Tag Archives | 1st Stage

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Review: ‘Fly By Night’ at 1st Stage

Recipe for a vexing evening of musical theater: combine cuteness, sweetness, quirkiness, clever and funny dialogue, and a sprinkling of amusing and melodic songs. Add a heavy dose of sentimentality. Stir in a sauce of vague mysticism. Top it off with an abrupt, blatantly forced, change of mood near the end of the second act. […]

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Sam Ludwig as Philo Farnsworth. Photo by Teresa Castracane.

Review: ‘The Farnsworth Invention’ at 1st Stage

In 1920, a fourteen-year-old boy in Idaho, named Philo Farnsworth, asked his science teacher for advice on a design he was working on for an electronic television system. Seven years later, that kid would grow up to be the first to send a fully electronic image transmission. Farnsworth was undeniably brilliant, but a bigger man […]

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Actress and Photographer Teresa Castracane.

In the Moment: Interview with Theater Photographer Teresa Castracane

Often, images of a theatrical production help establish the initial interest and expectations for a potential audience. Photographs can draw an audience into a production even before reviews or word-of-mouth. Pictures can capture the essence of a production or of a particular stage character. A theater photographer is responsible for creating a production’s visual record. The best […]

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Review: ‘Empanada For A Dream’ at 1st Stage

Proust may have had his mother’s madeleine, but Juan Francisco Villa has his mother’s empanada to stir up memories of his gritty, hard scrabble childhood in New York’s City’s Lower East Side. It was a traumatic childhood like few others I have witnessed on local stages. Villa’s Empanada for a Dream at 1st Stage is an […]

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Review: ‘Hick: A Love Story’ at 1st Stage

What was hidden away as a purposefully invisible sidebar of decades-old history, is brought to well-deserved notice by 1st Stage’s inaugural Logan Festival of Solo Performances. With Hick: A Love Story, local theater-goers have a superior production of cultural significance about an intimate relationship likely unknown to many. Hick: A Love Story is an absorbing work written […]

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In the Moment: Logan Festival of Solo Performance at 1st Stage

Under the leadership of Alex Levy, 1st Stage aims to be a cultural hub for the Northern Virginia community and beyond. Over the past year, 1st Stage has reached outside of theatrical productions to host professional musicians, orchestras, and visual artists. Soon, 1st Stage will be producing a unique performing arts festival. Featuring some of […]

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In the Moment: Interview with Theatrical Designer Deb Sivigny Part I

Deb Sivigny is one busy scenic and costume designer in the DC theater community. Just recently, she developed design elements for the Rorschach Theatre production of Forgotten Kingdoms. The 1st Stage production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom uses Deb’s costume design. And Deb is the scenic and costume designer for the upcoming Hub Theatre regional premier production of The […]

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Review: ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ at 1st Stage

The late self-taught playwright and poet August Wilson’s ten-play Century Cycle has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, with movie star Denzel Washington committing to bringing that cycle to the screen. Wilson’s work is some of the best ever written in American theater and it is fitting that 1st Stage chose to produce the third […]

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Review: ‘Well’ at 1st Stage

“Social ills” is a term often used to name a problem without caring about the people affected by it—as in the phrase “racism and other social ills.”  It’s a way of keeping one’s distance by making the problem somebody else’s. It’s like the way one can hear said of someone chronically and inscrutably sick, “They […]

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In the Moment: ‘Trevor’ at 1st Stage

Under the crafty direction of Alex Levy, 1st Stage’s production of Trevor, penned by Nick Jones, had me in agreement with a recent American Theatre headline calling Jones the “Deadpan Puppet Master of Human Folly.” 1st Stage’s Trevor is having its DC area premiere. If you think you don’t know playwright Jones, well, you may already know […]

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Review: ‘Trevor’ at 1st Stage

Trevor, directed by Alex Levy and written by Nick Jones, at 1st Stage, is equal parts emotional and thought-provoking. With strong performances throughout, this subversive show is dark comedy at its best. The peculiar storyline to the show is this: in a rural American home in 2009, an erratic, 200-pound, ex-actor chimpanzee named Trevor (the […]

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DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #14: Best Design in Professional and Community Theaters in DC/VA/MD

DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #14: Best Design in Professional and Community Theaters in DC/VA/MD Are: John Alexander for his lighting for Blackberry Winter at Forum Theatre. John Alexander for his lighting for Black Nativity at Theater Alliance. Brian Allard for his lighting for Sleeping Beauty at Synetic Theater. Clint Allen for his projections for Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches: […]

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DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #12: Best Direction of Plays in Professional Theater in DC/MD/VA

Here are the DCMetroTheaterArts Staff’s honorees for Best Direction of Plays in Professional Theaters in 2016. Congrats to all our honorees! THE BEST DIRECTION OF PLAYS  in 2016 IN DC/MD/VA ARE: Paul Morella for A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas at Olney Theatre Center. Michael Baron for A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre. Laurie T. Freed […]

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DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #10: Best Direction in Musicals in Professional Theatres in DC/MD/VA

Here are the DCMetroTheaterArts Staff’s honorees for Best Direction of Musicals in Professional Theaters in 2016. Congrats to all our honorees: David James for A Christmas Carol at Toby’s The Dinner Theatre of Columbia. Matt Lenz for A Christmas Story: The Musical at The Hippodrome Theatre. Pierre-Jacques Brault A Christmas Story: The Musical at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts. […]

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DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #7: Best Performances and Ensembles in Musicals in Professional Theaters in DC/MD/VA

Here is the staff of DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #7: Best Performances in Musicals in Professional Theaters in DC/MD/VA: Scean Aaron as Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show at Iron Crow Theatre. Scott Ward Abernethy as Doctor Madden in Next to Normal at The Keegan Theatre. Nicklas Aliff as Caldwell B. Cladwell in Urinetown at Constellation Theatre Company. […]

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DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #4: Best Plays in Professional Theaters in DC/MD/VA

Here are the DCMetroTheaterArts Staff’s honorees for Best Plays in Professional Theaters in 2016. Congrats to all our honorees! A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas at Olney Theatre Center. A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre. A Delicate Balance at Peace Mountain Theatre Company. A Few Good Men at Off the Quill. All The Way at Arena […]

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Review: ‘Broadway Bound’ at 1st Stage

As self-conscious plays go, Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound is both a self-fulfilling prophesy and a cross-examination of the creative process. The play, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award in 1987, is the final and lesser-known installment of Simon’s quasi-autobiographical Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues. Across the series, Eugene Morris Jerome, […]

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