Category Archives: theatre

Rome If You Want To: Folger’s Antony and Cleopatra, reviewed.

Cody Nickell and Shirine Babb (Teresa Wood)

My Shakespeare professor at James Madison University, Ralph Cohen, told us Antony and Cleopatra was his favorite Shakespeare play. Robert Richmond’s new production for the Folger Theatre, with Cody Nickell and Shirine Babb in the title roles, took me back to my salad days. I reviewed the show in this week’s Washington City Paper. Individual issues are free but the paper is now for sale. It’s all very confusing.

Cody Nickell and Shirine Babb (Teresa Wood)

 

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No Jacket Required, Apparently: Talking Death of a Salesman, In the Heights, and The Wild Party on Around Town

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 5.30.55 PMYou can see for yourself what a business-casual mood I was in the day Robert Aubry Davis, Jane Horwitz, and I convened at WETA to shoot a fresh batch of Around Town segments. Perhaps you are correct that I should have chosen a shirt that is not the same shade as our studio backdrop. Hey, I don’t tell you how to do your part-time job.

I reviewed Ford’s Death of a Salesman and Constellation’s The Wild Party for the Washington City Paper. For In the Heights, the musical I herein refer to as “Lin-Manuel Miranda’s THX-1138,” I didn’t write about it. I just bought four more tickets the morning after to take my folks. Anyway, because WETA posts videos in a format that WordPress can’t embed, I gotta give you the links: Death of a Salesman, In the Heights, The Wild Party.

Information Overload: Forum’s Love and Information & Constellation’s The Wild Party, reviewed.

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A surfeit of arts coverage in last week’s Washington City Paper means it took my reviews of Forum’s Caryl Churchill experiment Love and Information and Constellation’s Jazz Age musical The Wild Party ’til now to appear. They’re in the paper this week.

Mercy Is For Closers: Death of a Salesman, reviewed.

04h_DeathofSalesman_Fords
What can you do with Death of a Salesman, a play that has never really fallen out of circulation since it debuted almost 70 years ago? Just stay out of its way. Here’s my Washington City Paper review of Ford’s Theatre’s new Craig Wallace-starring production, which I loved.

Talking Skeleton Crew and Word Becomes Flesh on WETA’s Around Town

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If it ever seems like I’m about to well, actually you or anybody else, kindly remind me that this is what happens to my face.

With the return of theatre season comes the return of me trying semi-convincingly to smile on command! Robert Aubry Davis, Jane Horwitz, and I have shot a new batch of short Around Town segments discussing a great pair of shows I reviewed for the Washington City Paper last month, Studio Theatre’s production of Skeleton Crew byDominique Morisseau and Theatre Alliance’s remount of their Helen Hayes Award-winning 2016 version of Marc Bamuthi Joseph Word Becomes Flesh. How to embed those videos here eludes me because I’m an analog guy, but I’ve got links.

Skeleton Crew: http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/3005059310

Word Becomes Flesh: http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/3005058510
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Wake Up: Studio’s Skeleton Crew and Theatre Alliance’s Word Becomes Flesh, reviewed.

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You’ve got two, two, two big shows written by and starring people of color up in the District just now: Skeleton Crew, the third entry in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit series, has the same concerns as Lynne Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Sweat but it’s a better play, and Studio Theatre’s production is built to last. And Psalmayene 24’s multi Helen Hayes Award-winning production of Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Word Becomes Flesh is back at Theatre Alliance for a remount starring the same superb cast it did last year. I review both in this week’s Washington City Paper. For which I also wrote the cover story, for some reason. It’s not like I get paid by the word, people.

Talk Shop: My Washington City Paper cover feature on Story District’s 20th* anniversary

2005-Speakeasy_I did it for the story-first marketing campaign as SpeakeasyDC-photo by Manuel Claros

The oral yarn-spinning concern now known by the moniker Story District is the subject of this week’s Washington City Paper cover feature—my fourth, I think. I’m reasonably happy with how it turned out. I only regret that I didn’t find the right space to mention John Kevin Boggs, who was a huge contributor to that organization, and to DC’s performing arts community in general, as a storyteller and instructor. He passed away in March of 2015, much, much too soon.

*Kinda. The Speakeasy open mics, which were started by Washington Storytellers Theatre (est. 1991), began in 1997. WST became SpeakeasyDC in 2005 and then Story District in 2015.