Molly from Scena Theatre

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Love is lonely business. In the literary-historical, one-person play Molly by George O’Brien. Molly Allgood grieves over her recently deceased fiancé, the Irish Revival playwright J.M. Synge. As his muse, Molly received some of Synge’s most inspired female rolls, but when faced with his early passing, she must read through the vague stage-directions of their […]

The Winter’s Tale, STC’s Free for All reprise

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“Exit, pursued by a bear.” If there’s anything about The Winter’s Tale that audiences might know in advance, this–arguably the best stage direction ever penned–will be it. The Winter’s Tale challenges audiences in a way altogether unique in Shakespeare’s canon, bringing together elements of comedy, tragedy, and fantasy into one script. More than any of […]

Shining City. Demons dwell here

Lee Ordeman and Ron Litman in SHINING CITY.
(Photo: Jae Yi Photography)

Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s Shining City raises a question about our demons: do we make them up to punish ourselves, or do they exist outside us in the world? For most of the play, the answer seems to be that we are haunted by our actions and their repercussions, the gravest of which may come […]

I Am My Own Wife

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I expected Doug Wright’s play I Am My Own Wife to be a different kind of Anne Frank story, one in which the heroine survives by hiding in plain sight. Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, the play’s historical center, was a German transvestite who lived in east Berlin from the 1930s through the 1980s, a time when […]

She Kills Monsters

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“D&D is not therapy.” That’s what Tilly, a charismatic tomboy played by Rebecca Hausman, tells her older sister Agnes in the hilarious and fluid Rorschach production of She Kills Monsters. To this sage advice, the comically skeptic Agnes, played by Maggie Erwin, gives a look like “No Shit” as she exchanges sword blade blows with […]

theatreWashington’s Summer Hummer 2014 – making things hot for a cool cause

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People do crazy things for charity. If you haven’t been living under a social media blackout, you’ve probably seen people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads for a charity fighting ALS. theatreWashington’s Summer Hummer does essentially the opposite thing for their charity Taking Care of Our Own: instead of cooling their donors down […]

Sunday in the Park with George

Claybourne Elder (George) and Brynn O’Malley (Dot) in
Sunday in the
Park with George
at Signature Theatre. (Photo by Margot Schulman.)

Stephen Sondheim’s incandescent 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George inspires like a great work of art. You never tire of looking at it and you see new things, feel new things every time you take it in.

TheatreLand – UK backstage series with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart

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Theatreland, a DVD compilation of an eight-part series from British TV that documents a pair of high-profile London theatre productions, has something for everyone. Almost. Sure, it’s a theatre geek’s dream, as it allows behind-the-scenes access to the process of rehearsing and producing theatre. The soup-to-nuts tapestry examines all of the activities — onstage, offstage, […]

The Fall of the House of Usher

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Edgar Allan Poe’s tale has grown so large in the literary imagination that we forget that the original was a short story, less than 7200 words in length and more atmosphere than incident. It is less a story than an invitation to the reader to create a story, and the Pallas Theatre Collective has accepted […]

Pol Pot & Associates, LLP

(l-r) Kira Burri, Daniel Vita Siefring and Seamus Miller (Photo

Kathleen Akerley’s Something Past in Front of the Light remains, in my view, the finest original work by a Washington-area playwright not named Posner. She has written other excellent plays – dense, howlingly funny, and wise – as well. This is why – let’s say it without the bark on – Pol Pot & Associates […]

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