Category Archives: Theatre

The Kansas City Ballet’s Own Nutcracker

Like the growing Christmas tree, the grand Tchaikovsky score and the sparkle on the snow queens, there are certain things audiences expect from their annual viewing of “The Nutcracker,” and the Kansas City Ballet production of it currently at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, provides most of them. If the sight of small […]

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Stage: ‘Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci’

Leonardo Da Vinci predated William Shakespeare by half a century; their paths never crossed. Both were artists who changed the world with their vision; each had flinty intellects interested in a wide variety subjects that the Renaissance opened up to them. And while the Bard had a superior command of words — it was his […]

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Stage: Back to the ’50s in ‘Maple and Vine’

Even as patrons file in Spooky Action’s basement theater space at the Universalist National Memorial Church, the central couple of the new production “Maple and Vine” are already on stage in bed. But Em Whitworth’s Katha can’t quite sleep. She’s sitting up, staring into space, continually looking at her phone. She’s caught up in the […]

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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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