A near victory for Kander and Pierce’s Kid Victory

Jeffry Denman as Michael, Bobby Smith, Ensemble, Jake Winn as Luke, Parker Drown and Laura Darrell, Ensemble in Kid Victory (Photo: Margot Schulman)

At its best, Kid Victory is a secular high mass, both sacred and profane, with insight as sweet as its music, and music as sweet as honey from the Garden of Eden. And then, there are other times.

Shear Madness: Still crazy after all these years

Shear Madness cast constantly rotates. A cast from 2014:
(l-r)  Brigid Cleary, Aaron Shields, Danny Bernardy, Soneka Anderson in Shear Madness (Photo: Margot Schulman)

Before the lights fall and the audience settles, on stage, Mike (Adi Stein) endures a slapstick shampooing and hair cut by madcap stylist Tony (Michael Litchfield), the flamboyantly gay owner and operator of the titular establishment in DC’s enduring (and endearing) comedy caper.

Shaw sees the future: Back to Methuselah

Jacob Yeh as Confucius, Conrad Feininger at the President, and Michael Avolio as the Accountant General in THE THING HAPPENS. (Photo: C. Stanley Photography)

It’s difficult to come into the middle of something, but, to take a stab at a George Bernard Shaw-like observation, aren’t we all living all our lives having come into the middle of history? If so, perhaps it’s not inappropriate to take in Washington Stage Guild’s production of Parts 3 and 4 of Back to […]

National tour of Anything Goes. Book aside, Porter’s still de-lovely

Emma Stratton as Reno Sweeney and Brian Krinsky as Billy Crocker in the National Tour of Anything Goes. (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)

I remember reading a biography of one of the great British actors — Laurence Olivier, I think it was. He had been doing a tour of this country. He took back to England something that wasn’t immediately available there, something that his friends back home were wildly eager to have the chance to hear: recordings […]

Synetic’s 50’s biker musical Much Ado About Nothing

The company of Much Ado About Nothing (Photo: Koko Lanham)

Remember Eisenstaedt’s iconic victory photo, “The Kiss”? Taken in 1945, a sailor in white cap kisses a girl in white, a nurse, as she bends over backwards like a hairpin. You see the image in a flash as staged by two actors in the midst of Synetic’s frenetic opening scene. It’s a brilliant bit because […]

A wondrous Aladdin and his wonderful lamp at Puppet Co

The princess rides on her elephant to the Baths, with the help of her guide (Irene Valines.)

The Puppet Co. uses all kinds of wizardry, creative projection design, and of course, terrific puppetry to bring the ageless tale of Aladdin to life.  Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about the story, leave it to Christopher Piper and company to sneak nuggets of insight and awareness into the […]

Outside the Bachx: hip-hop in search of a story


Hip-hop is always hungry. Like the katamari of video game fame or the doubly insatiable hippos of the childhood tabletop game, hip-hop music and culture has absorbed (and remixed and made it’s own) every genre that it touches. From when it was born on the streets of New York City in the 1970’s, hip-hop has […]

A chilling Dialogues of the Carmelites from Washington National Opera

Dialogues of the Carmalites

A Meditation on Fear and Mass Hysteria How the twist of a current event can bring a work alive. Far from being an opera about how faith put to the ultimate test offers a path to redemption, this Dialogues of the Carmelites feels like a difficult meditation on the power of fear, and not just […]

Cherokee gets lost in the woods


In roughly two hours, Cherokee packs in a man’s disappearance, sex in a tent, two slaughtered bunnies, a Native American wilderness guide, a midlife crisis, a pregnancy, bigamy, an improv theatre exercise, a case of amnesia, a fake accent, and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Not in that order.

NextStop’s instant box office hit: Love, Loss and What I Wore


The late Nora Ephron said in an interview once, “What you wear and what happened to you are indelibly connected.” The writer of such films as “Julie & Julia,” and “When Harry Met Sally.” For this, Ephron worked with her sister and frequent collaborator Delia Ephron (also a novelist in her own right) to fashion […]

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