Author Archive | Ravelle Brickman

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Review #2: ‘No, No, Nanette’ at American University

A Frothy Revival of No, No, Nanette at American University After a week in which corpses—remembered and actual—have littered just about every stage I’ve visited this week (beginning with Falling Out of Time at Theater J and ending with a very dark Othello at Shakespeare Theatre Company), it’s a relief to be able to say, ‘Yes, […]

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Review: ‘Falling Out of Time’ at Theater J

When I attended the reading of Falling Out of Time at the Page-to-Stage Festival last fall, I wondered how on earth this poetic drama—half fairy tale, half allegory–could ever be mounted on a stage. The answer, for all to see, is now on view at Theater J. It’s a visually stunning production, one which transforms […]

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Review: ‘Marjorie Prime’ at Olney Theatre Center

Question: What does it take to get an award-winning New York-based actor to perform in a tiny suburban outpost, 20 miles from Washington, DC?   Answer: If the actor is Kathleen Butler—now starring in Marjorie Prime at Olney Theatre Center—all it takes is a great role in “a really good play.” That’s according to Butler […]

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Review: ‘Lost in the Stars’ at Washington National Opera #2

One of the most powerful musical dramas of the 20th century has just opened at The Kennedy Center, home of the Washington National Opera, for a one-week run. And theater lovers who long for the towering achievements of Broadway’s heyday—the 1940s, when names like Gershwin, Hammerstein and Weill dominated the stage—had better scramble if they want […]

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Review: ‘Senorita y Madame’ at GALA Hispanic Theatre

The rivalry between Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden—two women who actually invented the cosmetics industry—is largely forgotten today. Yet the story of these feminist icons, who at one time dominated headlines and made marketing history—along with millions of dollars—is the stuff of legends. Luckily for theatre-goers in Washington, DC, their battles—which at times loomed larger […]

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A Valentine’s Day Treat: ‘Lovers and Lotharios’ at the Cultural Arts Center of Montgomery College

If you’re looking for a romantic date this Valentine’s Day, then check out the ‘Symphony of the Potomac’—Washington’s own community-based orchestra—which will be celebrating the art of love with a special musical tribute called Lovers and Lotharios, Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 3 pm at the Cultural Arts Center of Montgomery College. The lovers, of […]

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Review: ‘The Sisters Rosensweig’ at Theater J

There’s a strange sound erupting from the JCC most nights. The source is not burlesque or stand-up comedy—although there are elements of both—but a brand new production of Wendy Wasserstein’s award-winning play, The Sisters Rosensweig, which has audiences of all ages roaring with laughter. The show, which opened to a packed house the other night, is […]

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China National Traditional Orchestra’s ‘Rediscover Chinese Music’ at The Kennedy Center  

Having just returned from China—where one of the highlights of the trip was hearing traditional music performed casually in teahouses and parks—I was curious to see how these simple melodies would emerge in Rediscover Chinese Music, a mammoth multi-media spectacle on stage this weekend at The Kennedy Center’s Opera House. Would these folk songs live […]

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‘Danceworks Fall 2015’ at George Washington University’s Department of Theatre of Dance

International Guest Artists Bring Polish and Pizazz to MainStage at George Washington University Some of the most exciting new choreography in town is on view at this season’s DanceWorks 2015, where guest artists from Denmark and New York City join George Washington University undergraduates for a concert of nine dazzling new works on view this weekend. […]

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The Women’s Voices Theater Festival: ‘Animal’ at The Studio Theatre (Review #2)

When a leading Shakespearean actor changes hats—literally—to play a neurotic housewife whose comic riffs include a paean to a ballpoint pen, that’s news. And it’s very good news indeed for theater-lovers lucky enough to catch Kate Eastwood Norris–last seen as Mary Stuart, the arrogant and foolhardy Queen of Scots, at The Folger last season—in this […]

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‘Private Eyes’ at Silver Spring Stage

Anyone who craves serious comedy—meaning humor leavened with wit and more than a dash of malice—will rejoice over Silver Spring Stage’s production of Private Eyes by Steven Dietz. The play was originally described by its author as a ‘comedy of suspicion,’ one in which everyone suspects everyone else of something. Mostly it’s infidelity, but just who knows […]

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A Report from Page-to-Stage: Theater J’s ‘Falling Out of Time’ and ‘Love Godfrey/Love George’

Theater J offered a first look at its adaptation of Falling Out of Time, David Grossman’s powerful saga of parental loss, at this year’s Page-to-Stage Festival held at The Kennedy Center last weekend. The reading, performed by a cast of eight actors, was a ‘first’ in many ways, according to Acting Artistic Director Shirley Serotsky, […]

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‘Next Fall’ at Upcounty Theatre

Next Fall, Geoffrey Nauffts’ mind-bending play opened Friday for a brief run at Upcounty Theatre at Germantown’s Black Rock Center for the Arts. It is an excellent production with a superb acting ensemble, directed by Matti Jane Dickenson, who has been a member of the new theatre group since its inception five years ago.  Jason DeMarchi […]

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2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Trueheart: Live’

This stand-up solo performance—featuring Tim Trueheart as himself—starts out as broad comedy. Describing himself as racially mixed—a combination of African-American, Indian, Chinese, and Jewish forebears—Tim and his audience laugh out loud as he reminisces about coming of age in the mostly white world of the Air Force. His father, a stern military man, walks around […]

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2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘No AIDS No Maids: Stories I Can’t F*ckin’ Hear No More’

The image is frightening. A beautiful black woman—larger than life, with a resume to match—dons white gloves and a waistcoat, smears makeup on her face and begins the childish song and dance of a minstrel. It’s a terrifying moment, repeated throughout this one woman show. Written and performed by Dee Dee Batteast—an accomplished actor who […]

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2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Artful Justice’

History assumes that Adolf Hitler killed himself just before the end of World War II. But what if history were wrong? What if Hitler, acquitted of war crimes by a U.S. court and absolved of   genocide and guilt, had arrived in New York and begun a second career as an artist, sharing a loft […]

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2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘American Lit’

You don’t have to be an English Major—or even a recent graduate—to enjoy this romp among literary giants in American Lit, a collection of five one-act plays, written and directed by James F. Bruns and playing at the Capital Fringe this month. According to Bruns—who credits the play’s birth to a chance encounter with Tennessee […]

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