Author Archive | Jessica Vaughan


‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at Synetic Theater

The music is pulsing; the performers are insanely flexible, and everything from set to costumes to lights is drenched in the fantastical for Synetic’s latest Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play and the company are a perfect match – the psychedelic comedy with three sets of lovers and a love potion finds perfect expression […]

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2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Bortle 8’

Bortle 8, a one-man show written and performed by Chris Davis is part stand-up routine, part science fair project, part sermon. The title refers to John Bortle’s scale for the number of stars visible in the night sky depending on the light pollution. Davis’s search for Bortle 8 – or perfect darkness is a metaphor […]

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BSO: Beethoven’s 5th Symphony at Strathmore

Playing what has perhaps become the four most famous chords in the western canon, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra tackled Beethoven’s 5th last night at Strathmore, along with Shostakovich and Sibelius. The composers lived 150 years and three countries apart, so what brought the works together? Conductor Christoph König, visiting from his regular gig as the principal […]

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‘Latino Music Fever’ at the In Series

The In Series takes on the music of our Southern neighbors in a concert full of classic hits from Mexico and Cuba, many of which made a climb up the U.S. pop charts. If the tunes feel particularly authentic, it may be because Mari Paz is at the piano. She grew up surrounded by the […]

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‘Our Town’ at Faction of Fools

Faction of Fools does it again with an innovative production of Thornton Wilder’s revolutionary and Pulitzer Prize-winning play Our Town, which originally debuted in 1938 about a New Hampshire town at the turn of the century and also death, love, marriage, life, and making breakfast. This is an inspired choice for Faction of Fools, a […]

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‘A Prairie Home Companion’ with Garrison Keillor and Special Guests Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap

The Filene Center launched the summer season at Wolf Trap with another visit by Garrison Keillor and the news from . The United States Navy Band joined Keillor and the usual suspects onstage along Lake Wobegone with guest stars Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan to kick off the Memorial Day weekend with spirit.  Though […]

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‘Cinderella’ (‘La Cenerentola’) at Washington National Opera #1 (Isabel Leonard)

Every spring, the Washington National Opera launches a family friendly show in time for their M&M’S® Opera in the Outfield, and this year they tackle Rossini’s wickedly funny Cinderella. I love what Director Joan Font did with this production, taking the hilarious libretto by Jacopo Ferretti and milking every moment for additional laughs. Gioachino Rossini […]

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‘The Romantics Wagner & Liszt’ at The In Series

The In Series self-described salon-style concert tribute is a celebration of musical mastery – from the two composers featured to the pianists and singers – The Romantics Wagner & Liszt is an impressive show. The Hungarian Franz Liszt and German Richard Wagner were contemporaries, but most don’t realize they were also friends and frequent collaborators. […]

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Eileen Ivers at Wolf Trap

Eileen Ivers returned to the Barns at Wolf Trap for a rollicking good show filled with her unique brand of Celtic fiddle and traditional roots music like bluegrass, Cajun, French Canadian, and American Country. This is one artists you want to see live; a speaker can’t do justice to her mastery of this instrument and […]

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‘Don Giovanni’ at The In Series

The In Series takes Mozart to a 1920s bible belt Revival in a creative and fun reimagining of Don Giovanni. Artistic Director Carla Hübner commissioned a new English language libretto by Bari Biern to tell the story of the libertine who bamboozles a town before they take their revenge. Biern wrote the hilarious Wild West […]

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‘Altan’ at the Barns at Wolf Trap

Altan played a high-energy show of jigs and reels and American bluegrass at the Barns at Wolf Trap. They may have also invented a new genre of music called “Greengrass.” For their latest album, they travelled to Nashville to partner with Bluegrass musicians Garry West and Alison Brown, who were on hand at the concert […]

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‘The Flying Dutchman’ (‘Der Fliegende Holländer’) at Washington National Opera

The Washington National Opera takes to the seas for Richard Wagner’s first major work, The Flying Dutchman (Der Fliegende Holländer). WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello has staged a series of his operas to prepare for the WNO’s first complete Ring cycle next season. The 2015-2016 season has just been announced. This production, a WNO revival, is heavy on symbolism and big sound […]

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‘Penny’ at Washington National Opera

The world premier for the Washington National Opera’s newest American Opera Initiative takes a new look at the power of music in the touching, engrossing drama Penny, which follows an autistic young woman who cannot speak but finds a way to communicate in song. WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello continues her hot streak and her […]

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‘What I Wanted to Sing When I Grew Up’ at The In Series

What I Wanted to Sing When I Grew Up is pure indulgence for audience and singer Fleta Hylton, a soprano powerhouse and DC institution. Billed as a lounge-opera-cabaret, Hylton basically picked all of her favorite songs and Writer/Director Elizabeth Pringle stitched them into a funny and inspirational afternoon of music. In Series Director Carla Hübner […]

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