Archive | African American Theater

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In the Moment: ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’ at Creative Cauldron

“Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go walking in the rain,” is a quote attributed to the late, and lost-too-soon, singer Billie Holiday (1915-1959). Creative Cauldron’s production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill picks up from this Holiday quote to be one extraordinary, bewitching, helter-skelter walk in a chilled night time pouring […]

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Celebrating the Lives of the Emanuel Nine: An Interview with the Cast of New Freedom Theatre’s ‘Mother Emanuel’

During a prayer service on June 17, 2015, nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, were killed by a 21-year-old white supremacist. He confessed to the shooting in hopes of igniting a race war. Mother Emanuel: An American Musical Play, inspired by the lives of the Emanuel […]

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Review: ‘Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues’ at Arena Players-ONE MORE PERFORMANCE TODAY AT 4 PM

One More Performance – See Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues at Arena Players TODAY at 4:00 PM This Friday, it was my good fortune – courtesy of Artistic Director Donald Owens – to experience Arena Players’ current production, Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues (“Colorblind”). Colorblind is a tricky show to review. The production, seamlessly sewn together by […]

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Act Two at Levine Students Perform Excerpts From ‘American Idiot’ for Broadway Performer Tony Vincent

Musician and Broadway actor Tony Vincent visited the students of Act Two at Levine’s Pre-Professional Program for a master class on their upcoming production of American Idiot that will run from January 15-17, 2016. American Idiot was conceived by Green Day and their award winning album of the same name was adapted for the stage […]

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DC Black Theatre Festival: ‘Secrets of a Black Boy’

A theater troupe from Toronto brought this play to town for three performances only for the DC Black Theater Festival. Secrets of a Black Boy speaks with great honesty and artistry. It achieves on stage that rare synthesis when a show that is entertaining enriches an audience’s understanding at the same time. One wishes it […]

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‘Finally Quiet in My Head’ at DC Black Theatre Festival 2015 at Anacostia Arts Center on June 20-21st by Cristina A. Bejan

Two humans in St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital in SE Washington DC who deny that their existence is defined solely by the label ‘crazy.’ One Washingtonian family who grapples with what their dear Morgan’s experience in the psych ward means. Finally…Quiet in my Head tells the story of native Washingontian Morgan and her unlikely friendship with […]

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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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‘Fires in the Mirror’ at Howard University

Anna Deavere Smith’s classic Fires in the Mirror is getting a fascinating production this weekend by a very talented ensemble of student actors at Howard University. And on two counts this iteration is very worth seeing: Some truly outstanding performances (casting directors: take note), and a chance to appreciate (or re-appreciate) one of the finest instances […]

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‘One Night in Miami…’ at CENTERSTAGE

Playwright Kemp Powers takes a haphazard historical happening, a meeting between civil-rights leader Malcolm X, Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown, singer-songwriter Sam Cooke and newly-crowned heavyweight champion Cassius Clay, and imagines what might have transpired in the East Coast premiere of One Night in Miami… at Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE as the fourth main stage production of its […]

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‘Spring Awakening’ at Act Two @ Levine

On Saturday afternoon, I saw the eight-time Tony Award-winning rock musical Spring Awakening by Act Two at Levine‘s  Pre-Professional Program in Arena Stage’s Kogod Cradle. The enthusiastic audience was enraptured at the matinee and the show received a standing ovation at the end. I was absolutely stunned and thrilled by the ‘professional’ quality of this production-from Director […]

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‘Africa Umoja’ at the National Theatre

The energy of Africa Umoja virtually leapt off the stage. At times, the performer’s enthusiasm was nearly matched by the shout-outs, ululations, whistling, foot stomping, singing, arm-waving and clapping emanating from the audience. Washington is fortunate to have another taste of the world-renowned production. This year’s tour is especially meaningful as it celebrates 20 years […]

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Cinema Speak with Sydney-Chanele: Holding Up A Mirror – An Interview with Justin Simien, Director of ‘Dear White People’

Since the age of nine, Justin Simien knew that he wanted to be a filmmaker. Years later after attending college at Chapman University in Orange County, California and working several Industry jobs as a publicist and marketing specialist, Simien’s dream is now a reality. As one of the most provocative feature filmmaking debuts in recent […]

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The Playwright’s Playground: Legacies and Storytelling – An Interview with Playwright Will Power of ‘Fetch Clay, Make Man’

Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer, rapper, and international educator. Currently on the faculty at The Meadows School of the Arts/SMU, Power is also the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence with the Dallas Theatre Center. Early in Power’s career he was a key member in two critically acclaimed avant-garde music groups, […]

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‘Fetch Clay, Make Man’ at Round House Theatre

How do two unlikely celebrities become friends? Everyone has a public persona, but that persona is not necessarily their entire being. “I snuck in the back door,” Stepin Fetchit says sternly to Muhammad Ali, “so you could walk in the front.” Round House Theatre, in a co-production with Marin Theatre Company, presents the DC area […]

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