Category Archives: theatre

The Good Books: Sex with Strangers and Elmer Gantry, reviewed.

This is my last pair of Washington City Paper theatre reviews to be edited by departing managing editor Jonathan L. Fischer, who as I mentioned last week is moving on to become a senior editor at Slate. I’ll miss having him edit me every week but I know he’ll do great things there. Godspeed, Jon.

Bringing Out the DC Dead

Collage on brown package paper affixed to interior window at Fort Fringe, Oct. 5, 2014The flood of new words from me posting today and tomorrow includes this Washington City Paper feature on DC Dead, Rex Daugherty and Vaughn Irving’s “zombie survival experience” set in the former Fort Fringe at 607 New York Ave. NW, and likely, if not certain, to be that storied old wreck’s final show now that the Capital Fringe Festival has officially moved a mile and change east, to the H Street NE corridor.

The photo (click to enlarge it) is of something I saw taped up to the inside of one of the windows in the second-floor room where they used to assemble the festival’s schedule using sticky-notes on the Sunday I visited to report the story. The City Paper photographed CapFringe founder Julianne Brienza there for my cover story about the festival in 2010, and they’ve reused those pictures many times in the years since.

Notes on Champ: Fetch Clay, Make Man and ABSOLUTELY! {perhaps}, reviewed.

Roscoe Orman and Eddie Ray Jackson as Stehin Fetchit and Muhammad Ali in "Fetch Clay, Make Man."

Roscoe Orman and Eddie Ray Jackson as Stephin Fetchit and Muhammad Ali in Fetch Clay, Make Man. (Round House Theatre)

My review of Round House Theatre‘s strong production of Will Power‘s Fetch Clay, Make Man, a play about the unlikely friendship of Muhammad Ali and Stephin Fetchit, is in today’s Washington City Paper. I also review Constellation Theatre‘s update of a century-old Luigi Pirandello play, ABSOLUTELY! {perhaps}. Continue reading

Where the Wild Things Are: Synetic’s The Island of Dr. Moreau, reviewed.

The inhabitants of Synetic Theater's "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (Johnny Shryock)

This acrobatic Moreau is a rich sensual experience, one that deflates at the end but not before it has vividly dramatized Wells’s big question: Is physical suffering at best irrelevant and at worst necessary? Can we evolve by teaching ourselves to ignore it? By way of demonstrating his answer, Moreau takes a glinting blade and slices a red trail through his own forearm, ignoring the pain like he’s Peter O’Toole playing Lawrence of Arabia, or Gordon Liddy playing himself, or Gary Busey playing Mr. Joshua. (In Lethal Weapon, duh. Read a book, why don’t you.) We always hurt the ones we’re forcibly trying to improve.

My review of Synetic Theater’s new adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau is in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.

Continue reading

Wig Time: Marie Antoinette, reviewed.

My review of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company‘s production of David Adjmi‘s Marie Antoinette, starring the great Kimberly Gilbert, is in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.

Devise & Consent: Toast, reviewed.

Nope nope nope nope. And you're supposed to pay to do this!

Buy a ticket so you can spend your Sunday doing… this?

My review of Toast, dog & pony dc’s ambitious but unfocused — and deeply annoying — new performance-art-as-corporate-encounter-group piece is in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free. Also reviewed: Taffety Punk’s very fine The Devil in His Own Words.

I Don’t Think You’re Ready for This Vile Jelly: King Lear and Spark, reviewed.

Joseph Marcell as King Lear in the Globe's touring production.

Joseph Marcell as King Lear.

My review of the Globe Theater’s stripped-down touring production of King Lear – the play that inspired Ira Glass to proclaim “Shakespeare sucks”! — is in today’s Washington City Paper. I also reviewed Theatre Alliance’s production of Caridad Svich’s Spark.

FURTHER READING: I reviewed Synetic Theatre’s wordless King Lear in 2011. And I interviewed Ira Glass, who was and remains one of my heroes, in April 2008.