REGIONAL - WASHINGTON, DC Articles

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BWW Review: EVER IN THE GLADES at Kennedy CenterBWW Review: EVER IN THE GLADES at Kennedy Center
by Elliot Lanes - June 9, 2018

Throughout theatrical history there have been many cases where the acting and physical elements of a show have hidden the woes of a bland script. Playwright Laura Schellhardt needs to thank Northwestern University's Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts profusely for taking Ever in The Glades and giving it a killer world premiere production to hide her script's inequities. (more...)
BWW Review: HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING Goes Center Stage at Kennedy CenterBWW Review: HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING Goes Center Stage at Kennedy Center
by Jennifer Perry - June 8, 2018

A cast of Broadway and television actors with vocal, dance, and comedy chops to spare join with a much-loved featured local theater star to deliver a must-see, entertaining semi-staged performance of the Pulitzer Prize-winning (1962) musical comedy. (more...)
BWW Review: LET'S MISBEHAVE: COLE PORTER AFTER DARK at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American TheaterBWW Review: LET'S MISBEHAVE: COLE PORTER AFTER DARK at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater
by Elliot Lanes - May 22, 2018

The older I get, the more ornery and unforgiving I become. When the American Pops Orchestra (APO), under the direction of Luke S. Frazier, played the opening bars of their Let's Misbehave: Cole Porter after Dark concert in the Fichandler at Arena Stage this past Saturday evening I was concerned. (more...)
BWW Review: DON JUAN at Taffety Punk Theatre CompanyBWW Review: DON JUAN at Taffety Punk Theatre Company
by Elliot Lanes - April 10, 2018

The company that makes great theater for everyone is at it again. Taffety Punk Theatre Company's mission is, and always will be, to put out a good product while making it affordable for everyone. Tickets are $15 and there are also “pay what you can” performances. The current production, well worth the ticket price and then some, is a knockout version of Moliere's tale of the great lover Don Juan. It stars the superb DC actress Tonya Beckman in what, so far, is the role of her career. (more...)
BWW Review: ALABAMA STORY Tells A Tale about Censorship and Segregation at Undercroft Theatre
by Hannah Wing - March 27, 2018

Washington Stage Guild's production of Alabama Story is a timely story as it hints at issues of race and censorship, but it is slow moving and doesn't explore the issues presented as deeply as it could have. (more...)
BWW Review: THE WIZ at Ford's TheatreBWW Review: THE WIZ at Ford's Theatre
by Elliot Lanes - March 25, 2018

As if there weren't enough scary things in the world right now, I've come to realize that I have been going to live theatrical productions for over 43 years. That means I have been sitting in the dark for a long time (no jokes please). (more...)
BWW Review: THE BECKETT TRIO at Scena TheatreBWW Review: THE BECKETT TRIO at Scena Theatre
by Elliot Lanes - March 21, 2018

I often state that a solo show is the hardest kind of theater performance to put together because it's just the performer and the audience. In most cases, the show would be an actor telling his/her story or portraying multiple characters. Most of these are easy to follow because there is a clear story line. Now, consider Scena Theatre's latest offering featuring the dynamic actress Nanna Ingvarsson performing three short pieces by the master of easy to follow, minimalist, avant garde material...Samuel Beckett. Yes, you read that right. If you go in thinking of the three pieces as acting exercises rather than full pieces of complete theatrical storytelling, you are sure to have a good experience. (more...)
BWW Review: SHEAR MADNESS at The Kennedy Center Celebrates 30 Years of KillingsBWW Review: SHEAR MADNESS at The Kennedy Center Celebrates 30 Years of Killings
by Sam Abney - March 16, 2018

Few productions can claim to be as much of an institution as Shear Madness is to Washington, D.C. Celebrating 30 years at the Kennedy Center, this show has become once of theater's most notorious tourist traps. This comedic caper whose plot can vary wildly each night incentivizes repeat viewings to those who are true converts, proving why more than 3.4 million people have attended this production. And although the stereotype-laden script struggles when viewed in 2018, the immersive whodunnit remains an experience unique enough to justify Shear Madness's continued existence. (more...)
BWW Interview: HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena StageBWW Interview: HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena Stage
by Hope Villanueva - March 16, 2018

