Jack L. B. Gohn

Jack L. B. Gohn


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LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Single Carrot's Magical Mystery Tour: A SHORT REUNIONBWW Review: Single Carrot's Magical Mystery Tour: A SHORT REUNION
Posted: Apr. 23, 2017


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: A Rare and Topical Revival of ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS at CSCBWW Review: A Rare and Topical Revival of ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS at CSC
Posted: Oct. 24, 2016


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: Everyone Gets A Present Courtesy of A CHRISTMAS STORY at HippodromeBWW Review: Everyone Gets A Present Courtesy of A CHRISTMAS STORY at Hippodrome
Posted: Dec. 7, 2016


BWW Review: Brilliant FUCKING A From Iron CrowBWW Review: Brilliant FUCKING A From Iron Crow
Posted: Feb. 6, 2017


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: Single Carrot's Magical Mystery Tour: A SHORT REUNIONBWW Review: Single Carrot's Magical Mystery Tour: A SHORT REUNION
April 23, 2017

The Therapist, embodied by Paul Diem, launched into a spirited evocation of the art of theater, which morphed into a vision of all life as a work of art. In that spirit, flags and funny hats were passed out to the congregation, as the Therapist stripped down to Superman skivvies and led the whole assemblage out onto Howard Street in a bacchanal, with a motorist honking in rhythm with the syncopation of Faith, and thence back to the theater.

BWW Review: Appalachian Agincourt, Hillbilly HENRY V from CohesionBWW Review: Appalachian Agincourt, Hillbilly HENRY V from Cohesion
March 13, 2017

We get an early hint that this Henry has more bloodthirst and realpolitik about him than Shakespeare had in mind, when (without any sanction in the script) he shoves aside a squeamish executioner and personally participates in the execution of the three traitors suborned to murder him at Southampton.

BWW Review: Spare, Disorienting RICHARD III at Chesapeake Shakespeare CompanyBWW Review: Spare, Disorienting RICHARD III at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
February 13, 2017

This version of Richard III has been stranded in a World War I setting where it does not fit very well, and gives us an exceedingly tight focus on Richard himself, to the exclusion of a plethora of characters and relationships. The spareness of the resulting work is disorienting. Who are all these people and why are we supposed to care about them, again? Maybe we'll figure it out and maybe we won't. Richard remains a fascinating character: a moral and physical cripple who takes the audience into his confidence and challenges us to dislike him as he schemes, murders, seduces, and marries his way onto the throne.

BWW Review: Brilliant FUCKING A From Iron CrowBWW Review: Brilliant FUCKING A From Iron Crow
February 6, 2017

Victimization and bad choices are then so intertwined that to speak of individual moral agency seems almost pointless. And this holds true almost as much for the oppressors as for the oppressed.

Destination Wedding in ABBA-Land: Mamma Mia! at HippodromeDestination Wedding in ABBA-Land: Mamma Mia! at Hippodrome
January 14, 2017

Mamma Mia! is actually more of a revue than a story-driven show, despite sporting the accouterments of the latter. And none of that mattered a damn to the faithful gathered at the Hippodrome last night. They got what they came for, especially in the curtain call segment where the mask of a story dropped altogether, and the cast just performed three ABBA songs including the inevitable one, Waterloo, which did not even qualify as a reprise. But no one left the auditorium; everyone was on their feet, clapping and singing along.

BWW Review: Scrooges Galore: Two Distinct Takes on A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Chesapeake Shakespeare and Toby'sBWW Review: Scrooges Galore: Two Distinct Takes on A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Chesapeake Shakespeare and Toby's
December 9, 2016

It is a truth universally acknowledged that as Christmas rolls around, A Christmas Carol appears in theaters. And it's no wonder; Charles Dickens' irresistible holiday tale is irresistibly theatrical. It is machine-tooled to go right for the heartstrings. A lot of different things can be done within this framework, a versatility well-illustrated by two distinct takes on A Christmas Carol currently on offer at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in Baltimore at Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia.

