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.
There is something to be said about being present in historical plays. But when the characters in the Theater Alliance's powerful production 'The Raid,' begins with the characters sitting alongside the audience in the seats that ring the performance space and announce their impending demise, we realize we are in for a more visceral experience than history books often provide.BWW Review: Vibrant Adaptation of THE LATHE OF HEAVEN at Spooky Action February 20, 2018
W. Allen Taylor's one man play 'In Search of My Father ... Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins' is more than personal genealogy. His father, unknown to him most of his lifetime, was also a significant figure in black radio -- one of the first such DJs in the country, whose jive talking show show in Cleveland had legions of fans and likely influenced another DJ at his station, Allen Freed, in presenting the day's upbeat rhythm and blues as rock 'n' roll.BWW Review: 4615 Theatre Company's WAXING WEST January 24, 2018
Individually, they might amuse the captive audience of a cruise ship. But combining five magicians in one show under the name The Illusionists has proven to be a popular attraction worldwide ever since it was first devised in Australia nearly six years ago. With its revolving casts of not quite household names in magic, the show gained a whole new cachet (ad name) when it briefly appeared on Broadway two years ago.BWW Review: In Series Visits DUKE ELLINGTON'S NEIGHBORHOOD December 10, 2017
When the opening night curtain rose on the final work of an emotional night - the last performances of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet that has been in residence at the Kennedy Center for 15 years - there was applause even before there was any movement.BWW Review: Explosive NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN at Arena Stage November 20, 2017
Nina Simone didn't write her most iconic song inside Birmingham's bombed out 16th Street Baptist Church just after four girls were killed there in 1963. But she was so full of rage she could have. It's not the only flight of fancy in Christina Ham's dynamic theatrical work 'Nina Simone: Four Women' at Arena Stage.BWW Review: The Second City's NOTHING TO LOSE (BUT OUR CHAINS) at Woolly Mammoth November 18, 2017
A condensed 'Antony and Cleopatra' at the Folger Theatre still has time for a couple of ensemble dance numbers straight out of 'Solid Gold,' a battle scene that's almost as well choreographed and a whole lot of kissing.