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BWW Review: CRAZY MARY LINCOLN at Pallas Theatre Collective
by Elliot Lanes - June 6, 2017

New musicals are always a risky proposition for any theatre company, but Pallas Theatre Collective is rising to the challenge in a big way with its current production Crazy Mary Lincoln. The show is a product of the company's Table Read series, which puts the writers through a two year process of readings to work on their show before it gets to full production. In this case, the process paid off in spades.
BWW Review: Compelling, Timely SIDE EFFECTS at Taffety Punk
by Roger Catlin - May 27, 2017

As Capitol Hill seems to talking nonstop about the state of American health care at a time when it all might change, a couple of one-man plays at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop was breaking down the issues in terms that are immediate, emotional and human.
Polarbear Opens Mouth and A Story Jumps Out at the Kennedy Center
by Keith Tittermary - May 21, 2017

Sometimes you attend a performance and one of the most memorable parts is something unscripted and spontaneous, and that leaves you with a lasting impression of the performance. In Mouth Open, Story Jump Out, the phenomenal solo performance by UK spoken word artist, Polarbear, something unscripted happened and it was truly wonderful.
BWW Review: Titus Tackles Serious Issues at the Kennedy Center
by Keith Tittermary - May 21, 2017

The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences takes a bold leap in bringing this one man show from Red Bridge Arts in Scotland. Titus, a show recommended for audiences 12 and up tackles serious issues that unfortunately in today's society, children may face.
BWW Review: Delightful NEARLY LEAR Brings Kid-Friendly Shakespeare to the Kennedy Center
by Barbara Johnson - May 13, 2017

It's thrilling to discover a work of Shakespeare for the first time, especially as a kid. For me, those introductions came from old episodes of "Wishbone" on PBS, but luckily for today's young audiences in the Washington area, there's a live option: NEARLY LEAR, a tweaked, SparkNotes-length version of the dark original work, performed in a one-woman show by Susanna Hamnett at the Kennedy Center's Family Theater.
BWW Review: OUTSIDE MULLINGAR Charms at Keegan Theatre
by Jennifer Perry - May 12, 2017

This rewarding theatrical experience is a must-see for anyone interested in exploring the power of love, memory, and family in a small Irish town.
BWW Review: ALAN CUMMING SINGS SAPPY SONGS Kicks Off Renée Flemming VOICES Series at the Kennedy Center
by Hannah Wing - April 30, 2017

'Have a hanky ready!' Alan Cumming exclaimed at the beginning of what evolves into an emotional, entertaining, and engaging evening of cabaret. In the first show of the Renee Flemming VOICES Series at the Kennedy Center, Mr. Cumming, known for his role as the Emcee in Cabaret and Eli Gold in The Good Wife, took down the veil of his characters that separates him from his audience and dove deep into his own personal life. 
BWW Review: SMART PEOPLE Uses Comedy to Tackle Race at Arena Stage
by Barbara Johnson - April 21, 2017

As topics go, you couldn't pick a more immediate one than race in America. And as cities go, Washington is an apt location for a production of Lydia R. Diamond's SMART PEOPLE. It's set during the Obama era and takes on the topic of race with biting comedy. Seema Sueko directs a new run at Arena Stage, featuring a four-person cast that is combustible and exciting to watch.
BWW Review: Stellar Touring Production of FUN HOME Plays the National Theatre
by Jennifer Perry - April 21, 2017

I witnessed a stellar and - dare I say - pretty flawless production that completely and utterly immersed me into Alison Bechdel's world.
BWW Review: Pointless Theatre's .d0t:: A ROTOPLASTIC BALLET Brings Futurism to Life
by Barbara Johnson - April 14, 2017

If you've ever dreamed of seeing Lin-Manuel Miranda collaborate with Daft Punk, Pointless Theatre's .d0t:: A ROTOPLASTIC BALLET may be the closest you'll get. Heavily inspired by Italian futurist artist Fortunato Depero, the show incorporates masterful puppetry, visuals like a pop-up book brought to life, and clever hip-hop musical verses written and delivered by Navid Azeez. It's a lot of ideas wrapped up in one experience, but they cohere beautifully.
BWW Review: Coming of Age with Heart and Humor in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS at Theater J
by Jeffrey Walker - April 11, 2017

Featuring a cast of seasoned veteran actors working beside some of the DC-area's most gifted young performers, Theater J offers a sublime take on Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical look at growing up poor and horny in Depression era Brooklyn. Through the lens of nostalgia, Simon's 34 year-old play is like a valentine to a hard-scrabble upbringing sprinkled with humor, rather than the laugh riot of THE ODD COUPLE or the later RUMORS.
BWW Interview: Broadway's Patrice Covington Shares Her Favorite '80s Songs in Advance of Friday's American Pops Orchestra Concert
by Jennifer Perry - April 5, 2017

On Friday, April 7 at 8:00 PM, Maestro Luke Frazier and the American Pops Orchestra will celebrate popular music of the 1980's with a concert entitled 'You Spin Me 'Round: An 80's Dance Party' at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC. To get DC audiences ready for the party, vocalist Patrice Covington shared some of her favorite 80's songs with BWW.
BWW Review: THE LITTLE MERMAID at Kennedy Center
by Elliot Lanes - April 1, 2017

