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BWW Review: PRAMKICKER at Taffety Punk Theatre CompanyBWW Review: PRAMKICKER at Taffety Punk Theatre Company
by Elliot Lanes - September 17, 2018

Few and far between are the times that we reviewers have a perfect night in the theater. Generally, we can find something to complain about in any given production. It could be we love the performances, but not the script or vice versa. (more...)
BWW News: HAMILTON Education Made Sure Local Students Didn't Throw Away Their Best Shot at Kennedy CenterBWW News: HAMILTON Education Made Sure Local Students Didn't Throw Away Their Best Shot at Kennedy Center
by Elliot Lanes - September 16, 2018

For many high school students, just the dream of seeing a Broadway show is something pretty awesome. Now I want you to imagine you not only being able to see the national tour of the smash hit juggernaut musical known as Hamilton onstage in the Opera House at Kennedy Center but being able to perform on that very stage on the set where it happens. (more...)
BWW Review: Theater J's The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the Kennedy CenterBWW Review: Theater J's The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the Kennedy Center
by Hannah Wing - September 15, 2018

Theater J's production of The Pianist of Willesden Lane, adapted and directed by Hershey Felder, is a timeless piece of storytelling. (more...)
BWW Review: TURN ME LOOSE at Arena StageBWW Review: TURN ME LOOSE at Arena Stage
by Elliot Lanes - September 14, 2018

The late great comic genius/activist Dick Gregory was a trailblazer for so many reasons. He told it like it was and didn't care what you thought. (more...)
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Keegan TheatreTHE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Keegan Theatre
by Elliot Lanes - August 8, 2018

Sometimes a show comes along on Broadway that leaves you saying, 'Hmm I wonder what it would be like without the large scale production?' The 2014 Jason Robert Brown/Marsha Norman musical The Bridges of Madison County is one of those shows. It had a large production concept that I felt swallowed the small story it was trying to tell. Mind you Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale gave incredible performances as the two leads and Jason Robert Brown rightfully deserved his two Tony Awards for Best Score and Orchestrations after the show had already closed. (more...)
BWW Review: THE STORY OF THE GUN at Woolly Mammoth Theatre CompanyBWW Review: THE STORY OF THE GUN at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
by Elliot Lanes - August 1, 2018

I think it's safe to say that guns in America might be one of the most divisive and important topics today. Nowadays school shootings are on the news more frequently than ever and there is usually a story every week about some kind of incident involving a gun. (more...)
BWW Interview:  Arena Stage's Molly Smith on the Continuing Importance of THE ORIGINALISTBWW Interview: Arena Stage's Molly Smith on the Continuing Importance of THE ORIGINALIST
by Elliot Lanes - July 30, 2018

You might say that Arena Stage's Artistic Director Molly Smith is responsible for some of the most socially and politically conscious theatre produced in the DC area. Her Power Plays initiative is just one example of how she presents work that entertains, educates and promotes discussion after viewing. (more...)
BWW News: Theatre Lab Takes on THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Week Three)BWW News: Theatre Lab Takes on THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Week Three)
by Elliot Lanes - July 16, 2018

So far, in our four part Vblog series on the making of The Theatre Lab School of  the Dramatic Arts' upcoming production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, we've seen much happen in a short time. The production is part of Theatre Lab's Summer Musical Institute. (more...)
BWW Review: DEADLIE AFFAIRS: ARDEN OF FAVERSHAM presented by Guillotine Theatre at Capital FringeBWW Review: DEADLIE AFFAIRS: ARDEN OF FAVERSHAM presented by Guillotine Theatre at Capital Fringe
by Elliot Lanes - July 15, 2018

We all know how hard the life of a performer can be. You inevitably have to take gigs you don't want to take in order to make some income. So, what happens then when you are a classically trained actress and the only jobs you can get are on crime reenactment shows? The good folks at Guillotine Theatre show you with their entry into this year's Capital Fringe Festival, Deadlie Affairs: Arden of Faversham. (more...)
BWW News: Theatre Lab Takes on THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Week Two)BWW News: Theatre Lab Takes on THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Week Two)
by Elliot Lanes - July 9, 2018

Last week, we started a four part vBlog series on the making of The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts' upcoming production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.The production runs July 19th to 21st for four performances as part of Theatre Lab's Summer Musical Theatre Institute for Teens. (more...)
BWW News: Theatre Lab Takes on THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Week One)BWW News: Theatre Lab Takes on THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Week One)
by Elliot Lanes - June 30, 2018

It's no secret that I think the Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts offers the best educational theater experience in our area. Their offerings this summer, as part of the Summer Musical Institute for teens, is no exception - and it's a big one. They're presenting the DC premiere of the Alan Menken/Stephen Schwartz musical adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The company only has three and a half weeks before it's four performance run beginning on July 19th. (more...)
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...)

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