Jack L. B. Gohn

Jack L. B. Gohn


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

LAST 365 DAYS

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


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


'Not Entirely Honest' an Understatement in REP Stage's Obscure But Funny THINGS THAT ARE ROUND'Not Entirely Honest' an Understatement in REP Stage's Obscure But Funny THINGS THAT ARE ROUND
Posted: Nov. 3, 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


How The Assembly Line Ended: SWEAT at Everyman TheatreHow The Assembly Line Ended: SWEAT at Everyman Theatre
Posted: Oct. 29, 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


Wild Wilde: A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE at Scena TheatreWild Wilde: A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE at Scena Theatre
November 7, 2018

If you go expecting, as it were, wild Wilde, you won't be disappointed.

'Not Entirely Honest' an Understatement in REP Stage's Obscure But Funny THINGS THAT ARE ROUND'Not Entirely Honest' an Understatement in REP Stage's Obscure But Funny THINGS THAT ARE ROUND
November 3, 2018

While basic questions about what the characters are doing or why are never fully resolved (nor do they need to be), the debatable and sometimes contradictory answers each character gives to these questions form the basis of a relationship that dramatically and comically changes as the play progresses.

How The Assembly Line Ended: SWEAT at Everyman TheatreHow The Assembly Line Ended: SWEAT at Everyman Theatre
October 29, 2018

This industrial Eden will not end well. And end badly it does, as playwright Lynn Nottage tightens the grip of the catastrophe step by slow step. We all know the historical outlines of the story enough to have a general idea what to expect: management ready to break unions to exact wage and benefits concessions, scab laborers, jobs exported abroad, plant closures, mortgage foreclosures, destitution, opioids. But Nottage renders this familiar tale powerful and surprising.

BWW Review: Drinking from a Firehose with STICK FLY at Fells Point Corner TheatreBWW Review: Drinking from a Firehose with STICK FLY at Fells Point Corner Theatre
October 26, 2018

Audiences should approach Stick Fly, with the expectation that they will not understand all of it, fully grasp any character's motives or thoughts and/or playwright Lydia R. Diamond's position on many of the issues she aerates - and that that's okay. The fun is in just watching it happen.

SPRING AWAKENING Well-Sung and Well-Performed by StillpointeSPRING AWAKENING Well-Sung and Well-Performed by Stillpointe
October 14, 2018

With acting and singing at this level, and with such a strong, moving work, this rendering of Spring Awakening packs a punch, and will reward any evening's theater-going.

Judith Ivey Enjoyably Gives Us CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF As A Love Story at Center StageJudith Ivey Enjoyably Gives Us CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF As A Love Story at Center Stage
September 22, 2018

Because Williams has so successfully gotten us cheering for Maggie, we in the audience would very much like to see Maggie triumphantly dragging Brick into bed in the final frame, and an interpretation like director Judith Ivey's, which all but promises that, is bound to be a crowd-pleaser. But if a director chooses to make that easy initial choice, that will be about the last easy thing the director will find in this play.

Mocking a Personality Cult: PUTIN ON ICE at Single CarrotMocking a Personality Cult: PUTIN ON ICE at Single Carrot
September 17, 2018

In a short 2016 profile in American Theatre, Russian emigre director Yury Ornov expounded on the freedoms of theater: 'You can hate people; you can do a hate show about Putin, for example, or about your ex-wife.' It seems that Lola B. Pierson's Putin On Ice (That Isn't the Real Title of This Show) is the hate show about Putin that Urnov, a close associate of Pierson through Baltimore's Acme Corporation, had in mind. (That said, Genevieve de Mahy, the Artistic Director of Single Carrot Theatre, on whose premises that show, a joint production with the Acme Corporation, is now playing, claims in a program note that the idea came from Single Carrot.) In the same profile just mentioned, Ornov emphasized how important and liberating it was to laugh at the things that distress us. Putin On Ice is nothing if not funny, though, as my companion on press night pointed out, there was a risk, throughout most of the show, that the laughs would ultimately obscure the seriousness and the threat of its subject.

Literary Lovers, or Just Canny Operators?: SEX WITH STRANGERS at FPCT Makes You DecideLiterary Lovers, or Just Canny Operators?: SEX WITH STRANGERS at FPCT Makes You Decide
September 15, 2018

The play will certainly keep challenging you the way a puzzle does. It begins, no doubt portentously, with a question that it never completely answers (Olivia to Ethan 'Who are you?') and it ends with deliberate lack of clarity over whether the characters have any future. In short, this is theater which keeps the audience on its toes, no matter what label you slap on it.

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.



1