Sam Abney

Sam Abney

Sam Abney is a Washington, D.C. based arts professional. A native of Arizona, he has happily made D.C. his new home. Sam is a graduate from George Mason University with a degree in Communication and currently works for Arena Stage as a member of their Development team. He is a life-long lover of theater and is excited about sharing his passion with as many people as possible.

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MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: AUDRA MCDONALD Gives a Perfect Concert with the NSO at the Kennedy CenterBWW Review: AUDRA MCDONALD Gives a Perfect Concert with the NSO at the Kennedy Center
Posted: Jun. 24, 2018


BWW Review: TINKER BELL Joyfully Flies to Adventure Theatre MTCBWW Review: TINKER BELL Joyfully Flies to Adventure Theatre MTC
Posted: Jun. 27, 2018


BWW Review: LESBIANS AND THE MEN WHO LOVE THEM is Hard to Fall For at Capital Fringe FestivalBWW Review: LESBIANS AND THE MEN WHO LOVE THEM is Hard to Fall For at Capital Fringe Festival
Posted: Jul. 15, 2018


BWW Review: Monumental Theatre Company's PIPPIN is a Faithful RevivalBWW Review: Monumental Theatre Company's PIPPIN is a Faithful Revival
Posted: Jul. 17, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: George Mason University School of Dance Proves Their Worth With a Diverse DANCE GALABWW Review: George Mason University School of Dance Proves Their Worth With a Diverse DANCE GALA
Posted: Mar. 26, 2018


BWW Review: MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP Delivers a Finessed, Yet Disconnected, Persian Love StoryBWW Review: MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP Delivers a Finessed, Yet Disconnected, Persian Love Story
Posted: Mar. 23, 2018


BWW Review: The Washington National Opera's WNO GALA Pays Tribute to Leonard BernsteinBWW Review: The Washington National Opera's WNO GALA Pays Tribute to Leonard Bernstein
Posted: May. 25, 2018


BWW Review: L.A. Theatre Works's THE MOUNTAINTOP Climbs to New Heights at George Mason UniversityBWW Review: L.A. Theatre Works's THE MOUNTAINTOP Climbs to New Heights at George Mason University
Posted: Apr. 15, 2018


BWW Review: Monumental Theatre Company's PIPPIN is a Faithful RevivalBWW Review: Monumental Theatre Company's PIPPIN is a Faithful Revival
July 17, 2018

Pippin may be one of the most timeless American musicals ever written. No matter when or where it is presented, the production is easily molded to fit the social circumstances of the day. Whether the original Fosse-helmed production, the Diane Paulus circus-themed 2013 revival, or a regional production that falls in between, Pippin's journey of self-discovery is one that allows for-even encourages-reinvention and improvement. Fresh off their victory of The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company at this May's Helen Hayes Awards, Monumental Theatre Company's newest production presents Pippin as a coming of age tale for the millennial generation. The millennial spin is understandable but, unfortunately, the execution prevents Pippin's extraordinary tale from becoming more than an ordinary revival.

BWW Review: LESBIANS AND THE MEN WHO LOVE THEM is Hard to Fall For at Capital Fringe FestivalBWW Review: LESBIANS AND THE MEN WHO LOVE THEM is Hard to Fall For at Capital Fringe Festival
July 15, 2018

A good title is everything. It sets up the entire tone of a production before any audience members have filed into a theater space. Undoubtedly, Lesbians and the Men Who Love Them has one of the most intriguing titles of the 80+ shows participating in the Capital Fringe Festival. It's a shame that the rest of the production doesn't pique the same intrigue.

BWW Review: TINKER BELL Joyfully Flies to Adventure Theatre MTCBWW Review: TINKER BELL Joyfully Flies to Adventure Theatre MTC
June 27, 2018

Peter Pan is possibly one of the most commonly adapted and re-adapted works for the stage. From Peter and the Starcatcher to Finding Neverland and everything in between, there are constant tweaks and updates to this classic that make it resonate with new generations. Adventure Theatre's newest adaption, Tinker Bell, is a good family-friendly adaptation and is worth visiting just for the sheer fun. Patrick Flynn's script, however, runs out of pixie dust before the work can reveal anything about the story that hasn't already been heard.

BWW Review: AUDRA MCDONALD Gives a Perfect Concert with the NSO at the Kennedy CenterBWW Review: AUDRA MCDONALD Gives a Perfect Concert with the NSO at the Kennedy Center
June 24, 2018

With so many things to worry about or be sad about in 2018, there is no shortage of people searching for solace wherever they can find it. Thankfully, six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald provided that and more during her one-night-only concert with the National Symphony Orchestra last Tuesday. Ms. McDonald, whose limitless abilities have made her the most awarded Broadway performer, gives all she has to those in attendance. The final result is the closest thing to a religious experience one may have in a theater or concert hall.

