Author Archive | Robert Michael Oliver


Review: ‘Picnic’ at The Catholic University of America

Picnic comes to Catholic. And by the time it’s over, lives are overturned, dreams are rekindled, and who knows what will happen next. William Inge, master playwright of the heartland, captured middle-America’s pent-up and seething sexuality perhaps better than any other. In Picnic Hal, a self-described piece of Arkansas White Trash, comes to town to visit his ex-fraternity […]

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Spine: ‘Straight White Men’ by Young Jean Lee at The Studio Theatre

Young Jean Lee’s theatre, entitled Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company (2003-2016), was dedicated to producing “shows written and directed by Young Jean Lee.” The company produced 12 of Ms. Lee’s productions. After watching Studio Theatre’s production of her 2014 Straight White Men, it’s easy to see why. Experimental, psychologically complex, this play comes right at […]

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Spine: ‘Milk Like Sugar’ at Mosaic Theater Company

America is but an expensive iPhone. If you’ve got that, and its Pink with a sexy ringtone, then you’re in, as in the “in” crowd. Now, all you need is a baby. Or so seems the mind-set of Margie, Talisha, and Annie (Ghislaine “Gigi” Dwarka, Renee Elizabeth Wilson, and Kashayna Johnson), three young African-American high […]

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Review: Sheila Jordan at the KC Jazz Club

Sheila Jordan loves jazz. Sheila Jordan loves singing. Sheila Jordan really loves jazz singing. And we feel truly blessed to have spent an evening in the presence of that love. For those who have not yet discovered the KC Jazz Club, the Kennedy Center’s second story, table for four, light fare, Friday evenings (sometimes Saturday) […]

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Spine: ‘Rameau’s Nephew’ at Spooky Action Theater

The 18th century French playwright and philosopher Denis Diderot is known best among theatre folk for his theoretical writings: on the actor, the 4th Wall, and the emergence of scenography as an aesthetic element. With Rameau’s Nephew, now playing at Spooky Action Theatre, we see the cultural critic and the playwright merge, and with it the birth […]

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Review: ‘City of Angels’ at The Catholic University of America

The 1989 musical City of Angels opened last night at Catholic University’s Hartke Theatre, offering its appreciative audience a glimpse into the past through its double filtered lens. There’s no doubt you’ll remember this well-choreographed show and its spectacle. 1940’s Hollywood, film noir, Broadway comedy–the popular detective novelist, an ethically flawed yet earnest Stine, has […]

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Review: ‘Dante’s Inferno’ at Synetic Theater

Synetic Theatre, which gave Washington a Silent Hamlet, now brings audiences a wordless Dante’s Inferno. And a silent 100 minutes never sounded so good. Created by Paata Tsikurishvili and directed by Irina Tsikurishvili, with movement by Alex Mills and original compositions by Konstantine Lortkipanidze, this Inferno synthesizes music and body, light and shadow, gesture and […]

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Spine: Anguish, Angels, and the Reagan Revolution: ‘Angels in America’ at Round House Theatre

Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center have teamed up for a truly remarkable Washington event: Parts 1 & 2 of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer-Prize winning Angels in America. On Monday, September 12th, Part 1, Millennium Approaches, opened–to a standing ovation with angels, rising from beneath, soaring from above, or simply walking amongst us. Part II, […]

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Review: ‘Cloud 9’ at The Studio Theatre

Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9, now playing at Studio Theatre, is a fabulous, funny, smart, and ever more relevant vision of a world in the midst of upheaval. Director Michael Kahn, always the exquisite regisseur, outdoes himself with Churchill’s masterpiece, as he breathes intimate life into the script’s gender-bending, time-warping, concept-stretching leap into sex and identity […]

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Review: ‘Aliens with Extraordinary Skills’ at the 4615 Theatre Company

The 4615 Theatre Company returns to Woolly Mammoth’s classroom theatre with its DC premiere of Saviana Stanescu’s Aliens with Extraordinary Skills. With its touching story, enthusiastic ensemble, and devout theatrical earnestness, these Aliens and their Extraordinary Skills will warm your heart on this otherwise dreary (and cold) Washington August eve. And, of course, I’m speaking metaphorically: in a town dedicated […]

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