Their Reviews

October 21, 2014

JUST IN

The Wolfe Twins . Sophia Howes . DCMetroTheaterArts
Sex with Strangers . Peter Marks . Washington Post
Elmer Gantry . Iain Armitage (video review) 
Elmer Gantry . Keith Loria . Theatermania
Fetch Clay, Make Man . Susan Berlin . TalkinBroadway
Absolutely! {perhaps} . Pamela Roberts . BroadwayWorld
Danny Boy . Leslie Weisman . DCMetroTheaterArts
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“I don’t always agree with my fellow critics, but I still value what they have to say – it balances against my own views. …we’re the start of the critical conversation around the theatre, not the end.” Mark Shenton . The Stage (UK)

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ABSOLUTELY! {perhaps}
Closes Nov 9
Website
The critics respond to ABSOLUTELY! [perhaps}
Rebecca Evans . DCTheatreScene    Every fifteen minutes of Luigi Pirandello’s absurdist play brings a new comical gimmick
Pamela Roberts . BroadwayWorld
Ashley Ivey as Lamberto Laudisi propels the play forward with great fun and flair.
Terry Ponick . DigiNews  
a farcical, fun, obsessional fusillade of half-truths, one-liners, faux profundities and outright lies
Chris Klimek . City Paper    the lasting impression is of a joke with a long, convoluted setup and a slender, confusing punchline.
Roger Catlin . MDTheatreGuide
    this fun and fast-moving kaleidoscope of color and cunning fills the bill absolutely (and not just perhaps).
Jane Horwitz . Washington Post    eye-catching but frustrating
Michael Poandl . DCMetroTheaterArts    fast paced, colorful, and cheesy in the best way.

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DANNY BOY
Closes Oct 26
Website
The critics respond to Danny Boy
Leslie Weisman . DCMetroTheaterArts    It’s not often that theatergoers have the rug of common assumptions pulled out from under them and enjoy both the trip and the landing.
Itai Yasur . BroadwayWorld    a lively, hectic, and on-the-level comedy.

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DC DEAD
Closes November 1
Website
The critics respond to DC Dead
Ryan Taylor . DCTheatreScene   I had a hell of a lot of fun zombie-slaying my way through my old Fringe haunts. So much, in fact, that I’m already gathering a team for a return trip. Maybe I’ll even make it out alive this time.
Chris Klimek . City Paper    “The stairs up to Redrum”—one of Fort Fringe’s stifling second-story theaters—“are like the Exorcist stairs. We knew wouldn’t have to do any set-dressing.”
Jamie McGonnigal . BroadwayWorld    for thrills and screams – make sure DC Dead moves to the top of your list.

 

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DRIVING MISS DAISY
Closes Oct 26
Website
The critics respond to Driving Miss Daisy

Jeffrey Walker . DCTheatreScene  [Nancy Robinette] … the gifted actress inhabits the role as if it were written for her.
Roger Catlin . MDTheatreGuide    rolls start to finish like a well cared for Packard,
Nelson Pressley . Washington Post
 
   tools around smoothly, thanks to the confidently low-throttled, purring performances by Craig Wallace and Nancy Robinette.
Jennifer Perry . BroadwayWorld    anything but a same-old kind of production of a familiar play.
Michael Poandl . DCMetroTheaterArts    Authentic, heartfelt, and deeply entertaining…

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ELMER GANTRY
Closes Nov. 9
Website
The critics respond to Elmer Gantry
Tim Treanor . DCTheatreScene    The first Act is easy to take, if a little light; and the second Act packs a real wallop
Iain Armitage (video review)       Miss Nova, to hear her sing, is like a wonderland for your ears.
Keith Loria . Theatermania    Pollock shines in the title role of the Depression-era evangelist who has trouble balancing religion and sopranos.
Peter Marks . Washington Post    a smooth and confident ride, especially when it’s cruising along on the Bible-thumping vocal power of a cast 20 strong.
Brian Bochicchio . MDTheatreGuide    sprinkled with faith, ambition, and unbridled passion
Bessel and Brasswell . DCMetroTheaterArts     the musical numbers are the highlight of the show

