Tag Archives: Emily Townley

Fiery Reentry: Howard Shalwitz Returns to the Stage in The Arsonists

ARSONISTS 750x300

Gwydion Suilebhan, the playwright who by day is Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s marketing chief, knows how to tailor a pitch. He hooked me on the idea of doing a feature about Woolly co-founder Howard Shalwitz’s return to acting after almost a decade away by suggesting that Shalwitz is DC theatre’s answer to John Cazale. I took him so literally that I had a couple of paragraphs to that effect that my first draft.
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Woolly Mammoth’s Hir and Rick Foucheux’s possibly-career-capping Avant Bard King Lear, reviewed.

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My review of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’srich and fervent” production of Taylor Mac’s family tragicomedy Hir is in this week’s Washington City Paper, along with a shorter one of WSC Avant Bard’s latest King Lear — which just might be the swan song of one of DC’s most venerable actors, the great Rick Foucheux. Pick up a paper copy for old time’s sake.

Losin’ It: All the Way and The Mystery of Love and Sex, reviewed.

Jack Willis as President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Bowman Wright as Martin Luther King, Jr. (Stan Barouh)

Prince is all I’ve thought about in the can-it-really-be-only-a-day since the world learned of his death, but here are the two theatre reviews I filed earlier in the week for the Washington City Paper. Arena Stage does Richard Schenkkan’s 2014 Tony winner All the Way, and Signature Theatre stages Bathsheba Doran’s The Mystery of Love and Sex.

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A Horse of a Different Color: Between Riverside and Crazy and Equus, reviewed.

Frankie R. Faison, Emily K. Townley, and David Bishins in %22Between Riverside and Crazy%22 (Allie Dearie)

Ryan Tumulty and Ross Destiche in "Equus."

Among my other inspired headline ideas was the immortal “Race, Horse.” Washington City Paper editor-in-chief Steve Cavendish came up with the winning entry: “Crime Doesn’t Neigh.” Bravo, Steve. Herewith, my reviews of Studio’s Between Riverside and Crazy, the 2015 Pulitzer winner from Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Constellation’s new production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus.

 

Strange We Can Believe In: The Totalitarians and Kwaidan, reviewed.

Emily Townley in Rober O'Hara's production of  Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's "The Totalitarians" for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Two towering comic performances make Robert O’Hara’s “rolling world premiere” production a must-see: Emily Townley’s, plus Dawn Ursula’s as Francine Jefferson, a campaign manager who sees Townley’s Penelope as an obedient blank canvas on which she can paint her ticket out of Nebraska. The piece opens with Francine rolling around in bed in her underwear, oblivious to her simpering husband’s pleas for sex as she tries to come up with an indelible three-word campaign slogan. “Freedom From Fear” is the pithy nothing she lands on. Or, since nobody has time for that mouthful: “Fuh Fuh Fuh.” (It’s the economy of phrasing, stupid.)

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This Was Supposed to Be the New World: Theater J’s After the Revolution and Woolly Mammoth’s Detroit, reviewed

Nancy Robinette & Megan Anderson in "After the Revolution." Photo: Stan Barouh/Theater J.

Nancy Robinette & Megan Anderson in “After the Revolution.” Photo: Stan Barouh/Theater J.

I was a bigger fan of Studio Theatre‘s production of Amy Herzog‘s 4,000 Miles earlier this year than I am of Theater J’s new staging of its companion play, After the Revolution.

I can’t fault director Eleanor Holdridge‘s staging of the latter for that; I just connected more strongly to the material in 4,000 Miles. Getting to see two marvelous actors, Tanya Hicken and Nancy Robinette, offer their takes on the same character — a close approximation of Herzog’s grandmother — in 4,000 Miles and Revolution, respectively, within a half-year of each other was fun. Continue reading