Archive | The Kennedy Center

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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Review: ‘From the Mouths of Monsters’ at The Kennedy Center

From the Mouths of Monsters, a world premiere Kennedy Center commission by award-winning playwright Idris Goodwin, directed by Dougie Irvine, is a gripping, intense glimpse into the mind of 15-year-old girl struggling to find her voice—and by extension herself—amid all the forces and circumstances trying to keep her from becoming who she is meant to […]

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Review: ‘Champion’ at Washington National Opera

In the fascinating contemporary opera Champion, the external world of the often-violent sport of boxing and the inner turmoil of the self-loathing and self-denial of the lead character collide to produce a visceral and transformative opera about the power of self-acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption. Under the skillful Direction of James Robinson, the Washington National Opera […]

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Review: ‘Dead Man Walking’ at Washington National Opera

It is certainly a “Dark Night of the Soul” (St. John of the Cross) for Sister Helen Prejean in the contemporary opera Dead Man Walking. A meditative, spiritually resonant study of our common humanity in the face of unspeakable horror is presented in this probing Washington National Opera production with absolutely stunning production values, vocalizing […]

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Review: NSO Pops: An Evening with Ledisi at The Kennedy Center

“Peaches” was in the house. Inspired by the spirit of Nina Simone, acclaimed American R&B and jazz recording artist, songwriter and actress, Ledisi performed an eclectic program of blues, jazz and R&B in concert performance of NSO Pops: An Evening with Ledisi. Under the musical direction of guest conductor Darin Atwater, the NSO Pops added contemporary […]

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Joshua Bell. Photo courtesy of The Strathmore Music Center.

NSO: An Evening with Joshua Bell at The Kennedy Center

It has been said that Joshua Bell may be the greatest violinist active today.  After listening to him play, as well as conduct, at The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) last night to a sold-out audience who seemed entirely entranced, that declaration may undeniably be more fact than opinion. For […]

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Review: ‘RIN: Tales From the Life of a Troubadour’ Starring Rinde Eckert at The Kennedy Center

The acclaimed writer, composer, librettist, physician, performer, and director Rinde Eckert delighted and amazed the crowd on Friday evening at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater. Eckert allowed the audience to enter his seemingly hermetically sealed world of musical language, comedic riffs, rare instrumentals, and anecdotal tales. Mr. Eckert is the recipient of the Lucille Lortel […]

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Review: Mariinsky Ballet’s ‘The Little Humpbacked Horse’ at The Kennedy Center

Movement and merriment abound in Mariinsky’s The Little Humpbacked Horse Restraint and sutlety are generally not traits associated with Russian comedy ballet, and that proved true last evening at The Kennedy Center when the Mariinsky Ballet performed an “over the moon” rendition of The Little Humpbacked Horse. For the record there was a cool moonlit backdrop […]

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Review: ‘Mason Bates’ KC Jukebox: Ravishment’ at The Kennedy Center

Virginia’s own Mason Bates is the current composer-in-residence at the Kennedy Center and now playing the second season of his collaborative KC Jukebox series. The series presents out-of-the-box compositions in a different setting than the traditional Concert Hall would provide. The layout for the performances is quite different, in a flexible space at the Kennedy […]

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Review: ‘The Dictator’s Wife’ at Washington National Opera

A one-hour World Premiere opera is reason enough for the imagination to run rampant with artistic anticipation. So what a veritable array of riches it was to indulge the senses and challenge the mind with the Washington National Opera’s production of The Dictator’s Wife. This intriguing, topical and satiric piece of enigmatic yet trenchant opera […]

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