Category Archives: theatre

Of Most Rare Note

TWood_Timon_134 Can a working actor get famous in one of Shakespeare’s least-famous plays? In this week’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away gratis, I profile the hardworking and versatile titan of stage and stage Mr. Ian Merrill Peakes. He’s currently appearing in the Folger Theatre‘s Timon of Athens, the “Hey Bulldog” of the Shakespearean canon.

Taking Trump Literally: Building the Wall, reviewed.

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Robert Schenkkahn’s Building the Wall, a terrifyingly plausible future-history of the Trump Administration that Forum Theatre has scrambled to shoehorn into their season, is a cry of warning that requires little suspension of disbelief.

I saw the show at Arena Stage last week in the first part of its bifurcated, two-venue run. It’s at Forum’s Silver Spring performance space May 18-17. Go. My review is in this week’s Washington City Paper, along with one of The Shakespeare Theatre’s Company’s more-is-less Macbeth.

Tinker Swinger Playwright Spy: Or, reviewed.

OR 8Given that Aaron Posner’s 2009 production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia at the Folger Theatre, starring Holly Twyford and Erin Weaver (and Cody Nickell and Eric Hissom) remains one of my favorite theatrical experiences, it’s a cinch I’d be susceptible to Posner’s reteaming with Twyford and Weaver in Or, Liz Duffy Adams’ erudite farce about seminal British playwright Aphra Behn. Here’s my Washington City Paper review.

Von Braun play Ad Astra, assessed for Air & Space


Two of my main beats—aviation/space and theatre—overlapped last week when I attended a reading of Ad Astra, a new play by James Wallert about the life of pioneering rocket scientist—and Nazi—Wernher von Braun. I wrote a post about that for Air & Space/Smithsonian, but at my editor’s suggestion we removed a paragraph where I named the four actors who performed the reading. That was the right call for Air & Space’s audience; after all, when Ad Astra gets fully staged it will likely be with a different cast. Still, the cast—all members of New York’s Epic Theatre Ensemble, which Wallert co-founded—was terrific, so I’d like to name them here. Continue reading

Nasty Women, Repped: Dry Land and What Every Girl Should Know, reviewed.

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My review of Forum Theatre’s “Nasty Women Rep,” comprised of Ruby Ray Spiegel’s Dry Land and Monica Byrne’s What Every Girl Should Know, took longer to appear than it should have, but it’s up now. These two shows sustain Forum’s reputation for bold, timely work, and I recommend them—Dry Land, especially.

Sisters of No Mercy: Three Sisters and No Sisters, reviewed.

Caroline Hewitt, Ryan Rilette, William Vaughan, Emilie Krause, Josh Thomas, Craig Wallace, Ro Boddie, and Nick Torres in Three Sisters. Photo- Teresa Wood. Bridget Flanery, Emilie Krause, Ryan Rilette, and Caroline Hewitt (Teresa Wood) .jpg

Studio Theatre is putting on a ballsy experiment for the next month or so, running a new production of Three Sisters and No SistersAaron Posner’s companion play—not in rep but literally on top of one another. I review both in this week’s Washington City Paper.

FURTHER READING: My April 2015 review of Round House’s Uncle Vanya. My January 2015 review of Posner’s Life Sucks, or the Present Ridiculous at Theatre J. My June 2013 review of Stupid Fucking Bird. And my August 2011 review of the Sydney Theatre Company’s Uncle Vanya, starring Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving.

Visions of Diana: King Charles III and I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart, reviewed.

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I’m putting y’all on notice: My reviews of King Charles IIIMike Bartlett’s marvelous blank verse political drama at the Shakespeare Theatre—and Studio Theatre’s world premiere production of Morgan Gould’s I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart are in this week’s Washington City Paper.