Jack L. B. Gohn

Jack L. B. Gohn
Subscribe to Alerts on This Author
MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Reviews: The Messy But Effective Premiere of WE ARE PUSSY RIOT at the Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Reviews: The Messy But Effective Premiere of WE ARE PUSSY RIOT
Posted: Jul. 14, 2015


BWW Reviews: Strong Production, Profound Show: INTO THE WOODS at Toby'sBWW Reviews: Strong Production, Profound Show: INTO THE WOODS at Toby's
Posted: Jul. 21, 2015


BWW Reviews: Personality Disorders and Personal Worlds: WORLD BUILDERS at Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Reviews: Personality Disorders and Personal Worlds: WORLD BUILDERS
Posted: Jul. 13, 2015


BWW Reviews: Shredded Storytelling Undermines THE PILLOW BOOK at Cohesion/StrandBWW Reviews: Shredded Storytelling Undermines THE PILLOW BOOK at Cohesion/Strand
Posted: Jun. 27, 2015


BWW Reviews: Scofflaw Playwriting, Standout Acting: ON CLOVER ROAD at Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Reviews: Undisciplined Playwriting, Decent Acting: ON CLOVER ROAD
Posted: Jul. 16, 2015


BWW Reviews: A Fashion-Tinged Shaggy Dog Story: EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH at Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Reviews: A Fashion-Tinged Shaggy Dog Story: EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH
Posted: Jul. 20, 2015


BWW Reviews: Linguistic Marriage Counseling and Character Acting in a Comic Soufflé: THE FULL CATASTROPHE at Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Reviews: THE FULL CATASTROPHE
Posted: Jul. 20, 2015


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Reviews: A Wonderful New Theater Inaugurated In Side-Splitting Style: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's New HomeBWW Reviews: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Chesapeake Shakespeare Co.'s New Home
Posted: Sep. 22, 2014


BWW Review: Fresh Production, Unfresh Play: AMADEUS at Center StageBWW Review: Fresh Production, Unfresh Play: AMADEUS at Center Stage
Posted: Sep. 22, 2014


BWW Reviews: It's a Wonderful IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE at Center StageBWW Reviews: It's a Wonderful IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE at Center Stage
Posted: Nov. 28, 2014


BWW Reviews: They Do Not Serve Who Only Stand And Wait - THE UNDERSTUDY at EverymanBWW Reviews: THE UNDERSTUDY at Everyman
Posted: Sep. 2, 2014


BWW Reviews: MARLEY: A Rare and Topical Event at Center StageBWW Reviews: MARLEY: A Rare and Topical Event at Center Stage
Posted: May. 18, 2015


BWW Reviews: A Stunning WHALE at the REPBWW Reviews: A Stunning WHALE at the REP
Posted: Jan. 19, 2015


BWW Reviews: Sarah Kane's Dazzling Apologia Pro Morte Sua, 4.48 PSYCHOSIS, at Iron CrowBWW Reviews: Dazzling Apologia Pro Morte Sua, 4.48 PSYCHOSIS
Posted: Oct. 10, 2014


BWW Reviews: Strong Production, Profound Show: INTO THE WOODS at Toby'sBWW Reviews: Strong Production, Profound Show: INTO THE WOODS at Toby's
July 21, 2015

The characters are all compelled by circumstances to go back into the woods, and this time they encounter there such things as infidelity, divorce, the death of parents, the death of children, abandonment, catastrophe - and overarching this the absence of a narration (the narrator becomes a casualty) or any other authoritative guidance as to the choices that need to be made. As one of the characters observes: 'The path has strayed from you.' The unsettling conclusion: 'You decide what's right / You decide what's good.' This is all incredibly sad and confusing, not to mention frightening, and yet as the core of surviving characters gels, so does the indomitability of the human spirit they evince.
BWW Reviews: Linguistic Marriage Counseling and Character Acting in a Comic Soufflé: THE FULL CATASTROPHE at Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 20, 2015

