Category Archives: Theatre

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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Comic Nimesh Patel Keeps Topical

The comedian Nimesh Patel was in town this week, playing the Improv. His first D.C. show, he says, came in opening for Michael Che at the old LivingSocial on H Street. It was the Che connection that helped land his “Saturday Night Live” gig last fall, where he writes as part of the “Weekend Update” [...]

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When Sir Tim Rice Wrote for Elvis

I had Sir Tim Rice on the line the other day, to discuss the restaging of “Chess,” which he created with two members of Abba. It premieres at the Kennedy Center with a new book by Danny Strange (“Game Change,” “Empire”) tonight. But I had to ask him about some earlier songs he wrote in [...]

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Theatre Review: LBJ’s ‘The Great Society’

It will take biographer Robert Caro five volumes to complete his portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson, so it’s no surprise that there’s a second LBJ play from Robert Schenkkan. His first, “All the Way,” about Johnson’s first year in office and passage of the Civil Rights act, was a Tony-winner on Broadway and adapted for [...]

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American Ballet Theatre’s ‘Whipped Cream’

It must be galling for many ballet companies that their very operation is dependent on extended holiday performances of “The Nutcracker” year after year. Why can’t there be some other pieces that could delight wide audiences in the same way the Sugarplum Fairies do, during other parts of the year? A strong candidate for that [...]

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Daniel Kitson’s D.C. World Premiere

There was sufficient buzz about the booking of a new Daniel Kitson show at Studio Theatre this season that they would apparently take anything. The British storyteller, the darling of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, has already whipped up his own fervent fan base in New York to the degree that he doesn’t have to do interviews [...]

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