No other play now on area stages has been more enhanced by its soundtrack than Theater Alliance’s Still Life with Rocket. Matthew Nielson’s underscored music, sound effects and songs of this collaborative production are so perfectly tuned to the performances, it is difficult to imagine the play without them.
Knockout performances by Annie Houston and the cast of Still Life with Rocket (review)
Some plays are compelling because their dilemmas are so universal they provoke the shock of recognition in all of us. Disgraced is like that. Other plays are compelling because, though the characters are repulsive, they are repulsive in so entertaining a way that we cannot take our eyes away. August: Osage County is like that. […]
The deep dive that is Mnemonic at Theater Alliance
“It’s a really hard play to put into words. I think it’s an exploration and a dive into what we call home, where we come from, and how we connect with what that means both in a larger societal way and in a very individual, personal way.” That’s Theater Alliance Artistic Director Colin Hovde talking […]
Mnemonic takes a dramatic journey to discover our shared origin (review)
So we know the what of history — Truman over Dewey, say, or U.S. and England over Germany, Italy and Japan in World War II — but do we know what history smells like? Knowing the past by facts is like knowing the Eroica Variations by musical notation. And so we struggle for more: to […]
Black Nativity at Theater Alliance – a joyful noise and then some! (review)
Is there a roof left in Anacostia? Doubtful, now that Black Nativity is back in the community for a third time. A joyful noise is made—and then some—in Theater Alliance’s soulful, soul-stirring revival of Black Nativity, Langston Hughes’ 1961 “Gospel Song-Play” that, as one character says, “puts the Christ back in Christmas.”
brownsville song (b-side for tray) at Theater Alliance (review)
In recent years, turning on the TV or radio, or even just logging in to Facebook, can often feel like a feat of the will. The barrage of stories of unspeakable violence, pain and anguish is staggering. Some days, it feels as if the human race is trying to tear itself apart. I am often […]
My won’t-miss shows for this season
If you’re like me, you’ve already done your Christmas shopping, filled out your budget for the next fiscal year, and made arrangements for your final repose after The Event Which Awaits Us All occurs. Now it’s time for something much more difficult: planning your theater season.
Laughter, tears, playing through and carrying on in the face of Orlando tragedy
Sunday morning, most of us woke up to the dreadful news about the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Sunday is a day off, of course, for a lot of people. For others, it’s a work day, and people went in to staff restaurants and the Metro and to provide the numerous other services […]
Going to a Place where you Already Are (review) at Theater Alliance
You’ve heard of feel-good theater. How about smell-good theater? A delectable aroma wafts through the Anacostia Playhouse during Going to a Place where you Already Are, the handiwork of Scent Designer Marcus Darnley. Unlike the homey sugar and butter scents drifting into the lobby that immediately ground you in the baking milieu of the Broadway […]
Elliott Bales, dramatic actor, turns song and dance man in 60s musical
We know Elliott Bales from his leadership at Theater Alliance and from his stage roles. The name Elliott Bales on a casting list usually signifies a drama – the retired Army Colonel mentioned in our interview his satisfaction in playing the bad guy – and in a remarkable turn as a romantic lead in Romeo and Juliet: […]
Honoring the Helen Hayes nominees: Kerri Rambow, actor, teacher and already a winner
It is an extraordinary thing to commit yourself to work in theater despite the long hours and low pay. Why do people do it? This is the last in our series highlighting this year’s Helen Hayes nominees: their work, their life, their art, their passion.
Honoring the Helen Hayes nominees: Matthew M. Nielson, Sound Design
It is an extraordinary thing to commit yourself to work in theater despite the long hours and low pay. Why do people do it? This is the first in a series highlighting this year’s Helen Hayes nominees: their work, their life, their art, their passion. Matthew M. Nielson has received four Helen Hayes awards for […]