Prejudice and Immigration are teachable moments in Arena Stage's HOLD THESE TRUTHS, a one-man play about a young man who stood alone against the injustice of WWII Japanese American internment camps. This interview features director, Jessica Kubzansky, and actor, Ryun Yu, discussing the parallels between 1940's racial issues and policies and today. (more...)
BWW Review: GEORGE - DON'T DO THAT at MetroStage Honors British Comedienne Joyce GrenfellBWW Review: GEORGE - DON'T DO THAT at MetroStage Honors British Comedienne Joyce Grenfell
by Sam Abney - March 12, 2018

The Women's Voices Theater Festival may be winding down in D.C. proper, but Alexandria's MetroStage is looking to keep the focus on female-centered stories with their Spring Solo Series. The second of these one-woman shows, George-Don't Do That: The Music and Magic of Joyce Grenfell, is a love-filled tribute to British comedienne Joyce Grenfell who became a global sensation in the mid-20th century thanks to her intellectual satire and good natured spirit. Despite clear adoration for the play's subject, the work doesn't properly explain who Ms. Grenfell is or why she became so famous, information which would be helpful for a modern American audience. (more...)
BWW Review:  Laura and Linda Benanti Return to Kennedy Center in THE STORY GOES ONBWW Review: Laura and Linda Benanti Return to Kennedy Center in THE STORY GOES ON
by Jennifer Perry - March 11, 2018

The show, aptly titled 'The Story Goes On,' featured an eclectic set list, but there was one common thread - each song was exceptionally well sung. (more...)
BWW Review: HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena StageBWW Review: HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Arena Stage
by Jennifer Perry - March 4, 2018

This production is worthy of an audience based on the story alone. (more...)
BWW Review: Authenticity Reigns Supreme in MOM BABY GOD at Taffety Punk Theatre CompanyBWW Review: Authenticity Reigns Supreme in MOM BABY GOD at Taffety Punk Theatre Company
by Jennifer Perry - March 4, 2018

Madeline Joey Rose's solid research and attention to detail set her solo play apart from the myriad of others that have tried to introduce typical theatergoers to cultures (especially religious ones) that might be less familiar to them. (more...)
BWW Review: A Vocally Powerful CHESS at Kennedy CenterBWW Review: A Vocally Powerful CHESS at Kennedy Center
by Jennifer Perry - February 17, 2018

While Mr. Strong definitely did not fix the book issues that have plagued the show since its inception - and dare I say it made it even worse - this production is yet another example of why the show continues to be produced. The music is exceptional and at the Kennedy Center it's performed by some of the best in musical theater today. (more...)
BWW Review: NOURA at Shakespeare Theatre CompanyBWW Review: NOURA at Shakespeare Theatre Company
by Jennifer Perry - February 17, 2018

Heather Raffo's play is challenging, but ultimately rewarding. (more...)
BWW Review: FAMILIAR at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is a Must-SeeBWW Review: FAMILIAR at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is a Must-See
by Jennifer Perry - February 12, 2018

It's a powerful work and one of the strongest offerings to date in the ongoing Women's Voices Theater Festival. Under Adam Immerwahr's impeccable direction, a supremely talented cast brings out the best of the exceptional script. (more...)
BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN at the National TheatreBWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN at the National Theatre
by Elliot Lanes - February 9, 2018

Sometimes touring productions of Broadway musicals are better than their original versions. When I first saw the Tony Award nominated musical Something Rotten in NYC, I found it to be forced and too over-the-top. The current touring production, now playing DC's National Theatre, features a cast that some might say is even better than the original. While all the laughs are still there, everything feels more natural. (more...)
BWW Review: DIGGING UP DESSA at Kennedy CenterBWW Review: DIGGING UP DESSA at Kennedy Center
by Elliot Lanes - February 8, 2018

Sometimes playwrights have a good idea for a script, but can't leave well enough alone. Such is the case with Laura Schelhardt and her world premiere commissioned play Digging Up Dessa, now playing in the Family Theater at Kennedy Center as part of the Women's Voices Theatre Festival. (more...)
BWW Review: SOVEREIGNTY Reigns at Arena Stage - Cherokee Nation History Takes Center Stage in Compelling New PlayBWW Review: SOVEREIGNTY Reigns at Arena Stage - Cherokee Nation History Takes Center Stage in Compelling New Play
by Jeffrey Walker - January 28, 2018

