Category Archives: Theatre

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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Folger’s Close Up ‘Antony and Cleopatra’

A condensed “Antony and Cleopatra” at the Folger Theatre still has time for a couple of ensemble dance numbers straight out of “Solid Gold,” a battle scene that’s almost as well choreographed and a whole lot of kissing. There’s no questioning the physical attraction between Cody Nickell’s Antony and Shirine Babb’s Cleopatra. As the play [...]

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‘I’ll Get You Back Again’ at Round House

With its emphasis on both 1960s psychedelic rock music and the Three Stooges, it would seem the latest offering at the Round House Theatre was tailored precisely for my taste. Add to that the guy who in my mind had the single best moment in this summer’s “Twin Peaks: The Return,” David Patrick Kelly (who [...]

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On Stage: Bessie Smith and ‘Devil’s Music’

The Mosaic Theater Company ignites its third season with a sure hit, a proven crowd-pleaser about the Empress of Blues. “The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith” retells the story of the American musical legend, and is as sure to delight audiences here as it did when it premiered Off-Broadway in 2001 [...]

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What I Saw at Capital Fringe

I took buses, cars, Metro trains, streetcars, and even walked to the H Street corridor where most of this year’s Capital Fringe Festival took place in Northeast D.C. As part of the team reviewing shows for The Washington Post, I saw quite a range from good to bad this year. Here’s what I saw: A [...]

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Stage: ‘The Sound of Music’ vs. ‘Hedwig’

It’s amusing to me that on the 100th anniversary of the birth of the namesake of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, there are two popular, quite different musicals on either end of the Grand Foyer. What if ticket holders to the traveling national tour of “The Sound of Music” made it [...]

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Stage Review: A Rare ‘Timon of Athens’

Ian Merrill Peakes begins and ends his role as “Timon of Athens” standing in the center of Folger Shakespeare Theatre’s stage. At the start, he’s basking in his glory as a prosperous master of the universe, happily dispersing his gold; in the end he’s alone, torn down, penniless emotionally, at the mercy of gods, or [...]

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