Articles Tagged With: Shakespeare

John Stange as Coriolanus

Coriolanus at Brave Spirits Theatre

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.

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Hamlet at Shakespeare Theatre Company

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,

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The Tempest at Baltimore Shakespeare Factory

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.

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Henry VIII at The Rude Mechanicals

“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,

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Twelfth Night at Shakespeare Theatre Company


Final boarding call for all passengers boarding flight STC-2017 to Illyria. All passengers please make their way to Sidney Harman Hall and follow the instructions of the flight attendant.


The setup is astonishing, and at first a peculiar choice, but Director Ethan McSweeny’s conceptualization of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is nothing but gob-smacking by the play’s conclusion. Not unlike a cinematic psychological thriller,

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Antony and Cleopatra at Folger Theatre

Not a minute of our lives should stretch without some pleasure in it. The Folger Theatre is stretching nearly two and a half very deliberate minutes of theatrical pleasure into their current production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. One of the Bard’s tragic histories, or historical tragedies as it straddles both categories soundly, this alluring and tempting production is an enticing start for the 2017/2018 theatrical season at The Folger. Directed by Robert Richmond,

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Hamlet at Susquehanna Shakespeare Ensemble

Suit the action to the word and the word to the action! The word is shows without intermission are the new trend and the action is to apply it Shakespeare. Susquehanna Shakespeare Ensemble is boldly running an endurance test— for both audience and ensemble— with the Bard’s most renowned tragedy, Hamlet. Directed by company founder and Artistic Head Marshall B. Garrett, this DIY-Fringe style production of the Danish Prince’s woe is surprisingly accurate in both delivery and conceptualization,

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Much Ado About Nothing at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

Annapolis Shakespeare Company opens its main stage with a lavish, lush, magnificent Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare’s most genuinely romantic rom-com. Director Sally Boyett has given it a 50’s spin, with a rock-and-roll soundtrack and a spectacular Tuscan villa (by way of California), with a two-story stucco house and terra-cotta dance floor (by scenic designer Jack Golden).

Helena Farhi and Benjamin Russell play Shakespeare’s greatest lovers, Beatrice and Benedick.

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Measure for Measure at Britches and Hose Theater Company

Measure for Measure, now presented by Britches and Hose Theater Company, has always been a dark play, and it seems darker still in these dark times. A leader decides to make his country great again, appointing one who is of tremendous hypocrisy and cruelty. 

John Moss is that leader, Duke Vincentio, his performance growing stronger through the evening. His appointee is Glen Hochkeppel as Angelo, brilliantly disturbing as he enters with a feckless hand gesture and a sweep of his cape.

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Macbeth at The Gypsy Wagon Theatre Compay

Tis the bloody business which informs thus to mine eyes: a theatre company hath sprung up afresh in Reisterstown. But not just any theatre company, nay, but The Gypsy Wagon Theatre Company, whose full intention is to be mobile. At first appearing to be little more than a tin can on wheels, do not be deceived, this collapsible trailer-esque stage is purporting a tall order of theatrical design— when it comes to lighting especially— and currently presenting a mighty solid production of Shakespeare’s very own Macbeth.

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The Tempest at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

Directors Donald Hicken and Sally Boyett have created a sparkling Tempest under the stars at the Charles Carroll house in Annapolis. With a spreading tree dominating the scene and a shrub hedge covering the back stage, the hill slopes toward the river for Shakespeare’s watery play. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair… and some bug spray and you’re ready for Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s The Tempest this July. 

The early evening and the river bring a hint of cool weather to summer in Annapolis,

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Romeo and Juliet at The Green Globe Theatre

Now, thou art what thou art, a production of Romeo and Juliet. Though this production, at The Green Globe Theatre (Baltimore’s only producing eco-friendly theatre) is beyond the simple notion of star-crossed lovers meeting in fair Verona. Of course, one must be full well in all five wits to endure the length of this production, but tis worth the patience and endurance for the cinematic elements and uniquely conceived approach to placing the star-crossed lover’s tragedy in WWII Nazi occupied France circa 1944.

