Reviews

Into the Woods at Memorial Players

You may know what you need, but to get what you want, better see that you keep what you have! And what Memorial Players has is an extraordinarily talented production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods. And what they want is for everyone in Baltimore to come and see it. So they need you to do exactly that! Running just two weekends, and as always at Memorial Players, a free performance for all in attendance,

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The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence at Silver Spring Stage

If you expect to see a pipe smoking, violin playing, deerstalker wearing detective Sherlock Holmes solving crimes you’ve come to the wrong show. This show is not about Holmes at all, it’s about his companion Dr. John Watson (and he does wear a deerstalker, fans of the iconic hat may rejoice!). Well, the play really isn’t about Dr. John Watson either. Actually it’s really very complicated and complex. The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence comes from the mind of award-winning playwright Madeline George and it won the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award.

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Sweet Charity at The Heritage Players

Hey Big Spender! Spend a little time… with Heritage Player’s latest production, Sweet Charity! Based on Federico Fellini’s screenplay Nights of Cabiria, with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and book by Neil Simon, Sweet Charity is the 1966 musical about a starry-eyed young woman who’s looking for love in all the wrong places. The show revolves around the ever hopeful and aptly named Charity Hope Valentine,

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Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at Greenbelt Arts Center

Back in 1887, Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the world to the now-infamous sleuthing mastermind, Sherlock Holmes.  More than a century later, playwright Ken Ludwig adapted Doyle’s third crime novel, the well-known Hound of the Baskervilles, as a madcap, sometimes dizzyingly fast-paced farcical comedy, called simply – Baskerville. Directed by Ann Lowe-Barrett and produced by William Powell, this adaptation is currently being performed at the Greenbelt Arts Center to raving audiences.

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Lucky Stiff at Colonial Players

“Well, I suppose there are two ways to look at this I mean, true I am here in a foreign country with a dead man in a wheelchair, trying to pretend that nothing is wrong, and having to do all sorts of things I don’t even want to think about. On the other hand, this is a chance to earn a great deal of money in a very short time. So, for once in my life I shall think positive I will think positive.” – Harry Witherspoon

I’m positive that you will have a wonderful time at Colonial Players’ Lucky Stiff,

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Othello at Baltimore Shakespeare Factory

To thine own self be true. Wrong Shakespeare; right concept. Baltimore Shakespeare Factory is being true to their MO and giving Charm City yet another Shakespearean production in Original Pronunciation, or “OP.” Othello is the latest in BSF’s OP series and handles just as well as those before it. For those vastly versed in Shakespeare think of OP as taking it to the next level or unlocking that bonus round of never-before heard jargon that truly acquaints you with the authenticity of The Bard.

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Titanic at Scottfield Theatre Company

There’s a place called Chicago, I’ve seen it on a map. There’s a place called Mary-land, I’ve seen it on a map. There’s a place in America called “Havre de Grace” and I’m hoping it’s a bit like Broadway, oh I’m hoping that it is… and I’m hoping that the Scottfield Theatre Company will build a floating city of success with their current production of Titanic. Directed by Al Herlinger with Musical Direction by Niki Tart,

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Underground Railroad Game at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Moving history forward and making progress are not the same thing. In a highly provocative, yet critically acclaimed, exploratory and awkwardly intense theatrical experience, Teacher Caroline and Teacher Stewart takes the 5th grade students of Hanover Middle School— *caw caw* GO HAWKS!— through an interactive and immersive educational model of the Civil War. Only they aren’t really Teacher Caroline and Teacher Stewart, they are Underground Railroad Game’s co-creators Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R.

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Rapture, Blister, Burn at Maryland Ensemble Theatre

Is the grass really greener on the other side? Ever wonder what life would be like if you chose to take the opposite path? What if you could live whatever life you wanted what would it be, and do you really think that would be the key to eternal bliss or end in eternal sorrow? Rapture, Bliss, Burn written by Gina Gionfriddo, directed by Suzanne Beal and on stage now at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick,

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The Orphan Sea at Cohesion Theatre Company

Tell us your story. Let us talk with each other. But we will soon forget; that is the way of all things. Or is it? Will you forget their story? Partnered in repertory with La Llorona, in Cohesion Theatre Company’s first ever attempt at rotating repertory shows, The Orphan Sea by Caridad Svich boggles the mind over storytelling at its most primitive. Originally commissioned by The University of Missouri-Columbia Department of Theatre,

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The Glass Menagerie at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

All theatre companies have tricks in their pockets and things up their sleeves. But Annapolis Shakespeare Company is the opposite of a stage magician. A stage magician gives you the illusion that has the appearance of truth and ASC’s latest production of The Glass Menagerie as directed by Donald Hicken gives you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. There is a hard truth to Hicken’s approach to this play in memory,

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I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at Spotlighters Theatre

Let’s not talk about anything else but love! It’s worth repeating, let’s not talk about anything else but love? Why? Life is fleeting, because pleasures come, pleasures go, love can come and go in one throw! Let’s not talk about anything else but love! Love that launched a thousand ships! Love that causes war and famine! Love is love is love is love is love. Love of the theatre— is certainly what The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre has going on with their unexpected production of I Love You,

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Mani Yangilmau (center) as La Llorona with the Gatekeepers (Chara Bauer, Christian Gonzalez, Jonathan Jacobs, Mika J Nakano)

La Llorona at Cohesion Theatre Company

What’s the weirdest thing you ever believed in? A ghost? A spiritual practice? A religion? What about an urban legend? We’ve all heard them. We all have them. Some of us have even experienced them. What happens when one story crosses through multiple cultures, where everyone knows a different version of the story? Cohesion Theatre Company, in their first attempt at running shows in rep, presents La Llorona, written by Cecelia Raker,

