Author Archive | Amy Kotkin


The 7:30 PM ‘Summer Hummer V: Champions’ at Signature Theatre

Theater folks and fans alike reveled in last night’s Summer Hummer V: Champions –  the Washington Theater Community’s annual one-night-only benefit for theatreWashington’s ‘Taking Care of Our Own’ at the Signature Theatre last night. Each year, the organization raises much-needed emergency assistance for members of the theater community, everything from medical costs to transportation and […]

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2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘How to Give Birth to a Rabbit’

In this season of our discontent, How to Give Birth to a Rabbit reminds us that bizarre hoaxes and media frenzies are hardly 21st-century inventions.  In fact, one of Western history’s more ludicrous episodes played out in 1726, when Mary Toft, a 24-year-old mother from a small English town, became the willing vessel for a […]

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2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘The House of Yes’

Think about your worst family Thanksgiving ever, then amp up its bizarre agonies a thousand fold. Even then, you will not come close to the dysfunction displayed by the Pascal family of McLean, Virginia. I guarantee it. Wendy Macleod’s 1990 satiric psychodrama echoes Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf in its intensity, The Addams Family in […]

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2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Color Theory’

Magic: The Gathering, a trading card game representing epic battles between wizards, has an estimated 20 million active players worldwide. Judging from the enthusiastic reaction of the audience at the opening night’s performance of Color Theory, some of the game’s fervent devotees were right there, in the room. For the uninitiated, picture a card deck […]

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2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘The Immaculate Big Bang’

No cosmic question is too challenging to escape the laser wit of Bill Santiago.  In The Immaculate Big Bang, which he wrote and performs, Santiago ruminates across a philosophical spectrum ranging from quantum physics to Catholicism, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle to Islamic images of Paradise, as he probes under the hood of science and belief and […]

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Review: ‘Henry IV Parts I & II’ at The Rude Mechanicals

Over 17 years, The Rude Mechanicals, a local theater company specializing in classic works, has made its way through nearly all of Shakespeare’s enduring canon. After the current production of Henry IV, Parts I & II, they will have only four left to conquer, including, just by chance, both Henry V and Richard II. At […]

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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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Review: ‘Hexagon 2016: Red, White, & Voters’ Blues’

America’s fascination with mobile phones, drones, and Fitbits were all parodied in the 2016 Hexagon show, but in this year of unprecedented political rancor, the group’s new revue, adeptly titled Red, White and Voters’ Blues, focused its ribald revelry on the leading presidential candidates. And some of their hilarious barbs landed with precision accuracy. Hillary […]

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Review: ‘Clybourne Park’ at George Washington University’s Department of Theatre and Dance

There are good reasons why Bruce Norris’  2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Clybourne Park has been staged no less than five times in the past four years by local companies.First, it is a superbly crafted evening of theater, with complex characters and searing dialogue that is by turns funny, scathing, sad, delusional, and revelatory. Second, and equally […]

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Review: ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ at St. Mark’s Players

What better place could there possibly be to mount Sweeney Todd than the magnificent late-Victorian St. Mark’s Church on Capitol Hill? And what more capable or inventive local company could we seek to undertake this extraordinary Sondheim musical than the venerable St. Mark’s Players!  Bravo to all on such splendid results. St. Mark’s Sweeney Todd is […]

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‘George is Dead’ at The Klunch

The Klunch, a newly formed theater company launched by Ian Allen, former artistic director of Cherry Red Productions,  inaugurated its first season with the DC premiere of George is Dead, a mordantly funny one-act play by a legendary comic and writer. Elaine May beams her satirical wit through two women connected by a common past […]

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