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Author Archive | Yvonne French

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2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Wash Over You’

Get ready for a distinctly American piece of multi-media artistry told in choreography, text and video projections by Artistic Director Jane Franklin of Jane Franklin Dance in Arlington, Va. With music by David Schulman, Eva Schlegel and The Shadows, this dance extravaganza would make Choreographer Martha Graham and Composer Aaron Copland proud, as it is […]

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The Women’s Voices Theater Festival ‘Destiny of Desire’ at Arena Stage

DC playwright Karen Zacarías’ world-premiere musical comedy Destiny of Desire is a delightfully soapy mix of magic realism and situation comedy – so sit back in this bubble bath of great storytelling and be thoroughly entertained! Directed by José Luis Valenzuela, it features an all-Latino cast whose talent is perfectly matched to the great characterizations by Zacarías, a […]

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‘RENT’ at Metropolitan Youth Theatre

Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s production of RENT is a 100% student-run show from the director to the 17 actors who are making this flashback to the turn-of-the-century HIV/AIDS epidemic a moving testament to the level of understanding that these Millennials possess. The musical is directed by Chad Vann, a sophomore at Hayfield Secondary School in Springfield, […]

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‘Hairspray’ at City of Fairfax Theatre Company

A huge, multi-generational cast tells the story of integrating a 1962 Baltimore TV dance show in a musical directed by Tara Taylor that is all heart—and soul. With book by Mark O’Donnel and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, the 2003 Broadway musical won seven Tonys and […]

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‘Leto Legend’ at Hub Theatre

Valerie Fenton leads an all-woman cast as a super mom, super employee, and superhero in Leto Legend by Kristen LePine. Depicting the dual character of Charlie/Leto, Fenton, a founding member of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in Baltimore, ably shows how the mythical and modern collide in this comedy about today’s superwoman. Can she do it […]

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‘Barefoot in the Park’ at McLean Community Players

The McLean Community Players are performing an enjoyable production of Barefoot in the Park, Neil Simon’s play about a mismatched couple, directed by Jerry Bonnes. One of the longest-running non-musicals on Broadway, the show is now being enjoyed by scores of McLean residents, many of whom who were newlyweds themselves when it opened in 1963. […]

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‘The Laramie Project’ at McLean High School

A well-cast and convincing docudrama directed by Amy Poe is giving audiences a lot to talk about, opening a few minds, and lending high school students with fluid gender identities a degree of comfort. The story is about the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student, and the effect it had on […]

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‘Gone Country’ at Signature Theatre

Three accomplished performers are singing their hearts out in a real crowd-pleaser at Signature Theatre’s Gone Country cabaret, a short engagement conceived and directed by Walter Ware II. Maria Egler, Gannon O’Brien, and Bligh Voth team up with music director Howard Breitbart of Capitol Steps fame to bring country music to a rehearsal. The singers, dressed […]

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‘Cinderella’ at The Russian National Ballet Theatre at Hylton Performing Arts Center

I attended the Russian National Ballet Theatre’s enchanting Cinderella on Friday night at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Cinderella moves to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on April 18, 2015 and their Sleeping Beauty will be performed the following evening-on April 19, 2014. Founded in 1989 by dancers from the famous Mariinsky  Theatre in St. Petersburg […]

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Reporting From the United States Institute of Theater Technology (USITT) Conference & Stage Expo-Part 4: You Used What? Plastic Sheeting as Inflatable Set Elements

Two-or three-mil plastic tube sheeting cut into a single thickness can be taped together with clear packing tape or two-sided carpet tape to make huge, bubble-like structures, some 200 set designers learned at the United States Institute of Theater Technology (USITT) Conference & Stage Expo. A Helsinki designer described how he keeps them inflated with a […]

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Reporting From the United States Institute of Theater Technology (USITT) Conference & Stage Expo-Part 3: Free Software for Theaters on a Budget

There is a lot of free software available to theaters to design everything from sets to lighting, sound, and projections. If you have the processing speed and RAM on your computer, you can even make a feature-length movie using essentially the same software they use in Hollywood. The entertainment industry wants young people to play […]

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Reporting From the United States Institute of Theater Technology (USITT) Conference & Stage Expo-Part 2: Immersive Production: Audience and Performance Blending

Have you wanted to break the fourth wall but don’t know how to immerse your audience into a performance? About 200 members of the United States Institute of Theater Technology (USITT) Conference & Stage Expo exchanged ideas in an inter-generational discussion between mid-career panelists and an audience full of millennials. “Most of our generation thinks that […]

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Reporting From the United States Institute of Theater Technology (USITT) Conference & Stage Expo-Part 1: How to Set up a Rental Program for Costumes, Props, and Lighting Equipment

Does your theater company have an untapped wealth of supplies that you could loan out in order to make money on your inventory of costumes, props or lighting? Perhaps you just want to loan out a few pieces in hopes of getting a dusty costume drycleaned or a broken prop fixed by a grateful borrower. […]

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‘The Jungle Book’ at Creative Cauldron

Olivia Laurine’s fantastic performance as Mowgli, plus original music and artful masks, make for an absolutely mesmerizing rendition of The Jungle Book at Creative Cauldron in Falls Church, VA. The Cauldron has cooked up an inventive production of the 120-year-old classic tale by Rudyard Kipling complete with a two-headed snake. “But don’t expect something like […]

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Yvonne French To Report From U.S. Institute of Theater Technology’s 55th Annual Conference & Stage Expo

Stay tuned next Wednesday, March 18, 2015, as DCMetroTheaterArts technology reporter Yvonne French travels to Cincinnati to cover the U.S. Institute of Theater Technology’s 55th Annual Conference & Stage Expo. “Most audiences at a performance don’t stop to consider everything it takes to get to that point. The performance is just the tip of the entertainment iceberg. […]

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‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore’ at NextStop Theatre Company

This confection of a girl’s-night-out show deserves seven stars, one for each of the six actresses, who depict 29 characters in 28 vignettes about fashion, plus one for Director Lorraine Magee. The play is by the hilarious novelist Nora Ephron, whose credits also include When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, and her screenplay-writing […]

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‘Crime and Punishment in America’ at The American Century Theater

Billed as Crime and Punishment in America at The American Century Theater, this pairing of one-act plays (Cops and Hello Out There) are must-sees for several reasons. First, they are well-written, gritty crime dramas that are well directed and well-acted. Second, the subject matter is extremely topical with the events of Ferguson, Missouri, and other controversial police actions […]

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