Author Archive | David Friscic

The Barber of Seville — Photo: Scott Suchman

Review: ‘The Barber of Seville’ at the Kennedy Center

The current production of the Washington National Opera –Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville plays like a frenetically captivating musical dreamscape of schemers, clowns, and romantic lovers. Director Peter Kazaras wisely lets the popular strains of Rossini’s beloved music carry the very fluid pacing of the production and Kazaras allows the show to “breathe” in […]

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 Jonathan Feuer and Anna Moon in John. Photo by Margot Schulman.

Review: ‘John’ at Signature Theatre

An eerie sense of the supernatural combined with an almost ritualistic sense of the minutiae of daily living combine to form the aesthetic ambiance of playwright Annie Baker’s haunting and disarming play John. Now being presented at the much-acclaimed Signature Theatre, Director Joe Calarco and a top-flight ensemble cast of four gifted actors have given […]

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Review: ‘DEMO by Damian Woetzel: Now’ at The Kennedy Center

An eclectic excursion into choreographic experimentation, innovative instrumental accompaniment, and exciting vocalizing is all part of DEMO by Damian Woetzel: Now at Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. This interactive evening was part of Direct Current, the Kennedy Center’s two-week celebration of contemporary culture. The accomplished director and curator of this evening–former New York City Ballet principal dancer, director, choreographer, and […]

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Review: Washington National Opera Presents Verdi’s ‘Don Carlo’ at the Kennedy Center

“Peace and transcendence can only be found in death” seems to be the eternal thread that runs through Verdi’s operatic masterpiece, Don Carlo. Presented by the Washington National Opera, the gloom and doom of this libretto is sustained throughout by Verdi’s masterful music and Tim Albery’s sensitively controlled direction. The pace of the production is stately […]

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Review: ‘Infinite Future: Bernstein’s Lasting Impact’ by Monumental Theatre Company at Atlas Intersections Festival

Enticingly presented by Monumental Theatre Company as part of the Atlas Intersections Festival, Infinite Future: Bernstein’s Lasting Impact is an exciting and multi-dimensional theatrical event that truly represents the visionary and innovative spirit of Leonard Bernstein. As a child growing up and watching Bernstein’s “Young People’s Concerts” on television, I was thrilled to watch Bernstein’s […]

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Review: ‘Alcina’ at The Washington National Opera

The Washington National Opera is now offering opera lovers the rare treat of a disarming and whimsical baroque opera, Alcina, by Composer George Frideric Handel. An opera, by default, is often a continually accelerating variation on a theme and–indeed–Alcina (with libretto by Riccardo Broschi) is no exception. Utilizing no less than twenty-four intensive yet reflective […]

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Review: ‘Aida’ at Washington National Opera

Eternal, romantic love conquers all — even a jealous rival — in Verdi’s ravishingly melodic Aida, now being presented by the Washington National Opera with splendid work from all involved. Verdi’s soaring yet sensitive music pervades this production and is the prime reason for attending; indeed, the interpretation of this glorious music by the cast […]

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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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Review: ‘Three Sisters’ at Maly Drama Theatre at The Kennedy Center

Anton Chekhov’s classic play Three Sisters is being given a superb rendering by the Maly Drama Theatre (from St Petersburg, Russia) at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. Director Lev Dodin emphasizes the brittle, comic retort against the vagaries, interruptions, faded illusions and broken promises so prevalent in Chekhov’s world. The authenticity of this introspective and […]

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Review: ‘Champion’ at Washington National Opera

In the fascinating contemporary opera Champion, the external world of the often-violent sport of boxing and the inner turmoil of the self-loathing and self-denial of the lead character collide to produce a visceral and transformative opera about the power of self-acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption. Under the skillful Direction of James Robinson, the Washington National Opera […]

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Review: ‘Dead Man Walking’ at Washington National Opera

It is certainly a “Dark Night of the Soul” (St. John of the Cross) for Sister Helen Prejean in the contemporary opera Dead Man Walking. A meditative, spiritually resonant study of our common humanity in the face of unspeakable horror is presented in this probing Washington National Opera production with absolutely stunning production values, vocalizing […]

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Interview: Dionne Warwick on Performing Tomorrow, 2/28 and Wednesday, 3/1 at 8 PM at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club’s 4th Anniversary Show

I recently had the privilege to interview the music legend, Dionne Warwick. The occasion for the interview is to celebrate Ms. Warwick’s illustrious career, ask some related questions, and to highlight Ms. Warwick’s upcoming performances at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. Ms. Warwick will perform Tomorrow and Wednesday night, February 28th and March 1st at […]

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Review: ‘Company’ at McLean Community Players

Stephen Sondheim’s gloriously urbane, stylistic and sophisticated musical Company was groundbreaking when it first arrived on Broadway in the Seventies and it still remains relevant today. McLean Community Players are now presenting a most serviceable production of this exciting musical under the direction of Sharon Veselic who has stressed the positive aspects of this group […]

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Review: ‘RIN: Tales From the Life of a Troubadour’ Starring Rinde Eckert at The Kennedy Center

The acclaimed writer, composer, librettist, physician, performer, and director Rinde Eckert delighted and amazed the crowd on Friday evening at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater. Eckert allowed the audience to enter his seemingly hermetically sealed world of musical language, comedic riffs, rare instrumentals, and anecdotal tales. Mr. Eckert is the recipient of the Lucille Lortel […]

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Review #2: ‘Caroline, Or Change’ at Round House Theatre

Caroline, or Change, now playing at Bethesda’s Round House Theatre, is a musical clarion call for change at all levels. Whether it is personal change and transformation at the most personal level, larger historical change (this very intense musical is set against the assassination of President Kennedy and the rising Civil Rights movement) or the […]

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Review: Carla Cooke at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club

There was a fabulous, swinging party on this past Sunday night and it all happened at the wonderful Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club as the dynamic and talented singer Carla Cooke paid tribute to her father – the legendary vocal artist Sam Cooke – with an evening of musical showmanship, nostalgia and vocal versatility that […]

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