Jack L. B. Gohn

Jack L. B. Gohn
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MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Mean Girls, Primary Colors and Grand Guignol: HEATHERS at Red BranchBWW Review: Mean Girls, Primary Colors and Grand Guignol: HEATHERS at Red Branch
Posted: Aug. 8, 2016


BWW Review: Pennybags and Henny Penny: Financially Farcical CRASH AND BURN at Theatrical Mining CompanyBWW Review: Pennybags and Henny Penny: Financially Farcical CRASH AND BURN at Theatrical Mining Company
Posted: Aug. 1, 2016


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: Mean Girls, Primary Colors and Grand Guignol: HEATHERS at Red BranchBWW Review: Mean Girls, Primary Colors and Grand Guignol: HEATHERS at Red Branch
Posted: Aug. 8, 2016


BWW Review: Lush, Untranslated, and Disorienting: THE WEDDING GIFT at CATFBWW Review: Lush, Untranslated, and Disorienting: THE WEDDING GIFT at CATF
Posted: Jul. 18, 2016


BWW Review: Thrilling NEVERWHERE: A Signature Production for an Ambitious New CompanyBWW Review: Thrilling NEVERWHERE: A Signature Production for an Ambitious New Company
Posted: Jun. 6, 2016


BWW Review: Love (and Anger) in a Time of Plague: THE NORMAL HEART at VagabondsBWW Review: Love (and Anger) in a Time of Plague: THE NORMAL HEART at Vagabonds
Posted: Feb. 29, 2016


BWW Review: Roundhouse CABARET Packs An Outsized WallopBWW Review: Roundhouse CABARET Packs An Outsized Wallop
Posted: Apr. 27, 2016


BWW Review: A Working Kitchen in THE SECOND GIRL at CATFBWW Review: A Working Kitchen in THE SECOND GIRL at CATF
Posted: Jul. 13, 2016


BWW Reviews: Priestley's Savage AN INSPECTOR CALLS Shows Continued Topicality At EverymanBWW Reviews: Priestley's Savage AN INSPECTOR CALLS Shows Continued Topicality At Everyman
Posted: Sep. 14, 2015


BWW Review: Mean Girls, Primary Colors and Grand Guignol: HEATHERS at Red BranchBWW Review: Mean Girls, Primary Colors and Grand Guignol: HEATHERS at Red Branch
August 8, 2016

It is a safe bet that at every institution of secondary education with female students, there are Mean Girls. It is also a safe bet that there isn't a reader who needs the term defined, because there probably isn't a reader who hasn't experienced Mean Girls - or been one of them. And one trait we know the Mean Girls all share is they make people want to kill them.
BWW Review: Pennybags and Henny Penny: Financially Farcical CRASH AND BURN at Theatrical Mining CompanyBWW Review: Pennybags and Henny Penny: Financially Farcical CRASH AND BURN at Theatrical Mining Company
August 1, 2016

Such dramatic suspense as exists in Crash and Burn hangs on the question whether it is possible Financier Milty has outsmarted himself (perhaps out-stupided himself might be a better phrase) by retaining two such paragons of dimness, greed, and vanity as Lawyers Crash and Burn to represent him: Might they fail at failure?
BWW Review: Lush, Untranslated, and Disorienting: THE WEDDING GIFT at CATFBWW Review: Lush, Untranslated, and Disorienting: THE WEDDING GIFT at CATF
July 18, 2016

We watch as Doug takes stock of his situation, recognizes the failure of vision on the part of his captors, their inability to see him as a fellow-human, and recognizes what this means in terms of his power and his lack of power. It is a humbling lesson, but one he needs to learn to survive.
BWW Review: Boomers Considering What They Were and Are: 20th CENTURY BLUES at CATFBWW Review: Boomers Considering What They Were and Are: 20th CENTURY BLUES at CATF
July 15, 2016

Perhaps most important, 20th Century Blues (notwithstanding its title) addresses, from the inside and the outside, the universal experience of aging, an experience common to all times and places.
BWW Review: Sloppy PEN/MAN/SHIP at CATFBWW Review: Sloppy PEN/MAN/SHIP at CATF
July 14, 2016