For a weightless and elegant good time, it would be hard to beat The Full Catastrophe, by Michael Weller, at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. There is not one thing in the story to tether it to reality, or trouble us with any true sense of its characters being in any kind of jeopardy, and the presentation of the whole farrago, under Ed Herendeen's direction, is smooth and amiable. This play is best consumed at the end of one's visit to this year's Festival, after sampling the weightier and more nutritional fare.
BWW Reviews: A Fashion-Tinged Shaggy Dog Story: EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH at Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Reviews: A Fashion-Tinged Shaggy Dog Story: EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH at Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 20, 2015

The overall effect is a bit like a fireworks display, with loud fun things happening more or less continually. It is not profound, a quality seldom looked for in shaggy dog stories, but the tale at its heart, a whimsical family drama, is sturdy enough, and perhaps the place where a more genuine feminism is lurking than may be found in the odd evocation of fashion.
BWW Reviews: Scofflaw Playwriting, Standout Acting: ON CLOVER ROAD at Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Reviews: Scofflaw Playwriting, Standout Acting: ON CLOVER ROAD at Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 16, 2015

The action, from the shadowy world of religious cults and deprogrammers, takes place in the ruins of a derelict motel, where distraught mother Kate (Tasha Lawrence) has been brought by Stine (Lee Sellars), a supposed specialist in reuniting abandoned parents with cult-brainwashed youngsters. Stine intends (so he says) to abduct Kate's daughter from the cult's commune and work with her here. The shockingly scuzzy room tells us immediately is that something is terribly wrong with Kate and Stine's scheme. So does a financial fact revealed in the early going. In the course of the play, we find out what that something and several other somethings are.
BWW Reviews: The Messy But Effective Premiere of WE ARE PUSSY RIOT at the Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Reviews: The Messy But Effective Premiere of WE ARE PUSSY RIOT at the Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 14, 2015

The success of PUSSY RIOT rests upon what author Barbara Hammond gets right. This includes a recreation of an actual Pussy Riot provocation/performance; excerpts from the Russian government's show trial which rely largely on the actual words of the defendants, lawyers, and judge; and the language and attitudes of the authorities, especially the police and the judiciary, which are notorious. And overarching these, the show nails the crisis of authority and legitimacy for the Russian state and the Russian Orthodox Church, a crisis the Pussy Riot protestors helped exacerbate for a while to an acuteness sharper than even the play conveys.
BWW Reviews: Personality Disorders and Personal Worlds: WORLD BUILDERS at Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Reviews: Personality Disorders and Personal Worlds: WORLD BUILDERS at Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 13, 2015

Whitney and Max have been compelled by their mental disorders to turn their backs on the real world, and on the actual human connections available to them with friends and family, to obsess instead about imaginary worlds of their own making. But for each of them, their world, however artistic and creative, is also of a place of some danger. When medicine begins to cure them, they must compare the value of a sane life with love but without creativity and an insane life with creativity but without love
BWW Reviews: Shredded Storytelling Undermines THE PILLOW BOOK at Cohesion/StrandBWW Reviews: Shredded Storytelling Undermines THE PILLOW BOOK at Cohesion/Strand
June 27, 2015

The Pillow Book takes off from the current vogue of non-consecutive story-telling; everyone wants to emulate the mystification of Pulp Fiction, with its sudden reveals of not only what will happen, but of what did happen. And recently there has been an additional vogue, which I call Cubistic story-telling, in which the characters and their lives turn out multiple ways, without an authoritative single story line. The approaches can also be combined. Such works always make the viewer struggle to follow the conflicting and shuffled storylines, but seldom leave the viewer in the dust. The dust, however, is where Anna Moench's The Pillow Book will leave you. The more is the pity. Anna Moench writes beautifully, and the acting and directing in this collaboration of two interesting fringe companies is uniformly good. But the conflicting storylines shred each other.
BWW Reviews: Funny But Not Quite Nailing It: BLITHE SPIRIT at EverymanBWW Reviews: Funny But Not Quite Nailing It: BLITHE SPIRIT at Everyman
May 31, 2015

