Archive | Community Theatre

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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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Review: ‘Gilligan’s Fire Island’ at Dominion Stage

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a cheeky flip, begun with fun by castaways, who do everything but strip. Gilligan’s Fire Island is a parody, bringing back nostalgic memories of the 1960’s TV show with a tropical paradise, plenty of coconuts, and bamboo décor. The twist on the well-known […]

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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: ‘Mary Poppins’ at 2nd Star Productions

A show that’s “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” on every level. There has never been a nanny quite so magical – or musical – as Mary Poppins, a character created by author P.L. Travers in eight books written from 1934 to 1988. But, there was a hint that a magical experience was in store when an usher handed me […]

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Review #2: ‘An American Daughter’ at Montgomery Playhouse and Arts on the Green

Just when you thought that scandalous political agendas were restricted to CNN’s 24-hour news cycle, along comes An American Daughter, Wendy Wasserstein’s 1997 play about a woman’s nomination as surgeon general and the threats her past play on her potential political appointment. In our current culture of alternative facts, fake news, and spin doctors, 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: ‘Book of Days’ at Rockville Little Theatre

Written in 1998, Book of Days is one of the final writings from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson. The play is set in a fictional rural Missouri town of 4,500 or so residents, and follows 11 of those residents and one outsider at the “cusp of the new millennium,” whose lives and stories are all […]

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Review: ‘Evita’ at St. Mark’s Players

The classic musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Evita comes to life again with the latest production at St. Mark’s Players. The revival comes at a perfect time, as the production delves into the flawed human character of Evita Duarte Perón, showing both the great qualities and the fallible human qualities that made her such a […]

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Review: ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ at Laurel Mill Playhouse

H.M.S. Pinafore, Gilbert and Sullivan’s famous operetta, directed by Michael Hartsfield and produced by Maureen Rogers, opened on April 28, 2017 at the Laurel Mill Playhouse on Main Street in historic Laurel, MD, and this production is sheer fun and thoroughly entertaining. The two English composers’ music laid the foundation of the modern musical comedy.  […]

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Review: ‘Grey Gardens’ at the Old Opera House

An unusual choice and subject matter for a musical, Grey Gardens tells the story of the dysfunctional relationship between mother Edith Bouvier Beale and daughter “Little” Edie Beale. The two women were the aunt and cousin of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. At one time social debutantes and living in the highest society, they became recluses, […]

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Review: ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ at the City of Fairfax Theatre Company

There’s the daily ordeal of truth, imaginary facts, and shifting identities. There is wealth and privilege and assumptions based on hearsay, without understanding. Within all of this lies the day-to-day news cycle of now. Then there is a play first performed in 1895. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest satirizes the upper-class societal conventions […]

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Review: ‘Taking Sides’ at Port City Playhouse by Wesley Cobaugh

Taking Sides by Ronald Harwood is a stark look at post-war process and what is really meant by getting at the truth of what happened, why, who knew and when. Director Mary Ayala-Bush has crafted a thought-provoking scenario of whether Wilhelm Furtwangler, the celebrated conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra was a Nazi sympathizer, supporter […]

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Review: ‘She Loves Me’ at The Arlington Players

The Arlington Players have put on a delicious production of the musical She Loves Me. The 1964 musical by Fiddler on the Roof Composer Jerry Bock and Lyricist Sheldon Harnick and book writer Joe Masteroff was not a roaring success when it first premiered on Broadway (it had the bad luck of opening the same season as […]

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