Magic Time!

This column is named after that magical moment between life and art just before a show begins. In it John Stoltenberg explores how art makes sense of life—and vice versa—as he reflects on meanings that matter in the theater he sees.

‘Inventing “Bell” at National Geographic: A Q&A with Rick Foucheux and...

National Geographic has been thinking outside its trademark yellow box a lot lately. The Society’s mission is “Inspiring people to care about the planet.”...

Reporting from The Page-to-Stage Festival: ‘The Good Devil, In Spite of...

If you’ve never made your way to The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage fest, let me let you in on a few pleasures that await you...

Magic Time! ‘Now That ‘Bradass87’ Is Chelsea: A Q&A With Playwright...

Claire Lebowitz conceived a documentary theater piece called Bradass87 and crafted the script from primary sources—including Bradley Manning’s own online chats and instant messages, in which...

Mladinsko Theatre’s Production of ‘Nijinsky’s Last Dance’ by John Stoltenberg

“I am Nijinsky,” says the actor/dancer Primož Bezjak, in a tone almost primal. “The great Nijinsky.” He speaks in Slovenian as his words appear on...

‘Bradass87’ at Universalist National Memorial Church by John Stoltenberg

Who is the real Bradley Manning? Does anyone know? Can anyone know? These pressing and compelling questions ricochet today even in mainstream news media, which—more beholden to...

Magic Time! Keegan Theatre’s ‘A Few Good Men’ by John Stoltenberg

Exploding onstage like a fusillade of biting wit and badinage, A Few Good Men is getting a crackling-good production that makes this power-packed 1991 play feel...

Magic Time! Film Review: ‘Lovelace’ by John Stoltenberg

In 1972 some men made a film that did her wrong. Unspeakably and indelibly wrong. The film was named Deep Throat. Now some men—with two women...

Magic Time: ‘The Third Breast’ by John Stoltenberg

The Third Breast is a gritty play, produced by a gutsy company. The three actors are arresting; the music and visuals, appealing. But for...

Magic Time!: ‘Holy Joseph Smith! Lessons Learned From The Book of...

The Book of Mormon... CONTAINS HERESY. That’s not a preshow advisory you’ll find posted at The Kennedy Center where The Book of Mormon is playing to standing-room houses....

Magic Time! ‘One Night in New York!’ by John Stoltenberg

The term “gay musical theater” is almost redundant, especially for countless closeted teens who found they could forget their troubles and get happy when...

Magic Time: Oscar Wilde’s Salomé at Scena Theatre by John Stoltenberg

There’s some wondrous strange stuff in the Bible, but for out and out bizarro it’s hard to top the tale of the king Herod’s...