Archive | Shakespeare

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Dangereuse: ‘A Macbeth for the 21st Century’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Samuel Taylor Coleridge said that seeing Edmund Kean play Shakespeare was like “reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning.” Acclaimed Director Liesl Tommy brings us Shakespeare torn asunder by gunfire. It is a blazingly original concept. The production is part of the “Clarice Smith Series: New Directors for the Classics” at Shakespeare Theatre Company. What happens […]

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Review: ‘Macbeth’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Blood will have blood—so go the grim words of Macbeth as it dawns on him that murder is not as simple as he once thought. When it comes to battling and bloodshed, Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production delivers. But rather than depicting kings and battles from Shakespeare’s day, Tony-award-winning director Liesl Tommy has turned this story […]

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Review: ‘Henry V’ at We Happy Few Productions

What’s the impact of war on the common man? Do the sins of leaders trickle down to their soldiers? Is patriotism dead? What does it mean to be a leader? These are just some of the themes explored in William Shakespeare’s Henry V. Featuring Kerry McGee’s boundary-breaking direction, intriguing performances, fierce stage combat, and rousing […]

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Review: ‘King Lear’ at George Washington University

Director Leslie Jacobson has book-ended Shakespeare’s dark tragedy King Lear with lyrical and lovingly-lit tableaux of the mad king’s court as if in a fairy-tale photo op—Lear regal on his throne, his daughters adoring at his feet, his subjects surrounding him smiling ear to ear. These are before-and-happily-ever-after snapshots that would be perfect for a […]

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Christopher Garofalo, John Williams, Lee Cortopassi and Ashton Carter. Photo by Shawn May.

Review: ‘Love’s Labor’s Lost’ at Quintessence Theatre Group

Quintessence Theatre Group brings William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost, as directed by Alexander Burns, vibrantly to life with spectacular staging, scintillating costumes and a sparkling cast. The King of Navarre, Ferdinand (Lee Cortopassi), has convinced his complement of Lords – Berowne (John Williams), Longaville (Ashton Carter) and Dumaine (Christopher Garofalo) – to swear off women […]

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Mary Lee Bednarek and Robert Lyons. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘Coriolanus’ at Lantern Theater

Coriolanus is one of Shakespeare’s least-performed plays – probably because it doesn’t fit easily into any of the standard Shakespearean categories. It’s a tragedy, but one without the epic sweep of Othello, Hamlet or Macbeth. Those shows earned their fame by grappling with huge issues and significant figures; Coriolanus deals more with the concerns of the […]

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Review: ‘Henry V’ at Cohesion Theatre Company

I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about Cohesion Theatre Company (“Cohesion”) setting its production of Shakespeare’s Henry V in Appalachia, smack dab in the middle of the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. But then I remembered that this is Cohesion. Last year, Director/Co-Founder Alice Stanley set Hamlet in grunge-era Seattle and […]

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The Subplot Quickens: A Q&A with Michelle Beck About Her Remarkable Role in ‘King Charles III’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

I greatly admired both the writing and the acting in Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III, but to be honest it was the character of Jessica and Michelle Beck’s performance in it that knocked me out most of all. I remember walking out of the Sidney Harman Hall wanting to see […]

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Review: ‘King Charles III’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

The Ghost in the Machine Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III premiered in 2014, at London’s Almeida Theatre. Both the original production and the Broadway production won numerous awards. This new version, presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, is a breathtaking achievement. When the magical name of Diana is first invoked, a hush comes over the […]

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Review: ‘Richard III’ at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

It’s notable that a play based on England’s War of the Roses has many parallels to power plays that take place today, both in everyday life and TV and film. Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s (CSC) Richard III, directed by that company’s Founding Artistic Director Ian Gallanar, is a perfect dramatic storm of great acting, dynamic visuals, […]

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Shakespeare Theatre Company Unveils its 2017-2018 Season Lineup

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR MICHAEL KAHN ANNOUNCES THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY’S 2017-2018 SEASON Othello The Collection and The Lover Twelfth Night Hamlet Waiting for Godot Camelot Final production to be revealed Artistic Director Michael Kahn announced the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s 2017–2018 Season. Continuing his commitment to explore the classics from a variety of perspectives, Kahn, now in […]

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Review #1: ‘As You Like It’ at Folger Theatre

An updated classic that rocks! Shakespeare’s comedy, As You Like It, is the icing on the Folger Theatre’s 25th season and its observance of the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s passing. This show, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, was produced in association with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Based in Garrison, New York, an hour’s drive north of Manhattan, […]

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Review: ‘The Tempest’ at The Baltimore Annex Theater

It’s only the end of January and, with its production of The Tempest, The The Baltimore Annex Theater (“Annex”) has already set a very high bar for my 2017 theater viewing. Founding Artistic Director Evan Moritz says his plan to stage The Tempest “began germinating” five years ago.  Whatever occurred during the intervening half-decade to […]

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Review # 2: ‘The Comedy of Errors . . . at Colonus’ at Lumina Studio Theatre (Green Cast)

If you’re a lover of impossible opposites, or have ever wondered what it would be like to wander into a mirthful merge—or, in the company’s assuredly less elegant, but admittedly (and amusingly) more accurate “mash”—of two wildly disparate classic works of theater, does Silver Spring’s Lumina Studio Theatre have a show for you.  Its two […]

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