There were many wonderful Scene Stealing moments on DC Metro Area stages in our professional, community, children’s, and university theaters during the past theater season (August 1, 2012-August 1, 2013). The DCMetroTheaterArts staff will be offering their favorite Scene Stealers in the next ten days, so here’s our second set of honorees:
From John Stoltenberg:
Felicia Curry Singing “The Way” in Disco Jesus and the Apostles of Funk at The 2013 Capital Fringe Festival.
With a voice that’s celestial, Curry played Mary, a naive singer whom the swaggering, eponymous Jesus dude entices into trying out to front his new Apostles of Funk band. “I auditioned for American Idol once,” Mary tells Jesus innocently. The line got a knowing chuckle—because Curry could actually be an Idol contender: She’s a powerhouse belter who can actually act (watch out, Jennifer Hudson!).
The Fringe audience in the sweltering Baldacchino Gypsy Tent was eager for some funky salvation, and in the penultimate number, “The Way,” Curry delivered: Her showtopping pipes turned the tent into a red-hot revival.
From Carolyn Kelemen:
Alicia Graf Mack as The Church Lady in Revelations at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Watching Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform is a spiritual experience. Beauty, power, and strength reach out from the stage to grab hold of an audience.
Revelations always brings down the house, as it did last winter at Baltimore’s Lyric Theater. With its floppy hats and synchronized swinging umbrellas, the jazzy ballet is set to a foot-stomping medley of gospel songs. Folks typically jump to their feet to cheer the dancers after performances of “Run, Sinner Man” and “Rocka My Soul.” but this night belonged to Alicia Graf Mack who stood out as the sassiest church lady in the finale. She is the epitome of a ballerina-turned-contemporary dancer who captures the spotlight in every move she makes.
From Keith Tittermary:
Michael Kharfen as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon at Silver Spring Stage.
As I said in my review: “Michael Kharfen delivers a knockout performance. He does not attempt to mimic Nixon, but rather makes the character his own. Kharfen hits all of the right notes in his vocal cadences and physical stature.”
Kharfen’s entire performance as Nixon was a highlight of the show, but the Scene Stealing moment that stood out for me was his late night drunken phone call with David Frost (Brendan Murray). Without falling into the cliché of playing someone drunk, Kharfen played the embattled former President with finesse.
From Keith Tittermary:
Maria Rizzo as Brianna Singing “Baby, I Want You, Want You, Want You” in Spin at Signature Theatre.
Maria Rizzo, already known to DC audiences for her fiery portrayal of Sally Bowles in Cabaret at The Keegan Theatre, stole the stage as Brianna, the wanna-be reality show singer who sings “Baby, I Want You, Want You, Want You” through her puckered lips and unintelligible lyrics. Without turning the role into a caricature, Rizzo delivered a scene stealing moment, that showed how it takes talent to portray someone as untalented as Brianna.
From Jessica Vaughan:
Madelyn Wanner Singing “Parto, parto ma tu ben mio” (“Trust Me, Have Faith…”) With Clarinetist Jonathan Yanik, in La Clemenza De Tito at The In Series.
Mezzo-Soprano Madelyn Wanner played Sesto in a traditional “trouser roll,” or a woman playing the part formerly performed by male castrati. The role is a juicy, difficult part vocally and emotionally. She stole the show with her aria “Trust Me, Have Faith….” (“Parto, parto ma tu ben mio”), which is actually a duet with clarinet in a song only Mozart could write. Her voice soared in perfect harmony with the instrument through a series of impossible and moving musical and vocal acrobatics, even as she tortured herself with the emotion of the song and Sesto’s betrayal of his best friend.
Favorite ‘Scene Stealers’ of the 2012-2013 DC Area Theater Season: Part 1.