Tag Archives | Frank Labovitz

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Review: Source Festival 2017: ‘Perfect Arrangement’

Perfect Arrangement by Topher Payne was a smash hit at Source Festival when it debuted there four years ago, and the comedy’s return to Source on the occasion of the festival’s tenth anniversary is cause for celebration. Set in 1950 during the so-called Lavender Scare—when persecution of homosexuals and other “deviants” had U.S. state sanction—Perfect […]

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Review: ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at Signature Theatre

Signature Theatre’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar is an impressive beauty of a rock opera. It successfully takes a Biblical phrase such as, “Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” (Lamentations 3:41) to make it a revolutionary statement. With a fuse set by Director Joe Calarco, Jesus Christ […]

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DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #14: Best Design in Professional and Community Theaters in DC/VA/MD

DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #14: Best Design in Professional and Community Theaters in DC/VA/MD Are: John Alexander for his lighting for Blackberry Winter at Forum Theatre. John Alexander for his lighting for Black Nativity at Theater Alliance. Brian Allard for his lighting for Sleeping Beauty at Synetic Theater. Clint Allen for his projections for Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches: […]

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Review #2: ‘Charm’ at Mosaic Theater Company of DC

Just opened at Mosaic Theater Company in a thrilling and vibrant production directed by Natsu Onoda Power is a play that puts on stage some of what National Geographic just called the gender revolution. But this is no anthropological field trip. Charm is so funny and poignant, and so pure of heart, that it elevates […]

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Review: ‘Charm’ at Mosaic Theater Company of DC

If you think teaching manners to a group of outcast runaways sounds like a joke—ridiculous at best, and irrelevant or possibly dangerous at worst—then think again. Because the idea of offering lessons in uplifting behavior to people who see themselves as undeserving is neither new nor hard to believe. Of course, it helps to have […]

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DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #12: Best Direction of Plays in Professional Theater in DC/MD/VA

Here are the DCMetroTheaterArts Staff’s honorees for Best Direction of Plays in Professional Theaters in 2016. Congrats to all our honorees! THE BEST DIRECTION OF PLAYS  in 2016 IN DC/MD/VA ARE: Paul Morella for A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas at Olney Theatre Center. Michael Baron for A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre. Laurie T. Freed […]

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‘Alfred Jarry and Ubu: An Opening Night to Remember’

“Merdre!” This elaboration on the French word “Merde!” caused a sensation in 1896, at the premiere of Ubu Roi (King Ubu) in Paris. Half the audience was revolted, half enthusiastic. Several people walked out. Insults and variants of the offending word were exchanged. Eventually, theater seats flew in the air and those in the boxes […]

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Review: ‘Titanic The Musical’ at Signature Theatre

There’s something fundamentally spiritual about the legend of RMS Titanic. Just as there are no atheists in a foxhole there are few to be found aboard an ocean liner going down fast in icy waters but coming up short on lifeboats. While Maury Yeston’s 1997 musical Titanic may never be seen as a seasonal alternative […]

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Spine: Pointless Theatre’s ‘King Ubu’—No, That’s Not Donald Trump You See Sitting on That Crapper

Ironically, and full of unintended consequences, while watching Pointless Theatre’s production of Alfred Jarry’s King Ubu  (yes, that’s who wrote this play, translated afresh by Google), I couldn’t help but think of President-elect Donald Trump. Not the real Donald Trump, perhaps (but who knows), but at least the Donald Trump that inhabits our media’s worst […]

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Review: ‘King Ubu’ at Pointless Theatre Company

The season of giving? Joy to the world, peace on earth, and goodwill towards men? By the time the first snowflake actually falls, the holiday schmaltz can be as cloying as the Macy’s fragrance department a week before Christmas. Luckily for all of us Scrooges, there is a devilishly perfect antidote: Pointless Theatre’s bawdy, whooshing, […]

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Magic Time! ‘Cloud Nine’ at The Studio Theatre

Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine, which premiered in London in 1979, is rightly considered a landmark play. It is pivotal for me personally as well, ever since I saw the legendary Tommy Tune production off-Broadway in 1981. At the time I was immersed in counter-cultural people’s theater, which tended to be wildly experimental in form but […]

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Review: ‘Cloud 9’ at The Studio Theatre

Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9, now playing at Studio Theatre, is a fabulous, funny, smart, and ever more relevant vision of a world in the midst of upheaval. Director Michael Kahn, always the exquisite regisseur, outdoes himself with Churchill’s masterpiece, as he breathes intimate life into the script’s gender-bending, time-warping, concept-stretching leap into sex and identity […]

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Review: ‘The Flick’ at Signature Theatre

Like the seismic shift in the theatrical terrain that I experienced when I saw the Steppenwolf Theater’s production of Lanford Wilson’s Balm in Gilead off-Broadway, or the excitement I felt when I saw Steppenwolf’s galvanizing production of Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County with the original cast on Broadway, the Signature Theater’s production of Annie Baker’s […]

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Magic Time! ‘The Glass Menagerie’ at Ford’s Theatre

What’s the best way to stage a modern classic that is both reverential and revelatory? How does one mount a production that is respectful of the author’s intent yet freshly insightful. How can a production that is both faithful to the text and plentiful with pleasant original surprise seem a coherent vision, a seamless whole? […]

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Review: ‘The Glass Menagerie’ at Ford’s Theatre

Possibly the most lyrical and sentimentally poignant of all the plays written by Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie still holds up as one of Williams’ most well-written plays. “delicately-wrought” is the adjective that come to mind when trying to describe this “tone poem” of a play. Frequently performed and revived as a staple of the […]

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