, Anton Arensky, Alexander Glazunov, and Mark Minkov’ at the Russian Chamber Art Society

In a concert that rang the rafters and tugged at the heartstrings, the Russian Chamber Art Society bade a thrilling farewell to its longtime home at the Austrian embassy, which, after hosting more than 440 events over the last four years, will henceforth devote its hall exclusively to the Austrian Cultural Forum series.  The three […]

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Review: ‘After Life’ | ‘Josephine’ by UrbanArias

Say “operatic double bill” and two duos spring to mind, for aficionados and amateurs alike. From the mid-20th century, Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium and The Telephone; from the late-19th century, the sure-fire pairing of “Cav and Pag,” verismo works by Pietro Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana) and Ruggero Leoncavallo (Pagliacci). The 21st century, young as it is, may already […]

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Review: ‘Leave it to Psmith!’ at Lumina Studio Theatre

Clomping into the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, shivering from Snowzilla’s persistent chill and shaking caked snow and ice from our boots, we are greeted by the pleasant, ear-warming sounds of melodies from the English music hall by Sound Engineer: Ron Murphy, and the welcoming sight, at stage right, of delicate, pastel furnishings: a French […]

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‘As You Like It’ at Lumina Studio Theatre

What’s in a name? Taking the title of Shakespeare’s character-rich, eminently quotable pastoral comedy literally, is rare—and has rarely been done with the gender-bending, genre-mashing, gleefully boundary-smashing flair you’ll see in director David Minton’s kid- and teen-acted (and oft sweetly, neatly aced) production for Silver Spring’s Lumina Studio Theatre. As we enter, laser lights in lime […]

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‘This Lime Tree Bower’ at Quotidian Theatre Company

The Irish are legendary storytellers, and Conor McPherson’s play, one of his earliest, is a rollicking but thought-provoking tale of adventurous misadventure, told as a rotating round (and refreshed and lubricated by rounds) in a coastal “chipper” north of Dublin by two young brothers and their older—but not wiser—friend. As we enter, a young woman’s voice […]

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2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘A Family Reunion’

The words “family reunion” are bound to evoke mixed memories, no matter whose family it is. That said, I’d wager there are few whose mixture is as experientially eclectic—and as psychologically toxic—as the one we visit in Larry Blossom’s play. As we enter, the set is simple, yet ghostly: the stage is almost bare; a […]

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‘Hamlet’ at Lumina Studio Theatre

If Hamlet as a character is historically—and enduringly—shrouded in fog, the scene that greets us as we enter Lumina Studio Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s eponymous play is more than a match for him. As light creeps in upon the murky stage, we see a large box on four short, stubby legs in the center, before it […]

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‘The Lady’s Not For Burning’ at Lumina Studio Theatre

No, she is not. But in the year “1400, either more or less exactly,” per playwright Christopher Fry’s prefiguratively imprecise formulation, written in the aftermath of the, for many, apocalyptic Second World War, women like the beauteous Jennet Jourdemayne, who found themselves “accuse[d] of such a brainstorm of absurdities/That my fear dissolves in the humor […]

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