Category Archives: theatre

Fight Call: On the Welders’ new MMA play The Girl in the Red Corner

Audrey Bertaux and Jennifer J. Hopkins grapple in rehearsal for "The Girl in the Red Corner." (Darrow Montgomery)

Today’s Washington City Paper has a feature from me about a new play from the DC theatre collective The Welders set in the milieu of mixed martial arts. It’s by Stephen Spotswood, a prolific dramatist whose work I have followed with interest for the last five years or so, and it’s the first play about a bloodsport here in DC since Studio Theatre did Sucker Punch in early 2012. (I did a feature on that one, too.) You can use the link above, or pick up a dead-tree copy wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.

Audrey Bertaux and Jennifer J. Hopkins grapple in rehearsal for The Girl in the Red Corner. (Photo: Darrow Montgomery)

Epic-in-the-Brechtian-Sense Fail: Kiss, reviewed.

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Feeling compelled to write a play about war or genocide? You’ve got your work cut out for you, but God bless. Feel compelled to turn your frustration over how hard it is to write a good play about war or genocide into a play? Please stop. A lot of things are about you, but not everything.

Woolly Mammoth’s American premiere of Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón’s Kiss is not as bad as Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present, because nothing I’ve ever seen on a stage is as myopic and offensive as Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present. But it ain’t good. I break it down in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away gratis.

The Heaven Over New York: Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches and Angels in America, Part II: Perestroika, reviewed.

Tom Story, Dawn Ursula, and the cast of "Perestroika." (Danisha Crosby)

Lemme tell ya, people: It was much easier to figure out why Tony Kusher’s most recent play is lousy than it was to try to figure out why Angels in America, the epic masterpiece that shall be his legacy, is so good. You have countless other, more reputable sources on that, of course. I was just writing about the show’s latest and largest local revival, the product of a Marvel Team-Up between Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre.

While researching this review I discovered that Mike Nichols’ 2003 HBO miniseries of Angels in America earned four-stars-out-of-four for its artistic merit and four-for-four for its depiction of the nursing profession on the website The Truth About Nursing. Continue reading

Bad Times, Good Times: Studio’s Cloud 9 and Constellation’s Urinetown, reviewed.

Studio Theatre's "Cloud 9" (Teresa Wood)Constellation Theatre Company's "Urinetown."

For various critic-related, theater company-related, and publication-related reasons, my reviews of Studio Theatre’s production of Caryl Churchill’s anticolonial sex romp Cloud 9 and Constellation Theatre Company’s new production of the Y2K-era Greg Kotis-Mark Hollman musical Urinetown have taken a long time to see print. But they’re in this week’s Washington City Paper, and online, too.

All that (Inventor of) Jazz: Jelly’s Last Jam and The Lonesome West, reviewed.

My reviews of Signature Theatre’s new production of George C. Wolfe and Susan Brikenhead’s early-90s Jelly Roll Morton bio-musical Jelly’s Last Jam, and Keegan Theatre’s production of Martin McDonagh’s late-90s black comedy The Lonesome West, are in today’s Washington City Paper.  Notice is served.

Be Brief, I See into Thy End: Fear, reviewed.

Jennifer J. Hopkins, Tom Carman, and Vince Eisenson in "Fear."

I had the good fortune to interview Star Trek’s resident alien linguist Marc Okrand this week, for a video that’ll posting next week as part of Air & Space / Smithsonian’s coverage of Trek’s 50th birthday. I met Marc through his involvement in DC theatre. After the shoot, we got some coffee and talked about—well, okay, yes, about his work on various Trek movies mostly, again, some more. But we also discussed how much we both enjoyed writer/director Kathleen Akerley’s ambitious new play FEAR, which I review in this week’s Washington City Paper.

Continue reading

Sock Pulpit: Hand to God, reviewed.

Liam Forde in "Hand to God" at Studio Theatre. (Amy Horan)

My review of Studio Theatre’s terrific production of Robert Askins’ Broadway hit Hand to God is in today’s Washington City Paper.