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Author Archive | David Siegel

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Review: ‘Hello, My Name Is…’ at The Welders

Challenging theatrical conventions, Hello, My Name Is… by Deb Sivigny, directed by Randy Baker, and produced by The Welders is like no other theater production I have taken in, in recent memory. The production delicately took my hand, then persuasively guided me undeniably into stories and design elements I had not witnessed before on a DC area […]

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In the Moment: Interview with Lighting Designer Andrew F. Griffin

Folger’s production of Antony and Cleopatra directed by Robert Richmond has garnered its rightful share of critical acclaim. Its lighting design is a critical component of the production’s striking visual presence. There was a cinematic feel to the production; scenes-within-scenes, scenes that had both color and film-noir-like black-and-white lighting aspects. I was smitten with the […]

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In the Moment: ‘Jazz4Justice’ at Center for the Arts

Hardy, inspiring community engagement is vital for the continuing health of the performing arts. That is a given. With challenging times for arts funding; the changes in the acceptance of the one-time, all-encompassing subscription-based model for patrons; and so many newer forms of entertainment available that have caught the eyes of theater-goers: building strong community […]

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Review: ‘An Act of God’ at Signature Theatre

I was healed. Aches and pains of the day disappeared. Headaches from paying too close attention to Presidential tweets vanished. I might have been saved too. Not sure of that just yet. Will have to wait and see. How were these things possible for an older Jewish guy, a member of the original Chosen People […]

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In the Moment: ‘Are you now or have you ever been…’ at MetroStage

As I took in, with a notably racially diverse audience, MetroStage’s top-notch, tense, musically revealing production, Are you now or have you ever been…, so many questions challenged me. The questions were not about production values or acting prowess. After all, the production of playwright Carlyle Brown’s script directed by Thomas W. Jones II has received […]

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In the Moment: ‘The Mistress Cycle’ at Creative Cauldron

Illuminating what has been in the shadows, or usually whispered about, Creative Cauldron has provided a delicately rendered musical about the harsh realities women have faced over the centuries when viewed as the “other” woman. Having its DC area premiere, the musical is The Mistress Cycle. From ancient Biblical times to the very present the […]

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In the Moment: ‘Death of a Salesman’ at Ford’s Theatre

“There’s just no spot for you,” is the terse way that Willy Loman’s “snotnose” boss-man Howard tells Loman he is fired. Just go and don’t look back, “cause you gotta admit, business is business.” With much distance in time from the first time I read Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and, having witnessed any […]

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Review: ‘Stones in His Pockets’ at Keegan Theatre

Engaging with warm-hearted humor and disarming in the depth of scenes about lost boys and bitter men with their dreams crushed, the Keegan Theatre production of the Marie Jones’ Stones in his Pockets (1999) is a winner of a serious comedy. Under the affectionate, perceptive direction of Abigail Isaac Fine, Stones in his Pockets aims […]

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Review: ‘Bernstein on Broadway’ at The Kennedy Center

It was a glorious evening for Leonard Bernstein and musical theater fans at The Kennedy Center. It was the exceptional, one-night-only opening to the worldwide celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s upcoming 100th birthday. It was Bernstein on Broadway. The evening’s celebration focused on Bernstein’s works for Broadway. The selected musical pieces ran the gamut from the […]

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Review: ‘Rapture, Blister, Burn’ at Peter’s Alley Theatre Productions

In these days of constant bombast and weaponized words, when sounding reasonable and wanting to be open to another person’s point of view sounds almost quaint, Peter’s Alley Theatre has taken a quiet approach for its production of Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn, a play that deals with feminist theories and human needs. As directed by Mark Kamie […]

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Review: ‘Disgraced’ at NextStop Theatre Company

What a combustible evening at NextStop’s production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar. Under Thembi Duncan’s adroit direction and with fascinating casting, this in-your-face drama aims to stimulate, challenge, and yes, even chafe audiences. And does it ever. It is right for these messy times in America. There is nothing timid about Duncan’s […]

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In the Moment: ‘A Little Night Music’ at Signature Theatre

Opening in 1973, A Little Night Music was part of the muscular turbulence of those well-remembered primal days of rage. Rage that bred inhaled cynicism like a needed eye-opening drug into the arts for many of us. Even the more refined, Mahler-loving denizens of Broadway were no stranger to the acerbity. Only a Nixon-loving fool back […]

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Review: ‘The Wizard of Hip’ at MetroStage

Yesterday may be far away for some; but a high-spirited comic primer of one male’s vainglorious attempts to be “hip” and his bewilderment at all things relating to women awaits from the exuberant, misty-eyed from laughter, nostalgic story-telling of Thomas W. Jones II. With a headlong rush back into time, Jones casts a magnetic spell […]

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Review: ‘Whipping, or The Football Hamlet’ at Longacre Lea

What a rush. DC area playwright Kathleen Akerley has aced her way through the hottest of “au courant” identity politics in her newest work, the penetrating Whipping, or the Football Hamlet. With trenchant taunts and a flurry of dialogue that fluently picks at the hidden away scabs of supposed oppressors, the visible wounds of assumed […]

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Review: ‘Bon Voyage! A Happenstance Escapade’ at Round House Theatre

Sunny and cheerful is how I felt after an hour or so with Happenstance Theater’s Bon Voyage! A Happenstance Escapade.  The original production, currently at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, made this usual cynic a co-conspirator and participant in the merriment. Its good natured, six member, seamlessly woven-together ensemble charmed me. There was bright chirpiness, […]

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Review: ‘Empanada For A Dream’ at 1st Stage

Proust may have had his mother’s madeleine, but Juan Francisco Villa has his mother’s empanada to stir up memories of his gritty, hard scrabble childhood in New York’s City’s Lower East Side. It was a traumatic childhood like few others I have witnessed on local stages. Villa’s Empanada for a Dream at 1st Stage is an […]

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Review: ‘Hick: A Love Story’ at 1st Stage

What was hidden away as a purposefully invisible sidebar of decades-old history, is brought to well-deserved notice by 1st Stage’s inaugural Logan Festival of Solo Performances. With Hick: A Love Story, local theater-goers have a superior production of cultural significance about an intimate relationship likely unknown to many. Hick: A Love Story is an absorbing work written […]

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Review: ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ at The Hub Theatre

Set in a fictionalized American magical kingdom, The Happiest Place on Earth, now playing at Hub Theatre, is a wonderfully bittersweet family saga that actor Tia Shearer crushes in her solo performance. Written by Philip Dawkins, The Happiest Place on Earth bounds well beyond the playwright’s account of his own family’s resilience over three generations […]

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