Tag Archives: Theater J

Video

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

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http://watch.weta.org/viralplayer/2365420189

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

Video

On Around Town, discussing Theater J’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide and Arena’s Fiddler on the Roof

We take you once again to the studios of WETA, where I was delighted as ever to join Around Town host Robert Aubry Davis and Washington Post arts writer Jane Horwitz for on-message discussions of two shows I recently reviewed for the Washington City Paper. We covered Theater J’s production of Tony Kusher’s latest play, the exhausting (deep breath) The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, as well as Arena’s square and satisfying production of Fiddler on the Roof my first. That’s the one I’ll be sending my folks to see for Christmas. Continue reading

Suicide Admission: Theater J’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide, reviewed.

The cast of John Vreeke's production of Tony Kushner's "The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide..." for Theater J.
My review of Theater J’s production of Tony Kusher’s latest play, (deep breath) The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, is in today’s Washington City Paper, just in case your own family’s arguments aren’t sufficiently academic and orotund and insufferable enough for you. Good performances, though. Happy Thanksgiving.

Freud Where Prohibited: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Freud’s Last Session, reviewed, plus some Frank (Britton) discussion.

In today’s Washington City Paper, I review two plays that mull over free will and the existence of God, both of which feature Sigmund Freud as a character. The better of the pair, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, features a towering performance from Frank Britton as Pontius Pilate.

Around 2:15 Tuesday morning, after he’d left the cast party that followed Judas‘ opening-night performance, Britton was assaulted and robbed by four or five unidentified attackers near the Silver Spring Metro stop. He underwent surgery at Holy Cross Hospital to treat a broken cheekbone. Britton does not have medical insurance. A crowdfunding campaign to cover his hospital bills (donate here) has raised over $45,000 so far.
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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.

Wilder Thing: Our Suburb, reviewed.

OUR-SUBURB-photo-by-Stan-Barouh

Some kind of technical problem prevented a chunk of this week’s Washington City Paper from being posted online. My review of Darrah Cloud’s play Our Suburb at Theater J was among that chunk, so I’m posting the full text of the review here.

Writer Darrah Cloud’s Internet Movie Database page indicates she was once a prolific imagineer of made-for-TV movies: A Christmas Romance, A Holiday for Love, A Holiday Romance, The Sons of Mistletoe, and — shades of intrigue! — Undercover Christmas. I haven’t seen those films, but the titles imply the sort of cornball mawkishness that some people — specifically, people who are very wrong — associate with Thornton Wilder’s oft-revived, Pulitzer-winning 1938 play, Our Town.

Our Suburb is Cloud’s riff on Wilder’s classic in the way that Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird was a reworking of Anton Chekhov’The Seagull, only she isn’t debating her source material the way Posner’s thrilling play did. She’s moved the action — well, “action;” she’s kept Wilder’s sense of life as a sequence of mostly prosaic moments that we are tragically incapable of appreciating   —  from the fictitious hamlet of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire in the early years of the 20th century to her native Chicago suburb of Skokie, Illinois, about 75 years later. There we follow three households, alike in rigorously striving dignity: The white Majors, and black Minors, and the Jewish Edelmans.

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