Vampires plus hospital soap opera equals the potential for many varieties of comedic mayhem, including bloody sight gags, sordid love triangles, devious plotting, and “acting” hammier than a Christmas dinner. (Yeesh. Sorry.) All of these, for better or for worse, are showcased in Nights at St. Januarius.
Drunk with Hope in Chicago
There are a number of ways a solo show can go wrong: narcissism, meandering (or lack of) narrative, simple difficulty sustaining audience interest, and so on. That Tara T. Handron avoids these in her one-woman performance Drunk With Hope In Chicago is commendable. That she does so in a show about alcoholism, a subject matter that is […]
No Gentlemen of Verona
From the publicity (“Shakespeare’s bromance, with no bros”) and from Joshua Engel’s pleasantly erudite director’s note, I sat down expecting No Gentlemen of Verona to be an academic’s production. That is, a loose adaptation of Shakespeare geared toward highlighting a specific theme—gender, I figured, in this case—or a radical re-appropriation of the text in the […]
Once upon a time there was a wolfishly predatory music teacher, a little red-faced high school student, a put-upon receptionist named Gretel who liked gingerbread cupcakes, and a caterer who, Cinderella-like, just wanted his Prince Charming. They all lived in Washington, DC. You can see their stories in a play called Twisted. And you should.
Depending on who you are, the vast, fluorescent-bathed offices of the federal bureaucracy can serve as a symbol of government overreach, of competent management, or simply of a daily workplace grind. But is it a world than can be mined for compelling drama? GS-14 attempts this, and meets with mixed success.
Tales of Love and Sausages
Commedia dell’arte, that venerable Italian theater form populated by masked stock characters and vaudevillian slapstick, makes for an interesting departure from conventional theater-going. The energy is quick, light, and informal. The actors roll with punches, figurative and literal. The audience is allowed—encouraged, really—to be a character unto itself.
Santa’s Helper follows Jack (Joel White), a middle-aged serial child molester, as he kidnaps 8-year-old Jim (Jarrett Ley) on Christmas Eve. Moved by something about the boy, Jack claims to be Santa Claus and offers Jim the chance to be his helper, which Jim eagerly accepts.
David rates it: In an era of reality television, it’s rare that a stage play addresses the topic in an interesting or subtle way. And while projections – live and pre-recorded – are seeing more use in the theater, it’s also rare that a play employs them effectively.
The Comic Roach: A Roadhouse Picture Show
David rates it: If you haven’t had the experience of walking from a 21st century DC street into a 1920’s-era California speakeasy and old-time cinema, and somehow I doubt you have, then you owe it to yourself to see
Dorks on the Loose: Facey Facey Face Face
David rates it: When I walk into a theater to see a show with a name as esoteric as Dorks on the Loose: Facey Facey Face Face, I assume that it’s going to be either remarkably charming and innovative, or remarkably obnoxious. I do this, of course, because I am a presumptuous jackass.
Slow News Day
David rates it: Aliens have invaded the District of Columbia and are proceeding to fatten up humans for use as bio-fuel. Meanwhile, a new childcare trend finds parents locking their children in cars and denying them pizza
Herbie: Poet of the Wild West
David rates it: Benevolent ruler is murdered by unscrupulous brother, who then marries his widow. Newly returned son of said murdered king is made aware of this by his father’s ghost,
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