2018: the entire world— of Washington DC— is on high alert. No one can deny these are difficult times, especially if you’re trying to snag a ticket into the pre-Broadway trial engagement of Chess now appearing at The Kennedy Center for its limited five-day run. With a new book by Danny Strong, the musical— originally conceived by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson, and Björn Ulvaeus— is more potent than ever in its political charge,
All magic shows are pretty much the same; or so I thought. Last night I was kept on the edge of my seat by brilliant lighting effects, stadium rocking music, comedy, thrilling acts and even a little Strange. Sam Strange that is.
Right from the start Edward Hilsum – Visual Magic Expert, had us asking, “how did he do that?” with his ability to make doves appear and disappear in thin air.
In 1879 when Henrik Ibsen premiered his play A Doll’s House he probably didn’t imagine that today, nearly 139 year later, it would be the inspiration for a new work about a modern Iraqi-American family who welcome an Iraqi refugee into their home for Christmas. But that is exactly what has happened, Heather Raffo has brought Ibsen’s work to new life with her play Noura, now playing at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lansburgh Theatre as part of the Women’s Voices in Theater Festival.
Did I tell you the story? The story of the #uglycry of the century? Did I tell you the story? The story of the most evocative musical to take to the stage in recent history? Did I tell you the story? The story of truth, humanity, reality, and life all swirled together through song and narrative perfection, unwinding, unraveling, and unfurling in The Max Theatre at Signature Theatre this winter? Did I tell you the story of Light Years?
In a time where our students are facing issues with identity, popularity, socializing, and acceptance on an almost minute-by-minute basis, a show like Heathers, where each character openly discusses their role in the social environment of high school, is poignant, relevant, and necessary. Street Lamp Productions’ brilliant performance of the musical hits all of the right notes, both literally and metaphorically.
Based on the 1980’s cult-movie of the same name,
For a world turned upside down as 2018, Director Charlene V. Smith has crafted a riveting, provocative, explosive Coriolanus. “Are we even capable of not harming ourselves?” she asks in the director’s notes, echoing Tori Boutin as citizen of Rome: “We willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our will.”
Smith’s Rome is not a pinnacle of civilization. It’s violent and dirty, its citizens easily provoked to engage every whim.
To see or not to see… that is the question! Spotlighters’ latest production in their 56th season is none other than Paul Rudnick’s 1991 comedy-drama I Hate Hamlet, directed by Hillary Glass and Ilene Chalmers. The play revolves around the young and successful television actor Andrew Rally who has just relocated to New York after the recent cancellation of his television show. He finds his agent has booked him a gig as the titular character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet,
Like Laurel and Hardy, like Coke and Bacardi, like Romeo and Juliet, ebb and flow, to and fro! Together again for the first time! They’ve only met in a— wait— when did they meet? Two of Washington DC’s most seasoned musical theatre actors, Helen Hayes-nominated and winning performers Jeffrey Shankle and David James are together again for perhaps the millionth time on the stage, but in a rare setup where they’re playing leading opposites! In a TheatreBloom exclusive interview,
Sail on! Sail on…great ship. Godspeed, Titanic. (in concert!) In a bold and ambitious move, and an unprecedented trend in the area’s community theatre scene, The Heritage Players launch the first “in-concert” musical production on their stage of the 2018 season with their floating city Titanic: In Concert. Directed by David Jennings with Musical Direction by David Zajic, this “concert-plus” experience is the ship of dreams for any community theatre.
Laughter through tears is soon to be your favorite emotion, just like the ladies of Louisiana’s Chinquapin Parish hanging out every Saturday at Truvy’s beauty shop! Kensington Arts Theatre breaks up the bleakness of midwinter with their stage production of Steel Magnolias, the emotionally heartwarming tale that was made infamous on the silver screen by movie marvels Sally Field, Dolly Parton, and the rest of the iconic 1989 film cast.
“History is the domain of rich, white men, who as a breed, are allergic to change.” Who said it? Her name is: MARY ANNING! MARY ANNING! She knows what it is like when the world won’t acknowledge you. But the universe is impartial, the universe does not care. It’s the people that populate the universe that are not impartial, the people that care. So what do you do when the people won’t acknowledge you?
The natural orders are ours to make. Gender is a sphere. Women are women regardless of what kind of women they are. Does it make you a bad feminist or a bad woman if your version of feminism and supporting women is not the same as someone from a different generation, from a different race, from a different background, from a different socio-economic standpoint? The Trojan Women Project, devised by Rachel Hynes and the ensemble,
Welcome to The National— where every show is for you— and this is new! Yes, welcome to The National— where they’ve got Something Rotten! And it’s outrageous, fantastic, and downright fun. Directed and Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, with Music & Lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, and Book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, this razzle-dazzle, hilariously side-splitting musical is great for everyone who loves theatres. It’s even greater if you like Shakespeare.
O-ho the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin’ down the street! Oh please let it be for me! O-ho the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin’ down the street— and I know, I know, I know what it must be! Why it’s bringing something special— a classic production— just for me! And all of Charm City as Third Wall Production presents The Music Man as their winter stage offering of 2018. Directed by Mike Zellhofer with Musical Direction by Andrew Zile and William Zellhofer,
Setting sail with an ambitious production, The Heritage Players is preparing to launch Titanic in Concert. Because of the piece’s ensemble nature, TheatreBloom wanted to explore the hopes and dreams of the cast and the musicians (as there are nearly 25 of each, making this an almost 50-performer theatrical experience.) Asking each of the players- both on stage and in the pit- about their dreams has proved to be a remarkable experience.
