Author Archive | Sophia Howes

Dria Brown in Saint Joan. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Review: ‘Saint Joan’ by Bedlam Theater Company

Long before he wrote about her, George Bernard Shaw referred to Saint Joan as one of those “half-witted geniuses, enjoying the worship accorded by all races to certain forms of insanity.” He came to admire Joan as “a perfectly naïve hero upsetting religion, law, and order in all directions, and establishing in their place the […]

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Paapa Essiedu in Hamlet. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Review: ‘Hamlet’ by the Royal Shakespeare Company

The fabled Royal Shakespeare Company brought its Hamlet to the Kennedy Center this week, in a production fully worthy of its glittering reputation. The RSC Hamlet is lavish, bursting with freshness, and starring the young and gifted Paapa Essiedu as the brooding Prince. As noted by Director Simon Godwin, Denmark is re-conceived as a “modern […]

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Philip Fletcher in Synetic Theater's Titus Andronicus. Photo by Brittany Diliberto.

Review: ‘Titus Andronicus’ at Synetic Theater

“A work of art has value only if tremors of the future run through it…” — André Breton (1896–1966) French writer, poet, and founder of Surrealism. Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili likened Synetic’s Titus Andronicus to a “Roman Game of Thrones.” It is like Game of Thrones in a way – it is full of reverses of […]

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Jenny Donovan & Gerrad Alex Taylor in Alabama Story. Photo by Teresa Wood Photography.

Review: ‘Alabama Story’ by the Washington Stage Guild

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin Southern humor, gentle charm, and the awkward silences of discussions about race—Alabama Story is a heartening reminder that, even during the terrible injustices of Jim Crow, some residents of the South exhibited character […]

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Dangereuse: The Two Noras: ‘Noura’ at the Shakespeare Theatre Company (Women’s Voices Theater Festival)

Noura, the story of a Chaldean Christian refugee from Iraq, is a magnificent production. The acting is first-rate, the technical aspects flawless, the whole experience complex and full of deep meaning. Directed by Joanna Settle, it contains some of the finest writing in the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. In addition to extensive research, playwright Heather […]

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Review: ‘Something Rotten!’ at the National Theatre

Something Rotten! at the National Theatre reminds us of why we loved theater in the first place. The Broadway show received ten Tony nominations, and this national tour is pure joy. The cast sent out into the cold February night one of the happiest audiences I have ever seen. Given that our president seems to […]

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Review: ‘Hamlet’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Hamlet, directed by Michael Kahn, is a rich, multi-layered interpretation of a uniquely great play. Hamlet is central to the Western literary tradition. Mark Rylance, whose Hamlet was by all accounts memorably deranged, remarked that, “There have been more books alone written about Hamlet than have been written about […]

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Review: ‘Holiday Cheer!’ at National Chamber Ensemble

The National Chamber Ensemble’s Holiday Cheer! on December 16 was a celebration of great music. The charming and witty Artistic Director and leading violinist, Leonid Sushansky, sees each performance as a party in which some of the guests are incredibly talented. The humor was especially entertaining; Sushansky described most Jewish holidays as, “They tried to […]

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Dangereuse: ‘Twelfth Night’ at the Shakespeare Theatre Company – Present Mirth Hath Present Laughter

Many consider Twelfth Night Shakespeare’s supreme achievement in comedy. It is also one of his most popular and frequently produced plays. George Bernard Shaw, who hated Shakespeare, described it as a “crown jewel…of dramatic poetry.” In the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production, it has found a rich setting for that jewel. Twelfth Night is based on […]

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Review: ‘Hamlet’ at Aquila Theatre Company

Straight Outta Denmark Hamlet has a storied history, and the title role is one of the greatest in Shakespeare. It is also universally parodied:  the BBC’s 60 Second Shakespeare tabloid reports: “Bloodbath at Danish Court: ‘Mad’ Prince Hamlet Was Right All Along”. It has always been a magnet for critics and armchair theorists. Horace Howard […]

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Review: ‘Digital Eye: Interactive Event Merging Theater Explores Privacy in the Digital Age’ at Blind Whino SW Arts Club

 Big Brother Really, Really Likes You Your online identity does not belong to you. Digital Eye, a transatlantic theater project that was presented Monday and Tuesday, October 16-17, at Blind Whino SW Arts Club in DC, explores the implications of this fact, in our new, anything-goes, digital universe. Not only is Big Brother watching you, […]

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Dangereuse: ‘Emilie’ by Lauren Gunderson at WSC Avant Bard

Emilie Our Contemporary Emilie du Châtelet, scientist, mathematician, lover of Voltaire, genius, is a perfect example of the power of women in the 18th century and today. Many of the challenges to women of the past are still with us: gender, racial, sexual preference, religious and ethnic discrimination. There is violence against women, sexual assault, and […]

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Review: ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ at the Folger Theatre

All for Love Noted critic Harold Bloom once said, “We certainly can say that Cleopatra and Antony do not bore each other, and they are bored, erotically and otherwise, by everyone else in their world.” As characters, they are expansive and endlessly interesting. Director Robert Richmond’s production focuses on the love affair between these two […]

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Interview: ‘Electra’ Director Stevie Zimmerman

Stevie Zimmerman has a reputation in DC as a “must-see” director. She received her bachelors from Oxford and her masters from the University of Leeds in England. She directed The Pitmen Painters and By Jeeves at 1st Stage Theatre, and Doubt at Quotidian Theatre.  She directed both Rabbit Hole and Time Stands Still, at Peter’s Alley Theatre Productions.  She has also directed at […]

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Review: ‘Love and Information’ at Forum Theatre

The vignette “Secret” encapsulates the ingenuity of Forum Theatre’s production of Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information. Two office workers sit at their computers, back to back. One (Samy El-Noury) is dying to know the secret the other (Lilian Oben) is dangling, just out of his reach. El-Noury rolls his chair frantically toward Oben, promising never […]

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