Roger Catlin is a Washington based arts writer whose work appears regularly in The Washington Post and SmithsonianMagazine.com. He has also written for Salon and Al-Jazeera and was a staff writer for The Hartford Courant in Connecticut for longer than he would like to tell you.
Bad singers make interesting stories. After Meryl Streep got an Oscar nomination for her role as the classical world's Florence Foster Jenkins, last year, here comes Broadway's Debra Monk, warbling the pop repertoire of a mid-1960s musical misfit in a new musical full of Great White Way pedigree.BWW Review: Theater J's Brainy THE HOW AND THE WHY February 23, 2017
If the current state of U.S. relations with Russia seems dark and murky, it's opposite that in the Mariinsky Ballet's current offering at the Kennedy Center. The Little Humpbacked Horse is sunny and simple, light-hearted and soaring.BWW Review: Momentum Dance Theatre's JAZZ HIP HOP NUTCRACKER December 13, 2016
Of the variations of Tchaikovsky's classics that take over the holiday season, Duke Ellington's 'The Nutcracker Suite' is one that's had staying power. The 1960 arrangement with Billy Strayhorn showed an irreverent, relaxed, cool jazz approach, with a sense of humor.BWW Review: In Series Stages Rare GOYESCAS December 12, 2016
As expected this time of year as TV ads, wreaths and shopping center crowds, 'The Nutcracker' has by now gone beyond being merely a beloved holiday tradition to possibly being the country's most performed work of any type - dance, music or theater. Multiple productions of it appear in dozens of cities year after year and is as much a part of family custom by now as opening presents.BWW Review: Open Circle Returns with THE WHO's TOMMY November 14, 2016
Before ballet stages everywhere become crowded with nutcrackers and their gala holiday accouterments, there is still time for other sturdy folk tales of enchantment set to Russian music and popular with children with which to spin off imaginative ballets.BWW Review: KISS is Not Just a Kiss at Woolly Mammoth October 17, 2016
I wish you could see 'Kiss' at Woolly Mammoth Theatre the way I did: Without a lot of advance insight, no prior research and only the vague knowledge it was an adaptation of a foreign play.BWW Review: THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING at Arena October 17, 2016
One of the failings of human beings is the hesitance to visit those who have lost loved ones. We wonder about the right thing to say when the actual requirement is to be present and to listen. That's all that's asked of audience members for 'The Year of Magical Thinking,' Joan Didion's adaptation of her own award-winning memoir into a one-woman play, now at Arena Stage.BWW Review: Powerful ILIAD at Taffety Punk October 10, 2016
Those people building ambitious commercial haunted houses this month might just call if quits when they see how much they've been outdone by the inventiveness and intent of Synetic Theater's 'Dante's Inferno.'