Charles, the ship-charterer (Brian D. Coats), is a black man who believes himself superior to all the black people who surround him. He has internalized the view held by Jim Crow America of African Americans as the inferior "other," but in order to entertain that view he necessarily has mentally set himself apart. Anderson's remarks in the program suggest Charles is an exemplar of America's notion of exceptionalism.
BWW Review: A Working Kitchen in THE SECOND GIRL at CATFBWW Review: A Working Kitchen in THE SECOND GIRL at CATF
July 13, 2016

What makes The Second Girl a comedy more than anything else is Cathryn Wake's electrifying performance as Cathleen, a confection of flashing eyes, red hair, a tell-the-truth-and-shame-the-devil attitude, and naked ambition. Her vivacity is inescapable.
BWW Review: Comparing Small Things To Great: NOT MEDEA at CATFBWW Review: Comparing Small Things To Great: NOT MEDEA at CATF
July 12, 2016

The great legends and myths have their roots in common human experience. Yet it is not always obvious which experience gives rise to them. Take the myth of Medea, the sorceress who aided the hero Jason and who, when Jason cast her aside to make a politically expedient marriage, murdered their two sons. Only part of the story is commonplace: the part about Medea being cast aside. We all know (if we are not ourselves) women (and men) whose spouses have deserted them and left them heartbroken. Few of us, however, know parents, and especially mothers, who have murdered their children for that reason. Nor is it fair to trace the roots of the myth to occasional feelings of 'wanting to kill' Junior; those feelings are seldom serious to begin with, and almost always transient.
BWW Review: Feet Planted Firmly In The Air: HAIRSPRAY at Toby'sBWW Review: Feet Planted Firmly In The Air: HAIRSPRAY at Toby's
July 5, 2016

Hairspray is, in fact, a great raspberry blown in the face of realistic expectations, a visit to a fantasyland where cruelty and meanness and class pretensions stand no chance. And we never get tired of watching that raspberry get blown.
BWW Review: Love Story Heartthrobs in LOVE LETTERS PlayBWW Review: Love Story Heartthrobs in LOVE LETTERS Play
June 8, 2016

If you love Love Letters, if you want to Oliver and Jennifer again (sort of), or you just want to see two old professionals having gentle fun together, this show's for you.
BWW Review: Thrilling NEVERWHERE: A Signature Production for an Ambitious New CompanyBWW Review: Thrilling NEVERWHERE: A Signature Production for an Ambitious New Company
June 6, 2016

I know a gripping mythos when I see one. This is the real deal. If you have the kind of imagination that responds to graphic novels and Game of Thrones, this one is for you. You will find yourself transported for three hours into a world completely different from our own, but it is nevertheless detailed, dramatically coherent, and totally absorbing.
BWW Review: Vagabonds' MOON OVER BUFFALO Keeps the Audience in StitchesBWW Review: Vagabonds' MOON OVER BUFFALO Keeps the Audience in Stitches
May 31, 2016

Driven to a frenzy by the thought that director film director Frank Capra is in the audience, the Hay family and their retinue get completely confused about the play to be performed for him. Is it Private Lives or Cyrano de Bergerac? It kinda matters which, since the two plays aren't interchangeable, as Moon Over Buffalo will in due course illustrate.
BWW Review: Roundhouse CABARET Packs An Outsized WallopBWW Review: Roundhouse CABARET Packs An Outsized Wallop
April 27, 2016

This Sally (Andrea Goss) is definitely British, definitely a waif and of limited talent, and has her eyes wide open to the hell her generation of revelers is headed toward in a handcart. Her biggest number, Cabaret, is delivered as nearly a de profundis, a wail of a trauma victim.
BWW Review: DETROIT '67 a Lot Like Baltimore '15BWW Review: DETROIT '67 a Lot Like Baltimore '15
April 18, 2016

Morisseau's explanation of the Detroit riots makes a lot of sense, and resonates with my understanding of what happened last year in Baltimore. Morisseau's thesis is that the black citizens of Detroit were not crazy, just reacting to an ongoing culture of police abuse, and that abusive police and military responses were to blame for most of what went wrong once the spark of protest had been struck by the raid of an unlicensed after-hours drinking club known as a 'blind pig.'
BWW Review: Fever Dream: STREETCAR at EverymanBWW Review: Fever Dream: STREETCAR at Everyman
April 18, 2016

