Tag Archives | Tony Cisek

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Review: ‘Timon of Athens’ at Folger Theatre

Undone by his own goodness? Ha! That is not what I took away as director Robert Richmond succeeded masterfully with his contemporary, blasting grenade of an interpretation for Shakespeare’s rarely produced Timon of Athens at Folger Theatre. Subtlety be damned is what Richmond, his cast, and the design team have rendered into a modern morality […]

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Review: ‘Mnemonic’ at Theater Alliance

Just now when the world is wracked with wave upon wave of ethnic  animus—just now when our country has succumbed to xenophobia not seen on these shores for decades—there comes a work of theatrical art so richly imagined and so radically transformational that it causes a healing hush to fall over the audience. This happens […]

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In the Moment: Scenic Designer Tony Cisek on his Scenic Design for Folger’s ‘District Merchants’

Over the past nearly two decades, I have always anticipated what multi-Helen Hayes Award Scenic Designer Tony Cisek will bring forth on the Folger Theatre’s intimate stage space with its two iconic, permanent pillars standing so straight and muscular. So, I looked forward to the wizardly Cisek’s scenic design for District Merchants, the new play using […]

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Review: ‘District Merchants’ at Folger Theatre

District Merchants, in its world premiere at Folger Theatre, is a tour de force that explores the complexity of race and identity in Reconstruction-era America. As part of Folger Theatre’s 2016 celebration of 400 years of Shakespeare and in tandem with its exhibition America’s Shakespeare, Folger commissioned this very fine reimagining of Shakespeare’s The Merchant […]

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Review: ‘Disgraced’ at Arena Stage

If you think we are over-saturated with passionate discussions of race, gender, nationality, and religion during this chaotic election year — think again. There is still much to be probed, and learned. The highly personal issues of identity and loyalty that underlie our fractious society are given brilliant voice in Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, winner of a […]

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Magic Time! ‘Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)’ at Round House Theatre

The production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ acclaimed three-part saga now having its regional premiere at Round House Theatre is some of the most amazing storytelling I’ve seen on stage. Amazing on account of the stories themselves, and equally amazing on account of how they are told. In an essay titled “Possession,” Parks gives this provocative inkling […]

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Review: ‘Father Comes Home from the War (Parts 1, 2 & 3)’ at Round House Theatre

Round House Theatre has crafted a formidable artistic statement for Suzan-Lori Parks’ inventive, no make that commanding, Father Comes Home from the War (Parts 1, 2 & 3). It is a quietly scorching production that will leave evident marks; a provocative fusion of uncomfortable factual American racial history and vivid dramatic fictionalized flair set in […]

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‘Stage Kiss’ at Round House Theatre (Review #2)

The line between art and life become colorfully blurred when two actors are unexpectedly reunited in Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl’s romantic backstage comedy Stage Kiss, which made its regional opening premiere last night at Bethesda’s Round House Theatre. Set on a transitional, rotating stage (expansively designed by Tony Cisek), a nameless pair of performers, […]

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‘Stage Kiss’ at Round House Theatre

Plays about playmaking have an enduring appeal. Think Noises Off, Six Characters in Search of an Author. Shows about shows on the musical stage have indelible charm. Think Chorus Line, Kiss Me Kate. Metatheatricality can even inspire great moviemaking. Remember how Birdman reinvented cinematic narrative? This sort of stuff is Sarah Ruhl’s forte. Her script […]

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‘NSFW’ at Round House Theatre Company

Round House Theatre just opened a stunningly good production of NSFW directed by Meredith McDonough. The script by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood is a marvel in itself, because it is a scathingly hilarious comedy and much more. The jokes, which erupt nonstop—like popcorn on a hot skillet, and just as scrumptious—have been spiked with something serious. […]

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‘King Hedley II’ at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater

Make no mistake about it. August Wilson is one of America’s greatest dramatists. Authentic, historically rich, and dramatically insightful — few playwrights have the gifts and the talent to create work that resonates with all three qualities. Arena Stage’s new production of King Hedley II, the 1980’s representative of his century long Pittsburg Cycle, is […]

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‘Mary Stuart’ at The Folger Theatre

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.” This nursery rhyme is often said to be about Mary Stuart. The pretty maids all in a row were her ladies, known as the “Four Maries” who were famous for their beauty and […]

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‘The Widow Lincoln’ at Ford’s Theatre

In the world premiere production of The Widow Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, playwright James Still and Director Stephen Rayne create a mélange of fact and fiction, mystery and history, in a stunning portrayal of a tortured woman coping with unspeakable grief. The play provides a fantasy version of what might have happened during a 40-day period […]

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‘Julius Caesar’ at Folger Theatre

Folger Theatre launches its 2014-15 season with a strikingly imaginative production of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, a play whose contradictions and cruelties mirror the bewildering politics of our time. On the eve of an important midterm election, it is well to be reminded of what politics can do, and what it can’t do, to […]

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