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Leanne Stump (left) as Katherine and Liana Olear (Right) as Alice in Henry V

She Speaks at The Rude Mechanicals

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,

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Macbeth at Susquehanna Shakespeare Ensemble

To beguile the time, look like the time. Ambitiously and bolding tackling the Bard’s Scottish tragedy as their inaugural production, Susquehanna Shakespeare Ensemble brings Macbeth to the stage in a post-apocalyptic Scotland that exists only in a theatre of the audiences’ imagination. Directed by the company’s Founding Artistic Director, Marshall B. Garrett, the spirited pacing and judicious rendering of the five-act tragedy comes smoldering over the stage in just 90 minutes. Something wicked this way runs!

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Richard III at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

“The catastrophe of power in the wrong hands.” An apt tag line for the Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s current production of Richard III as it speaks plainly to the Bard’s bloody history-borderline tragedy play and more broadly to situations at hand all around us right up to the currently political regime in the nation’s capital. Directed by Donald Hicken, this sharply rendered and quick-paced rendition of what is arguably the most violent of the history plays in Shakespeare’s canon,

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Timon of Athens at Folger Theatre

He that loves to be flattered with worthy of the flattery. What if that being flattered is deserving of the flattery? Are they too then still worthy of the flattery? Perhaps even more so! Folger Theatre, in particular Director Robert Richmond, deserves a great deal of flattery for the current production of Timon of Athens, closing out the 2016/2017 season upon the stage inside the great Folger Shakespeare Library. Under Robert Richmond’s judiciously rendered vision and modernization,

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Montgomery College Theatre Department's cast of Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night at Montgomery College

Foolery does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere and in particular a wandering fool walks about the Montgomery College Theatre Department’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. No ordinary walker, this rambling rover, this folk-faring peregrinator, this witty fool with foolish wit, along with his ever-playing guitar and Bob Dylan songs, becomes the focal point of this production, shifting the lens through which the audience views the world and existences of Viola,

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The Life and Death of Richard II at The Rude Mechanicals

Discomfort guides this servant’s tongue, you see

When first to speak on the venue known as the DCAC

But fear not, playgoers, for I share with you

Good news of The Rude Mechanicals and their show of Richard II

Laboriously titled The Life and Death Of

They present to you from one floor above

A judiciously rendered version that moves quite free

Of this early and poetic tale of history

Directed by Michael F.

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I Hate Hamlet at Dundalk Community Theatre

You know you’ve made it in Hollywood when your face is five stories high and six zeros wide. But what about the theatre? Can you ever truly say you’ve made it there if you haven’t played the Bard’s greatest role? Doesn’t everyone dream of playing Hamlet? Not Andrew Rally, television’s hot-shot novice surgeon who moonlights as a nature-loving chipmunk-kissing commercialist on the side. That is, of course until he finds himself in New York City in John Barrymore’s apartment,

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As You Like It at Folger Theatre

Love is merely a madness; there is a madness running rampant through the forest of Arden— strewing its favors hither and thither, mostly in the form of poetic verse all about the stage and the house of The Folger Theatre. As You Like It, the Bard’s great love story among the comedies, comes to the 2017-side of the season under the Direction of Gaye Taylor Upchurch and brings with it a thorough examination of love in many flavorful varieties.

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All The Folger’s Her Stage: An Interview with Director Gaye Taylor Upchurch on As You Like It

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. On the Folger Theatre stage, they have their entrances and their exits, all overseen, given form and structure, and creatively envisioned by Director Gaye Taylor Upchurch. In a TheatreBloom exclusive interview, we sit down with the show’s Director to get her take on what’s up with As You Like It.

