Tag Archives: The Studio Theatre

Apples to Apples, Dust to Dust: Sorry and Regular Singing, reviewed.

Sarah Marshall, Elizabeth Pierotti, Rick Foucheux, Ted van Griethuysen, and Kimberly Schraf in My review of Sorry and Regular Singing, the latter two entries in Richard Nelson’s Apple Family quartet, is in today’s Washington City Paper. I reviewed the the first pair, That Hopey Changey Thing and Sweet and Sad, when the same director and cast staged them here in Washington two years ago. If I’ve little more to say now than I said then, it’s only because the strengths of the magnificent whole are also the strengths of its magnificent component parts.

Personal Is Geopolitical: Chimerica and Women Laughing Alone with Salad, reviewed.

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My review of the U.S. debut of Lucy Kirkwood’s sprawling, ambitious drama Chimerica at the Studio Theatre is in today’s Washington City Paper. Also reviewed: Women Laughing Alone with Salad, a surreal feminist comedy from Sheila Callaghan making its world premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. For those keeping score, that’s one great play by a woman that’s not officially part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, and one pretty good play that is. Read those pieces here, or pick up a dead-tree WCP, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away gratis — and you don’t even need to have an Amazon Prime subscription! Continue reading

I’ve Got You Under My Skin: Silence! The Musical, reviewed.

Tally Sessions and Laura Jordan in the musical parody "The Silence of the Lambs" demanded.

Tally Sessions and Laura Jordan Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter and Clarice Starling, in the musical parody “The Silence of the Lambs” demanded.

Studio Theatre served fava beans as snacks on press night of Silence! The Musical. Tasteful! fuhfuhfuhfuhfuhfuhfuh.

I review the show in today’s Washington City Paper.

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.

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On Around Town, talking Laugh, Man of La Mancha, The Originalist, and Soon.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 1.02.20 PMMy regimen of smiling and sentence-speaking practice continues as I join host Robert Aubry Davis and Washington Post arts writer Jane Horwitz for another Around Town panel discussion of what’s happening on stage here in Our Nation’s Capitol and its close suburbs. In this batch of videos, which have also been airing irregularly on your public television, we discuss three shows I reviewed for the Washington City Paper and one I didn’t: Beth Henley’s homage to silent film comedies Laugh, the Shakespeare Theatre’s new production of the classic musical Man of La Mancha, Arena Stage’s world premiere play about divisive Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, The Originalist, and Soon, a new musical about the end of the world, kind of, at Signature Theatre.

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An Imperative, Not a Noun: Beth Henley’s Laugh, reviewed.

Creed Garnick (Roscoe) and Helen Cespedes (Mabel). Photo: Igor Dmitry.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Beth Henley‘s new play Laugh is not like her other plays. It’s wacky. How you feel about wacky will be a better predictor of your experience than you feel about Henley.

My Washington City Paper review is here.

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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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Do You Want to Blow a Secret? Washington Stage Guild’s In Praise of Love and Studio’s Choir Boy, reviewed.

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My reviews of Washington Stage Guild’s sturdy revival of Terence Rattigan‘s In Praise of Love and Studio Theatre’s gospel song-inflected production of Tarell Alvin McCraney‘s Choir Boy are in this’s week’s Washington City Paper. Go find a copy; they’re free! Or read them here.

In Arms’ Way: Golda’s Balcony and Moth, reviewed.

Tovah Feldshuh as Golda Meir in "Golda's Balcony" by William Gibson.

I review Golda’s Balcony, William Gibson’s 2003 solo play about the life of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, and the U.S. premiere of Australian playwright Declan Greene’s Moth in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free. Read all about ’em.

Tovah Feldshuh as Golda Meir.

Habit, Run: Water by the Spoonful and Normal, reviewed.

In today’s Washington City PaperI review the Pultizer-winning drama Water by the Spoonful at Studio Theatre and Molotov’s production of Normal, a play about the Dusseldorf Ripper.

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.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: More Hobbits and Christmas Music

In "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," Sarah Connor gets militarized.

In “Terminator 2,” onetime victim Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) gets militarized.

Thanks to Pop Culture Happy Hour full-timers Stephen Thompson, Glen Weldon, and host Linda Holmes for inviting me back on the podcast this week to talk about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and a subject closer to my heart than that one, Christmas music. Have I mentioned that I’m very interested in Christmas music?

