I wasn’t sure what to think about
seeing a play I had only ever heard of as an acclaimed movie. Director Fuzz Roark assuaged those fears by
allowing us to experience the story in a setting not only made more intimate by
being kept in the same room as Alan Zemla’s set designs, but also brought to
our senses by virtue of Spotlighters Theater being a cozy space. Being so very close to the action made you
not an audience member at a play,
It’s a dog-eat-dog summer at Cockpit in Court this year,
with a Disaster! downstairs on the
main stage and Sylvia upstairs in the
cabaret space. A.R. Gurney’s strange comedy about a dog originally set in the
80’s is meandering into modernity this 2019 summer season under the direction
of Robert W. Oppel. It’s definitely an intriguing show and the titular
character is by far best in show!
The show is a bit of a struggle on multiple levels;
King James: Pulitzer Prize Finalist Rajiv Joseph’s Play to Star LeBron James
Few things are more riveting than a good old-fashioned sports story, and few athletes are more prominent than NBA superstar Lebron James. For Rajiv Joseph, then, it’s a simple act of putting two and two together: Joseph’s play, King James, is inspired by LeBron James’s life and career, which is set to premiere in 2020.
review can practically write itself. Let’s face it, there is nothing disastrous
about Cockpit in Court’s current production. Of course, I am talking about Disaster! the 70’s disaster movie
musical written by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick and directed by Todd
Pearthree. Pearthree and his production team (Music Director Michael DeVito,
Technical Director Jason Randolph, Set Designer Michael Rasinski, Lighting
Designer Thomas Gardner, Costumer Designer Will Crowther, Sound Designer Corey
Sekulow, and Stage Manager John Chrzanowski) have put together THE smash hit of
If you won’t tell your story, then who will? More
importantly, will they tell it correctly? Or will they romanticize it through
the lens of B-grade Hollywood celluloid and be creative with your very
existence? Such might have been the ill-fated path of infamy for Gwen John if
Ida Lupino had had her way when it came to telling her story on the big screen.
Only it didn’t happen; Ida Lupino never made that film all about the life of
Mendacity is the system we live in. Death is one way out.
Liquor is the other. Unless of course the crystal decanter top fuses into the
bottle-neck and prevents you from your liquor. (Try the screw-top.) Feeling a
little uncomfortable yet? A little like a Cat
on a Hot Tin Roof? Then you’ve found your way to The Rude Mechanical’s
production of Tennessee Williams’ other play, or his other, other play. Not the
one with the street-screaming for Stella or the one with all the little glass
animals and the jonquils and gentlemen callers,
“If you give me your attention, I
will tell you what I am. I’m a genuine philanthropist, all other kinds are
sham. Each little fault of temper and each social defect in my erring fellow
creatures, I endeavor to correct.”
Thus ironically, in more ways than
one, proclaims The royal Gama, King and delightful foil in Gilbert and
Sullivan’s Princess Ida (or) Castle Adamant, now in its second and
final week with The Victorian Lyric Opera Company in Rockville,
When the whistles blow and the cymbals crash and the
sparklers light the sky— it’s time to call on The John F. Kennedy Center!
Because this summer they’re raising the roof; they’re carrying on; and you’ll
want to have an old trombone and an old baton before the parade of Hello, Dolly! starring Betty Buckley
passes by! Appearing live for one sizzling summer month on the Kennedy Center’s
Opera House Stage,
I got chills! They’re multiplying! And I’m telling you to go—
‘cause the show that they’re supplying— it’s electrifying! Why, it’s more than electrifying,
it’s Grease lightning! You’re gonna
need to meditate in Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia’s direction for some real
summer lovin’ this 2019 summer season because Grease is the word and Toby’s production is the one that you want.
Directed and Choreographed by Mark Minnick with Musical Direction by Ross Scott
I am assigned to review a show presented by Stand Up For… Theatre, I know for
sure that I am going to be challenged to examine my conscience. For years now SUFT,
the theatrical division of Erase Hate Through Art, has been giving us
productions that challenge us to not only look at the world around us and the
role we play in it, but our perception of the madness that surrounds us.