BWW Review: Everyone Gets A Present Courtesy of A CHRISTMAS STORY at HippodromeBWW Review: Everyone Gets A Present Courtesy of A CHRISTMAS STORY at Hippodrome
December 7, 2016

All the elements you want to see - the narration by Jean Shepherd, the Major Award, the flagpole (pictured above), the slugfest with Scut Farkas, the dogs in the kitchen, the Chinese dinner, and every repetition of 'You'll shoot your eye out!' are there, none the worse for your expecting them. The new material does no damage to the original components.

BWW Review: Bravura LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES at Center Stage: A Welcome Antidote to Seasonal Good CheerBWW Review: Bravura LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES at Center Stage: A Welcome Antidote to Seasonal Good Cheer
December 6, 2016

With Les Liaisons Dangereuses, we have byzantine complexity and unreal psychology. Doesn't sound like the sort of thing that would keep readers and theatergoers keep coming back. Yet somehow, almost inexplicably, this slightly pornographic extravaganza of obscurity and nastiness continues to claim our attention. Never mind why; some things just are that way.

BWW Review: High School Hunger Games Played for Laughs: SCHOOLGIRL FIGURE at CohesionBWW Review: High School Hunger Games Played for Laughs: SCHOOLGIRL FIGURE at Cohesion
November 21, 2016

Set in a high school where certain girls, banded together as The Carpenters, are in an anorexia/bulimia competition, where the intermediate prize is to date the hunky The Brad and the longer-term prize is death by malnutrition, the show follows the battle between the utterly unscrupulous uber-bitch Renee and fierce competitor Jeanine to succeed Monique, the late victor in these hunger games, as The Brad's choice.

BWW Review: Finding Good Cheer Amid Threatening and Debilitating Moments: THE PINK HULK at Charm City FringeBWW Review: Finding Good Cheer Amid Threatening and Debilitating Moments: THE PINK HULK at Charm City Fringe
November 10, 2016

We know from the fact that playwright and performer Valerie David is standing before us that the upshot will be triumphant, and we don't mind the predictability at all. This is a good, healthy kind of predictability, based in the truth and commonality of the experience being shared. And if there are some storytellers' tricks employed along the way, that too is just fine.

BWW Review: Jen Silverman's Alarmingly-Introduced ROOMMATE at EverymanBWW Review: Jen Silverman's Alarmingly-Introduced ROOMMATE at Everyman
October 31, 2016

This is not a show about big issues; the pathos comes from the human condition, to the basic facts of which the play is usually true, even when operating as a well-tooled laughter-delivery-vehicle. If there can be said to be a moral to Silverman's story, it is simply that it is extremely hard to become close to someone, and even harder to stay close. A good thing to be reminded of, and especially in such an amusing way.

BWW Review: A Rare and Topical Revival of ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS at CSCBWW Review: A Rare and Topical Revival of ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS at CSC
October 24, 2016

Anne, like Henry, is engaged in more than just affairs of the heart. She too ends up playing (and winning, on the best terms available to her) the game of thrones. Just before her arrest, she is offered a choice, which she recognizes lies between survival and legacy. Her choice of the latter is immediate, and has long-lasting positive effects, dwarfing those made by her ostensibly more powerful husband.

BWW Review: Disorienting Play, Tour-de-Force Performance: THE OTHER PLACE at The REPBWW Review: Disorienting Play, Tour-de-Force Performance: THE OTHER PLACE at The REP
September 12, 2016

It is a tour-de-force for the actress who portrays Juliana. Juliana is called on to deliver a huge range of emotions, sharp at some times, pathetic at others. She must be violent, querulous, authoritative, analytical, disoriented, witty, nicotine-deprived, paranoid, serene ... etc., etc., etc. She must even wolf down what looks like a complete Chinese carryout dinner. Julia-Ann Elliott seems to have this mercurial role firmly in hand.

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.



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