Category Archives: Theatre

Theatre Review: ‘A Boy and His Soul’

This is the 50th anniversary year for Philadelphia International Records, the outfit founded by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff that gave us, among many other things, “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia), the ebullient instrumental by MFSB, given life as the theme of “Soul Train” and used to great effect once more in the Round House […]

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The Bengsons’ ‘Joy is Heavy!’ for Arena

As we enter the second year of pandemic, theater companies have largely shifted from live performance spaces to film and video producers. When new work is offered, it streams online, often created by the artists themselves. For a new series of song-based works from Arena Stage, Molly Smith commissioned work from music-minded artists with some […]

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Live Theater Returns in a Plexiglass Box

The big drama of The GALA Hispanic Theatre’s season opener “El Perro del Hortelano (The Dog in the Manger)” is that they’re presenting it at all. It’s the first indoor theatrical production to open its doors since the pandemic plunged the once burgeoning D.C. theater scene into darkness nearly eight months ago. While there have […]

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A Slight Kennedy Center Reopening

If you were planning the first in-person performance in the Kennedy Center in six months, a kind of historic cultural awakening after the darkness of the pandemic lockdown, you couldn’t go wrong with a double bill of Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams. The opera diva and the glamorous pop singer and actress, harmonizing and soloing […]

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Theater Review: Hang Up and Dial Again

The pandemic shutdown, now entering its seventh catastrophic month, has necessitated a certain creativity if any theater at all is to be produced or consumed. Mostly, this has been through Zoom-derived entertainments, which as clever as some may be are, are usually no fun for the already Zoom-fatigued working stiffs from home. Other theater companies […]

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Wisdom from Terrence McNally, 1938-2020

Theater suffered a loss this week when the playwright Terrence McNally died at 81, of complications of our current plague, the coronavirus. It was a sad irony since many of McNally’s plays dealt with the effects of a previous plague, AIDS, in the 1980s. His plays, musicals and screenplays, which included “Frankie and Johnny in […]

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The Last New Play in Washington for Now

It may have been unrealistic to open a new play amid the coronavirus pandemic, but “The Realistic Joneses” did just that on Saturday at Spooky Action Theatre, a group whose name inspires no further confidence (it’s named after Einstein’s term for quantum entanglement – the ability of separate objects to share a condition at a […]

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When the Riches Ran Out for ‘Timon’

The week the stock market erases its year’s gains may be just the right time to open a not-often produced play about swift changes in fortune. “Timon of Athens” has a home at the Shakespeare Theatre Company if only because it’s one of his lesser-known plays. Long suspected to have been co-written, the splashy production imported […]

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The Touring ‘Simon & Garfunkel Story’

There is certainly a dramatic story to be told behind the highly successful 60s duo Simon & Garfunkel from a brief high school success that got them on “American Bandstand” to their later 1960s stardom, love/hate relationship and mutual artistic dependence. All of that is barely mentioned, though, in the nationally touring “The Simon & […]

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A Soulful ‘Motown Christmas’ at Signature

Because Christmas is mandatory on entertainment stages all month, it’s no surprise that a cabaret at Signature Theatre is again devoted to the Yuletide songbook. But in a clever and very welcome variation, they’ve approached the holiday through the classic interpretations of one of America’s favorite labels. “A Motown Christmas” brings together enduring holiday originals […]

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