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Brooklyn at Monumental Theatre Company

It looks like every star in heaven is shining down on DC tonight; well, shining specifically down on the Ainslie Arts Center of the Episcopal High School, which technically is in Virginia but we’ll let that slide because there’s a story behind their hands, there’s a story beneath their clothes…and Monumental Theatre Company is telling the story of Brooklyn, the edgy, immersive, in-your-face raw-and-reel musical of NYC street reality. Directed by Michael Windsor with Musical Direction by Marika Countouris and Choreography by Patricia “Pep” Targete,

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The cast of In The Heights

In The Heights at The Kennedy Center

In 2008 (or to some theatre youngsters, 7 B.H. –Before Hamilton), an up and coming Lin-Manuel Miranda took Broadway by storm with a contemporary look inside the Latino communities of Washington Heights in a groundbreaking work that featured the stories of his streets utilizing urban musical styles from salsa to rap. Ten years and two Tony Awards later, his story of women and minority business owners struggling to get ahead and “dreamers”

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Newsies at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Toby’s Carries Banner! Makes Newsies  Smash Success!

Toby’s on a mission! Kills competition with stellar new musical production!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Newsies makes area premiere at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia! Directed by Mark Minnick & Toby Orenstein with Musical Direction by Ross Scott Rawlings and Choreography by Ilona Kessell, this moving and inspirationally sensational Disney musical inspired by the 1992 Disney film is a regular prize-winning affair.

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Shrek at Charm City Players

I thought that love was only true in fairytales…. Then I saw Shrek, directed by Stephen Napp, at Charm City Players and now I’m a believer! The Charm City Players are in residence at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Auditorium at Mercy High School.

If it were possible to capture the very definition of “collaborative theatre”, then there would have to be a reference to Charm City Players. From the moment that you walk into the theatre,

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Seussical Jr. at Children’s Playhouse of Maryland

With all of the shows round the town running loose,

Who’d ever have guessed there’d be one about Seuss?

Oh the things you must think when you this wild musical

Which one, you ask? Why the musical called Seussical!

And not just Seussical, it’s Seussical Jr. you know

Minus one butter-battle, it’s still a really great show!

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Silhouette Stages

While there’s nothing that’s formal and nothing that’s normal, there is something for everyone at Silhouette Stages—a true comedy tonight! Old situations! New complications! Nothing portentous or polite! There may be tragedy tomorrow but, thankfully, there is A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum tonight! Smartly directed by Conni Ross, with superb Musical Direction by William Georg, and entertaining Choreography by Tina DeSimone and her assistant Maddie Bohrer,

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Frankenstein at Bowie Community Theatre

Just the name alone brings an image to the mind, Frankenstein. What did you picture? A large green man with stitches covering him and bolts in his neck? While that is the general depiction of Frankenstein in our society today, the reality is that the name actually belongs to the doctor that gave life and not to his creation. Though it could be said that Doctor Frankenstein himself is the monster all along, a thought that drives the current production of Frankenstein at the Bowie Playhouse.

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Jesus Christ Superstar at Street Lamp Productions

Jesus Christ Superstar— is exactly what they say you are: a superstar… production, that is. Unfathomably brilliant in its modern conceptualization, Director and Choreographer Bambi Johnson brings this game-changing, classical Andrew Lloyd Webber musical theatre sensation to the intimate black box stage of Street Lamp Productions and creates superb divinity in the theatrical experience that is Jesus Christ Superstar. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it’s a superstar theatrical engagement that is presented with an incredible deal of talent,

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Sex With Strangers at Colonial Players

Give one sentence that totally encapsulates who you are. Impossible. What if you’re an egomaniac? That’s simple. You don’t care what people say about you as long as they say something. What if you’re a deeply insecure and rapidly approaching middle-age writer whose rejection track record has kept your current literary prospects from being approachable? That’s a bit more complex. It might be best if you don’t try to find that sentence and instead venture to Colonial Players to see their production of Sex With Strangers.

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All in the Timing at Silver Spring Stage

Everybody has to be someplace. How about Silver Spring Stage? Sure thing! It’ll be more than just words, words, words with The Stage’s production of David Ives’ All in the Timing as they prove that it is absolutely…well that. All in the timing. Six hilarious one-acts that are too hot-too-trot…sky, all rolling out one after the other over the course of the evening, what’s not to love? Directed by Rob Gorman,

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The Graduate at Dundalk Community Theatre

Dundalk Community Theatre brings to stage the classic coming of age story, “The Graduate”, Directed by Todd Starkey, with scene/lighting/sound design by Marc W. Smith, and costumer Eva Grove. As I am a fan of Mr. Starkey’s work, I was very much looking forward to this production. Having seen his phenomenal direction of Assassins, and his brilliant portrayal of Professor Callahan, perhaps I set the bar too high for this one.

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Without a Clue at Tidewater Players

It was the butler, in the drawing room, with the candlestick! Only, of course, it couldn’t be the butler because he never had a suspect card. In this zany original comedy, Without a Clue written by Mark Briner, six unsuspecting suspects are brought together for an evening of merriment, which quickly maligns itself to be an evening of mayhem and murder! It’s the usual suspects and a few wild cards getting the game underway,

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Chess at The Kennedy Center

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,

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Champions of Magic at The Hippodrome Theatre

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 Fernando Velasco – Visual Magic Expert, had us asking, “how did he do that?” with his ability to make doves appear and disappear in thin air.

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Noura at Shakespeare Theatre Company

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.

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Light Years at Signature Theatre

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?

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Heathers at Street Lamp Productions

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,

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