BWW Review: GALA Hispanic Theatre's DANCING IN MY COCKROACH KILLERS is a Breath of Fresh AirBWW Review: GALA Hispanic Theatre's DANCING IN MY COCKROACH KILLERS is a Breath of Fresh Air
June 14, 2018

Summer theater offerings in D.C. tend to pull out all the stops to draw Washingtonians off of the streets and into their venues. This shouldn't be a difficult sell if there is air conditioning: after all, escaping the humidity is a high priority for people surviving summer in the District. Nonetheless, theaters pack their summers with big exciting productions from Signature's Scottsboro Boys to Arena Stage's upcoming Dave to an unknown little show known as Hamilton at the Kennedy Center. Amongst all of the madcap mayhem for biggest summer smash, GALA Hispanic Theatre has delivered a small and intimate musical that could be one of the best times you have in D.C. this summer.

BWW Review: The Washington National Opera's WNO GALA Pays Tribute to Leonard BernsteinBWW Review: The Washington National Opera's WNO GALA Pays Tribute to Leonard Bernstein
May 25, 2018

As both a celebration of the Washington National Opera and a culmination of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Leonard Bernstein at 100 celebration, last weekend's Opera Gala definitely found success. While the evening had its share of disappointments (Titus Burgess of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fame fell ill and was unable to perform; Patti LuPone, the top-billed artist of the evening, performed only two fairly short numbers) there was an undeniable electricity to the night. Previously, the WNO held an annual ball which, according to Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein, included neither opera nor a ball. Switching the format to one with a formal gala reception, an opera-filled performance, and elegant dinners hosted by Ambassadors and foreign dignitaries proved the Kennedy Center can still pull off some new tricks.

BWW Review: Theater Alliance's FLOOD CITY Gets Swept Away by Numerous TroublesBWW Review: Theater Alliance's FLOOD CITY Gets Swept Away by Numerous Troubles
May 23, 2018

The first five minutes of Theater Alliance's new production of Flood City are some of the most gripping that have graced a D.C. stage in the past year. As two women wrestle the torrential disaster which laid waste to Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889, the ensemble creates an immensely satisfying flood across the stage at the Anacostia Playhouse. Just when the dramatic storm is reaching a natural conclusion, the action is cut short by an announcement for the audience to turn off their phones. It's admittedly a humorous turn to the scene but it sets up a dangerous precedent for the remainder of the production: almost every scene is cut short just as it starts to settle into a groove. The result is two hours of wading through a black comedy that can't settle on a pace, tonality, or even a central theme.

BWW Review: Shakespeare's Befuddling PERICLES Benefits from We Happy Few's Shameless CastBWW Review: Shakespeare's Befuddling PERICLES Benefits from We Happy Few's Shameless Cast
May 21, 2018

As acknowledged by Director Kiernan McGowan's program note, Pericles is a hot mess of a show. It was only half-written by Shakespeare, completed later by George Wilkins (who isn't remembered for good reason). The incoherence of the plot reveals the fractured nature of the play's creation. It's understandable why this play is rarely produced. As We Happy Few demonstrates, however, this show can still be a fun ride if your performers lean into the script's ridiculousness.

BWW Feature: The Washington Chorus Celebrates Choral Excellence with a WEST SIDE STORY BALLBWW Feature: The Washington Chorus Celebrates Choral Excellence with a WEST SIDE STORY BALL
May 21, 2018

The Washington Chorus sure knows how to throw a party. Capping off their 2017-18 season, the organization's recent West Side Story Ball allowed the organization to showcase their strong vocalists while celebrating famed composer Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday. A festive evening such as this also underscored the importance of choral performances in classical spaces like churches: it makes the performance ten times better.

BWW Review: One-Night-Only Pygmalion and Galatea Reveals the Best of SYNETIC THEATERBWW Review: One-Night-Only Pygmalion and Galatea Reveals the Best of SYNETIC THEATER
May 21, 2018

When defining theatrical productions, people like to break down the categories into two basic camps: plays and musicals. Anyone believing those two monikers are the only labels for modern theatrical productions have never witnessed a show like that put on by Synetic Theater in Arlington, VA. As the regions' premiere physical theater, Synetic continually pushes the boundaries of what can be on stage. This statement rang true during Tuesday's one-night-only engagement of Pygmalion & Galatea created by Founding Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili and his wife, Co-Founding Choreographer Irina Tsikurishvili. This powerful and highly stylized performance reveals all the best qualities of Synetic.

BWW Review: Rosemary Cipriano Shines in EVEN OLYMPIANS HAVE ASTHMABWW Review: Rosemary Cipriano Shines in EVEN OLYMPIANS HAVE ASTHMA
May 10, 2018

There's something incredibly rewarding about a simplistic production. Once you strip away the lights, sounds, costumes and set there are shockingly few shows that can stand on their own merits. Thankfully, classic storytelling is alive and well with the talented Rosemary Cipriano who, if her recent Even Olympians Have Asthma is any indication, is ready to move to the next level of her performing.

BWW Review: Scena Theatre's 1984 Provides Thrills Despite a Slow StartBWW Review: Scena Theatre's 1984 Provides Thrills Despite a Slow Start
May 4, 2018

If you've never read George Orwell's 1984, the seminal classic examining a world that's fallen under the rule of the nameless Party and their omnipotent leader Big Brother, stop what you're doing and read it now. Or you can just see Scena Theatre's new production playing at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The show takes a while to amp up but the thrilling climax is performed with such vigor and authenticity that the true dangers of Orwell's devised society come to fruition.

