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Tag Archives | Thomas Sowers

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Review: ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ at Synetic Theater

Haunting is the word that quickly came to mind as I sat, mesmerized, rediscovering a classic of literature I thought I knew from reading print on a page and from the movies. But, oh my, Synetic Theater’s dark, expressionistic, dialogue-free take on Victor Hugo’s nearly two-century old The Hunchback of Notre Dame simply swept me […]

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Spine: ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ at Synetic Theater

The spectacle of movement has always been Synetic’s star attraction. When those primal, emotional moments fuse with a strong narrative throughline, Synetic’s brilliance shines brightest. Their newest star, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which opened last night at the Crystal City Theater, is a supernova, for all the darkest reasons. Combining a spectacle that entrances with […]

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Review: ‘The Freshest Snow Whyte’ at Imagination Stage

Far off the radar of most grownup theatergoers, the writer/director Psalmayene 24 has been creating an extraordinary body of work for children. I’ve been an admirer of the trenchant work he has directed for mature audiences—the plays Not Enuf Lifetimes and The Shipment knocked me out. But until The Freshest Snow Whyte—his fourth creation for Imagination […]

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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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Review: ‘The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane’ at Imagination Stage By Julia Exline

Imagination Stage presents The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a stage adaptation Kate DiCamillio’s award-winning novel. The story follows a china toy rabbit through the era of America’s Great Depression and covers a sweeping landscape, from America’s deep south all the way to New England and back. Janet Stanford directs this production, and while it […]

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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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Review: ‘The Electric Baby’ at Rorschach Theatre

At the center of this beautifully ambiguous and hauntingly honest play is a sick infant. The baby is peculiar, perhaps mythically so, in that it glows like the moon. As we enter the theater, the baby’s mother is sitting knitting in a wicker chair beside a white bassinet, and she is singing a lullaby or […]

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In the Moment: A Look at Synetic Theater’s ‘As You Like It’

Synetic Theater continues to winningly upend The Bard’s canon with its 12th production in the speechless, though far from silent, series that had its start in 2002 with Hamlet…the rest is silence. This time it is As You Like It, based upon Shakespeare play, that receives the Synetic treatment of stimulating physical movement flair and striking musical […]

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‘As You Like It’ at Synetic Theater

Synetic Theater’s As You Like It is what W.H. Auden called an “inverted pastoral”—the outlaw theme of Shakespeare’s play is enhanced by the transformation of the Forest of Arden into a dystopian urban landscape where a bohemian community struggles to survive. Taylor Robinson’s Rosalind is tough, elegantly sexual, and ferociously inventive. Her cousin Celia, in […]

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‘Big Love’ at The Catholic University of America

The façade of an Italian courtyard stands ominously on the Hartke stage as the audience files in. A single girl is seated at a table, surrounded by a bathtub and a piano. Everything is pristine and white, but not for long. Pretty soon, tomatoes and blood will be flying since all bets are off in […]

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‘World Builders’ by Forum Theatre at Woolly Mammoth

I first saw Johnna Adams’s World Builders this summer, when it premiered at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I was immediately struck by the ingenuity of its premise and the artistic and creative implications of its design. Seeing it again, now by Forum Theatre and performed at Woolly Mammoth’s rehearsal room, […]

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Here Are The Recipients of This Year’s 2015 Helen Hayes Awards – in Order of Presentation With 2 Videos

 Here are the recipients of the 2015 Helen Hayes Awards  in the order they were announced tonight at The Lincoln Theatre.   THE RECIPIENTS ARE IN RED! Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play-HELEN Production Bonita Brisker Seven Guitars No Rules Theatre Company Katy Carkuff One Man, Two Guvnors 1st Stage Maggie Erwin Failure: A Love Story […]

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‘Passion Play’ at Forum Theatre

During the Roman times, theatre was a savage sport: need a crucifixion, grab a slave. During the Dark Ages, theatre disappeared under the cloak of Catholicism: better to have no fun, if having fun leads to eternal damnation. During the Middle Ages, theatre reappeared, from under the cloak, as a Passion Play: if theatre teaches, […]

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‘Doubt’ at 1st Stage

No doubt you’ll recall Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis, and Amy Adams in the Hollywood 2008 adaptation of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, a Parable — simply titled Doubt and directed and adapted by the playwright himself. Perhaps that piquant memory is what gives you incentive to catch 1st Stage’s production of the 2005 […]

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Magic Time!: ‘The T Party’ at Forum Theatre

Natsu Onoda Power’s delightfully devised theater piece The T Party could not have a more perfect home than Michael Dove’s quintessentially inclusive Forum Theatre. At Forum every walk-up ticket is Pay What You Want. In The T Party—a celebration of multigender fluidity in the human species (plus some polyamorous dolphins)—every gender performativity is Play Who […]

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‘The T Party’ at Forum Theatre

Just so we’re clear: Natsu Onoda Power’s new devised performance piece is neither an homage to Ted Cruz nor a biography of Michelle Bachmann. In fact, as mentioned in one of several deliciously self referencing moments in The T Party, the show was already well on its way to completion by the time old white […]

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Synetic Theater

Synetic Theater has brought forth an earthy, musically rich, sophisticated retelling of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. At its heart, this appealing production harks back to the darker roots of what were once oral tales told by parent to child before literacy was widespread. Fairy tales then were morality short stories about good […]

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Spine: Hip-Hop, Flow, and ‘How We Got On’

When I think of Hip-Hop my imagination immediately flies to urban America, to a gritty, “tougher than leather” New York City filled with N.W.A, LL Cool J, and of course Public Enemy (#1). When I think of Rap, I think of Hip-Hop as well, but also consider something much older, perhaps even as old as […]

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