Archive | DC Metro Area

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Review: ‘Chicago’ at The Keegan Theatre

With its snappy-saucy take on Chicago, The Keegan Theatre shows it knows how to give an audience the ol’ razzle-dazzle. And Keegan has done the durable musical proud. In fact in Keegan’s mounting of the quasi-naughty musical on a bare wood set in a decommissioned church, a case can be made that Chicago’s vaudeville-based storytelling works even […]

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Review: ‘Breathe: The Musical’ at THEARC

Breathe is a brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed gospel musical that celebrates black resilience even as it revisits the traumas endured by the black family in a nation built on slavery. At times soaringly transcendent in its evocation of hope and faith, at times searingly explicit in its depiction of anguish and grief, Breathe in […]

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Review: ‘The Snow Queen’ at Creative Cauldron

Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater Ensemble presents The Snow Queen, an original adaptation based on the tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Written by Ellen Selby, this production joins a long list of films and adaptations inspired by the original, including The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Disney’s Frozen. Alongside Laura Connors Hull, Selby co-directs […]

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Review: ‘The Tarot Reading (IV)’ at Anacostia Arts Center

Despite its occultish name, The Tarot Reading is not a cabalistic rite for mystics. It is actually an ingenious theater game for hipster questers who are psyched to play along. To be sure, the trappings of the participatory performance evoke the arcane realms of ritual, invocation, and revelation. But the reality is a spellbinding actor-instigated […]

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Review: ‘Adult Entertainment’ by The Klunch at Caos on F

D.C. theater collective The Klunch’s mischievous production of Adult Entertainment tells the story of a group of four pornographic actors and one producer who hope to make a good movie, and bring in an outside writer/director for that purpose. That outsider, an earnest and pretentious Yale graduate named Gerry (well played by Erik Harrison), takes […]

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Review: ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ at Reston Community Players

Reston Community Players present Tennessee Williams’ classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Sharon Veselic directs a talented cast for this insightful production. While a lot has changed in the nearly 65 years since its debut, some themes– like dysfunctional family dynamics– remain stubbornly timeless. Since all of the action unfolds in one setting, Set […]

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Review: ‘Death by Design’ at Aldersgate Church Community Theater

“There is nothing whatever beneath my exterior.” So proclaims a character in Death by Design, now playing at the Aldersgate Church Community Theater (ACCT) in Alexandria. How right he is, not only for him but for this theatrical trifle itself. Look elsewhere for subtlety or subtext. But it is an amusing trifle. Playwright Rob Urbinati’s […]

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Review: ‘DEMO by Damian Woetzel: Now’ at The Kennedy Center

An eclectic excursion into choreographic experimentation, innovative instrumental accompaniment, and exciting vocalizing is all part of DEMO by Damian Woetzel: Now at Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. This interactive evening was part of Direct Current, the Kennedy Center’s two-week celebration of contemporary culture. The accomplished director and curator of this evening–former New York City Ballet principal dancer, director, choreographer, and […]

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Review: Taylor Mac’s ‘A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged)’ at The Kennedy Center

I doubt the Eisenhower Theater was ever more queered than the night Taylor Mac came to town. The outrageously gifted and fabulously attired theater artist brought “a radical fairy realness ritual sacrifice” to a cheering sold-out crowd—who at one point were persuaded to pair off in same-sex couples and slow dance. Whatever Taylor Mac bid, […]

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Review: ‘Godspell’ at NextStop Theatre Company

NextStop Theatre is reaching the end of their July 2017 to June 2018 “Point and Counterpoint” season. Their third and final show pairing explores the contrasting effects that religious teachings can have on society. The dark comedy, Bad Jews, will close out the season, highlighting the way religion can bring out the very worst in […]

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Review: ‘The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995’ at Best Medicine Rep

Bullies in the bathroom, rampant rumors and petty one-upmanship. Whether in Texas, Iowa or Connecticut, the horrors of high school cattiness haunt many into their adult years. Texas Homecoming’s five-woman ensemble gifts the audience with therapeutic laughter. Written by Jennifer Faletto and directed by Melissa Firlit, this world premier fits solidly into the mission of […]

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Review: ‘Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends: New Worlds’ at the Kennedy Center

Can you imagine a chamber music concert—a quartet, playing mostly classical work by composers with names like Bach, Schubert and Shostakovich—getting six encores? And seven—yes, seven—standing ovations? That’s what happened the other night when New Worlds—a one-night performance featuring Bill Murray and a trio of string players—took the stage for its Washington, DC premiere in […]

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The cast of Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. clockwise from upper left, Bill Van Horn, Ian Merrill Peakes, Jered McLenigan, Dan Hodge and Sarah Gliko. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery’ at Center for the Arts/George Mason University

In turbulent times, escaping into a yarn that is as light and high-flying as a helium-filled balloon can be a welcome respite. So, the Great Performance Series at the Center for the Arts/George Mason University welcomed the touring company of Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre for a single performance of DC area playwright Ken Ludwig’s affectionate […]

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Review: ‘That Part Is True’ at Rabble Crew Productions

Wouldn’t it be fun to be a young urban radical and cohabit with other young revolutionaries—in a cheap walk-up apartment that you all share—eating fast food, having polyamorous sex, doing recreational drugs—in between planning direct actions that will tear down oppressive systems like for sure, you know? Wouldn’t that just be a blast? to hang […]

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Review: ‘Hold These Truths’ at Arena Stage

There is a dramatic moment in Hold These Truths that comes as no surprise yet comes as a heart-stopping shock. We know going in that this moment is going to happen. We know that the U.S. Supreme Court is going to uphold young Gordon Hirabayashi’s conviction for refusing to comply with federal orders that during […]

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Review: ‘The Imaginary Invalid’ by the Mason Players at George Mason University School of Theater

Satire is a comic form I have always loved. Among the greatest geniuses of the genre is Molière, whose comedies from 3.5 centuries ago still evoke howls of laughter when done well. Directed by Nicholas Horner, the Mason Players production of Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid, which opened last night in the TheatreSpace, is delightful. Using an adaptation […]

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Review: PostClassical Ensemble’s ‘Deep River: The Art of the Spiritual’ at the Washington National Cathedral

When is art an intentional expression of respectful cultural appreciation and when is it an unconscious foray into cultural misappropriation? These were some of the deep questions raised in Deep River: The Art of the Spiritual, a classical sacred concert at the Washington National Cathedral in tribute to Harry Burleigh, African American classical composer, arranger […]

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In the Moment: Interview with Sound Designer Justin Schmitz

All too often the work of a theater sound designer can go unnoticed. In fact, not long ago the Tony Awards decided not to even provide an award category for sound design (now reinstated). Thankfully, the DC area’s Helen Hayes Awards did not follow the Tonys’ dismissive attitude toward theater sound design. But, what is […]

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