Most of us know the story of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid from the Disney animated feature and subsequent stage musical adaptation. What people forget is how dark the original story is and how a Caribbean crab and an absent-minded bird are not elements of the original story.
BWW Review: BATTLEFIELD at Kennedy Center
by Elliot Lanes - March 31, 2017

Sometimes a theatrical presentation doesn't need much to make its statement. In the case of world-renowned Director Peter Brook's Battlefield, all you need to make an impact is a strong acting company and some bamboo pieces placed strategically on the stage of the Kennedy Center's Family Theater as part of the center's Spotlight on Directors series.
by Elliot Lanes - March 28, 2017

The National Symphony Orchestra's (NSO) Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke has always put together musical programs that are fun and classy. This Sophisticated Ladies: 100 Years of Ella and Company, which played this Kennedy Center's Concert Hall this past weekend, was no exception.
BWW Review: Art Forms Brilliantly Collide in TO SAIL AROUND THE SUN at Kennedy Center
by Jennifer Perry - March 26, 2017

An aural and visual feast, TO SAIL AROUND THE SUN is wonderfully inventive and will hopefully set the stage for similar multidisciplinary programming in the future.
BWW Review: Timely New Play PETROL STATION Premieres at Kennedy Center
by Barbara Johnson - March 25, 2017

Anglo-Kuwaiti writer-director Sulayman Al Bassam's new play PETROL STATION is as of-the-moment as it gets. Drawn from politics, literature, and myth, it features Muslim characters and is densely packed with urgent themes: justice for migrant workers, autonomy for women, cyclical violence. Epic set and lighting design (Eric Soyer) conjure a windswept desert in an imagined borderland torn by civil war, a dramatic backdrop that enhances the actors' delivery of poetic lines. 
BWW Review: Scena Theatre's THE NIGHT ALIVE is Supernaturally Good
by Barbara Johnson - March 22, 2017

'May lost souls find salvation' is the tagline of Scena Theatre's production of Conor McPherson's modern Irish play THE NIGHT ALIVE. Any lost souls wandering into this production will find it worth seeing for its superb Irish actors, Barry McEvoy and Brian Mallon, alone. They're also likely to find salvation in a story that elevates the everyday to heavenly heights.
BWW Review: MNEMONIC Leaves a Deep Impression at Anacostia Playhouse
by Hannah Wing - March 21, 2017

Theater Alliance's production of Mnemonic, directed by Colin Hovde, is not just a story of migration, but of who we are as humans.
BWW Interview: Sulayman Al Bassam Talks PETROL STATION at Kennedy Center
by Heather Hill - March 19, 2017

Sulayman Al Bassam is returning to the Kennedy Center next week for the first time since 2009. The international playwright and director has had his work performed around the world, but this is the first time he will be using an all-American cast instead of his usual Pan-Arab troupe.
BWW Review: Keegan Theatre Presents Masterful PARADE, A Must See Production
by Jeffrey Walker - March 18, 2017

Co-directed with precision by Christina A. Coakley and Susan Marie Rhea, Keegan's PARADE keeps the staging simple and imaginative, cutting away clutter and using only the barest of props and scenic elements to help the story unfold. No one who has seen previous Keegan musicals, such as HAIR, CABARET, or AMERICAN IDIOT could be surprised by the quality of this rendering of PARADE; I fully expect this production to be recognized multiple times when the next round of Helen Hayes Awards comes around.
BWW Review: GRUG AND THE RAINBOW at Kennedy Center
by Elliot Lanes - March 16, 2017

Kids are bombarded with big flashy images in pretty much every form of entertainment nowadays. Those of us that grew up with theatre for young audiences (TYA) companies such as New Jersey's Pushcart Players remember how storytelling used to drive the production as opposed to spectacle driving the story. For those of you that want to introduce your children to a kinder and gentler piece of theatre, get over to the Kennedy Center this weekend for Grug and the Rainbow as presented by Windmill Theatre Co from Adelaide, Australia.
BWW Review: RAGTIME at Ford's Theatre
by Heather Nadolny - March 16, 2017

RAGTIME, currently playing at Ford's Theatre, hits a number of current, resonant themes across multiple notes with powerful ballads and a stellar cast. DC audiences, this is the show we need right now.
BWW Review: INTELLIGENCE Premieres at Arena Stage
by Jennifer Perry - March 12, 2017

All in all, I certainly commend Arena Stage, including Artistic Director Molly Smith, for taking a chance on this new work. Unfortunately, there's a ways to go to ready it for an audience, particularly here in DC where there is bound to be at least a handful of people with a pretty good understanding of the subject matter.
BWW Review: FROM THE MOUTHS OF MONSTERS Makes Powerful Premiere at the Kennedy Center
by Barbara Johnson - March 11, 2017

Inspired by (but not literally adapted from) Mary Shelley's 200-year-old novel Frankenstein, Idris Goodwin's FROM THE MOUTHS OF MONSTERS makes a powerful world premiere at the Kennedy Center's Family Theater. A two-actor play starring Shannon Dorsey and Tia Shearer in energetic, flexible roles, it sports a cool, contemporary aesthetic and impeccable sound design (Christopher Baine) - important for a play that's all about a teenager's discovery of the weight of words.

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