Sometimes, it’s all in the
timing. When the circles of life coincide with your best efforts, everyone
wins. There is a history of shows that premiered to little or no hoopla, but
when revived later in a different political or social climate, felt way more
relevant and meaningful. The most popular example is Kander & Ebb’s classic
musical Chicago. Opening in 1975
under the direction of Bob Fosse and starring dual leading legends Gwen Verdon
and Chita Rivera,
I wasn’t prepared for when I walked into the theater to see Tornkid was
that I would slowly become a part of the play.
The first scene seemed to have more characters on set than I’m used to
seeing in the introduction to a story, as a series of people sitting on pillows
at the edge of the audience played silent ancestor spirits of the main
characters, clapping their hands to send signs to our hero and narrator,
There’s a little ditty they’re singing in the city— right
here in the city of Windsor Mill!
And if you’ve got the patience, then your imagination will
tell you what you want to hear!
Ol-li-ver! That’s the ditty they’re singing in the city— Oliver! at The St. Gabriel Miracle
Players, who have produced another miracle by keeping their theatre alive and
thriving in the building that their audiences know and love.
the late 1800s in London, England – in a climate of prudishness and classism – especially
among the aristocratic elite – playwright Oscar Wilde turned social convention
on its ear by penning his farcical tour de force, The Importance of Being Earnest – subtitled, “A Trivial Play for
Serious People.” Director Bill Hurlbut is currently taking on this scandalous comedy
of manners at the highly lauded Silver Spring Stage,
The sun on Columbia is summery warm. It’s shining on a
theatre gem. So gather together and see their show. Tomorrow belongs— to them.
Silhouette Stages mounts the production of the season— Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret as Directed by Stephen Foreman,
with Musical Direction by Michael Tan and Choreography by Aime Bell. Truly not
your momma’s Cabaret, this heady and
intoxicating production doesn’t just showcase the darkness burbling readily
beneath the surface of the iconic Kander &
I’d do anything— for a good show— anything! And despite all
the connotations the come alongside Oliver!
(that it’s dated, that it’s a child’s musical, that it’s a bit rubbish in
music and book, etc.) Kensington Arts Theatre is producing what is arguably
their best show of the 2018-2019 season. Practically perfect, with a few minor
exceptions, this well-heeled production of Lionel Bart’s musical adaptation of
Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist is surprisingly
endearing and loaded with an extraordinarily talented cast.
They’re more than spectacular! To use the vernacular? They’re
wizard! They’re smashing! They’re keen! Why, The Children’s Theatre of
Annapolis, of course! And their wonderful, phantasmagorical production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Directed by
Atticus Boidy, with Musical Direction by Trevor Greenfield, and Choreography by
Kristin Rigsby, this fun-filled junior version of the iconic movie-turned-stage-musical
is fun for families, children of all ages, and of course for those forever
young at heart!
“My, my… how can I resist ya!”—Dundalk Community Theatre ends their superb season with a
vibrant and visually stunning presentation of Mamma Mia! “the smash hit musical featuring the songs of ABBA!”
With Direction by John Desmone, Music Direction by Nathan Scavilla, and
Choreography by Gary Dieter, this show is sure to leave you singing &
dancing your way out of the theatre!
Amanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom Rachel Weir (left) as Tanya,
For fans of Shakespeare’s comedies, Love’s
Labour’s Lost should not be overlooked. Often brushed off as a draft for
Shakespeare’s later hits, there is joy and humor in this play that would be
criminal to dismiss. The performers in the Folger Theatre’s current production,
directed by Vivienne Benesch, rise to the challenge at every turn and carry the
audience along for a raucous and heartfelt ride.
In Rapid Lemon’s Variations on
Myth, director T. P. Huth takes advantage of the emotional ride a series of
ten-minute plays can create if presented in an order that allows them to
strengthen one another. It is too often that a series of smaller plays is
presented as hors d’oeuvres, being consumed individually without thought to if
the first appetizes the audience for the second, whereas this collection of ten-minute
plays formed a cohesive experience.
