Baltimore Theater Reviews
 


A Work Song Becomes A Play: BERTA, BERTA at Contemporary American Theater Festival A Work Song Becomes A Play: BERTA, BERTA at Contemporary American Theater Festival
by Jack L. B. Gohn - 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... (more...)
BWW Review: Delicious Fun in THE CAKE at Contemporary American Theater Festival BWW Review: Delicious Fun in THE CAKE at Contemporary American Theater Festival
by Jack L. B. Gohn - 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 thousand... (more...)
BWW Review: THE HOUSE ON THE HILL Revisits a Trauma in Tears and Anger and Healing  at the Contemporary American Theater Festival BWW Review: THE HOUSE ON THE HILL Revisits a Trauma in Tears and Anger and Healing at the Contemporary American Theater Festival
by Jack L. B. Gohn - 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 w... (more...)
Post-Apocalyptic, Classically-Imagined Tragedy: THIRST at Contemporary American Theater Festival Post-Apocalyptic, Classically-Imagined Tragedy: THIRST at Contemporary American Theater Festival
by Jack L. B. Gohn - July 10, 2018

There isĀ a thingĀ Terrance 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.... (more...)
Great Recall During the Great Terror: MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN at Contemporary American Theater Festival Great Recall During the Great Terror: MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN at Contemporary American Theater Festival
by Jack L. B. Gohn - July 09, 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 an... (more...)
BWW Review: Resurrecting Teflon Ron: A LATE MORNING (IN AMERICA) at Contemporary American Theater Festival BWW Review: Resurrecting Teflon Ron: A LATE MORNING (IN AMERICA) at Contemporary American Theater Festival
by Jack L. B. Gohn - July 09, 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.... (more...)
AIN'T TOO PROUD - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS at the Kennedy Center - They Were Dancing in the Seats!! AIN'T TOO PROUD - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS at the Kennedy Center - They Were Dancing in the Seats!!
by Charles Shubow - July 06, 2018

Broadway - get ready for another homage to a great music group.... (more...)
Venue Problems Aside, Stillpointe's URINETOWN Flush With Possibility Venue Problems Aside, Stillpointe's URINETOWN Flush With Possibility
by Jack L. B. Gohn - July 01, 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.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE QUICKENING at Fells Point Corner Theatre BWW Review: THE QUICKENING at Fells Point Corner Theatre
by Tina Collins - June 15, 2018

A young woman and her baby are in danger as it becomes increasingly evident they are being haunted.... (more...)
BWW Review: ON YOUR FEET! THE EMILIO & GLORIA ESTEFAN BROADWAY MUSICAL at the Hippodrome Theatre - It Literally Has Audiences OFF Their Feet! BWW Review: ON YOUR FEET! THE EMILIO & GLORIA ESTEFAN BROADWAY MUSICAL at the Hippodrome Theatre - It Literally Has Audiences OFF Their Feet!
by Charles Shubow - June 08, 2018

It's more like a party than a musical...it's that much fun!... (more...)
THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS at Signature Theatre - A Stunning Production THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS at Signature Theatre - A Stunning Production
by Charles Shubow - June 05, 2018

Signature Theatre presents another Kander and Ebb musical for the ages.... (more...)
CAMELOT at the Shakespeare Theatre Company is Elegant, Charming, and Just Plain Entertaining. CAMELOT at the Shakespeare Theatre Company is Elegant, Charming, and Just Plain Entertaining.
by Charles Shubow - June 05, 2018

Alan Paul directs a superb cast in Lerner and Lowe's classic musical.... (more...)
BWW Review: BAD JEWS at Vagabond Players BWW Review: BAD JEWS at Vagabond Players
by Rowena Winkler - June 05, 2018