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FETCH CLAY, MAKE MAN
Closes Nov. 2
Website
The critics respond to Fetch Clay, Make Man
Tim Treanor . DCTheatreScene      Power has not simply written a history play (and believe me, Fetch Clay is as much a history play as Richard II.) He has brought history to life.
Susan Berlin . TalkinBroadway    Orman brings dignity and self-possession—as well as a dark sense of humor—to his portrayal of Fetchit.
Peter Marks . Washington Post    an interesting undercard to history.
Chris Klimek . City Paper    a pair of extraordinary lead performances that meet the challenge of inhabiting two of the most famous men of the 20th century.
Sydney-Chanele Dawkins . DCMetroTheaterArts   
has race politics on its mind but at its heart this knockout of a story is about identity.
Roger Catlin . MDTheatreGuide
 
   an exhilarating night at the theater that, dare I say it, could also be considered a knock out.
Lorna Mulvaney . BroadwayWorld    the over-ambitious script and unexciting scenic design fail to live up to their subject matter.

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GROUNDED
Closes Nov 16
Website
The critics respond to Grounded
Gina Jun . DCMetroTheaterArts    an absorbing, emotionally-brimming, one-woman drama

 

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THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU
Closes Nov. 2
Website
The critics respond to The Island of Dr. Moreau
Jennifer Clements . DCTheatreScene   theatre for the haunted house set—with heightened plot, characterization, and production values one would expect
Chuck Conconi . Washington Life  
this production never feels menacing even though it has its bloody moments.
Kate Wingfield . MetroWeekly   the music and dance carry this production and they alone are more than enough to make this an exciting interpretation of H.G. Wells’ strange tale
Susan Berlin . BroadwayWorld     a chilling story
Maya Oliver . MDTheatreGuide    exhilarating to watch.
Chris Klimek . City Paper    A sci-fi tale about an island of tragic monsters is ripe vessel for the choreographers and the design team to go nuts. They do.
Andrew White . BroadwayWorld 
   Move over, Bela Lugosi: there’s a new smooth-talking villain in town, and he wants your flesh. Not to drink it mind you, he just wants to slice-and-dice it a bit.
David Siegel . DCMetroTheaterArts    not yet an altogether satisfactory theatrical production. There is something missing; a deep emotional resonance to go along with the showmanship…

 

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JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS
Closes Oct 26
Website
The critics respond to Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
John Dellaporta . DCTheatreScene    a fine-voiced quartet of actor/singers, all rich in stage presence and wit … Sometimes we’ll laugh, sometimes we’ll cry, sometimes we’ll do both simultaneously.
Kim Moeller . DCMetroTheaterArts    a show for music lovers.
Benjamin Tomchik . BroadwayWorld    charming
Andrew White . MDTheatreGuide    with Virginia Rice’s musical direction you will find yourself floating effortlessly from tune to tune.

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LA VIDA BREVE
Closes Nov 1
Website
The critics respond to La Vida Breve
Jessica Vaughan . DCMetroTheaterArts    The singers are impressive, the music is fun

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MEMPHIS
Closes November 9
Website
The critics respond to Memphis
Alan Katz . DCTheatreScene        moments that reach for power and soul, but never quite get there.
John Harding . DCMetroTheaterArts    dazzles with performers rather than spectacle
Mark Beachy . MDTheatreGuide    this musical is electrifying and a must see!
Jack L.B. Gohn . TheBigPicture    fiery, precise dancing, tuneful belting of catchy songs, great period costumes.
Steve Charing . BaltimoreOutLoud    should not be missed.
Mary Johnson . BaltimoreSun    “Memphis” proves that no smash hit is too big for Toby’s to produce with pizazz.
Amanda Gunther . TheatreBloom    it’s the dancing that turns heads.

