Archive | Reviews

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Magic Time! ‘The Hard Problem’ at The Studio Theatre

I love when a play starts out as a fascinating head trip—a smart, high-concept exhilaration of ideas—then propels me headlong into an overwhelming flood of emotion. It’s like being transported along a neural pathway from brain to heart that the playwright has turned into a thoroughfare of theatrical euphoria. Tom Stoppard scripts that extraordinary excursion […]

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Review: ‘Lizzie’ at 11th Hour Theatre Company

Whacked-out psycho-killer or falsely-accused innocent? We’ll never know the truth about Lizzie Borden, but 11th Hour Theatre Company’s production of the rock musical Lizzie, by Steven Cheslik-Demeyer (music and lyrics), Alan Stevens Hewitt (music, orchestrations, and additional lyrics), and Tim Maner (book, lyrics, and additional music), makes a rock-solid case for guilty-though-acquitted by reason of incompetence […]

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Review: Pianist Lise de la Salle at the Phillips Collection

Picking through bombastic music to extract the musical message and leave a lingering impression of something other than bombast is a skill to be cherished among pianists on the international stage. That was the main achievement of French pianist Lise de la Salle at the Phillips Collection on Sunday afternoon. Her nearly complete triumph with […]

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In the Moment: The Studio Theatre’s ‘The Hard Problem’

Studio Theatre’s production of The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard charmed me with its intellectual and ideological turmoil fueled by verbal fierceness. With a shiny, contemporary veneer and Stoppard’s cleverly stylish verbal razzle dazzle about science and finance, I left the performance thinking I had been eaves-dropping on a cool late night argument on “big” issues […]

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Review: ‘Exit Pluto’ at Strand Theater Company

Continuing “The 100 Percent Season” – an entire season consisting exclusively of works written by women – Strand Theater Company. (“the Strand”) presented the World Premiere of Amy Bernstein’s Exit Pluto on Thursday. Directed by Alice Stanley, this dark, absurdist comedy is a metaphor-rich study on change or, more accurately, resistance to change. People used […]

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Review: ‘The Hard Problem’ at The Studio Theatre

No shrinking violet when it comes to exploring humanity’s most complex questions, playwright Tom Stoppard takes a deep dive into the frontiers of neuroscience, human nature, and the existence of God in his newest play, The Hard Problem. Fortunately for all of us, Studio Theatre’s production of this fascinating drama sparkles with fresh insights into […]

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Review #2: The American Pops Orchestra Presents ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade: 75 Years Of Streisand’ at Lisner Auditorium

8-track tape: It’s the only medium of Barbra Streisand recordings that I do not own. LP, cassette, VHS, CD, DVD, mp3, mp4 … I have purchased some of Streisand’s work in two or three (for some movie content, maybe four) formats. As Streisand aficionados know, every new medium might bring some infinitesimal sound difference worth […]

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Spine: ‘Silent Sky’ at Silver Spring Stage

On occasion, a play comes along with a bit of history, a bit of uncovered history, and that history changes the nature of the universe. Silent Sky is that sort of play. Lauren Gunderson’s biography play, Silent Sky, reveals the life and career of one Henrietta Leavitt (Marnie Kanarek), who in 1895 joined the Harvard […]

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Review: ‘Hands on Hard Body’ at Drama Learning Center

Hands on Hard Body opened on January 13th at the Drama Learning Center in Columbia, MD presented by the TYA Professional Training Program. The book was written by Tony and Pulitzer winner Doug Wright with Lyrics by Amanda Green and Music by Trey Anastasio (lead singer for Phish) and Amanda Green. The plot is based […]

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Review: ‘LIZZIE: The Musical’ at Pinky Swear Productions

Fresh off their Capital Fringe Best Overall Show and Best Musical Theatre or Opera wins for 2016’s Over Her Dead Body, Pinky Swear Productions (PSP) rips onto the stage of Anacostia Playhouse with LIZZIE: The Musical, created by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Alan Stevens Hewitt, and Tim Maner. PSP Artistic Director Karen Lange has been pursuing the […]

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Jennifer Childs as Sierra Mist. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘I Will Not Go Gently’ at Act II Playhouse

An aging rock star struggles to stay relevant, or perhaps struggles whether or not to care at all whether she is still relevant, in the Act II Playhouse remounting of 1812 Productions’ one-woman musical I Will Not Go Gently, starring and created by Jennifer Childs. With a comedic lineup of generational perspectives, she examines the […]

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Here Are This Year’s WATCH AWARD Nominations

Announcement of Nominations 16th Annual Washington Area Theatre Community Honors THE WATCH AWARDS Nominations Announced January 15, 2017 – 7:30 pm at The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA Award Ceremony Sunday, March 5, 2017 – 7:00 pm at The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA Award Ceremony Tickets $17.50 at the Birchmere Box Office or through Ticketmaster (plus service charge) […]

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Review: ‘Grey Gardens’ at StillPointe Theatre

Grey Gardens is the latest show in StillPointe Theatre’s 2016 – 2017 season. This musical is based on the eponymous 1975 documentary about the lives of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (“Big Edie”) and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (“Little Edie”). Grey Gardens chronicles the relationship between Big Edie and Little Edie as they go from New York socialites […]

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Review: National Symphony Orchestra: Stravinsky’s ‘The Firebird’ and Ravel’s ‘Left Hand’ Concerto

With a program packed with masterpieces from Russian and French composers, Sir Mark Elder conducted the National Symphony Orchestra. Sir Mark Elder opened the night sharing some words on the program to provide contextual information for the audience. The conductor said that the pieces we were about to hear had a lot of natural elements that […]

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