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Tag Archives | Kennedy Center

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Review: Isley Brothers at The Kennedy Center

The Isley Brothers rocked into The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall this last Sunday night. Though the Hall is still standing, it may never be the same. Since their founding in 1955, the Isley Brothers have recorded numerous Gold and Platinum Albums, with dozens of number 1 hits. Their first Grammy Award came in 1970 with “It’s Your Thing.” Since […]

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Review: NEA Jazz Master Ron Carter Trio at The Kennedy Center

The Ron Carter Trio visited The Kennedy Center this Friday night. Consisting of bassist Carter, pianist Donald Vega, and guitarist Russell Malone, the harmonics couldn’t have been sweeter; the melodies, more agreeably delightful; or the riffs, more creative of joy. Led by Jazz Master Carter, the trio began the evening with several in memoriam pieces for […]

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Photo courtesy of The Kennedy Center.

Review: Dizzy Gillespie Centennial Celebration at The Kennedy Center

Dizzy Gillespie’s 100th birthday celebration at The Kennedy Center jazzed the Eisenhower Theatre last night. I’m sure the rooftop is still aglow this morning. Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) revolutionized bebop; he and Charlie “Bird” Parker launched modern jazz. The evening began when NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath, a lifelong friend of Gillespie, described his first big […]

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Review: NEA Jazz Master Lee Konitz’s Birthday Celebration at The Kennedy Center

Nonagenarian jazz–what is it? It’s Lee Konitz leading a quartet that includes George Schuller on drums, Jeremy Stratton on bass, and Dan Tepfer on piano. And in his Kennedy Center’s Birthday Celebration, Konitz couldn’t have been any more expressive, or ready for flight. Nuanced, graceful, unhurried, and sublime are but a few of the descriptors […]

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Review: Herbie Hancock at The Kennedy Center

Legendary Oscar and multi-Grammy-winning pianist and Kennedy Center Honoree Herbie Hancock solidified his avant-garde artistry on the Concert Hall stage Tuesday night, highlighting “smatterings” of his latest jazz compositions from his eagerly anticipated new album (set for release in 2018), fused with reframed hits from his 60-year career. Fastidiously accompanied by drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist […]

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Cio-Cio San as Butterfly. Photo courtesy of The Kennedy Center.

Review: ‘Madame Butterfly’ at The Kennedy Center

Gorgeous, ravishing arias by the legendary Puccini, an ethereally beautiful performance by Soprano Ermonela Jaho as Cio-Cio San (Butterfly), and an exceptionally ingenious concept and stage design by Production Designer Jun Kaneko are the primary glories of a stunning production of the beloved opera Madame Butterfly now being presented by the Washington National Opera at […]

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Review: ‘Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs’ at The Kennedy Center

Wearing his heart on his sleeve throughout, entertainer extraordinaire Alan Cumming (Tony-award winner for Cabaret, regular on the hit television series The Good Wife, concert and recording star, writer, etc.) enthralled the audience throughout his concert very wittily entitled Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs. Mr. Cumming commanded the stage like a tiger on the prowl, […]

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Photo courtesy of The Kennedy Center.

Review: ‘Battlefield’ at The Kennedy Center

In The Empty Space Peter Brook declared that the stage has “two rules: (1) Anything can happen and (2) Something must happen.” In Battlefield, his collaboration with Marie-Hélène Estienne, those two rules are shown the exception. And the effect could not be more powerful. If not for the applause, I’d be sitting there still, absorbing […]

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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: ‘Image China: Confucius’ at The Kennedy Center

It seemed fitting somehow during a full moon, on Friday the thirteenth, to be attending Confucius on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Kong Dexin, a 77th-generation direct descendent of Confucius directed and choreographed this opulent production. Confucius highlights the philosopher’s journey through the kingdoms of Zhou Dynasty China, and his quest to […]

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Review: ‘The Gabriels’ at the Kennedy Center

For those who are familiar with Richard Nelson’s 4-play cycle, The Apple Family Plays, his The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, now on stage at the Kennedy Center’s Lab Theatre, will sound and appear familiar. Rhinebeck (New York), a “slice-of-life” dramatic structure, an older family member in need of comfort and […]

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Meet the Cast of Avant Bard’s ‘TAME.’ Part 5: Karen Lange

In part five of a series of interviews with the cast of Avant Bard’s production of TAME., meet Karen Lange. Joel: Where have local audiences seen you perform recently on stage? Karen: Most recently, I was singing bluegrass murder ballads in Pinky Swear Productions’ Capital Fringe Festival show Over Her Dead Body: A Bluegrass Benediction. […]

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