Archive | Maryland


Review: ‘Shrek the Musical’ at Charm City Players

Shrek is one of the most enigmatic modern musicals. A work of two of American theatre’s greatest living authors, David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori, it has some outstanding moments; “Big Bright Beautiful World” and “I Know it’s Today” are among this author’s personal favorites. Donkey and Shrek’s buddy exchanges and Shrek and Fiona’s awkward romance […]

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Review: ‘School of Rock’ at the Hippodrome Theatre

Dewey Finn, the schleppy hero of School of Rock, is a modern-day Maria Von Trapp, leading children to find happiness through music. While posing as a substitute teacher, he shares his passion for rock-and-roll with the buttoned-up students of Horace Green Prep School – and in so doing, changes them, and himself, for the better. […]

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Review: ‘Nat Turner in Jerusalem’ at Forum Theatre

The unsettling sight of a young man in shackles sitting on a bare, plank-wood floor; a glimmer of night sky piercing the darkness through the barred window of a simple jail cell; and the tense, disturbing sounds of an angry mob in the distance immediately grip the senses upon entering Nathan Alan Davis’ Nat Turner […]

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139_Nat Turner in Jerusalem-(ZF-7393-07167-1-019) square

Magic Time!: ‘Nat Turner in Jerusalem’ at Forum Theatre

By coincidence, Nat Turner in Jerusalem opened at Forum Theatre the day that The Raid closed at Theater Alliance. The two plays seen in succession are powerfully connected. Idris Goodwin’s The Raid imagines John Brown, the white Abolitionist who attempted to arm blacks for a revolt against slavery by leading a raid on Harper’s Ferry in […]

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Photo courtesy of The British Players

Review: ‘Quartet’ at The British Players

Growing old isn’t for sissies. In South-African-born, British playwright Ronald Harwood’s smart 1999 comedy Quartet, he gently wrestles with the indignities of aging in a British senior-citizens’ residence for retired musicians and singers. The British Players’ production, which runs through March 24 at Kensington Town Hall in Kensington, MD, provides a witty take on the […]

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Review: ‘The Glass Menagerie’ at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s production of The Glass Menagerie is a quietly powerful rendition of Tennessee Williams’ classic play, which premiered in 1944. Directed by Donald Hicken, this show combines wonderful acting and directing with inventive lighting, a gorgeous stage, and a creative use of music to create an enchanting night of theater that will linger […]

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Review: ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at Other Voices Theatre

Frederick’s Other Voices Theatre puts a very large cast and a complex technical scheme to excellent use in its production of the 1971 Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice rock operetta Jesus Christ Superstar. A revisionist retelling of the biblical passion story, Superstar focuses on its creators’ imagining of the very human emotions of Jesus and his […]

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Review: ‘This Little Light’ at Venus Theatre

This Little Light by Jennifer Faletto opened this week at Venus Theatre. Deborah Randall is the director of this remarkable play. In her director’s notes, Randall calls This Little Light a comedy. Although there are undoubtedly lighter comedic moments, there is a lot of angst and conflict, both outward and inward, in this drama. The […]

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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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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: ‘Fool for Love’ at the Cumberland Theatre

The theme of a man and a woman who can’t live without each other and can’t live with each other is as old as theater. Often enough it has been played for comedy, as in the couples in Noel Coward’s Private Lives or Present Laughter.  But not in Sam Shepard country. In Shepard’s Fool for […]

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Review: ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ at Olney Theatre Center

Five minutes into the start of Every Brilliant Thing, most of the audience had already cried for the first time – and had laughed aloud. By the end of the show, the entire room seemed to be infused with a spirit of camaraderie and hope, tinged with sadness for life’s missed opportunities. Every Brilliant Thing was brilliantly written […]

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Sean Besecker and Anne Hunt in Of Mice and Men. Photo courtesy of the Maryland Entertainment Group

Review: ‘Of Mice and Men’ at Maryland Entertainment Group

An apt subtitle for Of Mice and Men, adapted from the 1937 novella by John Steinbeck, might be “the futility of hope.” In the small, corrosively lonely, universe of a California ranch during the Great Depression, any human connection, longstanding or brief, will not endure; any hope, however modest, will evaporate; any dream, however fanciful, […]

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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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