“Blessed is he who expects nothing,” Alexander Pope once wrote, “for he shall never be disappointed” but Pope was wrong, for you can have little and expect less, like Tommy (Barry McEvoy); like Doc (Brian Mallon) and Aimee (Mollie Goff); hope only to have a warm cot and a turnip or two, and still have […]
The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh takes place in the isolated Aran Islands, off the coast of Ireland, in 1934. The familiar rhythms of life on the island of Inishmaan are disrupted when news that a Hollywood film crew has arrived to make a movie about life on a neighboring island.
Berlin, East Germany is a place of the past schoolchildren today probably don’t know existed. Yet, in Lady Lay, it is alive in 1989 and abounding with belief that all can, and will, change.
It was sad to wake this morning to the news that the wonderful playwright Brian Friel has died. Tributes have been quick, effusive, and plentiful, and ranging from the Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland (“One of the giants of Irish literature, and a great Irishman”) to Meryl Streep (“We’ve lost a tender dramatist, an […]
It’s a strange, if exciting, thing to watch a production at war with it’s own thesis.
Heading into the forcefully cheerful holiday season, Scena Theatre’s got a nasty little gift waiting for audiences at the Anacostia Playhouse. Mark Ravenhill’s Handbag is packed with copious on-stage sex, drug abuse, and extreme violence of the emotional and physical variety. Theatergoers who enjoy the occasional deep-dive into the dark side should leave the kids […]
Love is lonely business in the literary-historical, one-person play Molly by George O’Brien. Molly Allgood grieves over her recently deceased fiancé, the Irish Revival playwright J.M. Synge. As his muse, Molly received some of Synge’s most inspired female rolls, but when faced with his early passing, she must read through the vague stage-directions of their […]
Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s Shining City raises a question about our demons: do we make them up to punish ourselves, or do they exist outside us in the world? For most of the play, the answer seems to be that we are haunted by our actions and their repercussions, the gravest of which may come […]
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Nancy Robinette told me as we sat in a small pie shop down the block from The Atlas Performing Arts Center. We spoke a couple of hours before she was to do a preview of Happy Days by Samuel Beckett and about an hour after I spoke to […]
“Every word,” Samuel Beckett once wrote, “is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.” In Beckett’s Happy Days, Winnie (Nancy Robinette) proceeds at a rate of about sixty stains per minute, and for good reason: without her words, the silence and nothingness would win.