When a family deals with loss, how can they go about preserving their loved one's legacy with what was left behind? At the Vagabond Players, audiences can witness how Joshua Harmon's award-winning dark comedy BAD JEWS will immerse you on an emotional journey from beginning to end.... (more...)
Wrestling with Authentic Inauthenticity: CHAD DEITY at Cohesion Theatre Wrestling with Authentic Inauthenticity: CHAD DEITY at Cohesion Theatre
by Jack L. B. Gohn - June 02, 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,... (more...)
BWW Review: THE BOOK OF JOSEPH at The Everyman Theatre BWW Review: THE BOOK OF JOSEPH at The Everyman Theatre
by Tina Collins - May 17, 2018

The psychological arcs of history are sometimes lost in the details and dates. THE BOOK OF JOSEPH amplifies those emotional truths as it follows the Hollander family's past struggle to survive World War II and present struggle to deal with the reverberations of a past we both wish to remember and se... (more...)
BWW Review: SOUL THE STAX MUSICAL - Baltimore Center Stage Presents World Premiere Until June 10, 2018 BWW Review: SOUL THE STAX MUSICAL - Baltimore Center Stage Presents World Premiere Until June 10, 2018
by Charles Shubow - May 17, 2018

I cannot think of a more fitting way to say thank you to Baltimore Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah than attending SOUL THE STAX MUSICAL which runs to June 10, 2018.... (more...)
With SOUL, Stax Lives Again at Center Stage With SOUL, Stax Lives Again at Center Stage
by Jack L. B. Gohn - 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 perfec... (more...)
Uncategorizable, Brilliant, and Profound: Bernstein's CANDIDE at the Washington National Opera Uncategorizable, Brilliant, and Profound: Bernstein's CANDIDE at the Washington National Opera
by Jack L. B. Gohn - May 06, 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, thema... (more...)
BWW Review: TRUE WEST at Rep Stage in Columbia - A Toast to Impeccable Performances! BWW Review: TRUE WEST at Rep Stage in Columbia - A Toast to Impeccable Performances!
by Charles Shubow - May 03, 2018

Rep Stage closes its 25th season with a riveting presentation of Sam Shepard's TRUE WEST which is full of laughs.... (more...)
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Leaves a Trail of Stardust at The Hippodrome AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Leaves a Trail of Stardust at The Hippodrome
by Jack L. B. Gohn - May 02, 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. ... (more...)
BWW Review: AUBERGINE at Everyman Theatre is a Touching Drama BWW Review: AUBERGINE at Everyman Theatre is a Touching Drama
by Charles Shubow - March 19, 2018

Everyman's Artistic Director Vincent M. Lancisi directs this so-production with the Olney Theatre Cednter.... (more...)
BWW Review: FOOD FOR THOUGHT: AUBERGINE at Everyman Theatre BWW Review: FOOD FOR THOUGHT: AUBERGINE at Everyman Theatre
by Daniel Collins - March 19, 2018

Aubergine, by American playwright and television writer of Korean descent, Julia Cho, is a didactic play, heavy on pathos, but not without humor, that finds its origins in Cho's own life, specifically, the death of her father. Similarly in this play, protagonist Ray, played by Tony Nam, cares for hi... (more...)
BWW Review: Same As The Old Boss: Center Stage's Grim, Industrial ANIMAL FARM BWW Review: Same As The Old Boss: Center Stage's Grim, Industrial ANIMAL FARM
by Jack L. B. Gohn - 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.... (more...)
BWW Review: OKLAHOMA! at Artistic Synergy Of Baltimore is so Much More than OK BWW Review: OKLAHOMA! at Artistic Synergy Of Baltimore is so Much More than OK
by Kristen Price - March 09, 2018

OKLAHOMA! was not a show that I new much about before seeing it performed this week by the lovely cast and crew of Artistic Synergy of Baltimore. It's one of those classic 40s musicals that doesn't get revived much these days, but a classic becomes a classic for a reason. And while the show itself w... (more...)
BWW Review: Handing it to the Devil: Stillpointe Presents HAND TO GOD BWW Review: Handing it to the Devil: Stillpointe Presents HAND TO GOD
by Jack L. B. Gohn - March 03, 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.... (more...)