Somebody ought to open up a window! So that they can hear
the bellowing cries of the second continental congress as they piddle, twiddle,
and resolve over whether or not to start a revolution and declare independence
from Great Britain. Ready for America’s spirited beginnings? The Woodbrook
Players, successfully settled into their new home at Govans Presbyterian Church
on York Road right near Belvedere Square, are pleased to presenting to the
masses their spring musical: 1776!
They can do it! They can do it! And they know it’s gonna work! Third Wall Productions’ current production of Mel Brooks’ The Producers, that is. Despite some last minute directorial changes, the show must go on and on it goes with Director Amy Haynes Rapnicki freshly at the helm. This production of that zany comedy about Broadway producers, with Musical Direction by Patty DeLisle, Choreography by Jillian Arnold, and Orchestra Conduction by Andrew Zile,
Everything feels as if it has just happened. Ellen McLaughlin’s
The Oresteia, freely adapted from the
trilogy by Aeschylus that is nearly 2,500 years old, feels as if it is
happening. And what must happen does. Boldly closing the 2018/2019 season at
Shakespeare Theatre Company in their prestigious Sidney Harman Hall under the
Direction of STC legend Michael Kahn, The
Oresteia is modernized yet timeless, prescient yet ancient;
The seafarin’ man with
Such is the stuff of nightmares or high-seas hijinks for
young Master Hawkins when it comes to the beloved piratical and nautical
adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure
Island. 15 men on a dead man’s chest, yo-ho-ho and a— Drinking in Tortuga
cocktail? Has all the earmarkings of a We Happy Few Production! There are
ukuleles, pirates, squeezeboxes— well,
And The World will
know! And The Sun will too! ‘Bout
these Newsies and the awesome job they
do! The things they do today will be tomorrow’s news! And you heard it here
first— right in black in white— front page ABOVE the fold! That’s right— read
all about it! Right here! Children’s Playhouse of Maryland does Newsies and makes Disney proud with all
of their energy,
has got itself are real who done it, as Artistic Synergy of Baltimore presents
Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced.
If you have a knack for solving the case before your favorite TV detective,
then this is a show for you. But I’ll warn you now nothing is as it appears and
with Miss Marple on hand, you’ll need to be quick.
Amanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom The cast of A Murder is Announced at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore.
It’s all about the time tables! You’ve got to get yourself a
time table! Check your time tables and you’ll see that they’re telling you it’s
time to board Flight-519 on Heritage Airlines and enjoy their in-flight
entertainment: Boeing Boeing by Marc
Camoletti. Directed by Ryan Geiger, this flight-based French farce will whisk
audiences away to Paris, France circa 1962 and give them an inside look at an
American bachelor in Paris who has landed himself a fiancée.
*ccchk* Houston? *ccchk* Hello? *ccchk* Is there anybody out there?
The final frontier.
It is man’s destiny to go forth and explore. It is Alex
& Olmsted’s destiny to go forth and create extraordinary theatre with puppetry
and puppets being their cynosure into the next leg of their extraterrestrial
and theatrical experience. Marooned! A
Space Comedy is the latest offering from the Jim Henson Foundation Grant
The broken parts of a dead body will never heal. Sticks and
stones may break my bones but names— will scar me so deep that I just may never
recover. Good grief. When the iconic, albeit off-kilter, happiness of one’s
childhood, hits puberty and spirals off course with tough life lessons and
harrowing high-school truths, you get Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God. Fitting into the wheelhouse of Wolf Pack Theatre
The time is now. The day is here. Les Miserables is on stage at Storytellers: A Theater Arts Academy!
Boldly tackling the iconic behemoth that is Les
Miserables, under the Direction of Terry Sweet Bouma, with Musical
Direction by Chris Pinder, this talented cast of young performers weaves a
story like no other with their spirited and emotionally intense retelling of
Cameron Macintosh’s Les Miserables.