Archive | DC Metro Area

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Review:  ‘NSO Pops: Sophisticated Ladies: 100 Years of Ella & Company’ at The Kennedy Center 

Acclaimed vocalists Capathia Jenkins, Sy Smith and Montego Glover joyously hopped the A train to Harlem along with the NSO Pops in tribute to the Queen of Jazz in Sophisticated Ladies: 100 Years of Ella & Company. This year marks Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday and conductor Steven Reineke’s brilliant creation to honor the First Lady […]

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Review: ‘Footloose’ at Quince Orchard High School

WOW!!! Actual bouncing off walls, excitement, enthusiasm and synchronized choreography – and that was just maneuvering into a parking space out front! Footloose Director Nicholas Jullian Saadipour and his trio of Quince Orchard High School Student Directors Bree Kooienga, Madhur Vinaik and Emilie Prince pumped the energy into the High School performers who danced their […]

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Review: ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ at The Catholic University of America by Natalie Barsoum

Who would have thought that an evening of love, ambition, betrayal, violence, and death could be so enjoyable? That is precisely what last night’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor at The Catholic University of America was – enjoyable. Gaetano Donizetti’s macabre opera based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Bride of Lammermoor (a twisted Romeo […]

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In The Moment: ‘The Sound is the Kicker’ in Scena’s ‘The Night Alive’

Another superior night with Irish playwright Conor McPherson, this time at Scena Theatre under Robert McNamara’s illuminating, layered direction of McPherson’s earthy, sideward glance at damaged people, The Night Alive (2013).  For the five imperfect characters that populate The Night Alive, life is a constant struggle. Little is reliable. Love is conditional. Coiled anger surround […]

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Review: ‘Three Sisters’ at The Studio Theatre

As improbable as it may sound, the plays of Anton Chekhov are vivid proof that there is such a thing as joyful melancholy. You can commune with his characters’ misfortunes and acknowledge the essential unfairness of life—the lost loves, missed opportunities, the great and petty slights – while gearing up for another day and, yes, […]

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Review: ‘Mnemonic’ at Theater Alliance

Just now when the world is wracked with wave upon wave of ethnic  animus—just now when our country has succumbed to xenophobia not seen on these shores for decades—there comes a work of theatrical art so richly imagined and so radically transformational that it causes a healing hush to fall over the audience. This happens […]

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Review: ‘No Sisters’ at The Studio Theatre

A shout-out to Studio Theatre co-founder Russell Metheny, who designed the complex on 14th Street, for installing a backstage stairway connecting the dressing rooms of the second-floor Milton and the ground-floor Mead. Were it not for that architectural passageway, there could be no No Sisters, and DC would be deprived of Writer-Director Aaron Posner’s latest […]

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Review: ‘What Every Girl Should Know’ and ‘Dry Land’ in Rep at Forum Theatre

One hundred years separate the young women in What Every Girl Should Know and Dry Land, now playing in rep at Forum Theatre. In Monica Byrne’s What Every Girl Should Know, the four teenage girls are housed in a pre-suffrage Catholic reformatory where their capacity to dream is limited to fantasies of romance and murder. In Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Dry Land, the three […]

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Jay Leno. Photo courtesy of The Kennedy Center.

Review: Jay Leno at The Kennedy Center

Iconic television host, celebrated comedian and 2014 Mark Twain recipient Jay Leno returned to the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall Friday night amped to get the trifecta of St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness and the weekend’s start off with non-stop laughs. Following a spirited 20-minute, three-song set by The Mellow Tones, an eight-member ensemble (Rio Castaneda, […]

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Review: ‘Needles and Opium’ at The Kennedy Center

Sometimes the viewer of a theatrical experience can only sit in wonder at the spectacle, not because elephants dance on soccer balls or trapeze artists spiral on silken threads, but because actors sit on ceilings while quoting Sartre’s Nausea and dialing 911 (metaphorically). Such a theatrical experience is Robert Lepage’s Needles and Opium, the first of The Kennedy Center’s Spotlight on […]

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A Report on Smithsonian Associates ‘Are the Cards Collapsing?: A ‘House of Cards’ Season 5 Preview’ with Professor Stef Woods

Wednesday night I did something very DC, I attended a talk on politics through the Smithsonian Associates. Not divisive politics, but pop culture politics about the show based on DC/ British politics House of Cards. American University (AU) professor Stef Woods expertly and enthusiastically delved into the background of House of Cards, the clothes, the […]

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The cast of Parade. Photo by Cameron Whitman.

Review #2: ‘Parade’ at The Keegan Theatre

Arguments have been made that the theater is supposed to be a “safe place” where patrons can go to be entertained, away from the harshness of the world. Yet there is a large(r) number of people who believe that the role of theater is not just to amuse the audience, but to inform, critique, question, console, […]

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Review: ‘Ragtime’ at Ford’s Theatre

Glorious! Dazzling! Verve! Bursting at the seams with voices and stories of America’s humanity and originating dreams. These are the words I felt as Ragtime, now at Ford’s Theatre, unfolded before me. And it all began with the show’s opening; a full-company production number in which 24 voices, 48 feet, nine musicians, and an upright […]

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Review: ‘Coolatully’ at Solas Nua

In the fictional village of Coolatully, a quartet of characters grapple with the effects of Ireland’s newest mass emigration. The brief and heady era of the Celtic Tiger was over; a mass exodus was triggered by the global financial crisis of 2007. The town is drying up and all who can leave are departing for […]

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In the Moment: Q&A with Minister Becky May Jenkins, Leader of the Women’s Ecumenical Choir Performing ‘The Gospel of Colonus’ at Avant Bard

An ensemble is very key to the success of a theatrical production. Whenever I go to a theater performance, I make sure to take in those who, while not in the spotlight, still pack a visual and aural wallop. Avant Bard’s production of The Gospel at Colonus, showcases very critical and accomplished work from the Women’s Ecumenical […]

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