The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey brilliantly subverts both crime procedurals and comedy. This is a show not about catching the bad guys or laughing at weirdos, though it’ll trick you early on. By the end, you can count on a tear in your eye as you say goodbye to a small town and all […]
Review: Where Did We Sit on the Bus? at Logan Festival
Brian Quijada is unstoppable. In his autobiographical Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, he sings, dances, and wields a live looper like a genius to create a solo performer musical that takes us all the way from his conception to a frank conversation about race with his future child, hitting all the most important […]
Review: Brahman/i at Logan Festival plays on the threshold of theatre itself
It’s rare to see a performance so original that you can’t quite find your footing. Brahman/i, the story of an intersex Indian comic, purposefully moves all the boundaries of what you think you know to put you in the shoes of a character whose identity confuses them. (For the purposes of this review, nonbinary pronouns […]
1st Stage announces its 11th Season, 5 plays and a festival
For its 11th season, Tyson’s 1st Stage will have a war story, a story about the aftermath of a war, a story about a tragic war fought in a high school, a story about a man returning from prison life — and a story about a wedding. Plus: a festival of solo performances.
Review: Bob Bartlett’s Swimming with Whales outstanding debut at 1st Stage
Personal, funny, poetic, rough around the edges – Bob Bartlett’s Swimming with Whales is well worth checking out while it’s at 1st Stage as I predict it will have life beyond its northern Virginia run.
How playwright Bob Bartlett’s personal story became part of Swimming with Whales
D.C. Playwright Bob Bartlett has always been curious about the ways humans respond to injured or distressed animals, and that theme seems to find its way into his writing again and again.
Fly by Night musical gets first rate production at 1st Stage (review)
If you love musicals but aren’t in the mood for a familiar warhorse, then head out to 1st Stage in Tysons’ Corner for the area debut of Fly By Night. You will find, as I did, a charming chamber musical with a pleasing folk-rock score, wrapped around the timeless theme of finding your way through […]
Aaron Sorkin’s The Farnsworth Invention (review)
The Farnsworth Invention, showbiz writer Aaron Sorkin’s misfired attempt to retrofit a screenplay about the patent battle over television transmission into a stage drama was a dud when it opened in 2007 and is fatally defective still—even with solid performances from its two leads and energetic direction from 1st Stage Artistic Director Alex Levy.
My Name is Asher Lev. Aaron Posner adapts Chaim Potok novel (review)
The business of an artist is not much different than the business of a baseball umpire, though his field of vision is bigger. The artist must see the world, and then call it as he sees it.
Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, a blazingly sharp script, a compelling staging at 1st Stage
Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train—a disturbing, dark dramedy by the Pulitzer-prize winning Stephen Adly Guirgis and first performed in 2000—places incarceration and morality side by side and asks you to consider if they are all that different; after all, both act as restrictive measures with a side of redemption. If you are so inclined. To […]
1st Stage welcomes acclaimed performers for Tysons solo play festival
For their inaugural Logan Festival of Solo Performance, 1st Stage will welcome acclaimed artists from San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, and New York for two-weeks of performances and community conversations, July 6-16.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by August Wilson at 1st Stage (review)
Black rage—internalized, until it’s not. Stories that carry like the blues. Language that ricochets like jazz. Penetration into the trauma of the black experience in America.