“Kids these days,” or so I’m told, use “extra” as an adjective to denote that something is more than what is usual, expected, or necessary. As a noun, it means a person hired daily to play a minor part in a movie or a television show, usually as a background member of a mob or […]
While sitting in DC Reynolds on Georgia Avenue on a Sunday afternoon, I learned a new drinking game. While this in and of itself might not be remarkable for a neighborhood bar during a holiday weekend, the fact that the woman teaching it to me had a bow and quiver full of arrows strapped to […]
“Torture numbers,” author Gregg Easterbrook once wrote, “and they’ll confess to anything.” David S. Kessler, a masterful storyteller aided by onstage musicians and projections in his new show, Numesthesia, takes a decidedly kinder approach and allows them to speak for themselves.
At this point, there’s an entire genre of books, TV shows, and films about bad bosses and the bizarre vagaries of corporate workplaces. One of the perhaps lesser-known but extremely effective installments in this tradition is British playwright Mike Bartlett’s Contractions, which has been given new life in a spare but precisely effective production at […]
The tagline for Larry E. Blossom’s latest Capital Fringe offering, Just Like A Woman, is “Will Trans Trump Fear in These Troubled Times?” Unfortunately, neither the issues of transphobia nor the effects that Trump’s election has had on America are examined in this convoluted production by Out-Side the Box Theatre. Instead, the underbaked play leans […]
The unofficial rules for crafting a successful play also tend to apply to compiling the perfect mixtape: tell a compelling story, know your audience but keep them guessing, set a tone, stick to your theme, and when in doubt, always keep it short. And while Brad Baron’s autobiographical new play, Last Ditch Playlist, may flout […]
One barometer by which you can gauge the impact of a play is by whether it can be interpreted in wildly different ways by different audience members. Woolly Mammoth’s production of Taylor Mac’s darkly absurd HIR, with its microcosmic collapse and reinforcement of the patriarchy within the claustrophobic confine of one suburban home is a brilliant […]
Taffety Punk Theatre Company’s new rep of healthcare plays—Mercy Killers and Side Effects, both written and performed by Michael Milligan – tackle the broken nature of America’s healthcare system—supposedly the greatest in the world. Side Effects focuses on the less-often-considered side of the doctor-patient divide—that of the burned-out physician, equally frustrated and thwarted by a broken system […]
“If you want to change something by Tuesday, theater is no good. Journalism is what does that,” playwright Tom Stoppard once said. “But, if you want to just alter the chemistry of the moral matrix, then theater has a longer half-life.” So, it’s a credit to Taffety Punk Theatre Company that their new rep of […]
“Sometimes, a greater truth is revealed when the facts are fuzzy,” says Rebecca Holiday (Natalie Cutcher) in the second act of Rorschach Theatre’s production of Randy Baker’s new play, Forgotten Kingdoms. It’s a line that not only resonates in our post-truth, “fake news” world, but perfectly encapsulates the story being told on stage.