Category Archives: theatre

2 Midsummer 2 Dreamz

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I spent a midwinter day and evening taking in two, two, two big productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from WSC Avant Bard and the Folger Theatre. I reviewed the experience for this week’s unusually me-heavy Washington City Paper.

Aniello, I Love You, Won’t You Tell Me Your Name?

Vaughn Irving, Doug Wilder, Farrell Parker, and Suzanne Edgar in "You, or Whatever I Can Get." 2015 Aniello Award winner Flying V will remount the show starting next week. (Paul Gillis)

Vaughn Irving, Doug Wilder, Farrell Parker, and Suzanne Edgar perform their musical “You, or Whatever I Can Get” in the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival. 2015 Aniello Award winner Flying V will remount the show starting next week. (Paul Gillis)

After covering theater in DC on a regular basis for seven or eight years, it’s clear to me that what I like and what Helen Hayes Awards judges like sometimes overlap but more often do not. But I very much appreciate that the Haysies created a new award eight years ago in the name of longtime DC theatre patron John Laurentzen Aniello Jr. to recognize outstanding start-up theatre companies, because making good art is difficult, difficult, lemon difficult and keeping a theatre company afloat ain’t so easy, either. Continue reading

Heal Thyself: The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, reviewed.

"The Critic." Scott Suchman/Shakespeare Theatre

I couldn’t make the Monday-night press premiere of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s twofer of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Critic and Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound last week, as I am teaching the Sweet Science on Monday nights this season. But I caught up with the show later in the week and my Washington City Paper review went up this afternoon. Stoppard’s play, especially, makes the pain of hackery burn more than usual.

When You’re a Jet Something Something: West Side Story, reviewed.

west-side-story2-1780x1254I brought my folks to Signature Theatre’s reverent, rapturous production of the Broadway classic West Side Story the week before Christmas, but due to vagaries related to two issues falling on holidays between then and now, my Washington City Paper review is only now surfacing. I filed on time, dammit. At least I think I did. Who can remember anything from before Christmas now? Holiday-time usually brings a conventional but deeply satisfying revival of a proven crowd favorite, and this winter, West Side Story is the one to beat.

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Faking and Baking: Stage Kiss and Holiday Memories, reviewed.

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They can’t all be winners, not even shows from playwrights, directors, and actors whose work you often love. Round House Theatre’s new production of Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss was a bigger disappointment to me given its pedigree than was WSC Avant Bard’s Holiday Memories, but I can’t say either one blew by Christmas stockings off. Your mileage may vary.

No More: Oliver!, reviewed.

Jake Heston Miller as Oliver! (Margot Schulman)

It’s already been three weeks since I saw Arena Stage’s new production of Oliver! Lionel Bart’s beloved 1960 musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist — but for various page-cutting reasons, my review did not run in the Washington City Paper until this week’s issue. Somehow I got through it without mentioning that Jeff McCarthy, who plays Fagan, was in RoboCop 2.

Apples to Apples, Dust to Dust: Sorry and Regular Singing, reviewed.

Sarah Marshall, Elizabeth Pierotti, Rick Foucheux, Ted van Griethuysen, and Kimberly Schraf in My review of Sorry and Regular Singing, the latter two entries in Richard Nelson’s Apple Family quartet, is in today’s Washington City Paper. I reviewed the the first pair, That Hopey Changey Thing and Sweet and Sad, when the same director and cast staged them here in Washington two years ago. If I’ve little more to say now than I said then, it’s only because the strengths of the magnificent whole are also the strengths of its magnificent component parts.