DCMTA Scene Stealers-Week Ending June 5, 2015-Part 1

Congrats to all our new Scene Stealers honorees!

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Shayna Blass as Lulu in the Final Scene of Cabaret at Signature Theatre

Shayna Blass.

Shayna Blass.

Shayna Blass (Gorilla) and Wesley Taylor (Emcee). Photo by Margot Schulman.

Shayna Blass (Gorilla) and Wesley Taylor (Emcee). Photo by Margot Schulman.

“In Act Two the Emcee sings “If You Could See Her (with my eyes)” to someone costumed as an ape whose primate movements might suggest an innocuous clown show. Then when the ape mask comes off and a woman is revealed, the Emcee’s harsh punchline is “She doesn’t look Jewish at all!” She is the chorine Lulu, played by Shayna Blass, with a look on her face of hollow-eyed fear and humiliation. Blass as Lulu reappears at the very end of Act Two stripped and pummeled as the victim of a vicious anti-Semitic assault. Blass’s performance in that scene conveyed such an extremity of vulnerability that it was too painful to watch—but at that moment of her performance it was also impossible to look at anyone else on stage.”-John Stoltenberg

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Maya Celeste Singing “By My Side” in Godspell at The Young Columbians 

Maya Celeste singing "  " to Stephen Dransfield (Jesus). Photo courtesy of Young Columbians.

Maya Celeste singing “By My Side” to Stephen Dransfield (Jesus). Photo courtesy of Young Columbians.

“All these talented kids perform Godspell with spirit and fervor, but one young performer, Maya Celeste, is a scene-stealer with her “By My Side” rendition of this old hippie show that seems even more significant in this turbulent era.

This is not an exaggeration. I just saw one incredible closing night production of Godspell last weekend produced by the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts (CCTA) and Downtown Columbia Arts & Culture Commission and held in a new spa that was re-made into a theater for 75 plus folks who received free tickets for the show.

And what a show it was! I still don’t know how Artistic Director Toby Orenstein finds the talent for her Young Columbians, the group that put on Godspell this time around. If somebody doesn’t pick up another date for these talented teens, well….

But to the point of Maya and her sensational solo, sung to Jesus (Stephen Dransfield) in the second act of the show. I love this young woman and wish her well in her future – and she will definitely have one. She will perform again for the Columbia Festival of the Arts when the Young Columbians sing for the 40th anniversary of the group, founded by Orenstein who has won many awards for her gift for finding extraordinary talent.”-Carolyn Kelemen

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Lisa Davidson as Macduff Reacting to the Murder of his Wife and Children in Macbeth at the Boom Theatre Company.

L To R: Anthony Chanov (Malcolm) and Lisa Davidson (Macduff). Photo courtesy of The Boom Theatre.

L to R: Anthony Chanov (Malcolm) and Lisa Davidson (Macduff). Photo courtesy of The Boom Theatre.

“In a role typically portrayed by a man, Lisa Davidson is fierce and strong in her role as Macduff. At the same time, she shows Macduff’s more vulnerable side, as he is crushed after losing his family. It’s a tour de force and passionate scene-stealing performance and after this scene I couldn’t wait for Davidson to slaughter Macbeth. Lisa Davidson completely steals the show as Macduff. Her passion resonates in her eyes and in every line that she speaks. She is truly a force to be reckoned with every moment that she is onstage.”-Lauren Honeycutt.

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Kevin Dystra and Lennie Magida Have a Tiff in The Language Archive at Silver Spring Stage.

(L-R) Jonas David Grey (George), Lennie Magida (Alta), and Kevin Dykstra (Resten). Photo by Harvey Levine.

(L-R) Jonas David Grey (George), Lennie Magida (Alta), and Kevin Dykstra (Resten). Photo by Harvey Levine.

“Kevin Dystra plays an old Eastern European peasant, Resten, who speaks a dying language. When Resten and his wife Alta (Lennie Magida) first meet the main character and archivist, George, they are enmeshed in a petty tiff about where they sat on the plane. Resten and Alta steal the scene when the old peasant tries to warn George that his wife’s food is awful and will make George sick. The characters are humorous to start, angry and then, suddenly very old and vulnerable. We see that the relationship between Resten and Alta is both simple and complicated at the same time, and we that their passion is not just anger – but also love.”-Susan Brall

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Ward Ferguson as Anatoly Sergievsky, Singing ‘Anthem’ at Chess at Kensington Arts Theatre

Ward Ferguson singing 'Anthem.' Photo by John Nunemaker.

Ward Ferguson singing ‘Anthem.’ Photo by John Nunemaker.

Freddie’s nemesis Anatoly Sergievsky was played by Ward Ferguson. Talk about an amazing singing talent! Ferguson had a smooth baritone voice, but when his belt came out it took the house down. He closed out the first act with the song “Anthem,” and this proclamation of his love for Florence – regardless of the political consequences – was dazzling!-Anne Vandercook

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Kimberly Gilbert as Viv Rallying Her Teammates in Jumpers for Goalposts at The Studio Theatre

Zdenko Martin (Danny), Liam Forde (Luke), Jonathan Judge-Russo (Beardy Geoff), Michael Glenn (Joe), and Kimberly Gilbert (Viv) in 'Jumpers for Goalposts' at Studio Theatre. Photo by Igor Dmitry.