There is a kind of magic which will exorcise the problems of Blithe Spirit, and let us not notice them: This productioncruises and coasts on the farcical elements and the bickering and the eccentricities of Mme. Arcati the medium, and in so doing it certainly keeps the audience laughing. But it does not dispel the sour taste lingering at the end.
BWW Reviews: Solemn and Unusual: 1776 at Toby'sBWW Reviews: Solemn and Unusual: 1776 at Toby's
May 18, 2015

There are times it's hard to credit that 1776 is even a musical. In this retelling of the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence, there is some singing and some dancing, and even some laughs, but little effort to follow the tried-and-true path to rousing musical success. This is fundamentally a tale of a group of men sitting in a room debating, and Peter Stone, author of the book, gives us - a group of men sitting in a room debating. And yet the work has considerable power and appeal, and it is not strange either that it won the Tony for Best Musical in 1969, or that Toby's has revived it.
BWW Reviews: MARLEY: A Rare and Topical Event at Center StageBWW Reviews: MARLEY: A Rare and Topical Event at Center Stage
May 18, 2015

Even though the historical Marley was probably mainly thinking about apartheid when he sang these words, you could not possibly sing them on a Baltimore stage these days without making the audience think of events closer to home. Bob Marley, very self-consciously a prophet, sang for his moment, but he sang as well for the ages, which includes our own. Center Stage could not have bought Bob Marley's topicality, but it could earn it, and did. One could believe it really was Marley up there, singing right to us.
BWW Reviews: Cruella in a Mantilla?: BERNARDA ALBA at FPCT Needs Some RethinkingBWW Reviews: Cruella in a Mantilla?: BERNARDA ALBA at FPCT Needs Some Rethinking
April 21, 2015

Only a brave community theater would take on The House of Bernarda Alba, Federico Garcia Lorca's last play. Written by a closeted gay playwright at the very outset of the Francisco Franco's conservative fascist rule and savagely attacking that era's repression of female freedom, both social and sexual (and by implication other freedoms), it inevitably betrays an air of extreme avant-gardeism. Ibsen and Strindberg and Wedekind may have gone into the same territory, but as of 1936 not too many others. And Lorca drives home his message as if no one had ever conveyed it before - which was more or less true in his time and place.
BWW Reviews: Playing Marital and Mortal Odds: 13 DEAD HUSBANDS at CohesionBWW Reviews: Playing Marital and Mortal Odds: 13 DEAD HUSBANDS at Cohesion
March 14, 2015

If charming and silly are your thing, you'll have fun at Thirteen Dead Husbands by Tom Horan. Set in 'a Paris of the Imagination,' it centers around Dee-Dee (Cassandra Dutt) the 'most beautiful girl in the world,' whose stunning looks come with a serious drawback. The drawback: You marry her, you die promptly of some kind of unpredictable catastrophe. When the action starts, she has already been widowed twelve times, and has a trunk-full of wedding dresses to prove it. The question then becomes what kind of man would now seek Dee-Dee's hand, and what are his chances (of matrimony, and if so, of survival) if he does?
BWW Reviews: She's Not There: ZERO HOUR: TOKYO ROSE'S LAST TAPE Alights at TowsonBWW Reviews: She's Not There: ZERO HOUR: TOKYO ROSE'S LAST TAPE Alights at Towson
February 16, 2015

Playwright Miwa Yanagi is almost certainly right that the authorities convicted the wrong Tokyo Rose, but the main point isn't that, but rather that the spirit of Tokyo Rose was ethereal, ephemeral, and not subject to being captured, either by soldiers or even by memory. Except for recordings of her voice, she is absent.
BWW Reviews: Women's Fate in War: RUINED at EverymanBWW Reviews: Women's Fate in War: RUINED at Everyman
February 9, 2015

