Author Archive | Paul M. Bessel and Barbara Braswell

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Review: ‘Children of Eden’ at Damascus Theatre Company

Parent-child relationships have been a perennial issue throughout history, even “In the Beginning.” Damascus Theatre Company’s production of Children of Eden takes the audience on a musical journey which deconstructs this sensitive and important topic. Based on the Biblical book of Genesis, it features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by John Caird. […]

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Review #2: ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ at American University

American University’s Greenberg Theatre performed a hilariously funny ancient Roman farce, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. With music and lyrics by the incomparable Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, it is uproarious and irreverent, raucous and rowdy, and is sure to please. Director Cara Gabriel and […]

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Review: ‘West Side Story’ at The Little Theatre of Alexandria

Poverty, street violence, guns, drugs, working-class whites blaming Hispanic immigrants for their financial woes, mistrust of the police—is this an article in last week’s newspaper? It certainly could be, but it also proves the timelessness of the groundbreaking 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story. Inspired by the Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet, this classic tale […]

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Review: The District of Comedy Roast of James Carville at The Kennedy Center

How do you make fun of someone who always makes fun of himself? Well, last night, Roastmaster Bob Saget and The Kennedy Center’s District of Comedy Festival managed to do just that, roasting Chester James Carville, Jr.—better known as James Carville—and it was glorious! Louisiana-born James Carville is well-known as Democratic President Bill Clinton’s campaign […]

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Review: ‘I Am Anne Hutchinson/I Am Harvey Milk’ at Strathmore

From Handel’s Giulio Cesare to Donizetti’s Anna Bolena to Adams’ Nixon in China, real-life historic figures have often been the subjects of operas. The multi-talented actor, singer, composer, and songwriter Andrew Lippa has continued that tradition with his groundbreaking “concept opera” I Am Anne Hutchinson/I Am Harvey Milk, which had its world premiere at Strathmore […]

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Review: ‘An Evening with Jim Lehrer’ at The Writer’s Center

The Writer’s Center in Bethesda is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, and what better way could there be to mark the occasion than a program with the premier journalist, author, and television news anchor Jim Lehrer?  Very few journalists have his reputation for honesty, clarity, and in-depth analysis, and last evening Lehrer proved again how […]

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Review: ‘A Grand Night for Singing’ at Montgomery Playhouse and Arts on the Green

Question: Where can you hear more than 30 wonderful songs from the legendary team of Rodgers and Hammerstein performed by talented local artists? Answer: The current production of A Grand Night for Singing by Montgomery Playhouse in partnership with Arts on the Green. With music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, musical arrangements by […]

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Review: ‘Kristin Chenoweth: Coming Home Tour’ at Strathmore

To paraphrase an old expression, “big talent can come in small packages!” This observation was never truer than when the diminutive musical superstar, Kristin Chenoweth, took the stage at Strathmore Music Center on January 29, 2016. Chenoweth filled the hall with her remarkably strong, beautifully clear, and thrilling coloratura soprano voice. Accompanied by an ultra-talented […]

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Brian Stokes MItchell. Photo courtesy of Strathmore.

BSO: ‘Tis the Season with Brian Stokes Mitchell’ at Strathmore

The Music Center at Strathmore was filled with the holiday spirit as the Tony Award-winning Broadway superstar Brian Stokes Mitchell joined Conductor Damon Gupton and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra SuperPops for a joyous celebration of the music and memories of the season of goodwill. This is a particularly exciting time to experience the BSO in […]

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