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Author Archive | Ramona Harper

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Review: ‘Fabulation or the Re-education of Undine’ at Port City Playhouse

Lynn Nottage’s Fabulation or the Re-education of Undine is an outrageously hilarious romp into the fabulated life of Undine Barnes Callas, a feisty, successful African American woman whose comeuppance to a new awareness about identity, rediscovering one’s roots, and keeping it real turn expected outcomes into unexpected moments of entertaining, but bittersweet, lessons learned. According […]

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Review: The 22nd Annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival: Abbey Lincoln Tribute at The Kennedy Center

The music of Abbey Lincoln was The Kennedy Center’s choice for its 22nd Annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival. Showcasing the best in old and new jazz artistry, this year’s tribute presented Jazz Masters Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, and Esperanza Spalding as channels for the creative force of nature that was Abbey Lincoln, consummate […]

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Review: ‘Tribute’ at Greenbelt Arts Center

Scottie Templeton is dying. And with that deadly diagnosis, Tribute, by Bernard Slade, now playing at the Greenbelt Arts Center, poignantly considers what’s really important in life and the relationships that make it all matter. Directed by Gayle Negri and produced by her better half, Andy Negri, Tribute touches the heart as it heals the relationship between […]

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Review: ‘NSO Pops: Sophisticated Ladies: 100 Years of Ella & Company’ at The Kennedy Center 

Acclaimed vocalists Capathia Jenkins, Sy Smith and Montego Glover joyously hopped the A train to Harlem along with the NSO Pops in tribute to the Queen of Jazz in Sophisticated Ladies: 100 Years of Ella & Company. This year marks Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday and conductor Steven Reineke’s brilliant creation to honor the First Lady […]

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Review: ‘Paper Dreams’ at Imagination Stage

One of the wonders of children is their capacity to take the simplest object and create a whole new world filled with curiosity and excitement. Paper Dreams, a new children’s dance theatre production of the Imagination Stage, is a beautiful fantasy that explores the stories that may lie within the secret life of simple pieces […]

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Review: NSO Pops: An Evening with Ledisi at The Kennedy Center

“Peaches” was in the house. Inspired by the spirit of Nina Simone, acclaimed American R&B and jazz recording artist, songwriter and actress, Ledisi performed an eclectic program of blues, jazz and R&B in concert performance of NSO Pops: An Evening with Ledisi. Under the musical direction of guest conductor Darin Atwater, the NSO Pops added contemporary […]

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Review: ‘Luther Re-Lives’ at the Publick Playhouse

The velvet voice and beautiful love ballads of one of the greatest R &B crooners of all time, Luther Vandross, lives on through the magnetic stage presence of William “Smooth” Wardlaw’s  Luther Re-Lives. As if channeling the body, soul and spirit of the man, Luther Re-Lives, which played Saturday night at the Prince George’s Publick […]

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Review #1: ‘Caroline, Or Change’ at Round House Theatre

Round House Theatre continues to shine a spotlight on the works of Tony Kushner (Angels in America) as it explores life’s complexity through its seeming simplicity in Kushner’s autobiographical Caroline, Or Change. Childhood memories have a way of evoking and magnifying just about every human emotion. Kushner’s memories of growing up in a middle-class Jewish […]

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Review: Estampas Porteñas Tango Company’s ‘Deseos’ at the Music Center at Strathmore

Images of the people of Buenos Aires, estampas porteñas, created nostalgic dreams of longing and desire in distant lands and rich cultures as the Estampas Porteñas Tango Company presented Deseos, a panorama or Argentinian music and dance at the Music Center at Strathmore. Tango is the national dance of Argentina and the distinctive folkloric musical […]

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Review: ‘Carousel’ at Arena Stage

Life happens. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s, Carousel, is a timeless interlude that explores the human spirit’s indomitable will to go forward no matter life’s circumstances. Director Molly Smith’s revival of Carousel, currently playing at Arena Stage, is also a hopeful sojourn that lifts the human experience to heavenly heights through intoxicatingly rich theatrical artistry, music, movement, […]

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Review: ‘The Call’ at University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at The Clarice

Annie and Peter, a white married couple, haven’t been able to conceive a child of their own so they decide to adopt a child from Africa.  Rebecca and Drea, a newly married African American lesbian couple are Annie and Peter’s  close but “only black friends” who enlighten the couple with straight talk about the challenges […]

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Review: ‘National Symphony Orchestra: Season Opening Gala Concert’ at the Kennedy Center

In a political season where talk of building walls sometimes trumps the optimism of building bridges, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, named in honor of a President whose civil rights advances built bridges to freedom, joined in celebrating the opening of the National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) […]

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Review: ‘Jelly’s Last Jam’ at Signature Theatre

The early days of American jazz come fully back to life in Signature Theatre’s Jelly’s Last Jam. But if the notion of spending two hours in the dark watching something historical sounds boring — not to worry. This raucous, flamboyant, and colorful story of Jelly Roll Morton, American jazz pianist, is as fascinating as the man […]

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