Category Archives: Review

‘How I Learned to Drive’ in the #MeToo Era

What was it like 21 years ago when Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive” premiered off Broadway? It was more shocking, maybe; probably more balanced with laughs; and perhaps challenging in presenting audiences with a story of ongoing, predatory pedophilia from a family member. The D.C.-born playwright had developed it with another D.C. theater [...]

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Josh Rouse Joins Grant-Lee Phillips

For a joint tour that ends in a collaboration, Josh Rouse and Grant-Lee Phillips don’t look like they’ll immediately go together. Rouse, in a three piece suit and tie, travels in a breezy, sophisticated kind of guitar pop bordering on light jazz. Phillips growls and rocks in a manner suited to his old band Grant [...]

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The Jayhawks Get Twangy

Talk about rainy day music. The last licks of Hurricane Michael were blowing rain into Virginia the soaking night of the Jayhawks’ return to The Birchmere. And it was the band’s 15 year old album Rainy Day Music that dominated the generous 24-song show. Not just because it contains a lot of the band’s strongest [...]

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Way Too Timely ‘Measure for Measure’

The innocent woman who had just been groped by a powerful man intent on defiling her turns to the audience and asks plaintively, “To whom should I complain?” and even more starkly: “Who would believe me?” The powerful man underscores her dilemma. “Who will believe you?” he says. “My unsoiled name, the austereness of my [...]

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Gaz Coombes Rocks the Wine Drinkers

When Supergrass called it quits in 2010, frontman Baz Coombes kept going, with a series of solo albums that showed how strong he was at songcraft and increasingly, how talented he is at producing it. In his solo show at City Winery in Washington, D.C., Thursday he showed how he can do many things well [...]

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Liz Phair Passes the Torch at 9:30 Club

Liz Phair looked happy and perky as she took the stage at a sold-out 930 Club last week to reignite memories of the audience — and of her own past memories at the storied D.C. Club. After this year’s quarter-century salute to her big splash, “Exit in Guyville,” Phair at 51 seems resigned to becoming [...]

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Music Review: Diana Ross Keeps Going

Nearly 60 years into her career, Diana Ross can still conjure up excitement by just flouncing onstage in an elaborate dress. At the first of two shows at the Music Center at Strathmore this week, she was also able to mostly reach those keening vocals that made her one of the leading female voices in [...]

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MC50 Mark History at 930 Club

History swirled around the rare booking of MC50 at the 930 Club Tuesday. Yes, it was the half century anniversary of the debut LP of the Motor City Five. In addition, a couple of weeks earlier had marked 50 years since the Democratic National Convention police riots in Chicago, where the MC5 served as house band [...]

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Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo Swap Songs

Song swapping may be the best way for a couple of esteemed singer/songwriters to tour. Rather than one opening for the other, sitting on stage together and taking turns playing songs allows the evening to unfold in unexpected ways. One performer is inspired by a line in the other’s song and brings out one with [...]

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John Hiatt’s ‘Slow Turning’ 30 Years On

John Hiatt became eligible for Medicaid Monday, marking his 65th birthday at the first of two sold out shows at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, Va. But there was nothing suggesting anything close to retirement in his show with The Goners, the ace Louisiana trio led by guitarist Sonny Landreth. Indeed, on a night [...]

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