A second marriage to a new wife is perfectly acceptable and almost expected when your first wife dies young. It might even go along swimmingly, even if from time to time your late first wife surfaces in conversation. But things tend to go grievously awry when said dearly departed surfaces in her ghostly fatigues right in the center of your drawing room. In the zany high-brow comedy of wit and repartee, Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit is conjured to the main stage of Annapolis Shakespeare Company to kick-start the back end of their 2017/2018 season.
Madness in great ones must not unwatched go. By that logic, theatergoers should be rushing out to Shakespeare Theater Company for Michael Kahn’s production of Hamlet starring Michael Urie as the mad Danish prince. Disturbingly dystopian, albeit conceptually undercooked, this production marks the end of an era as Michael Kahn, the show’s director and the company’s long-standing artistic director, makes it his final production before retiring. Not without impressive performances given by the featured player and others,
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
– Maya Angelou
What is love? Why does it happen? How does it grow? When does it end? The residents of a little area way up north – Almost, Maine – have the same questions, and Director Bob Kleinberg brings their stories to the Greenbelt Arts Center just in time for Valentine’s Day.
If there isn’t a right way to do things then you have to invent one. Iron Crow Theatre is doing exactly that with their current production of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9. Directed by Dr. Natka Bianchini, this work of Churchill’s examines a lot of things but askes a great deal from the audience in order to exist as anything other than a preachy drama with a lot of confusion.
If you’re blue— and don’t know where to go— why don’t you go where theatre’s fine?
See Young Frankenstein!
Different songs to really please the ear— dancing feet to watch and you’ll cheer— it’s sublime!
See Young Frankenstein!
Dressed up like a million-dollar trooper! Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper— it’s SUPERDUPER!
You won’t get to see a better show— and Columbia is the place to go— take their word and mine!
“Our task was to dream upon and then create— a floating city!” The ship of dreams, so she’s called, in her finest element— the musical— Titanic sails for Heritage Players this winter! Debuting upon the stage of the Rice Auditorium at the Spring Grove Hospital Campus, Heritage Players is performing Titanic in Concert as their winter production offering. Exploring this ship of dreams, TheatreBloom sits down with Director David Jennings and Musical Director David Zajic to discuss the living dream of this massive musical.
Sometimes what we long for is staring us right in the face. This could not be a truer example than in Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble In Tahiti, Directed by David Schweitzer, with Musical Direction by Benjamin Shaver, now playing at Stillpointe Theatre.
From the moment that you enter the venue, you are captivated by Scenic/Properties Designer Ryan Haase’s transformation of an upper church room into a 1950’s “supper club”. The covered tables,
“I was somebody once.”
“We were all somebody once.”
“I thought I was somebody now.”
What do you do when your life doesn’t pan out the way you thought it would? Do you mourn? Rage? Retreat to memory (at least, as long as your memory holds)? Or do you find the humor and accept life on life’s terms? Set in the solarium of an English country house turned home for the aging,
Rapid Lemon Production’s production of Love is a Blue Tick Hound found a beautiful way to touch and create an intimate environment for the audience to grow a connection with each character on stage. Audrey Cefaly wrote four different plays that are displayed long enough to grow a bond with each character, whether that would be a waitress laying on the floor of an Italian restaurant or a man on his second date receiving an ear piercing with a potato in his hand.
According to the Oxford Living Dictionary the meaning of Cancer is “A disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body”. Sounds so simple right? A nicely put definition for a disease that is anything but nice and simple. This is the backbone for Margaret Edson’s Wit, a dark comedy that won her the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1999, which is currently playing at Silver Spring Stage under the direction of Jeff Mikoni.
Be it Christmas, Thanksgiving, Passover, or Festivus, the family convening for an annual anticipated holiday ritual that begins with good intentions, love, and thanks for all those gathering, but will inevitably devolve into a miserable airing of deeply-buried, lifelong grievances is one of the most tired and overused tropes in the cannon of American theatrical comedy or drama. When creativity comes to a halt, have a family dinner to force the blowup. Steven Karam’s 2016 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning The Humans,
Cold winter blues got you down? Feeling the urge to “shake it” but don’t have a good beat? Would you like to experience a range of emotions, but ultimately leave happy and dancing your way to your car? Wonderful! The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has just the cure for you! Right now in their Opera House you can go feel the rhythm of On Your Feet! The Emilio and Gloria Estefan Broadway Musical.
The Tempest should always open with a bang. It often brings out the high tech and the special effects. Baltimore Shakespeare Factory brings The Tempest back to its roots. Their space, inspired by Elizabethan theaters, holds what it needs to bring a storm inside: the imagination of the actors and the audience. It’s a high-energy opening to a high-energy show. It’s a great workout for the cast… and a bit for the audience.
“Men’s evils manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.” And we shall now ascribe the virtues of The Rude Mechanicals production of Henry VIII in ink. Well, digital ink. Directed and Choreographed by Liana Olear, this ‘lost history’ (the most boring of the boring and banal of banal Shakespearean histories) is revitalized and given a new lease on life. Olear’s strategic placement of the historical recounting of the eighth Henry in the mid 1910’s lends itself to her dancer’s passion,
Abracadabra! Alakazam! With a wave of a wind and a flick of the hand you’ve got— MAGIC. And not just any magic but Champions of Magic coming live to The Hippodrome Theatre this February! In a TheatreBloom exclusive interview, we took a quick across-the-pond call with illusionist and magician Sam Strange— of Young & Strange, one of the featured magic acts appearing with Champions of Magic— to chat about the craft and what has him so fascinated with magic and illusion enough to want to perform it world-wide.