Jack L. B. Gohn

Jack L. B. Gohn


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BWW Review: Helter-Skelter, Seat-of-the-Pants Hilarity: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at Center StageBWW Review: Helter-Skelter, Seat-of-the-Pants Hilarity: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at Center Stage
Posted: Oct. 31, 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


With SOUL, Stax Lives Again at Center StageWith SOUL, Stax Lives Again at Center Stage
Posted: May. 12, 2018


BWW Review: THE HOUSE ON THE HILL Revisits a Trauma in Tears and Anger and Healing  at the Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Review: THE HOUSE ON THE HILL Revisits a Trauma in Tears and Anger and Healing at the Contemporary American Theater Festival
Posted: Jul. 12, 2018


BWW Review: When Everything Falls Apart: SKELETON CREW at Center StageBWW Review: When Everything Falls Apart: SKELETON CREW at Center Stage
Posted: Feb. 2, 2018


Post-Apocalyptic, Classically-Imagined Tragedy: THIRST at Contemporary American Theater FestivalPost-Apocalyptic, Classically-Imagined Tragedy: THIRST at Contemporary American Theater Festival
Posted: Jul. 10, 2018


A Work Song Becomes A Play: BERTA, BERTA at Contemporary American Theater FestivalA Work Song Becomes A Play: BERTA, BERTA at Contemporary American Theater Festival
Posted: Jul. 12, 2018


A Work Song Becomes A Play: BERTA, BERTA at Contemporary American Theater FestivalA Work Song Becomes A Play: BERTA, BERTA at Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 12, 2018

Bianca Laverne Jones gives us a Berta a man would want to compose a song about. Her face, her eyes, the modulations of her voice, like the song Berta, Berta itself, communicate so much more than the lines she delivers. "Berta is a voluptuous, stately Black woman with a striking countenance," say the directions. Just so.

BWW Review: Delicious Fun in THE CAKE at Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Review: Delicious Fun in THE CAKE at Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 12, 2018

It is plain that Della's resolution of the issue whether to bake a cake for Jen's same-sex wedding will call for a gingerly reassessment of her faith and her life. Realistically, it will not be solved wholesale by Della's discarding of her allegiance to what Macy dismisses as 'a book that's thousands of years old.' If Della is to find a way, it will require more subtlety and compromise.

BWW Review: THE HOUSE ON THE HILL Revisits a Trauma in Tears and Anger and Healing  at the Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Review: THE HOUSE ON THE HILL Revisits a Trauma in Tears and Anger and Healing at the Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 12, 2018

Alexandra and Frankie are shown tacitly agreeing to steer clear of the secret not merely because such circumspection is calculated to heighten audience interest; once we understand what the secret is, we can see that the characters know that if they address it, a long-buried grievance between them will have to be put on the table, and worse, they will need to rip off the emotional scabs that have formed over a terrible trauma.

Post-Apocalyptic, Classically-Imagined Tragedy: THIRST at Contemporary American Theater FestivalPost-Apocalyptic, Classically-Imagined Tragedy: THIRST at Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 10, 2018

There isa thingTerrance can't let go of, like Lear, like Othello, like Richard II. And if you're a tragic hero and you can't let go when you ought to, then bad things will happen to you and those you are close to.

Great Recall During the Great Terror: MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN at Contemporary American Theater FestivalGreat Recall During the Great Terror: MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN at Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 9, 2018

If you come to this show, do not expect to participate in a truly topical think piece about memory in a time of tyranny. You will witness instead a pair of entwined tales about rare mental abnormality and a somewhat overexposed aspect of totalitarianism. It is the telling of the tales, the acting and the scenery and, the evocations of synesthesia, by which Memoirs will work for you, or not.

BWW Review: Resurrecting Teflon Ron: A LATE MORNING (IN AMERICA) at Contemporary American Theater FestivalBWW Review: Resurrecting Teflon Ron: A LATE MORNING (IN AMERICA) at Contemporary American Theater Festival
July 9, 2018

A show about Reagan that does not explore how his personality gave rise to so much destructiveness is not going to satisfy any well-informed theatergoer. Yet such a show is unfortunately what playwright Michael Weller has given us in A Late Morning (in America) With Ronald Reagan.

Venue Problems Aside, Stillpointe's URINETOWN Flush With PossibilityVenue Problems Aside, Stillpointe's URINETOWN Flush With Possibility
July 1, 2018

Not only was the premise intriguing, then, but the treatment, and particularly the talent Stillpointe brought to this performance, seemed quite promising. As hard as it often was to work out exactly what was being said and sung, the characters certainly had the capacity to intrigue us.

Wrestling with Authentic Inauthenticity: CHAD DEITY at Cohesion TheatreWrestling with Authentic Inauthenticity: CHAD DEITY at Cohesion Theatre
June 2, 2018

The bad guy is supposed to proclaim how much he despises American values. But when we boo him, what are we booing? The foreign, the unknown, the threatening, the challenge to our self-righteousness. We don our Make America Great Again hats. But in a world where more and more of us, like the villain, are from the Outer Boroughs in one way or another, can the viewpoint hold?

With SOUL, Stax Lives Again at Center StageWith SOUL, Stax Lives Again at Center Stage
May 12, 2018

We want the same songs we (or our parents or grandparents, as the case may be) grew up with, every note of the horn arrangements, and the original singer's voices, imparting each smidgen of intonation and pacing that the original singe added to the song. A historical frame for the musical is perfect for catering to that simple but demanding taste: You want to see Otis Redding singing (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay? Fine, we've reached 1967 in the story, so here he is! And damn, doesn't he sound good?

