Jack L. B. Gohn

Jack L. B. Gohn


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: An Embrace of Dangerous Illusions, Stunningly Portrayed: M. BUTTERFLY at EverymanBWW Review: An Embrace of Dangerous Illusions, Stunningly Portrayed: M. BUTTERFLY at Everyman
Posted: Sep. 11, 2017


BWW Review: A Beautifully-Acted Tragedy Of Ideas: SALLY McCOY at Cohesion TheatreBWW Review: A Beautifully-Acted Tragedy Of Ideas: SALLY McCOY at Cohesion Theatre
Posted: Sep. 15, 2017


BWW Review: A Generation and a Movement Considered in THE HEIDI CHRONICLES at The REPBWW Review: A Generation and a Movement Considered in THE HEIDI CHRONICLES at The REP
Posted: Sep. 11, 2017


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: You Should Visit BYHALIA, MISSISSIPPI at CATFBWW Review: You Should Visit BYHALIA, MISSISSIPPI at CATF
Posted: Jul. 12, 2017


BWW Review: Incandescent Youth and WILD HORSES, a Heady Combination at CATFBWW Review: Incandescent Youth and WILD HORSES, a Heady Combination at CATF
Posted: Jul. 10, 2017


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: A Gripping Struggle for Souls: WE WILL NOT BE SILENT at CATFBWW Review: A Gripping Struggle for Souls: WE WILL NOT BE SILENT at CATF
Posted: Jul. 13, 2017


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


BWW Review: An Embrace of Dangerous Illusions, Stunningly Portrayed: M. BUTTERFLY at EverymanBWW Review: An Embrace of Dangerous Illusions, Stunningly Portrayed: M. BUTTERFLY at Everyman
Posted: Sep. 11, 2017


BWW Review: A Beautifully-Acted Tragedy Of Ideas: SALLY McCOY at Cohesion TheatreBWW Review: A Beautifully-Acted Tragedy Of Ideas: SALLY McCOY at Cohesion Theatre
September 15, 2017

Sally, as realized by Katherine Vary, is amazing to watch, as she constantly calculates what tactic, rhetorical, pugilistic, or personal, to employ next. When her bag of tricks appears empty to us, and apparently empty to her for a moment, she keeps coming up with one more and you can see her own delight and relief at her creativity as she yet again digs up something else.

BWW Review: An Embrace of Dangerous Illusions, Stunningly Portrayed: M. BUTTERFLY at EverymanBWW Review: An Embrace of Dangerous Illusions, Stunningly Portrayed: M. BUTTERFLY at Everyman
September 11, 2017

Bruce Randolph Nelson's portrayal of Monsieur Gallimard is authoritative: all the glibness of a would-be mandarin who cannot quite pull it off, a lyrical self-awareness that does not quite go far enough, and a touch of madness. Every line rang true.

BWW Review: A Generation and a Movement Considered in THE HEIDI CHRONICLES at The REPBWW Review: A Generation and a Movement Considered in THE HEIDI CHRONICLES at The REP
September 11, 2017

The play has aged well. Women are, of course, still grappling with some of the issues that Heidi confronts. But it is not the specific issues that make the play last and lead me to predict that there will be revivals a century hence. One thing is for sure: the pop culture time-stamps like specific songs redolent of particular years will surely almost certainly elude our grandchildren. But the interplay between bright, somewhat idealistic people and their times is bound to continue, and stories about that interplay are bound to go on holding the attention.

BWW Review: Confronting the Paradoxes of Faith in EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL at CATFBWW Review: Confronting the Paradoxes of Faith in EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL at CATF
July 16, 2017

I do not read Marcantel as indicting religion as such; she shows us how much groundedness and understanding faith gives. Every faith needs, and has, its own 'Ordnung,' but in order to live fully and well, Marcantel seems to be saying, believers will always need to transcend it. And then, as the play hints, believers will also need to return to it. Every faith journey will thus be a work in progress, forever.

BWW Review: The Bronx is Up  and Dancing to Hip Hop  in CATF's WELCOME TO FEAR CITY
July 15, 2017

Welcome to Fear City, premiering at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV, shambles along amiably, looking as if it has no more greater object than to be a loose black family dramedy set forty years ago. That is, until it dawns on you that the play's ambition is to be nothing less than a snapshot of a time and place where a lot of things happened, and one vitally important thing, hip hop, came into being.

BWW Review: A Gripping Struggle for Souls: WE WILL NOT BE SILENT at CATFBWW Review: A Gripping Struggle for Souls: WE WILL NOT BE SILENT at CATF
July 13, 2017

If by betraying her principles Scholl could prolong her life, as opposed to adhering to her principles, dying, and having no impact at all, which choice should she make? And this is not just her existential question: It is her interrogator Grunwald's as well. It would appear that Grunwald has made the opposite choice. But has he? At the very end of the play, that question is reopened.

BWW Review: You Should Visit BYHALIA, MISSISSIPPI at CATFBWW Review: You Should Visit BYHALIA, MISSISSIPPI at CATF
July 12, 2017

The virtue of Byhalia, Mississippi lies precisely in its modesty. It prescribes no rules, apart from loving one another and telling the truth, for getting through a marital and race-inflected social crisis in a small town; it simply shows how one not-overwhelmingly admirable couple does it. And at that, the true secret here may just be the jokes. Those, and the blackout line at the very end of the play, which just may bring a lump to the throat.

BWW Review: A Clash of Perfectly Opposed Titans in THE NICETIES at CATFBWW Review: A Clash of Perfectly Opposed Titans in THE NICETIES at CATF
July 11, 2017

A two-fisted drama of ideas, The Niceties may well leave you devastated, and will certainly send you out talking. Itwill keep you thinking and probably angry, regardless of where you come down on the issues very articulately debated in it.

BWW Review: Incandescent Youth and WILD HORSES, a Heady Combination at CATFBWW Review: Incandescent Youth and WILD HORSES, a Heady Combination at CATF
July 10, 2017

The group portrait of the youngsters (The Woman's younger self, her partners in crime Zabby and Skinny Lynny, the callow young men who pursue them or whom they pursue, and The Woman's big sister, aka The Favorite) in all their confusion, pain, and, most important, their exuberance and their desire to meet life head-on, even if they do not really know what that meeting will demand or entail, is the point.

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.



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