A compelling blend of obscure history and a story seemingly ripped from the headlines, SOVEREIGNTY is a fitting entry in this year's Women's Voices in the Theatre Festival. Playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle has crafted a powerful rumination on Native American affairs and one woman's connection to her past and her own plight in the time of the 'Me too' movement. (more...)
BWW Review:  AMAZING GRACE Musical Gets Another Life in Washington, DCBWW Review: AMAZING GRACE Musical Gets Another Life in Washington, DC
by Jennifer Perry - December 7, 2017

There's a lot to like at the World Stage Theater right now. While this production and any subsequent national tour stops is likely to find its most receptive audience in people with an upbringing and faith similar to my own, it's not only for those that can recite every verse of the title song (and many other hymns) without even thinking for a minute, or can identify with the idea of God showing His presence in their lives. The idea of putting yourself on a better path after losing your way is something most everyone, regardless of faith or lack thereof, can understand. Even if the whole idea sounds schmaltzy, at the very least there's reason enough to check out the many talented members of the young cast. (more...)
BWW Review: A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES AND OTHER STORIES at Washington Stage GuildBWW Review: A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES AND OTHER STORIES at Washington Stage Guild
by Elliot Lanes - December 3, 2017

A modern day holiday season might include such activities as camping out at Walmart for a 3:00 AM special on a flat screen TV for $25.00 or playing with the latest electronic gadgets that are out there. DC's little jewel of a theater, Washington Stage Guild, takes us back to a time when people actually sat around the fireplace, told stories, sang Christmas carols and hymns and wait for it talked to each other with the delightful holiday offering A Child's Christmas in Wales and Other Stories. (more...)
BWW Review: MEJANE THE DREAMS AND ADVENTURES OF YOUNG JANE GOODALL at Kennedy CenterBWW Review: MEJANE THE DREAMS AND ADVENTURES OF YOUNG JANE GOODALL at Kennedy Center
by Elliot Lanes - November 21, 2017

What happens when the cr me de la cr me of the DC theater community come together to create a brand-new theater for young audiences musical at the Kennedy Center? The answer is theatrical magic, that's what. (more...)
BWW News: Theatre Lab School for the Dramatic Arts Celebrates 25 years of Arts in Education Excellence with Mammoth FundraiserBWW News: Theatre Lab School for the Dramatic Arts Celebrates 25 years of Arts in Education Excellence with Mammoth Fundraiser
by BWW News Desk - November 10, 2017

On Sunday, November 5, The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts hosted the 25th Anniversary Cabaret Dinner + Auction, the premiere event of the organization's milestone year. Held for the first time at the Ritz Carlton Washington, this year's Cabaret brought together around 500 artists, supporters, and friends of The Theatre Lab to enjoy great food and entertainment, and raise money to support educational programs. Through the generosity of guests, the evening raised more than $325,000 to bring the transformational power of theatre education to low-income children and teens, incarcerated and at-risk youth, homeless women in recovery, LGBTQ teens, older adults, wounded veterans, and more. (more...)
BWW Review: THE PAJAMA GAME at Arena StageBWW Review: THE PAJAMA GAME at Arena Stage
by Elliot Lanes - November 9, 2017

Some musicals from the golden age of Broadway are done to death. Let's face it, how many productions of Guys and Dolls and Fiddler on the Roof can you take? Anytime a theater chooses to produce a show that isn't seen as often as the aforementioned ones I get very excited. When they are presented well, my musical theater geekiness goes into overdrive. Arena Stage has put my geekiness into overdrive with its current production of the 1954 tuner The Pajama Game. With the exception of a production at Roundabout Theatre Company a few years back, this show really isn't performed very often professionally anymore. (more...)
BWW Review: MYSTERY SCHOOL at The Edge of the Universe Players 2BWW Review: MYSTERY SCHOOL at The Edge of the Universe Players 2
by Elliot Lanes - October 31, 2017

The pint size dynamo known as Nora Achrati is one of the area's most dynamic actresses so a show where it's just her and the audience should make for a great night of theatre. Achrati portrays five different characters in Paul Selig's ethereal and spiritual script Mystery School. (more...)

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