Before we plunge into the guts of
this review, let me offer an admission: I am not generally a fan of musicals.
That said, I am incredibly fond of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case
of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. I even reread it in preparation for reviewing
Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical, with book and lyrics by Leslie Briscusse
and music by Frank Wildhorn. I imagined that my affection for the source
Before we plunge into the guts of
Queenie was a blonde.
And Burrs will make you happy.
And Kate is the life of the party.
And maybe they like it that way.
They’re raising the roof over at The Greenbelt Arts Center with their wild, wild party. Not just any party, but Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party, directed by Jeffrey Lesniak with Musical Direction by Elizabeth Alford, and Choreography by Rikki Lacewell.
For my part, I will have only those glorious, womanly
pleasures of being very verbose and very favorable to The Rude Mechanical’s
production of William Wycherley’s The Country Wife. A far cry from very
slovenly, though indeed ‘tis very drunk, this quirky Restoration comedy
(apparently there was humor in the restoration era) under the direction of Alan
Duda, finds its footing not in its original setting but rather in the posh and
swanky New York City of the 1950’s.
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,
Amanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom
In the post-modern age, people
have the right to express who they are unabashedly and the freedom to
experience connections with a wide variety of people – without judgment. A
person may identify as cis- or transgender, non-binary, or agender – gay,
straight, or bisexual – single or married – monogamous or polyamorous – or any
combination of these – and this diversity is tolerated (for the most part.)
It’s a brave new world we live in,
Amanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom
Stonefish is an original play by
Erica Smith and directed by David Dieudonne.
Without wishing to spoil, Stonefish
revolves around fraternal twins Mason and Dixon (both played by Amanda Zeitler)
their younger brother Lewis, (Ren Stone) their father Stan, (Sean Butler) and
their piano teacher, Christopher (Matt Baughman.) The play itself deals heavily with grief and
little one can say about the plot without spoiling the thread of the story
except in that while it is a clever concept,
The Toxic Avenger, directed by Jeffery Lesniak, is a musical based on the movie of the same name and both a playful parody of the superhero genre and of conventional musical theatre sensibilities. The plot revolves around a toxic dump of a fictional New Jersey town called Tromaville and its dark knight—Melvin Ferd the Third, a sweet, stereotypical nerd with a crush on his pretty (and blind—beware there are a lot of blind jokes that get old quickly) librarian friend Sarah and deep-seated convictions about cleaning up the town and calling out the corrupt mayor Babs Belgoody.
Spring Awakening – Charity, Chastity, Choreography
Every generation thinks they invented sex. Spring Awakening is how they invented it under the Second Reich. Wolf Pack Theatre Company brings you this oft-censored 1890 play which was revamped as a musical in 2006 to win eight Tony Awards.
Co-director William Leary usually chooses dark and heavy adult subject matter, and continues to do so with Spring Awakening – this time with adolescents.
How goes the world? A loaded question if ever there was one to be asked, especially in this day and age. But set yourself back from this day and age, set your dial of existence back to 1978 in order to prepare yourself to digest The Rude Mechanicals’ latest offering: Timon of Athens. Directed by Joshua Engel, this miscreant play of Williams Shakespeare’s is finding a new lens through which to be viewed in the hands of The Rude Mechanicals.
“It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another.” – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
If there were a conceivable method to resuscitate the dead, would you want to use it? How far would you go to achieve this goal? What if it all went horribly awry? Fictional character Victor Frankenstein attempts to do just that in an infamous novel published in 1818 by author Mary Shelley.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be. While The Rude Mechanicals aren’t currently producing Hamlet, there’s logic in that quote that could and should be readily applied to The Merchant of Venice, which The Rude Mechanicals are currently producing. Said advice would go far for both Antonio and Shylock and save everyone the trouble of their various plights fraught with woe and unfortunate circumstances.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a young man named William Shakespeare who was a huge science fiction playwright. No, wait. That’s not right. Let’s try that again. There was once a man named Bob Carlton, who penned a science fiction play called Return to the Forbidden Planet, an homage to the classic works of William Shakespeare – and of course the classic 1956 film,
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.
“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.
Ordinarily, the day after Thanksgiving consists of folks sitting around the house with still-loosened belts, eating delicious leftovers, perhaps catching up on missed episodes of favorite TV shows, and/or attempting to recover from the tryptophan-induced comas still plaguing them from the night before. But this year – at least for some – things unfolded a little differently. Instead of relaxing in their living rooms, dozens and dozens of people filled the seats at the Greenbelt Arts Center to watch a visually stunning,
Introducing a significant other to Mom and Dad is a ubiquitous rite of passage that can be simultaneously exciting and terrifying. You want that first meeting to go perfectly. You hope your partner will like your parents. You pray your parents will return the feeling and give you both their blessing. But, what do you do when your family DOESN’T approve of your relationship? If you are Sarah Goldman, the main character in the Greenbelt Arts Center production of Beau Jest (written by James Sherman and Directed by GAC staple Norma Ozur) the answer is clear– you conjure up a more “suitable” suitor to introduce to your parents– and then hire an actor to bring the character to life.
Content Warning! Midnight Cigarette contains nudity, racist, derogatory and inflammatory terminology, sexual situation, graphic content, coarse language, controversial conversations regarding politics, abortion, incest, rape, domestic violence, and scenes of substance abuse.