Thank you for giving us some time,

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[gay] Cymbeline at Theatre Prometheus

Make Shakespeare gay again! The perfectly timed hangtag for Theatre Prometheus’ latest production from the Bard’s canon, [gay] Cymbeline. The company as a whole, though only entering their fourth year, lives up to their motto— “we bring the fire.” For not only do they boldly and daringly swap around the genders in William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline to present a lesbian love story, but their judiciously rendered production actually makes the plot palatable and sensible!

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Review: Hamlet at Compass Rose Theater

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Thinking on the whole that Compass Rose Theater is delivering a good production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not a bad thought to have. Directed by Lucinda Merry-Browne, one of the Bard’s most iconic tragedies treads the boards in its most simplistic form. A harkening back to basic Shakespeare in the intimate black-box theatre, the production plants itself on solid ground and delivers a curious approach to madness as a central focus of these time-tested characters.

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Review: Twelfth Night at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

I say there is no darkness but ignorance, and to remain ignorant of the truly sensational production of Twelfth Night that is gracing itself upon the stage of the Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s studio stage would be to remain steeped in the depths of an aphotic gloom of indescribable proportions. Directed by the company’s Artistic Director— Sally Boyett— this reimagined, innovative approach pays homage to the glistening golden era of Hollywood’s silver screen,

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The Bard & The Beautiful by Twisted Knickers Burlesque at Yellow Sign Theatre

What soft through yonder window breaks? It is Burlesque! And Twisted Knickers is the sun! A strip! A tease! Their kingdom for a strip-tease! The Bard & The Beautiful brought some of Shakespeare’s finest work as it was meant to be experienced— by the groundlings with a true appreciation for beauty of all varieties— to the stage of Yellow Sign Theatre. And although tis no longer midsummer, what was witnessed was beyond the audience’s wildest dreams!

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Review: Love’s LaBEERS Lost at Live Art DC

Duuuude! Are you down to party with the King of Navarre? Naaah man, I hear he’s got some wicked sick rules— like ‘No woman shall come within a mile of his court on pain of losing her tongue’ and ‘If any bro be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.’ But we hear he throws killer parties!

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Junius Brutus Booth (L- Scott Burke) as Richard III on the battlefield with Flynn (R- Alex Hacker) informing him of news of Richmond in "His Majestic Lump of Foul Deformity"

Review: His Majestic Lump of Foul Deformity at Analog Players

Frame your face for all occasions! What is more miserable than discontent? For now is the winter of our discontent, though it be but the first day of autumn, and Analog Players will trade its kingdom for your horse if your horse be but, in fact, a butt in a seat inside the Yellow Sign Theatre as you attend His Majestic Lump of Foul Deformity. Written and Directed by Alex Hacker,

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Review: Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Men’s eyes were made to look and let them gaze upon the riveting new production of Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare Theatre Company. Directed by Alan Paul, this revitalized and somewhat modern approach to the Bard’s most woeful tragedy attends the fates gaily and with swift justice for both the poetic nature of the text and the emotional capacity of the plot. Perilously little can be ascribed in complaint,

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Review: Antony and Cleopatra at Brave Spirits Theatre

Jessica Lefkow is, indeed, “fire and air” in Brave Spirits Theatre’s brilliant, bold production of Antony and Cleopatra. She is riveting every moment she is on stage, evincing the kind of charisma that the fabled Egyptian queen used to enthrall two great Roman generals. One was Julius Caesar, who died in the eponymous play. The other is Mark Antony, played with passion by Joe Carlson. His spirit draws Cleopatra so powerfully to him,

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Scott Burke (left) as Junius Brutus Booth and Alex Hacker (right) as Flynn

Their Kingdom for an Interview: Talking Richard III with Playwright Alex Hacker and Actor Scott Burke

Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on Alex Hacker. The Baltimore-based playwright and actor has is preparing for the world premiere of his newest work, His Majestic Lump of Foul Deformity, debuting with his company The Analogue Players later this month. But the play itself was an accidental response when Hacker hit a creative roadblock to a different work (one still in progress) that at present remains unfinished. In a TheatreBloom exclusive interview,

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