Author Archive | William Powell

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Review: ‘Chicago’ at ArtsCentric at Motor House

The city of Chicago is “Hog Butcher for the World… City of the Big Shoulders,” as poet Carl Sandburg wrote just over a 100 years ago. Much the same could be said of certain elements of the press, which sensationalizes and grants celebrity status to human interest subjects and stories far and wide. The 1920s […]

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Review: ‘King John’ at 4615 Theatre Company

Scandals, sibling rivalry, adultery and divorces represented daily living for England’s royal Plantagenet family, which held the dynastic reigns of power from approximately 1120 to 1490. The Plantagenets provided enough drama for two playwrights: William Shakespeare, who wrote The Life and Death of King John, and James Goldman who wrote The Lion in Winter. Under […]

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Review: ‘Murder on the Nile’ at Greenbelt Arts Center

Imagine this scene. You’re on a paddle steamer on the Nile River in Egypt. It’s the mid-60s. You find yourself surrounded by an off-kilter cast of characters: Miss Ffoliot-ffoulkes on holiday with her niece Christina Grant; a communist-leaning British lord named Smith, with the hots for Christina; a fez-wearing steward; a French maid named Louise; […]

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40 and Up

Review: ‘Rebollar and Friends: 40 and Up!’

We’ve all heard the cliches about aging: Life begins at 40. You are not getting older, you are getting better. Age is just a number. Once a man, twice a child. The inspiring dance repertoire Rebollar and Friends: 40 and Up!, curated by Artist/Organizer and choreographer Erica Rebollar, shattered those cliches into dust. Featuring 10 […]

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Review: ‘The Tempest’ at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

Shakespeare in the park is a long-held American tradition. From venues in places such as New York City’s Central Park and Washington, DC’s Carter Barron Amphitheater, watching the Bard’s works under the stars is a summertime treat. Since 2003, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company (CSC) has produced their version of that pastime, “Shakespeare in the Ruins” at […]

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Review: ‘She Speaks’ at The Rude Mechanicals

William Shakespeare wrote memorable female characters, many of them laced within male-dominated plays. The Rude Mechanicals’ She Speaks came about when director Leanne G. Stump realized that “If you strung the best female scenes together, they’d almost make their own show.” Neatly divided into comedies and histories, She Speaks explores scenes from Shakespeare’s most notable […]

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Review: ‘Something’s Afoot’ at The British Players

A musical murder-mystery who-done-it is a strange bird indeed. But it can work if expertly executed. Something’s Afoot, with book, music and lyrics by James McDonald, David Vos and Robert Gerlach—and additional music by Ed Linderman—ran briefly on Broadway 40 years ago and The British Players has brought it back to the stage in winning […]

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Review: ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ at 1st Stage

The late self-taught playwright and poet August Wilson’s ten-play Century Cycle has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, with movie star Denzel Washington committing to bringing that cycle to the screen. Wilson’s work is some of the best ever written in American theater and it is fitting that 1st Stage chose to produce the third […]

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Review: ‘A Chorus Line’ at Tantallon Community Players

Packed with pizazz, energy, and downright sizzle, A Chorus Line, as performed by Tantallon Community Players (TCP) and directed by Christopher Gerken, is the MVP of musicals on DC area stages this year. With music by the late Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, and book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, the show is […]

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Review: ‘Fear Eats the Soul’ at Scena Theatre

As part of its 30th anniversary season, Scena Theatre has offered a stage adaptation of late German film auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1974 film Fear Eats the Soul, translated and adapted by Anthony Vivis, about the love and marriage of a Moroccan immigrant and a German woman. Director, and Scena Theatre’s Artistic Director, Robert McNamara […]

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Review: ‘The Glass Menagerie’ at Parlor Room Theater

Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie is an American theater classic. At its center a story about a shattered family, the show is timeless in its themes. Parlor Room Theater (PRT) Director Dillon DiSalvo brought forth the utmost from his cast. PRT’s The Glass Menagerie features some of the best performances on D.C. area stages this […]

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Review: ‘Crowns: A Gospel Musical’ at Arena Players

Apropos to Mother’s Day, and a magnificent button to the end of its 63rd season, Arena Players’ Crowns: A Gospel Musical is, among many things, a celebration of Christian and African religious traditions. Adapted by playwright Regina Taylor from the picture-book “Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats,” without a composer, and as directed by […]

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Review: ‘The Secret Garden’ at Memorial Players

If you’re looking for a musical of Broadway quality in the Baltimore area, look no further than some of the work being produced by Memorial Episcopal Church’s drama ministry, Memorial Players, now in its 16th season. Having recently produced the superb Ragtime, Memorial Players is sustaining excellence with its current production. With themes of rejuvenation […]

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Review: ‘Passion & Struggle’ at The In Series

Poetry can be the seed of music, and music the seed of love. Music may even be used as a form of protest—and ultimately a promoter of peace. This is evidenced by the music of composers and performers such as Spaniard Joan Manuel Serrat; Chileans Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, Puerto Rican Rafael Hernández, and […]

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Review: ‘Henry V’ at We Happy Few Productions

What’s the impact of war on the common man? Do the sins of leaders trickle down to their soldiers? Is patriotism dead? What does it mean to be a leader? These are just some of the themes explored in William Shakespeare’s Henry V. Featuring Kerry McGee’s boundary-breaking direction, intriguing performances, fierce stage combat, and rousing […]

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