So reads the insert in the program of William Leary’s latest play. Set in a coal town with no more coal, Midnight Cigarette revolves around the remains of those still trying to live there. It’s a small town where everyone knows most everything about everyone,
A collaborative adaptation of As You Like It by William Shakespeare; this is the marketing tag for The Rude Mechanical’s latest production— Arden Now— which debuted earlier this summer at the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival. Now playing at the Greenbelt Arts Center for a two-weekend engagement, the doors have been opened to those unwilling or unable to attend the chaotic frenzy that is CapFringe, and the stage is a veritable carnival of concepts that don’t quite come together as Director Melissa Schick intends in her director’s note.
Josh Mooney’s Jack Kirby opens at his drawing board, carrying the weight of one of the most crucial careers in modern arts. From lights up, the entire story unfolds in his eyes. King Kirby tells the story behind the man who created some of the most popular figures in modern media: Captain America, The X-Men, The Avengers, and many more. They fill the summer box office and take in billions of dollars.
There’s always a moment where you can turn back before it’s too late! And the “too late” moment of missing Thunderous Productions’ summer offering of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile is quickly approaching! With just a few performances left in the Greenbelt Arts Center black box three-quarters-thrust space, this edgy classic murder mystery will keep you on your toes questioning through to the end. Directed by Rick Starkweather, this is one whodunit whose conclusion will have your spine tingling by the time it unwinds.
What fire is in my ears? All of Shakespeare’s women in one show? Can it be so? Well, that might be a bit absurd, even for The Rude Mechanicals, but they do come close, featuring a varied assortment of all of the Bard’s leading ladies in just shy of two hours’ stage traffic! Conceived and Directed by Leanne G. Stump, this selection of scenes showcases some of the finer moments of Shakespeare’s female characters,
“Think and wonder, wonder and think.” Infamous children’s book author Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) seemed to be a big fan of a good think. All throughout his books, he encouraged kids to think for themselves, find out and become who they are and fight for what they believe in. So, it’s no small wonder that a musical based on his books is all about characters trying to do just that. Seussical, The Musical,
The world may change but people stay the same, at least they do in Newfoundland. This is a sobering discovery for rock-legend Oran Tobin when he returns home for the first time since childhood. Coping with the loss of a father he never knew, his declining career, and rocky relationship, the rock star vocalist finds himself drowning in a tidal wave of nostalgia and memories that are not quite his own as he encounters for the first time the legend that was the father he never knew.
Suppose within the girdles of the Greenbelt Arts Center’s walls are now confined two mighty forces— The Rude Mechanicals: a community theatre troupe that delivers judiciously trimmed and readily accessible Shakespearean plays— and Henry V: Shakespeare’s middle Henry history play. Directed by Rebecca Speas, this muse of fire finds its place among the Bard’s canon in true Rude Mechanicals style and delivers swiftly the plot, the point,
Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more! But what if it’s your first time into the breach, like it is for Director Rebecca Speas, who’s taking Henry V out for her first full-length directorial debut? Or you’re newcomer Allison McAlister fresh to the Maryland theatre scene by way of North Carolina and delving into the titular role of the show? In a TheatreBloom exclusive interview, we sit down with Rebecca and Allison to get an idea of what muses stoke their fire when it comes to the Bard and his great history lesson.
The core values of the United States Marine Corps (according to their website) are “honor, courage, and commitment.” The best Marines respect the chain of command and obey orders without question. But what if an order involves an immoral or even illegal act? Should a Marine have the honor, courage, and commitment to challenge that order? Or should he blindly follow military protocol – even if it could have dire consequences, including possible arrest and court-martial?
“Everyone has got a kink, what’s yours?” In kinK, Wolfpack Theatre Company once again invites you to get beyond your immediate gut response to really think about an issue and consider the lives it affects. kinK, an evocative and risqué new work by company founder William Dean Leary, asks what happens when the community’s creed “Safe – Sane – Consensual” encounters the notion of “There are no limits.”
The black box theater of the Greenbelt Arts Center has been transformed into a leather/levi bar.
Misery. Grief. Despair. These are the ailments with which English housewife Charlotte Wilson finds herself plagued in the suffocating confines of dreary, rainy London. She needs a break. She needs to bring purpose into her life, which she feels like she is fast losing. One day, as she is contemplating this, she reads an advertisement in the paper, and Charlotte Wilton finds herself swept up in the enchantment of an up-for-rent village on the coast of Italy,
2016 Templeton Prize Winner Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks once said, “If Jewish survival is problematic, it is because Jewish identity itself is problematic.” What does it mean to be Jewish? How much should a person’s cultural identity define them? Has Judaism gotten so watered down that is becoming obsolete? These are some of the themes that course through Bad Jews, the Greenbelt Arts Center’s latest production, Directed by Bob Kleinberg. This is not to say that Bad Jews is a gripping and searing moral drama.
What if God was one of us? Or at least close enough to talk to us and tell us what it’s like to be Him? What existed before The Beginning? God supposedly created the universe, but who created God? These are concepts former Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus clown Rich Potter explores in the Greenbelt Arts Center production of God, The One-Man Show.
In this fast-paced,