BWW Review: Double Bill ZARZUELAS by The In Series Misses the MarkBWW Review: Double Bill ZARZUELAS by The In Series Misses the Mark
April 23, 2018

No matter the work, it is important to leave a theater feeling some sort of emotion. Any emotion will do, just as long as you were able to feel for the performance happening in front of you. Unfortunately, the double bill of zarzuelas produced by The In Series that opened Sunday night (playing at GALA Hispanic Theater) left minimal impact on the audience. Zarzuelas, or short Cuban operettas, take the operatic form and infuse it with the sounds of Cuba. The music throughout the evening is beautiful but almost none of the performances are nearly as beautiful or compelling as their source material.

BWW Review: WITCH at Creative Cauldron Casts an Enchanting SpellBWW Review: WITCH at Creative Cauldron Casts an Enchanting Spell
April 22, 2018

Witches are not sexy. They are a representation of centuries of oppression women did (and still do) experience for doing things they shouldn't. Creative Cauldron's new production of Witch, part of their Bold New Works for Intimate Stages initiative, simultaneously educates audiences of the injustices 'witches' throughout history face while paralleling the tales with modern struggles for equality. The evening is largely a success, revealing the ways this once deadly moniker can be a beacon of girl power for the 21st century. With America at a crossroads for gender equality, works like this are essential in sparking conversations necessary for our society's advancement.

BWW Review: Mason Opera's ALBERT HERRING is a Case Study in Untapped PotentialBWW Review: Mason Opera's ALBERT HERRING is a Case Study in Untapped Potential
April 21, 2018

It's never a good sign when, during an opera, you pay more attention to the orchestra than the people onstage. This is the kind of situation that befalls George Mason University's School of Music and Mason Opera's new revival of Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring. Britten's complex score is indeed a difficult one and Mason Opera tackles it head-on. They're never able to reach the necessary heights this work allows. This calls into question whether this selection was the right choice for this class of students.

BWW Feature: 2018 ARTS SUMMIT Looks to the Future States of America and Asks Where We Want to GoBWW Feature: 2018 ARTS SUMMIT Looks to the Future States of America and Asks Where We Want to Go
April 20, 2018

The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts can be called a lot of things: enormous, vital, intimidating the list can go on for a while. But the most crucial descriptor which Kennedy Center leadership is looking to cement is ambitious. Convening for the fifth year in a row, the 2018 Kennedy Center Arts Summit, titled The Future States of America: Using the Arts to Take Us Where We Want to Go, served as a reminder for how far artistic advocacy has come. The day also served as a sobering reminder of just how far the arts have to go.

BWW Review: Round House Theatre Tackles MASTER HAROLD… AND THE BOYS
April 19, 2018

Athol Fugard is one of the most difficult modern playwrights to perform. His shows are largely punctuated by blunt dialogue, devoid of noticeable metaphor, and rely on the creation of highly realistic scene scapes defined oftentimes by the most mundane. None of his works exemplifies this style more than his most famous work, Master Harold And the Boys. This is what makes Master Harold such a challenging work. Round House Theatre's new revival, which opened Monday in Bethesday, tries hard but doesn't prove up to the challenge of this dense work.

BWW Review: Constellation Theatre's THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE Avoids Becoming a Roundabout AffairBWW Review: Constellation Theatre's THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE Avoids Becoming a Roundabout Affair
April 17, 2018

Constellation Theatre Company's new production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle isn't perfect. It is undoubtedly a celebration of what smart allegory can be. As this small theater company stretches itself to the limits to ensure they do Brecht's seminal work justice, they make great cases for both why more people should be visiting Constellation and why Brecht's work should be examined more often.

BWW Review: L.A. Theatre Works's THE MOUNTAINTOP Climbs to New Heights at George Mason UniversityBWW Review: L.A. Theatre Works's THE MOUNTAINTOP Climbs to New Heights at George Mason University
April 15, 2018

Martin Luther King, Jr. declared 'I've been to the mountaintop' almost exactly 50 years ago on April 3, 1968. His words, a confident assessment on the future of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, echo with the same power as when he bellowed them all those years ago. Dr. King never made it to the promised land, having been assassinated only one day after his 'Mountaintop' speech. His spirit, however, lives on beautifully in Katori Hall's play The Mountaintop at George Mason University's Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 14 as part of Los Angeles Theatre Works's 38-city touring production.

BWW Review: NEDERLANDS DANS THEATER Delivers a Near-Perfect Evening at the Kennedy CenterBWW Review: NEDERLANDS DANS THEATER Delivers a Near-Perfect Evening at the Kennedy Center
April 6, 2018

There is something profound about the simple. Such is the driving force behind the Nederlands Dans Theater's (NDT) program currently playing at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Three shockingly different dances fill this two hour program and, while the dancers wrap themselves about in complex positions regularly, the emotions portrayed are always simple and translate brilliantly. Artistic Directors Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon are to be commended for their diverse and cutting-edge selections.



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