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NEXT TO NORMAL
Closes Nov. 16
Website
The critics respond to Next to Normal
Jayne Blanchard . DCTheatreScene    affirms the manic magnificence of Kitt and Yorkey’s words and music in a visually stunning production
Tim Smith . Baltimore Sun
Anthony C. Hayes . Baltimore Post Examiner   Less than lyrical rock musical meanders aimlessly at Centerstage
Charles Shubow . BroadwayWorld    enjoyed it so much, I’m going to return to see it again!
Gina Jun . DCMetroTheaterArts    Spectacularly daring, brilliantly unconventional and bittersweet,
Amanda Gunther . TheatreBloom    The strongest performances were delivered surprisingly from the supporting characters

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THE NIGHT FAIRY
Closes Oct 26
Website
The critics respond to The Night Fairy
Jayne Blanchard . DCTheatreScene    Ditch the Disney princesses and all that pink. Fairies, especially night fairies with their dark eyes and shimmering garb of midnight blue, are feistier and more fun.
Jane Horwitz . Washington Post   
Enchants but could use a bit more magic
Julia L. Exline . DCMetroTheaterArts    
If you ever believed in the magic of fairies, then this show will bring you back to that feeling of warm wonder
Lorna Mulvaney . BroadwayWorld
   
not the gentlest of stories

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SEX WITH STRANGERS
Closes Dec. 7
Website
The critics respond to Sex with Strangers
Peter Marks . Washington Post    a high-end bodice-ripper — albeit minus the purple prose.
Jennifer Perry . BroadwayWorld    strong acting and the timely, provocative, and challenging script
David Siegel . DCMetroTheaterArts    an easy crowd-pleaser on its polished comic surface, but, oh what a delicious depth it has!

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STUART LITTLE
Closes October 26
Website
The critics respond to Stuart Little
Debbie Jackson . DCTheatreScene        Hovde works wonders with the actors portraying multiple characters sometimes at lightening speed…
Jane Horwitz . Washington Post   Start with a big, old-fashioned attic, cluttered with trunks and tennis rackets and hat boxes.
Amanda Gunther . TheatreBloom    The 63rd season kicks off with a jubilant squeak
Benjamin Reiser . BroadwayWorld     hilarious physical comedy
Julia L. Exline . DCMetroTheaterArts    The story of Stuart Little (an energetic performance by Chris Dinolfo) is an interesting one…

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THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
Closes Oct 26
Website
The critics respond to The Taming of the Shrew
Tim Treanor . DCTheatreScene    Pallas Theatre Collective, as it has in the past, shows great ambition in tackling this formidable Shakespearian comedy,
Robert Michael Oliver . DCMetroTheaterArts    not only funny and feisty but the play’s ethical conundrum is negotiated and transformed.

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THREE SISTAHS
EXTENDED!
Closes November 9
Website
The critics respond to Three Sistahs
Alan Katz . DCTheatreScene     a high-tempo musical that does Anton Chekhov proud.
Susan Berlin . Talkin’Broadway    The women drink wine, reminisce, toss recriminations at each other, and try to bridge the gaps between them—but the show only really comes to life when the women sing.
Celia Wren . Washington Post    From the moment in which these splendid performers make their entrance, buoyantly parading down the aisle as they sing a gospel number titled “In My Father’s House,” you’re always on tenterhooks waiting for another song.
Brian Bochicchio . MDTheatreGuide    a powerhouse show that rocks the house
Michael Poandl . DCMetroTheaterArts    foot-tapping, gut-busting and tear-jerking family drama 

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THE WOLFE TWINS
Closes Nov. 2
Website
The critics respond to Three Sistahs
Sophia Howes . DCMetroTheaterArts    Small, surprising moments are the pleasures of The Wolfe Twins

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