We Happy Few Productions has once again brought its signature commitment to enlivening classic theatre through bare-bones, ensemble storytelling to this year's Capital Fringe Festival. Happily, they have re-energized a 90-minute version of the Jacobean drama, THE DUCHESS OF MALFI by John Webster, and placed its prescient outrage at the subordination and persecution of women before a 21st century audience still battling this oldest of injustices.BWW Reviews: Molotov Theatre Group Horrifies with Macabre NORMAL at DCAC March 10, 2014
For theatregoers leery of cheery froth on stage---perky, feel-good family shows like 'The Lion King' or 'Matilda'---Molotov Theatre Group's production of Anthony Neilson's NORMAL at DC Arts Center, should be just the antidote for such sentimentality. Dark and sinister, Director Jay D. Brock's NORMAL falls perfectly into Molotov's mission to preserve the Grand Guignol French Theatre of Horror (which translates as 'The Theater of the Big Puppet'), which operated in Paris from 1897 until 1962. For those unfamiliar with this particular institution, its bloody, naturalistic lineage draws from Shakespeare's gruesome 'Titus Andronicus' to the shockingly violent 'splatter films' like 'Blood Feast.' With a heydey between the two world wars, the theatre's form specialized in portraying the lumpenproletariat who were deemed unsuitable material for the legitimate stage: prostitutes, criminals, street urchins, and others deep in the margins of Parisian society.BWW Reviews: Forum Theatre's PLUTO Delves into the Surreal February 28, 2014
PLUTO, the new play by Steve Yockey now playing at Forum Theatre as part of the National New Play Network's Rolling World Premier, is laden with mythological symbols scattered about a most ordinary looking kitchen inhabited by a seemingly normal mom and her 20ish-year-old son. There is the three-headed dog, Cerebus, named for the mythological creature that guarded the underworld. There is Death, who, grim-reaper like, rumbles behind the door of the ordinary looking refrigerator, seeking access to the latest of the newly dead. And then, there is the macabre backstory of the young man's father who died laughing hysterically in his sleep, clad in the new green pajamas sold to him by Death as a salesman at the local mall.BWW Reviews: GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS Soars at National Theatre December 27, 2013
The most recent version of the famous and often controversial opera, PORGY AND BESS by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin, re-titled as THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS, is now playing at DC's National Theatre through Dec. 29, 2013. The opera, which has garnered scores of awards since its first performance in 1935, has been re-mounted by the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge with a creative team including Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, who adapted the book, and Dierdre L. Murray, who adapted the musical score. THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS opened on Broadway in 2011.BWW Reviews: Political Satire Triumphs in Studio's EDGAR AND ANNABEL December 19, 2013
Constellation Theatre has mounted a breathtakingly beautiful production of Naomi Iizuka's labyrinthine play, 36 VIEWS. The play draws inspiration from legendary Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai's renowned series of woodblock prints, "36 Views of Mt. Fuji," created between 1826 and 1833. The narrative, like the 36 views, revolves around ever-shifting points of focus, leading the audience on a dizzying journey across centuries of Japanese history, art and culture. Simple this production is not, but oh what spectacular views along the way.BWW Reviews: Folger Theatre's ROMEO AND JULIET Rivets with Modern Relevance October 24, 2013
Woe unto the society that undervalues its teenage girls. From the Pakistani Malala Yousafzai's of today to the Joan of Arcs, Ruby Bridges, and Anne Franks of history, young womanhood's quest for self-determination challenges our social mores as few other phenomena do. In Folger Theatre's ROMEO AND JULIET, passionately directed by Aaron Posner, Juliet too is such a heroine, and this tragic tale of young love lost becomes a much deeper story of human rights denied.BWW Reviews: Forum Theatre Launches 'Forum for All' with Poetic AGNES UNDER THE BIG TOP September 13, 2013
In producing T.S. Eliot's THE ELDER STATESMAN-plus with their spring 2013 reading of Eliot's THE ROCK--Washington Stage Guild becomes the only theatre company in the world (as far as they can determine) to have produced all seven of Eliot's plays. And as Artistic Director Bill Largess jokingly remarked opening night, Washington Stage Guild is probably the only theatre that would produce all of T.S. Eliot's dramatic works.BWW Reviews: Ari Roth's ANDY AND THE SHADOWS Launches Theatre J's Locally Grown Festival April 14, 2013
"Myths are public dreams," wrote the renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell, "and dreams are personal myths"-a sentiment echoed by the therapist in Mary Zimmerman's 'Metamorphoses,' now playing at Arena Stage. Yet, Zimmerman's 'Metamorphoses' is so much more than dream. It is theatre as ritual, as rite of passage deep as an archetype, humorous as a limerick, and as universal as our need to love. It is a full-scale baptism in the journey of the soul as it finds its way to love. If you let yourself, especially if get front row seats, you'll get more than a gentle sprinkle of this production's amazing theatrics; you and your companion will get splashed in the waters of redemption.