We in the audience are continually torn between cheering the gumption and the desire behind Blanche's lies and being appalled at the human cost the lies inflict, not least on the teller of them.
BWW: Review: Everyman Makes What Can Be Made of Miller's SALESMANBWW: Review: Everyman Makes What Can Be Made of Miller's SALESMAN
April 12, 2016

The unresolvedness of social themes is a feature, not a bug, as far as Miller is concerned. Miller has willed the ambiguities and the gaps in information, and tightly controlled the opportunities for interpretation that might resolve or suggest resolutions to the ambiguities. There is a path to execute, and the Everyman crew execute marvelously, but this is not the same thing as the artistry that directors and actors can ordinarily exert. Most plays give their performers more room to interpret, to breathe.
BWW Review: Love (and Anger) in a Time of Plague: THE NORMAL HEART at VagabondsBWW Review: Love (and Anger) in a Time of Plague: THE NORMAL HEART at Vagabonds
February 29, 2016

But the play is not all philosophical argument, as important as this is: it also is a love story, a family tale, and an account of the 'band of brothers' that was Gay Men's Health Crisis. And like most great playwrights who turn their attention to public events, Kramer maintains a tight relationship between these stories. Kramer's artistic control of the huge canvas on which he paints is in the end what makes the play so powerful.
BWW Review: Relatable HICK, Eleanor Roosevelt's Lesbian Love Story, at Theatre ProjectBWW Review: Relatable HICK, Eleanor Roosevelt's Lesbian Love Story, at Theatre Project
February 26, 2016

This was a substantial play that dealt thoughtfully with a host of issues. There's feminism: the story of a woman fighting her way through a male-dominated profession, rising from a little paper in Battle Creek to a national byline with the Associated Press. There's journalistic ethics: what happens when a reporter gets too close to a subject, and the tricky line between reporting and public relations. Then there's the problem encountered by an involuntary archivist: what to do with a trove of letters that reveal a historical personage's private life? And most of all, there's a strange love triangle: on the evidence of the play, Hickok was nearly as smitten with Franklin Roosevelt's policies as she was with his wife, going so far as to serve in his administration.
BWW Review: Secondary Characters, Set, and Songs Succeed While Direction Is Misdirected: Center Stage's AS YOU LIKE IT at TowsonBWW Review: Secondary Characters, Set, and Songs Succeed While Direction Is Misdirected: Center Stage's AS YOU LIKE IT at Towson
January 30, 2016

There is no perfect way to realize Shakespeare's vision, but employing an all-female cast is apt to be among the less successful ways. In the alternative, you can say the hell with realizing Shakespeare's vision, and simply have fun with your own. And that, I think, is the approach that director Wendy C. Goldberg has chosen to pursue at Center Stage
BWW Reviews: A Horribly Good Time with TITUS ANDRONICUS at CSC -- But Don't Call It ShakespeareBWW Reviews: A Horribly Good Time with TITUS ANDRONICUS at CSC -- But Don't Call It Shakespeare
October 31, 2015

If you view this production as an entertainment for those whose taste runs to Mad Max, to Rocky Horror, and to the movies of Quentin Tarantino (none of which I'm knocking, but let's not call them Shakespeare), then this may be a lark for you.
BWW Review: Kicking at the Hippodrome: Nearly Perfect KINKY BOOTSBWW Review: Kicking at the Hippodrome: Nearly Perfect KINKY BOOTS
September 30, 2015

That you're going to have a wonderful time at Kinky Boots is something I don't have to tell you. If you're a theatergoer with a pulse, you'll have heard about the musical's great success (six Tonys, two-and-a-half years on Broadway). And you'll probably know that it was crafted from a movie that was itself all but a perfect musical, but for the absence of dedicated songs. You'll also know that Kinky Boots' book is by Harvey Fierstein and the songs by Cyndi Lauper. With credentials like that, it would be inconceivable that the result could be other than bliss. All the rest is simply a bunch of details.


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