Category Archives: Theater

Two Gentlemen of Verona – Not!

There’s a rumble going on – it starts in a suburban parking lot created from sheet metal and a few yellow lines on the stage of the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lansburgh Theater. (The playwright has simply called for “an open … Continue reading

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Krapp’s Last Tape – John Hurt Creates Beckett’s World in D.C.

John Hurt – his face a topographic map of disappointment and failure – sits at a desk as a light above him slowly blooms. He is Krapp. His life, crap. As Samuel Beckett introduces him to us in Krapp’s Last … Continue reading

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‘Black Watch’ Gives Audiences a Welcome Beating

Black Watch, from the Scottish National Theatre, pummels you into submission. It’s loud and flashy (literally), and meant in every way to convince us civilians that explosions and death are more than we could handle. And yet it’s also meant … Continue reading

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Candide – Optimism Triumphs in Washington

Director Mary Zimmerman has tamed the unruly and fabulous show that is Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Continue reading

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Not enough heat in this “Light in the Piazza”

This production of “The Light in the Piazza” hits all the right notes – but something is missing. The show ends up feeling thin. The lovely voices, the beautiful set, the strong performances don’t set off a river of tears, or even provide a fully engaging evening of theater. Why? Continue reading

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Stacy Keach, King Lear, D.C. 2009

(Stacy Keach as Lear, Howard Witt as The Fool; photo Steve Mencher) The king’s three daughters have a chance to claim their inheritance, as “King Lear” opens. He’s stepping down. To get their fair share of the kingdom, all they … Continue reading

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Waiting for Godot: Second Acts in an Uncertain World

A dog came in the kitchen And stole a crust of bread, Then cook up with the ladle, And beat him ’til he was dead. Then all the dogs came running And dug the dog a tomb And wrote upon … Continue reading

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Siento Hermosa (West Side Story 2008)

“I Feel Pretty.” Or “Siento Hermosa.” The brilliant and problematic stroke of genius in this new production of West Side Story, seen at Washington’s National Theater, is not only to have real Latinos playing most of the Sharks, but to … Continue reading

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‘Gem of the Ocean’ at Arena Stage, Washington, D.C. fails to shine

For August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” to work its magic, you’ve got to believe that the assortment of people onstage are a family. From the ageless matriarch Aunt Ester, who claims to be centuries old, to the others who … Continue reading

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‘Into the Woods’ and into a new home at Northern Virginia’s Signature Theatre

I didn’t get the second act of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” when I saw it on Broadway in 1987. The show wrapped everything up tightly at the Act I curtain. All the fairy tales colliding on stage arrived at … Continue reading

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