Zdenko Martin (Danny), Liam Forde (Luke), Jonathan Judge-Russo (Beardy Geoff), Michael Glenn (Joe), and Kimberly Gilbert (Viv) in ‘Jumpers for Goalposts’ at Studio Theatre. Photo by Igor Dmitry.

“In this British locker-room soccer-team comedy, Kimberly Gilbert plays the role of the coach, Viv—a woman whom her sister lesbians kicked off their team because she’s so brassy and bossy. Throughout the play Viv tries valiantly to spur her four male teammates on to victory, although the name ‘Barely Athletic’ well bespeaks their losing streak. At a pivotal point Viv gives a speech trying to inspire them to do their best—simply to do their best. The character Viv clearly believes in the other four players more than they believe in themselves, and Kimberly brings to the moment a mix of hope, warmth, and love that becomes a defining moment of the scene and ultimately of the whole play.”-John Stoltenberg

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Amy Greco as Lois Lane Singing “Always True to You in My Fashion,’ and Nathan Bowen as Bill Calhoun, Singing “Bianca” in Kiss Me Kate at 2nd Stage Productions.

Nathan Bowen (Bill Calhoun) and Amy Greco (Lois Lane). Photo by Nate Jackson Photography.

Nathan Bowen (Bill Calhoun) and Amy Greco (Lois Lane). Photo by Nate Jackson Photography.

“Talk about great casting. Amy Greco and Nathan Bowen are scene stealers as they portray the younger couple plagued with their own set of insecurities. Greco’s hilarious rendition of “Always True to You in My Fashion” and Bowen’s beautiful and endearing rendition of “Bianca” were scene stealers and big crowd-pleasers.-Morgan Woodle 

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Costume Designer Joan Guillén‘s Dresses for the Stepsisters in Washington National Opera’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola)

Jacqueline Echols, Paolo Bordogna, and Deborah Nansteel. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Jacqueline Echols, Paolo Bordogna, and Deborah Nansteel. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Joan Guillén has stolen the show with his magnificently ridiculous costumes for the Washington National Opera’s Cinderella, particularly in act 2 when the evil step sisters take the stage for the ball in bustled neon-colored dresses three times the size of anyone else on stage, all topped by foot-high neon colored wigs. It’s the perfect note to hit in this fantastical production.”-Jessica Vaughan

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Mark Hairston as Sashay Sings an Ode to Himself in The Shipment at Forum Theatre 

Mark Hairston. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

L to R: GaryL.Perkins III, Mark Hairston, and Dexter Hamlett. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

“The first part of The Shipment is modeled on a variety show and it includes comedy sketches. One of them is set on the periphery of a shoot for a video that’s supposed to feature a rapper wannabe (Omar, played by Gary L. Perkins). But first a stylist named Sashay is moved to sing an ostentatious song about his special uniqueness (“Sashay! Sashay is truly outrageous / Truly, truly, truly outrageous”). In a hilarious scene-stealing turn, Mark Hairston works it.”-John Stoltenberg

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Josh Hampton and Michael Iacone as The Gangsters Singing “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” in Kiss Me Kate at 2nd Star Productions

Josh Hampton and Michael Iacone. Photo by Nate Jackson Photography.

Josh Hampton and Michael Iacone. Photo by Nate Jackson Photography.

Josh Hampton and Michael Iacone are over-the-top funny as gangsters, and their one showstopping number, “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” had the audience in stitches. And you could really see that they were having a blast performing this tongue-twisting Cole Porter scene stealer.”-Morgan Woodle

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Susan Lynskey as Anna Upon Hearing Her Lover is Dead in The Letters at MetroStage

Susan Lynskey (Anna). Photos by Chris Banks

Susan Lynskey (Anna). Photos by Chris Banks

“As Anna—a rank-and-file editor in a censorious bureaucracy in a Stalinist regime—Susan Lynskey seems at first frail and mousey. Her superior – the Director (Michael Russotto) –  steadily intimidates and berates her about the titular letters, which are graphically homoerotic missives from Tchaikovsky. One of Anna’s colleagues has been redacting those letters, even as he and Anna have been carrying on a secret workplace affair. But the Director knows of it and has had the employee killed. Upon learning her lover is dead, Lynskey crumples in her chair, shrinking, collapsing without a sound, deflating in sorrow like a blowup doll that just got punctured. The extraordinarily physicalized acting moment is indelible and owns the scene.”-John Stoltenberg

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Brandon McCoy as Sam Remembering His Ex in NSFW at Round House Theatre.

Sam (Brandon McCoy) and Miranda (Deborah Hazlett). Photo by Danisha Crosby.

Sam (Brandon McCoy) and Miranda (Deborah Hazlett). Photo by Danisha Crosby.