Our dissection of that enervating Hobbit movie feeds into a discussion of second installments, and some of the ones that really work. If you haven’t seen Terminator 2: Judgment Day in a while, there’s no time like the present, Christmas T-minus five. Continue reading

More Plays About Gatherings and Food: (Half of) The Apple Family Plays, reviewed.

Ted van Griethuysen, Elizabeth Pierotti, Sarah Marshall, Kimberly Schraf, and Rick Foucheux inThat Hopey Changey Thing. (Photo: Teddy Wolff)

Ted van Griethuysen, Elizabeth Pierotti, Sarah Marshall, Kimberly Schraf, and Rick Foucheux in “That Hopey Changey Thing.” (Photo: Teddy Wolff)

The Studio Theatre is staging two of Richard Nelson‘s four Apple Family Plays, the last of which had its world premiere at the Public Theater in New York only last Friday, in repertory. The pair at Studio are That Hopey Change Thing and Sweet and Sad. My review of both is on Arts Desk now, and will show up in print in next week’s City Paper. Happy Thanksgiving.

Specific is Baby Universe-al

Baby Universe No. 7,001 isn't like the others.

Baby Universe No. 7,001 isn’t like the others.

If this summer’s crop of megabudget blockbusters aren’t floating your barge, perhaps you’ll take to heart my unequivocal endorsement of Baby Universe, the whimsical and yet nourishing sci-fi puppet show now at Studio Theatre that achieves grand scale via modest means.

The piece is a co-production of Nordland Visual Theatre and Wakka Wakka, the same consortium that did Fabrik, a similarly dark and ambitious, not-necessarily-for-kids puppet play I saw in New York five years ago. These groups are really good at coming up with unlikely material that suits their chosen medium perfectly; it’s hard to imagine what the live-action version of these shows would look like. Anyway, Baby Universe is in town through July 14.

Psilocybin Tea and Sympathy: Studio Theatre’s The Aliens, reviewed.

Scot McKenzie and Brian Miskell.

Wherein I gradually fall under the under the slow-burning spell of Annie Baker’s The Aliens, the pausiest third of her Vermont Trilogy. I reviewed its other two-thirds already: Theater J’s production of Baker’s Body Awareness back in September, and Studio’s production of her Circle Mirror Transformation two years ago.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Repast is Prologue: Studio’s The Big Meal, reviewed, plus a Commedia Hamlet and a pair of Shavian sex comedies

Chris Genebach and Hyla Matthews in Studio Theatre’s THE BIG MEAL. (Carol Pratt)

With three reviews in today’s City Paper, you’d think all I did last weekend was go to plays*. Besides Studio’s wonderful production of Dan LeFranc‘s The Big Meal, I saw Faction of Fools‘s Commedia take on Hamlet, repurposed as Hamlecchino, Clown Prince of Denmark. Plus a Shavian two-fer from Washington Stage Guild. Continue reading

Do the Fight Thing: More on Sucker Punch, now that I’ve seen it.

Sheldon Best & Manny Brown in Studio's SUCKER PUNCH (Scott Suchman)

I did a follow-up to my Washington City Paper feature about the fight choreography in the Studio Theatre’s current U.S. premiere of Roy Williams’s boxing play Sucker Punch after the play had opened, and after the Washington Post had run their subsequent story on the same topic.

The Fight Stuff: Selling the boxing in Studio Theatre’s Sucker Punch

Please read my feature in today’s Washington City Paper about the fight direction in Studio Theatre‘s U.S. premiere of Roy Williams‘s Sucker Punch.

It never occurred to me to check into this until I started working on this story, but did you know that there is no Tony Awards category, nor is there, closer to home, a Helen Hayes Awards category for excellence in fight direction? Madness!

If you live in or will be visiting Our Nation’s Capitol on a Wednesday evening, drop me a line and you can come to my boxing class for free just for mentioning this story. You don’t even have to read it, because how would I know? We’re on the honor system here. And only you know if you’re an honorable person or not. Continue reading

Days of Futures Past: Astro Boy and the God of Comics, reviewed

The God of Comics and Astro Boy -- Clark Young and Karen O'Connell -- in ASTRO BOY AND THE GOD OF COMICS

In today’s City Paper, I review Studio Theatre‘s world premiere sci-fi spectacle-cum-artist biography Astro Boy and the God of Comics, along with Banished? Productions‘ dance piece/memory play Into the Dollhouse.

Self-Convicted: Lauren Weedman’s BUST, reviewed

Not that bust. Grow up.

I wrote about writer/actor/comic/onetime Daily Show correspondent Lauren Weedman’s one-woman-show for the City Paper.