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Author Archive | Mike Bevel

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Review: ‘Twelfth Night’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

We learned, shortly after taking our seats, and learned unexpectedly, not having known this before, but how could we, that, apparently, it is traditional to eat sauerkraut, the krautier the better, during Act I of Twelfth Night. It is eaten with gusto, its smell unmistakable. We learn this, and yet it doesn’t comfort us, the […]

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Review: ‘Barriers’ at Charm City Fringe Festival

Barriers, conceived by Trajectory Dance Project, a Baltimore-based dance ensemble, is a beautiful series of five pieces focusing on human connections, and how those connections can break down: barriers to community, barriers to interpersonal interconnectiveness, barriers to understanding ourselves. The performance opened with a piece titled Barriers, allowing the company — Nasir David Powell, Maria del […]

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Review: ‘Clinically Happy’ at Charm City Fringe Festival

“It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.” — Naomi Shihab Nye, “So Much Happiness” If there’s anything other people feel entitled to explain to you, it’s your own happiness: what you need to do to be happier, why you have to be happier, what your unhappiness may be responsible for, […]

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Review: ‘The Big Thank You’ at Charm City Fringe Festival

“and I mean, though often forget, to give thanks, to faint down by the kitchen table in a prayer of rejoicing” — Anne Sexton, “Welcome Morning” Every day for a year, playwright Alan Kreizenbeck posted a thank you on Facebook. Sometimes to an individual, sometimes to an intangible (for instance, thanking traffic for being the worst), […]

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Review: ‘Don’t Come In’ at Charm City Fringe Festival

It’s best to start with the description of Don’t Come In from the catalog: Love is scary. And it just might kill you. Stubborn lovers Em and Missy, unable to express their true feelings for one another, are haunted by the demon Intimacy. The more they try to ignore it, the stronger Intimacy becomes. Intimacy may […]

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Review: ‘I’ll Get You Back Again’ at Round House Theatre

There’s a lot going on in Sarah Gancher’s I’ll Get You Back Again, now at the Round House Theatre through October 29: A bitter stand-up comedian and her struggles to reconcile and come to terms with her pained past with her father. Her uncle, a member of a psychedelic ’60s rock band, and his negotiations with […]

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Review: ‘Our Town’ at Olney Theatre Center

Thornton Wilder’s New Hampshire creation, Grover’s Corners, sits on some of the oldest rock in the world: “a shelf of Devonian basalt” crossed with “vestiges of Mesozoic shale,” we’re told. The oldest headstones in the cemetery are from the late 1600s, and filled with names that still populate Grover’s Corners in 1901, when the play Our […]

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Review: ‘I Killed My Mother’ at Spooky Action Theater

Andras Viskey’s I Killed My Mother, now in production at Spooky Action Theater, is a challenging bit of business. Its wordless opening is several minutes of wandering by various members of the company – some singly, some in pairs, some with the hint of a purpose, some walking into walls they weren’t expecting to find in […]

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Review: ‘Clover’ at Ally Theatre Company

But suicides have a special language. Like carpenters, they want to know which tools; They never ask why build. — Anne Sexton, “Wanting to Die” Laura Rocklyn and Ty Hallmark’s new work, Clover, now playing at Ally Theatre Company’s CAOS on F space, is a marvel in miniature, with the spareness and depth of an Emily Dickinson poem. […]

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Luis Alberto Gonzalez and Teresa Castracane in Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Review: ‘Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train’ at 1st Stage

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, now in production at 1st Stage, opens while the audience is still finding their seats. On a raised platform, in the round, Angel Cruz (Luis Alberto Gonzalez, in an exhausting and haunting performance) is trapped inside a cell that gives him no room to move. He’s all […]

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Review: ‘Noah: Apocalypse’ at LiveArtDC

We will now consider Amanda Quain’s latest play, Noah: Apocalypse, currently playing through September 18 at a bar in Petworth. Now is as good enough a time as any other to find oneself thinking about apocalypses, or even THE Apocalypse. Fires rage on the west coast, hurricanes and floods are decimating the south, politics are something […]

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Review: ‘Neverwhere’ at Rorschach Theatre

In 1582, a village parson heard the deathbed confession of a man named Richard Barley, who had married his butter churn. Barley claimed he had been bewitched into matrimony by a fairy called Apron Jon whom Barley had spurned at market. Barley knew the marriage wasn’t holy in the eyes of God, but remained with […]

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Review: Silver Spring Stage 2017 One Act Festival, Weekend Three

One-act plays are tricky beasts. Playwrights must balance tension with plot and story. Too little tension, and the audience is left bored, slogging through countably interminable minutes until the lights and bows at the end. Too much, and the ending resolution can feel rushed and unearned. Story often wants to unspool at its own pace, […]

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Interview: Montana DeBor, Mark Harding, Gwynne Flanagan Cox, and Elise “Teddy” Sipos from Sweet Spot Aerial Production’s ‘Smoky Mirrors’

“My faith is a great weight hung on a small wire.” – Anne Sexton Each performer in Sweet Spot Aerial’s Smoky Mirrors places great faith in materials: fabric, rope, chains, muscle. There’s also a relationship – built, too, on trust – with an audience: Can I, the performer, communicate not just the truth, but the […]

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Review: ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ featuring Tom Teasley at Constellation Theatre Company

When The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari hit German movie screens in 1920, it baffled and delighted audiences who had primarily been entertaining themselves with annual Film Festivals of Fred Ott’s sneeze and footage of trains. Techniques that we take for granted today – flashbacks, special effects, Germans, twist endings – were deployed first by the […]

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