“The arc of a character named Sam stretches through both parts of NSFW—at Doghouse, a lads’ mag, and at Electra, a ladies’. Sam’s a brain but a bit of a nebbish, and Brandon McCoy plays him with touching timidity. Near the end Sam has a beautiful monolog in which he becomes in effect the conscience of the play. He tells a story about Rona, the woman he loved. They’ve broken up but he misses her terribly. And the way he describes their relationship could not be more opposite to the values espoused at either Doghouse or Electra. Rona was his soulmate, Sam says, and she became his hero. She was beautiful and she was brave. McCoy gently and subtly wrings such tender emotion from the speech that it becomes the crowning moment of the play.”-John Stoltenberg

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Paige Miller as Deidre Peregrine/Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood Singing “Moonfall” and More.. at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre

Paige Miller , David Merrill, and Casey Lynne Garner. Photo by Alison Harbaugh of Freckle Photography.

Paige Miller , David Merrill, and Casey Lynne Garner. Photo by Alison Harbaugh of Freckle Photography.

“From the moment Paige Miller steps onstage as Rosa Bud, it is apparently clear why John Jasper would fall in love with her. Her melodic voice soars during “Moonfall” and later in “Perfect Strangers,” and then she manages to show off her acting chops during “The Name of Love.” – A triple-scene stealer! Paige is A lovely singer, dancer, and actress—this girl has it all!”-Lauren Honeycutt

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Alexander Rolinski as Animula Shadowing Franz in The Trap at Ambassador Theater

Alexander Rolinski (Young Franz) and Matthew Lindsay Payne (Franz Kafka). Photo by Valentin Radev.

Alexander Rolinski (Young Franz) and Matthew Lindsay Payne (Franz Kafka). Photo by Valentin Radev.

“In this fantasia on the life of Franz Kafka, Alexander Rolinski plays Franz as a child as well as a character called Animula, which means “little soul.” For several stretches of the play this little soul moves about, unseen by other characters, as if in silent witness to the inner torment of the elder Franz. And each time he appears, he becomes the scene’s focal point. In Rolinski’s expressive face can be read a fascinating perspective on the play we are watching: It is the point of view of the inner child who necessarily stays alive in every great artist—and who is here made transparent through the inner life and luminous performance of an exceptionally promising young actor.”-John Stoltenberg

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Teresa Danskey as Florence Vassy, and Rich Shegogue as Gregor Vassy, Singing “Father’s Lullaby,” in Chess at Kensington Arts Theatre 

Rich Shegogue (Gregor).

Rich Shegogue (Gregor Vassy).

Teresa Danskey (Florence Vassy).

Teresa Danskey (Florence Vassy).

“The most engaging moment of the entire evening for me was the meeting of Florence and her father after many years apart, singing “Father’s Lullaby.” Dry eyes were hard to find in the house after that scene.”-Anne Vandercook

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Carol Spring coaching wine tasters in Next Day Theater at Tropicalia

Carol Spring in 'The Taste.' Photo courtesy of

Carol Spring (Left) in ‘The Taste.’ Photo courtesy of Next Day Theater.

“In a pop-up evening of sketch comedy, there was one, The Taste by Jessica Bylander, that featured the standout performance of Carol Spring, playing the coach of an Olympics-style wine-tasting team. Spring charged into the sketch with such off-the-charts curmudgeonliness, totally chewing up the story line and spitting it out, that she stole the scene and the whole show and left two DCMetroTheaterArts writers agog. Carol Spring, they agreed, is a talent to watch out for.”-John Stoltenberg and Michael Poandl

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A Special Nod: To the Ensemble of Kiss Me Kate at 2nd Star Productions

The Ensemble of 'Kiss Me Kate.' Photo by Nate Jackson Photography.

The Ensemble of ‘Kiss Me Kate.’ Photo by Nate Jackson Photography.

“The entire ensemble is brilliant. They sing, they dance, they act – and all of it with a sense that they’re having as much fun onstage as we’re having in our seats.”-Morgan Woodle

You guys are just ‘Too Darn Hot!’

LINKS

DCMTA Scene Stealers-Week Ending March 31, 2015 Part 2. 

DCMTA Scene Stealers-Week Ending March 31, 2015 Part 1. 

DCMTA Scene Stealers-January and February 2015-Part 2.

DCMTA Scene Stealers-January and February 2015-Part 1.

In the Moment: A Tip of the Hat to Mary Stuart’s Todd Scofield by David Siegel.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week Ending 11/27/14-Part 1.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week Ending 11/27/14-Part 2.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week Ending 11/7/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week Ending 10/24/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week Ending 10/12/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 9/28/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the WeekWeek Ending 9/18/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 9/11/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 9/1/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 8/24/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 8/17/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 8/9/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 8/2/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 7/5/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week- Week Ending 6/28/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 6/21/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 6/13/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 6/06/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 5/29/14.

Top Scene Stealers of the Week-Week Ending 5/22/14.

Capital Fringe Scene Stealers Part 1 and Part 2.

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