Uncategorizable, Brilliant, and Profound: Bernstein's CANDIDE at the Washington National OperaUncategorizable, Brilliant, and Profound: Bernstein's CANDIDE at the Washington National Opera
May 6, 2018

When you hear the first few notes of the rollicking overture, you know Bernstein is genuflecting hard to Johann Strauss. Yet this is a story in which the principal characters are bayoneted, hanged, maimed, raped, prostituted, ravaged by disease, and enslaved, among other things, a story which, thematically, takes the characters and us right to the edge of the Nietzschean abyss and gives us a good long sobering look into it - not the sort of thing Strauss or Gilbert and Sullivan ever did.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Leaves a Trail of Stardust at The HippodromeAN AMERICAN IN PARIS Leaves a Trail of Stardust at The Hippodrome
May 2, 2018

What a trail of stardust the whole musical leaves! There are the sets and lighting which dazzle in their nimble evocation of the wonders of Paris, with a side-step into a fantasy nightclub that seems to be Radio City Music Hall, complete with spangled leggy chorines and dudes in top hats and tails. There is the dancing of the athletic McGee Maddox and the graceful Allison Walsh. (How many performers out there can claim true balletic chops, skill at acting and singing - and the aforementioned hotness?) And the word 'dazzling' seems to have been coined for Gershwin's music, generously ladled over the entire enterprise, and beautifully performed.

BWW Review: Same As The Old Boss: Center Stage's Grim, Industrial ANIMAL FARMBWW Review: Same As The Old Boss: Center Stage's Grim, Industrial ANIMAL FARM
March 12, 2018

The true selling point of this production is not so much a reimmersion in Orwell's masterpiece as a reminder, if we needed reminding, of the collective nausea that overtakes us in one of those periodic moments when totalitarian assaults on truth, justice and human dignity are winning.

BWW Review: Handing it to the Devil: Stillpointe Presents HAND TO GODBWW Review: Handing it to the Devil: Stillpointe Presents HAND TO GOD
March 3, 2018

This attack on sanctimonious pretensions is put across by a spirited ensemble, game with lascivious behavior, violence, f-bombs and sock-puppets, and blessed with considerable talent, including the manual dexterity to bring socks to life.

BWW Review: A Lackluster Script Spoils THE GRADUATE at Dundalk Community TheatreBWW Review: A Lackluster Script Spoils THE GRADUATE at Dundalk Community Theatre
February 26, 2018

Ben's character may be a phony pastiche, and Elaine's a confusing cypher, but in Elaine's mother Mrs. Robinson, novelist Charles Webb struck gold. Bored, lecherous, alcoholic, deeply dishonest, vengeful, and possessed of a twisted motherly loyalty, she is real and vital and scary as hell. Dyana Neal's Mrs. Robinson is pretty much perfect. She has the intimidating stare, the commanding manner, the resolute lack of curiosity about any aspect of the world aside from sex, tobacco, and alcohol, the maternal protectiveness, all down pat. If Anne Bancroft is looking down from heaven, she probably approves.

BWW Review: A Community's Accomplishment and the Homosexual Gaze: ALL SHE MUST POSSESS at REP StageBWW Review: A Community's Accomplishment and the Homosexual Gaze: ALL SHE MUST POSSESS at REP Stage
February 10, 2018

All She Must Possess does not suggest that the Cone Collection was Etta's work alone, but rather depicts it as the emanation of the entire community, including not only Etta, but her sister Claribel, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude's brother Leo, Alice Toklas, and the artists, for whom Matisse stands in as representative. It was out of that community's joy in creation and discussions of it (Expressionism vs. Cubism, for instance) that the Collection, a thing of transcendent value, is shown as having emerged.

BWW Review: No Escape from the Hall of Mirrors in THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY at Single Carrot TheatreBWW Review: No Escape from the Hall of Mirrors in THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY at Single Carrot Theatre
February 5, 2018

Disney's motto is 'Unless you're one of the most important people who ever lived, what's the point?' But there remains no point if you have no consciousness left to enjoy your importance. Hence the sight near the end of doomed Walt struggling to slow down and stretch out indefinitely the experience of his own final moments.

BWW Review: When Everything Falls Apart: SKELETON CREW at Center StageBWW Review: When Everything Falls Apart: SKELETON CREW at Center Stage
February 2, 2018

The human spirit, Morisseau seems to be suggesting, is hard to crush, regardless of the direction in which the great tides of industrial affairs may flow.

BWW Review: Helter-Skelter, Seat-of-the-Pants Hilarity: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at Center StageBWW Review: Helter-Skelter, Seat-of-the-Pants Hilarity: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at Center Stage
October 31, 2017

Most of all, perhaps, is the sense of the theater as a helter-skelter, seat-of-the-pants, totally precarious enterprise, in which people start out to cast or produce a show with no idea how it's going to be completed, without necessarily even a script, and in which the way to make the final product viable, let alone successful, is, as the script keeps saying, a mystery.

BWW Review:Everyman Hosts INTIMATE APPAREL's Triumphant Return to BaltimoreBWW Review:Everyman Hosts INTIMATE APPAREL's Triumphant Return to Baltimore
October 29, 2017

There seems to be a constant in Lynn Nottage's plays: the reality that people of color and women do not get many breaks or many chances for happiness or fulfillment. Whatever they do achieve along these lines is both hard-won and partial. In fact, that constant reality of limits on the available economic opportunity and on the available happiness is precisely the theme of Intimate Apparel. Heroine Esther (Dawn Ursula), being both black and female, looks for fulfillment in love, in friendship, and in work (as a seamstress and lingerie maker), and it seems at the end that she has obtained about all of any of these that is on offer.

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.



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