When I saw Woolly Mammoth Theater Company’s production of Jackie Sibblies Drury’sWe Are Proud to Present... in 2014, it was the worst show I’d ever seen. Five-and-a-half years later, it still is. So to say that I liked Woolly’s new production of Fairview, Drury’s Pulitzer Prize-winner that made its debut last year, better than her previous work is of little value. But I liked it a lot. I appreciated it, more like.
I do understand that my approval is not required. It never is. My Washington City Paper review is here.
For your Washington City Paper,I reviewedThe Panties, the Profit, and the Purse—a series of linked David Ives comedies adapted, with shrinking fidelity, from a trilogy by the 19th century German social critic Carl Sternheim. That sounds awfully highbrow, doesn’t it? Ives is better at farce than at satire, and the show is a better document of what he likes than what he thinks. I liked it, but I’d like it more if Ives would—in the words of the 21st century social critic Boots Riley—”Sho[his]Ass.” As it were.
I’ve got reviews of two shows I enjoyed in this week’s Washington City Paper:Studio Theatre second-in-command Matt Torney’sconfident new production of Brian Friel’s 40-year-old Irish classic Translations, and Aaron Posner’sThe 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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
Studio Theatre is putting on a ballsy experiment for the next month or so, running a new production of Three Sisters and No Sisters—Aaron Posner’s companion play—not in rep but literally on top of one another. I review both in this week’s Washington City Paper.
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 Americaearned 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 →