Tag Archives: Aaron Posner

Love, American Style: Folger’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” reviewed.

The cast of Aaron Posner’s ERA-era Merry Wives dances the night away. (Cameron Whitman)

The new bellbottoms-era Merry Wives is your last chance to see Aaron Posner direct some of his (and my) favorite actors—and some welcome new faces—at the scheduled-for-renovation Folger Theater for two years. Would’ve been even groovier sans intermission, but it’s fun. Here’s my Washington City Paper review.

The Rooms Where It Happened: JQA, reviewed.

Here’s my Washington City Paper review of JQA, a new historical fiction from playwright-director Aaron Posner featuring two men and two women, all of whom play America’s sixth president.

Language Bury Her: Studio’s Translations and Folger’s The Winter’s Tale, reviewed.

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I’ve got reviews of two shows I enjoyed in this week’s Washington City Paper: Studio Theatre second-in-command Matt Torney’s confident new production of Brian Friel’s 40-year-old Irish classic Translations, and Aaron Posner’s The Winter’s Tale over at the Folger. The former as a lot of superb performers who haven’t worked a lot in Washington before. The latter has a bunch of Posner’s favorite actors (and mine), but it’s Michael Tisdale as the maniacal King Leontes who’s the standout.
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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.

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.

Law and Border: District Merchants and El Paso Blue, reviewed.

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District Merchants, Aaron Posner’s new Reconstruction-era DC gloss on The Merchant of Venice for the Folger Theatre, is an intriguing muddle; GALA Hispanic Theatre’s production of Octavio Solis’ El Paso Blue is a surrealist hoot. Both reviews appear in this week’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are still hanging on.

2 Midsummer 2 Dreamz

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I spent a midwinter day and evening taking in two, two, two big productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from WSC Avant Bard and the Folger Theatre. I reviewed the experience for this week’s unusually me-heavy Washington City Paper.

Faking and Baking: Stage Kiss and Holiday Memories, reviewed.

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They can’t all be winners, not even shows from playwrights, directors, and actors whose work you often love. Round House Theatre’s new production of Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss was a bigger disappointment to me given its pedigree than was WSC Avant Bard’s Holiday Memories, but I can’t say either one blew by Christmas stockings off. Your mileage may vary.

The Play’s the Thing, the Thing, and the Other Thing: The Blood Quilt, Jumpers for Goalposts, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, reviewed.

My reviews of — in alphabetical order — the new play The Blood Quilt, the debuting-in-the-U.S. play Jumpers for Goalposts, and the postmodern chestnut Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, are all in this week’s Washington City Paper. Except for the latter two of the three, which are online-only. Find them via the links above.

Cheks Mix: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike & Uncle Vanya, reviewed.

We’ve got an An-ton of Chekhov in DC just now, what with Arena Stage doing Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning, Chekhov-inflected Sonia and Masha and Vanya and Spike, while Round House Theatre has put together a sublime new Uncle Vanya, working from Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker’s recent translation of the play.

I review both of those in today’s Washington City Paper. I have seen Live Art DC’s staged-in-a-bar Drunkle Vanya yet, but it’s stumbling distance from my apartment so I should find the time.

FURTHER READING: My 2010 review of Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation. My 2011 review of Sydney Theatre Company’s Liv Ullmann-directed, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving-starring Uncle Vanya. My 2012 review of Baker’s The Aliens. My 2013 review of Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird, and its follow-up, from earlier, this year, Life Sucks, or the Present Ridiculous. Surely that’s more than enough.

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On Around Town, talking Choir Boy, Life Sucks, and The Widow Lincoln.

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Three new Around Town play reviews means three new opportunities to attempt to smile on command and to speak in concise sentences that end rather than trail off. (I’ll keep working on it.) This time, host Robert Aubry Davis and Washington Post arts writer Jane Horwitz and I discuss Studio Theatre‘s Choir Boy, Theater J‘s Life Sucks, Or the Present Ridiculous, and Ford’s Theatre’s The Widow Lincoln. That’s two shows I liked a lot, respectively, plus one I liked, well, more than many others did. (My Washington City Paper reviews are here, here, and here.) I am informed that the Choir Boy video aired on WETA right after Downton Abbey last night. I would’ve worn my sport jacket to the taping had I known that would happen, if not a tuxedo and tails.