There is much more to the play than Mama's turn as a sort of Auntie Mame-of-the-Ituri-rainforest. It is also the unflinching story of how, in the words of Salima, men wage war "on [women's] bodies." Particularly in contemporary warfare rape is a form of combat, aimed at destroying societies. The scene in Act Two where Salima describes what happened to her is not only uncomfortable, it is a display of raw theatrical power and a tutorial about the mechanics of social destruction in the wake of rape.
BWW Reviews: A Stunning WHALE at the REPBWW Reviews: A Stunning WHALE at the REP
January 19, 2015

Trust me: you will become absorbed with these characters. You will care about who these people are and what they're going to do next. In the end the Whale's heroism matters; the motivations the dramatist tenders for that heroism don't much. It's just an interesting story touchingly told
BWW Reviews: It's a Wonderful IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE at Center StageBWW Reviews: It's a Wonderful IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE at Center Stage
November 28, 2014

At the end, the audience for this show is pulled not merely into the studio but into Bedford Falls, as the stage snow falls not only on the characters in the story set there but on the performers in the studio and on the audience as well. It is a perfectly magical double fourth-wall violation. Indeed, to state what must already be obvious, this whole show is perfectly magical.
BWW Reviews: Rebeck Loses Some Edge but the Cast Does Not in SEMINAR at FPCTBWW Reviews: Rebeck Loses Some Edge but the Cast Does Not in SEMINAR at FPCT
November 16, 2014

Seminar starts out strong, ripping into the fabric of the business of teaching fiction writing with knife-edged one-liners and characters you love to despise; then, as the plot, the characterizations, and the theme take a hairpin turn, it emerges that, no, the teaching is not a scam after all, the students' fiction has possibilities, and the characters are not what we thought them. All Rebeck's hilarious savagery dissipates. Like Rebeck's writing and show-running for the first season of TV's Smash, it is a little too affectionate toward the business and the people in it to stay as scathing as Rebeck could and should keep it.
BWW Reviews: Sarah Kane's Dazzling Apologia Pro Morte Sua, 4.48 PSYCHOSIS, at Iron CrowBWW Reviews: Sarah Kane's Dazzling Apologia Pro Morte Sua, 4.48 PSYCHOSIS, at Iron Crow
October 10, 2014

'How on earth do you award aesthetic points to a 75-minute suicide note?' asked critic Michael Billington after seeing the original 2000 London production of Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis, her final theater piece, staged 16 months after Kane's self-inflicted death (by hanging in a psychiatric ward). The answer to Billington's question is, you award aesthetic points to a suicide note the same way you award aesthetic points to anything else: Is it well-written, does it show you something new, does it move you? The answers to these follow-up questions, with this piece (which is admittedly impossible not to view as a suicide note) are yes, yes, and yes. And Iron Crow Theatre has given it simply an outstanding production.
BWW Reviews: Kinks Above The Waistline: VENUS IN FUR at the REPBWW Reviews: Kinks Above The Waistline: VENUS IN FUR at the REP
October 6, 2014

If shifting psychodynamics are your thing, this version caters to your taste. Tkel is excellent as she repeatedly changes voice and accent and affect, a Noo Yoouhk-accented noodginess and klutziness as Vanda, a Judy-Holliday-in-Born-Yesterday sprightliness as a slightly more empowered Vanda making suggestions during the reading, and a cultivated Masterpiece Theatre voice and regally bitchy style as Wanda and as maybe-Venus.
BWW Reviews: A Wonderful New Theater Inaugurated In Side-Splitting Style: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's New HomeBWW Reviews: A Wonderful New Theater Inaugurated In Side-Splitting Style: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's New Home
September 22, 2014

Wow to the theater, a three-tier structure that echoes the layout of Shakespeare's own Globe. Wow to the play, one of Shakespeare's funniest. Wow to the acting, the direction, the staging, the lighting. The audience is assured of over two hours of being in stitches.


1



BROADWAYWORLD TV

Save $$$ on Tickets to: