Category Archives: Theatre

‘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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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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Here’s a Terrible Idea for A Play

The new “How to Win a Race War,” at the DC Arts Center, is awful. But The Klunch, the insurrectionist theater group putting it on, wouldn’t have it any other way. The painful endurance test is the work of Ian Allen, a writer, director and Klunch artistic director who has become something of an expert [...]

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What I Saw at Capital Fringe

Once more, there were dozens and dozens of shows this year at Capital Fringe, this time in churches in and around Southwest D.C., already being overrun by All-Star Game activities and the opening of a new soccer stadium. I wrote about a few of them for The Washington Post. Among them were opera and dance, [...]

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UCB: Conjuring New Show Every Night

“Seinfeld” might have been a TV show about nothing, but shows by the Upright Citizens Brigade at Woolly Mammoth literally begin with nothing. The “Four Gorgeous Women!” as they kept calling themselves, came out on stage (a fifth person, a guy, who was listed in the program, didn’t materialize). And aside from a sci-fi themed [...]

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Regarding the Furniture of ‘Hamilton’

I had the opportunity to talk to the inventive stage designer David Korins for a piece at SmithsonianMagazine.com. Most of the discussion revolved around his design for the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” which makes its D.C. debut at the Kennedy Center next month. “It’s certainly not the most amount of time I’ve spent on a show,” [...]

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Stage Review: When Rock Clubs Age Out

The kind of well-worn rock club set designer Matthew J. Keenan creates for the production of Laura  Easton’s “The Undeniable Sound of Right Now” at the Keegan Theatre is so authentic, with its decades of rock posters, stickers and graffiti, you can almost smell the stale beer in the floorboards. The instincts not to visit [...]

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Druid Revives Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’

It seemed like a clever in-joke when the first lobby announcement at the Shakespeare Theatre Company began, “We appreciate your patience…” It was opening night for Druid’s production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” so of course the whole evening was about patience. The announcement was about the delay in opening doors to the house, [...]

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Reviving Two Bergman Works on Stage

For being the centennial of Ingmar Bergman’s birth, there seems to be very little evidence of the Swedish director’s work around. It’s hard to find even his best known films; his name is known to some generations only as a reference in the work of Woody Allen. And the average age of the opening night [...]

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Survey of American Music in Drag

The Kennedy Center kicked off its multidisciplinary contemporary cultural assault with something thought to embody the approach, Taylor Mac’s “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (1776-2016).” Had the cabaret history in drag been presented in its original form — a single, 24-hour concert with 246 songs — it certainly would have been the kind of [...]

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