Tag Archives | John D. Alexander

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Review: ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ at The Hub Theatre

Set in a fictionalized American magical kingdom, The Happiest Place on Earth, now playing at Hub Theatre, is a wonderfully bittersweet family saga that actor Tia Shearer crushes in her solo performance. Written by Philip Dawkins, The Happiest Place on Earth bounds well beyond the playwright’s account of his own family’s resilience over three generations […]

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Dangereuse: ‘King Lear’ at WSC Avant Bard

King Lear has sometimes been called the Everest of classical acting. Every great Shakespearean actor must sooner or later face the physically and emotionally exhausting task of playing the part. Some simply give up.  Albert Finney, when asked, is reported to have said; “Oh God, eight shows a week doing Lear – no, no, no.” […]

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Review: ‘King Lear’ at Avant Bard

The tempest in my mind / Doth from my senses take all feeling else. King Lear, Act 3, scenes 4–5. Avant Bard’s King Lear is a bracing, piercing production of a family and realm in heightening disarray. The galvanizing production plumbs the depths of an unnamed country in which loyalty reigns, deceit lurks, chaos ensues, […]

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Review: Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show

With the audience seated in the round on a floor shared by the playing space, you could feel the whole place shaking and quaking. It was no subterranean tremor; it was the ebullient Step Afrika! ensemble doing their dance moves. And their rhythmic pounding stomping stamping was reverberating with a vibe that was irresistibly joyful. […]

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Review: ‘The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence’ Co-Presented by Washington Performing Arts and StepAfrika! in Cooperation with the Phillips Collections

There’s a pulse, a simple rhythm. It is both complex syncopation that rushes on, and an inviting and relaxed embrace of the moment. The percussive energy of StepAfrika!, a professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, founded by C. Brian Williams, makes the heart beats faster and sharpens the focus. The Migration: Reflection on […]

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Review: ‘Blackberry Winter’ at Forum Theatre

Does a play about an incurable progressive disease not sound like something you’d care to see? Does a character’s long, lone monologue about her mother’s memory loss to Alzheimer’s not seem appealing? Is the topic itself too fraught because it is already familiar in your life? If so, I have two words for you: Blackberry […]

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‘Red High Heels’ at Anacostia Playhouse

Making theatre is hard. Making any kind of art is hard, but the challenges that accompany mounting a live production – logistical, administrative, financial – are far more complicated than making a charcoal sketch or recording a song on Garage Band. It is for this reason that I approach all plays, particularly original plays, and […]

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‘Broke-ology’ at Theater Alliance by Bev Fleisher

Broke-ology, Theater Alliance’s inaugural production at the Anacostia Playhouse, is a celebration of ensemble work. There was no barrier between the stage and the audience or between the characters’ emotions and ours. Absorbing the play was not an intellectual exercise; it was purely emotional. This was the magic brought to the Anacostia Playhouse by the entire […]

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Monica (Madeline Botteri) and Ian (Eric Jones). Photo by Stephanie Gross, www.stephanieleephoto.com.

‘Rooms: A Rock Romance’ at Kensington Arts Theatre by Mariya Danilenko

Kensington Arts Theatre’s production of Paul Scott Goodman’s Scottish rock musical Rooms: A Rock Romance features a thrillingly gorgeous score by Paul Scott Goodman and a  poignant, funny, and heart-felt book by Mr. Goodman and his wife Miriam Goodman. It also sports a sensational group of musicians led by Musical Director Leah Kocsis. Rooms tells the story […]

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