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Reality Chekhov: Life Sucks, or the Present Ridiculous, reviewed.

I was excited to see Life Sucks, writer-director Aaron Posner‘s new variation on Anton Chekhov‘s Uncle Vanya, because my love for Stupid Fucking Bird, Posner’s 2013 gloss on The Seagull, was mean and true. And because I tend to like almost everything Posner does. My review is in today’s Washington City Paper. Continue reading

DC Theatre: Five Plays to See in 2015

Holly Twyford and Luigi Sottile in Signature Theatre's "Sex with Strangers."

Holly Twyford and Luigi Sottile in Signature Theatre’s “Sex with Strangers.”

In the Washington City Paper, I highlight a few of the plays I saw in 2014 that linger in my mind at year’s end and choose five I’m excited about for the first half of 2015. Happy New Year, Theatregoers.

On Around Town, talking Sex with Strangers, Julius Caesar, and How We Got On

For more on how abysmal I am at looking into a camera and smiling when someone says my name, we take you now to the studios of WETA, where I was pleased to join Around Town host Robert Aubry Davis and Washington Post arts writer Jane Horwitz last week for very brief discussions of three shows I recently reviewed for the Washington City Paper, starting with my favorite of 2014, Signature Theatre’s production of Laura Eason‘s Sex with Strangers.

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Our Pottymouthed Year: 2013 on the DC Stage, Assessed.

Drew Cortese and Quentin Maré in Studio's "The Motherfucker with the Hat," a 2013 highlight. (Teddy Wolff)

Drew Cortese and Quentin Maré in Studio’s “The Motherfucker with the Hat,” a 2013 highlight. (Teddy Wolff)

We’re wrapping up a highly rewarding and admirably trend-resistant year on DC’s stages, as I aver in this week’s Washington City Paper.

Youth Aches: In the Forest, She Grew Fangs and Romeo & Juliet, reviewed.

Megan Graves and Jenny Donovan bare their "Fangs." Photo by Chris Maddaloni/The Washington Rogues.

Megan Graves and Jenny Donovan bare their “Fangs.” Photo by Chris Maddaloni/The Washington Rogues.

I review Stephen Spotswood‘s new play In the Forest, She Grew Fangs, along well as Aaron Posner‘s oddly inert new Romeo & Juliet for the Folger Theater, in this week’s Washington City Paper. Available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away gratis. Continue reading

Theater on the TV: Discussing Stupid Fucking Bird and The Hampton Years on WETA’s Around Town

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In the unlikely event you’ve nothing better to do on this rainy Friday afternoon than watch Robert Aubry Davis and Jane Horowitz offer insightful comments about a couple of current plays while I blink my eyes and wobble my head around and emit words, then by all means: Gawk away as we discuss Stupid Fuckinging Bird and The Hampton Years on PBS. Continue reading

It Takes a Lotta Gull: Stupid Fucking Bird, reviewed

Doyle and Emma and Mash and Sorn

Doyle and Emma and Mash and Sorn

Of the stage productions that’ve moved me most in the five years or so that I’ve been semi-professionally paying attention to theatre in DC, a suspiciously high percentage of those have been directed by Aaron Posner. (His 2009 version of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia at the Folger Theatre remains my favorite thing that I’ve ever seen in a playhouse.)

Posner is the playwright, not the director, of Stupid Fucking Bird, his-flippant-but-faithful rejiggering of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, which opened at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company this weekend. (Woolly Mammoth founder Howard Shalwitz is its director.) The result is pretty goddamn delightful, as I aver in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.

How the Pest Was Won: On Posner’s The Taming of the Shrew

WEST PRACTICES: Danny Scheie, Cody Nickell, and Kate Eastwood Norris (Jeff Malet)

In Deadwood’s poetically vulgar patois, Aaron Posner’s Deadwood-inspired new The Taming of the Shrew at the Folger Theatre is “beholden to no human cocksucker.” I review it in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away gratis. Continue reading