Monthly Archives: March 2016

Totalitarian Recall: 1984 and The Pillowman, reviewed.

press_Pillowman_016-(ZF-0775-61295-1-016)

My reviews of the British theatre collective Headlong’s adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984, and Forum Theatre’s new staging of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, are in today’s Washington City Paper. Continue reading

Advertisements

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, reviewed.

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

There’s lots of stuff I didn’t have room for in my NPR review of this enervating zeppelin-crash of a superhero flick, but first things first: Gotham City and Metropolis are just across the bay from one another? So close that a person who doesn’t have Super-eyesight can see the Bat-signal lighting up the sky over Gotham… from Metropolis? Continue reading

George Jones Talks About His Greatest Lines

My review of Rich Kienzle’s new biography The Grand Tour: The Life and Music of George Jones, is in Sunday’s Washington Post. There’s probably some other stuff in there that would be good to read, too, I bet.

Here’s a paragraph I had to cut for space.

Amid his dutiful, carefully sourced recounting of booze-lubricated recording sessions and singles, Kienzle highlights some amusingly unexpected sides of Jones, like when he told his ex-wife Tammy Wynette in a 1980 interview in Country Music (a magazine Kienzle contributed to for 24 of its 31 years) that if he had to find a second career he would enjoy being an interior decorator. He might fare better than he did as the proprietor of three outdoor country music parks, which he opened at three different points in his life and quickly abandoned. He was also wanton enough with his brand to lend it to random products: George Jones Country Sausage and, also, troublingly, George Jones Country Gold Dog Food and Cat Food. Kienzle notes that a TV spot for the latter was called “George Jones Talks About His Greatest Lines.” If a TV commercial has to have a title, that’s either an unfortunate one or a brilliant one for a pitch from a man whose life and career were so damaged by an eight-year dalliance with cocaine.

I wouldn’t ordinarily be so flip discussing something as serious as an addiction problem, but that ad beggars belief.

Popcorn Psychology: Signature’s The Flick, reviewed.

Thaddeus McCants, Laura C. Harris, and Evan Casey in Signature Theatre's "The Flick."

I review Signature Theatre’s production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic drama The Flick in this week’s Washington City Paper. It’s the fourth Annie Baker play I’ve reviewed — five if you count her translation of Uncle Vanya — and the second in which I’ve quoted a heckler. Maybe I wouldn’t have done that had I remembered doing it in my review of Studio Theatre’s The Aliens three-and-a-half years ago.

Further reading, if you really want to see me struggle not to repeat myself: Circle Mirror Transformation, from 2010, and Body Awareness, from 2012.

A Silver Spoonful of Sugar: The Lion, reviewed.

hires_thelion_02I struggled with my Washington City Paper review of The Lion, a strong, brief one-man musical play by the singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer. This was a case where learning about the circumstances of the show’s creation—as one is wont to do when writing about art—made me like it less in hindsight than I did the moment the performance ended. Is that fair? I’m still not sure. You can observe my attempt to work through my consternation while still giving the artist his due here.

Less Is Moor: Othello, reviewed.

Ryman Sneed and Faran Tahir in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of "Othello," directed by Ron Daniels. (Scott Suchman)

I reviewed the Shakespeare Theatre Company‘s new Ron Daniels-directed Othello, starring Jinn‘s Faran Tahir as the Moor of Venice, for the Washington City Paper. Jonno Roberts’ Iago is the best reason to go.

Protection Derail: London Has Fallen, reviewed.

LHFDavidAppleby_CS25_030715_0014.NEF

London Calling is a great album. London Has Fallen is a shitty movie. For NPR.