Author Archive | Francine Schwartz

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‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at Walt Whitman High School

Whitman Drama’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (school edition) is a superb production that demonstrates the strength and ambition of the Whitman High School Theatre program. An enormous production, with complex dance and choreography, and musical numbers that are executed perfectly while actors are running up and down the professional level set. This […]

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‘Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival’ at Wolf Trap

There was a lovefest last night at Wolf Trap with the traveling Hawaiian Slack Guitar performance in front of a full-house of aficionados many of whom could sing along in Hawaiian due to their familiarity with the genre and these amazing artists. Many of the men in the audience wore Hawaiian shirts and there was […]

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‘Flyin’ West’ at Bowie Community Theatre

An exceptional  and powerful production of Pearl Cleage‘s Flyin’ West, is being presented by Bowie Community Theatre. Director Estelle Miller receives top-notch performances from each of her cast members, and she has molded them into an excellent ensemble. Playwright Pearl Cleage’s body of work for the stage provides us with a remarkable and focused look at […]

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‘Slow Falling Bird’ at Georgetown University

The final production of the 2014-2015 Georgetown University Theatre season is Slow Falling Bird, as part of the 2014-15 Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program’s “Where We’re From: A Season of Origins and Migrations.” Georgetown University is noted for its interest in geopolitical issues and Georgetown University Professor  and playwright Christine Evans‘ award-winning play […]

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‘Big Fish’ at Act Two @ Levine

Big Fish is a production of the Pre-Professional Program at the Act Two @ Levine, derived and adapted from the Broadway production with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book by John August. Kevin Kuchar directs a dream-team of young singers, dancers, and actors. Big Fish revolves around the relationship between Edward Bloom (Liam Allen), a travelling salesman […]

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‘Rashomon’ at American University

The stunning production of Rashomon, directed and adapted by Randy Baker at American University, is set at the City Gate to Kyoto, a court of law, and in a grove in the forest, circa 1100 AD. This highly ambitious play is an adaptation of a seminal Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa, which has been honored all over the […]

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National Philharmonic: Brian Ganz Plays Chopin at Strathmore

Brian Ganz is continuing to complete his performances, and ultimately, recording of “ever single note Chopin composed.” The Ganz Project is expected to take ten years as Chopin’s ouevra contains at least 250 works. Ganz has relished the opportunity to immerse himself in what he calls the “small world” of his favorite composer. Ganz believes that the discipline […]

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The Canellakis-Brown Duo at The Barns at Wolf Trap

Chamber Music at The Barns at Wolf Trap is a special treat for those of us who remember what music appreciation used to imply before enormous venues and well-dressed audiences prevailed. An intimate setting and a relaxed atmosphere is a welcome antidote to the hustle and bustle of traffic and work. WETA broadcaster Rich Kleinfeldt […]

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‘Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge’ at Silver Spring Stage

Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge is an alternative to the usual uplifting Christmas stories playing during the holiday season, and Silver Spring Stage has staged an outrageous production. Christopher Durang takes the focus off the moral education of Scrooge and instead posits the question, “What if Dickens’ Mrs. Cratchit wasn’t so goody-goody, but instead was […]

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‘It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre’ at Black Rock Center for the Arts

On Saturday night Germantown’s Black Rock Center for the Arts presented a straight shot of Christmas joy – the touring production of Immediate Theatre Project‘s Live From WVL Radio Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life, based on the Frank Capra holiday film classic   The iconic story of George Bailey, who finds meaning in life during a fiscal crisis, was […]

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‘Menopause The Musical’ at The Warner Theatre

If a musical about not being able to the pay the rent or a plant that eats people can make it big, a musical about Menopause is following in a great tradition. It’s long run demonstrates it’s enduring appeal. It’s now playing in Spanish and soon will be updated as Menopause the Musical Extreme “for […]

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‘Rumors’ at Providence Players of Fairfax

Rumors is  Neil Simon’s first farce and The Providence Players of Fairfax wring every possible laugh out of it. The zingers fly everywhere, and Director Liz Mykietyn and her hilarious and hard-working cast make sure those funny one-liners land-and land they do. At the performance I attended, the audience was howling! So if you need a […]

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‘Brother Hal’ at Lumina Studio Theatre

I was so impressed by Lumina Studio Theatre’s Brother Hal, adapted from Shakespeare’s Henry V by David Minton and Jamie Raskin, which was performed on Sunday, May 4th at Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. Directed by David Minton, one of the founders of the celebrated youth Shakespeare Company, it champions and retells the […]

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‘Etiology’ at The Catholic University of America by Francine Schwartz

The Catholic University of America’s Department of Drama presented a very moving production of Etiology, a new play – an M.F.A. playwriting  thesis – written by Teri Gillmor. The passionate production was directed by Shirley Serotsky. Etiology tells the story of three estranged sisters who ponder reconciliation or to simply go their separate ways after their mother […]

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‘International Guitar Night’ Featuring: Brian Gore, Italy’s Pino Forastiere, Mike Dawes from England, and Quique Sinesi from Argentina at The Barns at Wolf Trap by Francine Schwartz

The Barns at Wolf Trap had a full house on Thursday nightt, bringing 2014’s International Guitar Night for a return engagement. This year’s tour featured Brian Gore from Santa Cruz, Italy’s Pino Forastiere, England’s Mike Dawes from England, and Argentina’s Quique Sinesi. First to take the stage was Brian Gore, who actually created the concept of […]

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‘A Tribute to the Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein & Andrew Lloyd Webber’ at Reston Community Players by Francine Schwartz

The Reston Community Players opened their 47th season with a rousing and well-conceived juxtaposition of iconic songs from the well-loved musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The popular songs were played with gusto by a group of 30 talented musicians conducted by Musical Director Mitch Bassman, and sung by passionate performers Harv Lester, Jolene Vettese, […]

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