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Author Archive | Mike Bevel

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Review: ‘I Killed My Mother’ at Spooky Action Theater

Andras Viskey’s I Killed My Mother, now in production at Spooky Action Theater, is a challenging bit of business. Its wordless opening is several minutes of wandering by various members of the company – some singly, some in pairs, some with the hint of a purpose, some walking into walls they weren’t expecting to find in […]

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Review: ‘Clover’ at Ally Theatre Company

But suicides have a special language. Like carpenters, they want to know which tools; They never ask why build. — Anne Sexton, “Wanting to Die” Laura Rocklyn and Ty Hallmark’s new work, Clover, now playing at Ally Theatre Company’s CAOS on F space, is a marvel in miniature, with the spareness and depth of an Emily Dickinson poem. […]

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Luis Alberto Gonzalez and Teresa Castracane in Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Review: ‘Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train’ at 1st Stage

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, now in production at 1st Stage, opens while the audience is still finding their seats. On a raised platform, in the round, Angel Cruz (Luis Alberto Gonzalez, in an exhausting and haunting performance) is trapped inside a cell that gives him no room to move. He’s all […]

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Review: ‘Noah: Apocalypse’ at LiveArtDC

We will now consider Amanda Quain’s latest play, Noah: Apocalypse, currently playing through September 18 at a bar in Petworth. Now is as good enough a time as any other to find oneself thinking about apocalypses, or even THE Apocalypse. Fires rage on the west coast, hurricanes and floods are decimating the south, politics are something […]

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Review: ‘Neverwhere’ at Rorschach Theatre

In 1582, a village parson heard the deathbed confession of a man named Richard Barley, who had married his butter churn. Barley claimed he had been bewitched into matrimony by a fairy called Apron Jon whom Barley had spurned at market. Barley knew the marriage wasn’t holy in the eyes of God, but remained with […]

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Review: Silver Spring Stage 2017 One Act Festival, Weekend Three

One-act plays are tricky beasts. Playwrights must balance tension with plot and story. Too little tension, and the audience is left bored, slogging through countably interminable minutes until the lights and bows at the end. Too much, and the ending resolution can feel rushed and unearned. Story often wants to unspool at its own pace, […]

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Interview: Montana DeBor, Mark Harding, Gwynne Flanagan Cox, and Elise “Teddy” Sipos from Sweet Spot Aerial Production’s ‘Smoky Mirrors’

“My faith is a great weight hung on a small wire.” – Anne Sexton Each performer in Sweet Spot Aerial’s Smoky Mirrors places great faith in materials: fabric, rope, chains, muscle. There’s also a relationship – built, too, on trust – with an audience: Can I, the performer, communicate not just the truth, but the […]

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Review: ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ featuring Tom Teasley at Constellation Theatre Company

When The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari hit German movie screens in 1920, it baffled and delighted audiences who had primarily been entertaining themselves with annual Film Festivals of Fred Ott’s sneeze and footage of trains. Techniques that we take for granted today – flashbacks, special effects, Germans, twist endings – were deployed first by the […]

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200x200 Atomic Doll presents Shocked and Amazed

Interview: Performers from the Upcoming ‘Atomic Doll Productions Presents: Shocked and Amazed!’ – Part II

Atomic Doll Productions Presents: Shocked and Amazed! was inspired by James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed: On and Off the Midway, the world’s leading journal on weirdness in entertainment for over 30 years. Taylor is an historian and storyteller of the grand days of the Side- and Freak-Show Circuit. Saturday’s one-night-only event was created in partnership with […]

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Review: ‘Oblivion’ at Unexpected Stage Company

“Games have rules,” Brooklyn-parent Dixon (Zach Brewster-Geisz) tells his wife, Pam (Mindy Shaw). They’re playing Boggle, Dixon has tried to play “Slurpee,” and both are a little wounded that their 16-year-old daughter, Julie (Ruthie Rado) has lied to them. Games have rules, and family relations are sometimes best understood as a game we sometimes agree […]

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2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Kara Sevda’

Let’s get this part out of the way quickly: Lisa VillaMil’s Kara Sevda (at Shopkeepers through July 22) is an exhilarating piece of theater, masterfully and assuredly directed by Kat Haan, beautifully acted by Tierney Nolen and William Foote, thoroughly realized in this Now What Theatre production, and you should see it. It is the […]

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2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Garbage Person Karaoke’

Over the 65-minute run time of Caroline Bennett’s Garbage Person Karaoke, there are moments of painful comedy and bitter emotional connections with that specific kind of heartbreak that kicks the recently dumped. Those moments just don’t always connect with each other, and instead end up drawing attention to what’s lacking in the piece as a […]

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2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘There Ain’t No More’

Willie Carlisle is an astonishing performer, and if I were only reviewing his performance of mountain folk music, I’d recommend this show with the entirety of my full heart. Guitar, banjo, squeeze box, and fiddle: Carlisle brings each instrument to life as they accompany a rustic voice that catches in the right places on songs […]

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