Archive | Reviews


‘Black Nativity’ at Theatre Horizon in Norristown, PA

With an original twist on the classic Christmas story, Horizon Theatre’s joyful Black Nativity overflows with exuberance and heart. The book and songs are a combination of classic Christmas classics as “Joy to the World,” “Go Tell It On the Mountain” and “O Come All Ye Faithful,” gospel songs, and Poet Langston Hughes’ beautiful words. Act I […]

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‘Kiss Me Kate’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

In a perfect world, the actors and actresses of a production get along. In a perfect world, there is no backstage drama. In a perfect world, that drama does not confuse and alter a production of The Taming of the Shrew. But this is not a perfect world as shown in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s new […]

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‘Semiramide’ with Washington Concert Opera at Lisner Auditorium

The predominance of voice in the operatic tradition usually doesn’t change the need for effective staging to put the full point across. Washington Concert Opera showcased at least one exception to that rule on Sunday evening in a presentation of the large-scale tragedy Semiramide by Gioachino Rossini. An astonishing performance by mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux highlighted a […]

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‘Cock (or The Cockfight Play)’ at Fells Point Corner Theatre

In the blood sport known as cockfighting, two roosters are placed in a ring, called a “cockpit,” and fight until one of them dies. The same thing happens, in a metaphorical sense, in Mike Bartlett’s fascinating play Cock (or The Cockfight Play), which is being given a stellar production at Fells Point Corner Theatre in Baltimore. […]

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‘Sons of the Prophet’ at Theater J

Theater J’s first triumph of the season was Caleen Sinnette Jennings’ semi-autobiographical Queens Girl in the World. Its second is also loosely autobiographical: Stephen Karam’s  Sons of the Prophet—a very funny play that’s seriously about suffering. The play takes place about eight years ago in a burb in Pennsylvania. The main character, 29-year-old Joseph, is beset […]

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‘A Tuna Christmas’ at Spotlighters Theatre

Spotlighters Theatre has gone south for the winter, spending the holidays in Texas with their production of A Tuna Christmas. Written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard, and directed by Fuzz Roark, A Tuna Christmas is set in the town of Tuna, Texas, the third smallest town in the state, on a particularly […]

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‘X’s and O’s’ at Centerstage

Testing the theory that anything critically examined from multiple perspectives will spark conflict, Centerstage’s latest production, X’s and O’s, theatrically highlights America’s love affair with football, examining our country’s favorite pastime while revealing the often traumatic impact the sport has on many of its players and families. Stirred by the ongoing revelations about football-related brain […]

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Cellist Amit Peled and Pianist Noreen Polera with Washington Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Cellist Amit Peled is one of those practitioners of “serious” music who brings a kind of pizzazz that’s probably needed in the 21st century world of what’s generically dubbed classical music. His brand is completely free of gimmicks since it flows directly out of his personality. That’s something you can’t always say about classical artists who […]

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‘One Thousand & One Nights’ at The Educational Theatre Company and McKinley Children’s Theatre

Recently, The Educational Theatre Company (ETC) and McKinley Children’s Theatre performed a charming production of One Thousand & One Nights. I took my three young boys and we had a night of silly songs, cute choreography, and lots of laughter. The cast and crew were entirely made up of McKinley Elementary School students and the students were even […]

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‘Becoming Dr. Ruth’ at Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3 in Philadelphia

Becoming Dr. Ruth is a cute little show about a cute little lady. A one-woman show about Ruth Westheimer, the world’s most famous “German-French-Israeli-American” TV sex therapist, Becoming Dr. Ruth isn’t dramatically rich, even though it recounts the often frightening events of Dr. Ruth’s early life. But thanks in part to Jane Ridley’s charming performance, […]

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Barbara Cook’s Spotlight: John Lloyd Young

John Lloyd Young, Tony-Award winner and musical wonder of the Broadway never-ending (and well-deserved to be!) musical hit Jersey Boys, enthralled the crowd at The Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater Friday night with a spattering of songs of all styles. From the auspicious start of the show, when Young bounded out on the stage wearing an […]

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‘Morning’s at Seven’ at The Colonial Players in Annapolis

Morning’s at Seven Delights at The Colonial Players in Annapolis Paul Osborn’s award-winning play Morning’s at Seven graces the stage at The Colonial Players in Annapolis, Maryland. The play originally opened on Broadway in 1939. Since that time, Morning’s at Seven went to Broadway in two highly successful revivals, one in 1980 and another in 2002. […]

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‘The Impresario’ at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music

Sheaves of music start flying and the upper octaves get higher and louder during an open opera audition. Vanity and rivalry turn into a feline fight-fest when two sopranos vie to get the best part. Mozart’s The Impresario, a comedy with music in one act, is an entertaining mélange of Viennese classical opera with a musical theater […]

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‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at Walt Whitman High School

Whitman Drama’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (school edition) is a superb production that demonstrates the strength and ambition of the Whitman High School Theatre program. An enormous production, with complex dance and choreography, and musical numbers that are executed perfectly while actors are running up and down the professional level set. This […]

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‘SPEKTRUM’ at Howard University

A world of color streamed with feet pointed and backs arched, amazed at the auspicious shapes; I witnessed dance prevail in SPEKTRUM, Howard University’s Dance Arts Student Showcase. Deep symbolism and social reflection are combined in a world of euphoria, that makes me enamored with the love of art, coexisting with life by nine choreographers. […]

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