These are the plays that won’t let go. They are there as I drift off to sleep, or, unbidden, come to me during the day. This happens more often now, as work here slows to a close. You probably have your list of best plays and performances. This is not that list. These seem to […]
Page-to-Stage New Play Festival at the Kennedy Center
For theater enthusiasts, Labor Day weekend isn’t about one last trip to the beach or three relaxing days at home. For those of us in D.C., it means it’s time for the annual Page-to-Stage festival and checking out some of what the theater community has in store in the months ahead. Now in its 18th […]
Free Community Days at DC area theatres start this Saturday. DC shifts into party mode
With 32 shows rehearsing for September openings, the 2019-2020 season is about to start in earnest and there are some awesome free celebrations going on. Round House Theatre Bethesda, MD August 24 11:30am – 6pm More details With the completion of its massive makeover, Round House Theatre, out of house for much of last year, […]
Review: Southern stereotypes get tested in Byhalia, Mississippi
For the South of Evan Linder’s play Byhalia, Mississippi, both the American flag and the Confederate one should be replaced by one reading “Bless This Mess.” It’s racist, classist, misogynist, and crude—but it’ll muddle through somehow. Can we forgive personal, historical, and political trespasses? That is the defining question. At one point, the heroine, Laurel […]
Review: Hello, Dolly! starring Betty Buckley, a Golden Age musical high
I expect that, if you’ve found your way to this review, you will love the national tour of the recent Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, newly ensconced at Kennedy Center’s Opera House. Look at the old girl now, indeed. Jerry Zaks has directed an almost perfectly realized production, and the cast of the tour is […]
The one and only Pamela Reed in The Humans: the one and only play touring the country
“Are you kidding? I’d dance in a parking lot to do this play!” Pamela Reed was explaining to me her reaction to the offer of the role of Deirdre in The Humans. The 2016 Tony winner for Best Play is at Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater through January 28th.
Gems found at Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage 2017
Debbie Minter Jackson sends back this report from her visit to the Saturday, September 2, opening day of this year’s Page-to-Stage festival at the Kennedy Center and brings back some standouts that, hopefully will find their way from the page to local stages .
Polarbear performs Mouth Open, Story Jump Out (review)
How do you know the difference between a story and a lie? According to British spoken word artist Polarbear (aka Steven Camden), a lie is selfish, but a story is a gift. If that is the case, Polarbear’s engaging autobiographical one man show for children 8 years and older, Mouth Open, Story Jump Out, is […]
Nearly Lear at The Kennedy Center this weekend (review)
Best arrive on time for Nearly Lear, a one-woman clownish Shakespeare adaptation blowing through the Kennedy Center for just this weekend. That’s not just because KC’s Family Theater may be the most Mussolini-esque of all houses in the DC area (they drop the lights the precise second the clock turns from 6:59 to 7:00).
Ireland 100: Alarm Will Sound’s The Hunger (review)
Alarm Will Sound presented a concert version of the opera The Hunger by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy at the Kennedy Center Wednesday night. It is a most curious mash of video interviews with esteemed contemporary economists and historians, biographical records from the mid-1800’s, singing in English and Gaelic, a 16-person orchestra on stage, and a pulsating […]
Abbey Theatre’s Plough and the Stars (review)
It is one hundred years almost to the month since the Easter Rising, the insurrection that began the armed struggle of Irish Nationalists against British occupation. It is ninety years almost to the month since the premiere at the Abbey Theatre of Seán O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, inarguably the most significant play written […]
Ryan Taylor’s Top 10 shows of 2015
10. The Last Burlesque Produced by Pinky Swear Productions I’m partial to the work of prolific DC playwright Stephen Spotswood (I’ve produced and directed his work myself), and his story of an old-school burlesque troupe struggling to save their theatre features some of the sharpest characters and most layered storytelling of his career. It’s also […]
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