TAME./Shrew Part Two: Shrew views and dangerous plays or what’s a theatre for?

Last week, we posted Part One of my talk with three local theatre-makers who have engaged Shakespeare’s troublesome early comedy The Taming of the Shrew. Jonelle Walker’s TAME. runs through December 11th at WSC Avant Bard.

Remembering DC actor/director Richard M. Mancini, whose memorial is this Sunday at Keegan

So many of the benchmarks from my almost forty years working in the small professional theatre scene in Washington, DC were shared with my dear friend Richard Mancini.

TAME./Shrew: Three women talk about facing the Bard’s troubling play head on

WSC Avant Bard is presenting a world premiere and critics have lavished praise on its playwright. “Jonelle Walker’s vivid, artfully unnerving TAME. is a retort to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew,” raved Celia Wren in The Washington Post. (The title of the play, by the way, is all caps and ends with a full-stop.) […]

Tame. Powerful Shrew re-do from Avant Bard (review)

Dark. Squirmy. Brutal. Galling. Backwards. Chilling. A slew of punchy, powerful words ran through my mind, much like the pithy (and punctuated) Tame. on Monday night, as I watched a man dominate a woman into a Christian-prescribed-submission.

My won’t-miss shows for this season

If you’re like me, you’ve already done your Christmas shopping, filled out your budget for the next fiscal year, and made arrangements for your final repose after The Event Which Awaits Us All occurs. Now it’s time for something much more difficult: planning your theater season.

Why I love and chose to produce The Good Devil

When I was a kid, I loved Saturday morning cartoons (of course), and the old Superman series, but most of all I loved the black-and-white films of physical comedians of yore—Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy and W. C. Fields—who came of age during vaudeville and who sometimes struggled to reinvent their careers during the era […]

Avant Bard announces its 2016-2017 season

The Arlington-based WSC Avant Bard announced today that it will devote its upcoming three-play season to the kind of theater for which it is best known: original spins on classic plays.

The Good Devil (in Spite of Himself), commedia from Avant Bard (review)

Commedia dell’Arte, the old Italian comedic that forms the foundation for new American comedy The Good Devil (in Spite of Himself), is very much like the Looney Toons of old. Not only is it characterized by slapstick whackiness, recognizable tunes, and situations so direct they appeal to all ages, but it also polarizes audiences when […]

Puppets rule Avant Bard’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (review)

Following the plinkety-plinks of a somewhat less-than-shimmering overture – after all, it is a “junk yard” gamelan – delicately carved puppets transport us through their shadow play.  All in shadow, a wild-haired man touches fingers with a lithe woman in a beautiful courtship, and they whirl through the air in a kind of ecstatic dance.

Jeff Walker’s Top 10 shows of 2015

Call me an old softy, but I get pretty sentimental during the holidays. As I look back on theatre for the year 2015, my cup runneth over with blessings – performers and productions that touched my heart, delved into my soul or sparked my imagination in a memorable and lasting way.

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