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Review: ‘Little Women’ at American Univeristy

Louisa May Alcott’s evergreen tale of female fortitude and family virtues beams its inspiring message once again at American University’s lovely new production of Little Women, the musical. A talented cast, framed by a gorgeous set, excellent lighting, and a fine musical ensemble, provides local audiences with a charming and thoroughly professional performance of an […]

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Dangereuse: ‘Emilie’ by Lauren Gunderson at WSC Avant Bard

Emilie Our Contemporary Emilie du Châtelet, scientist, mathematician, lover of Voltaire, genius, is a perfect example of the power of women in the 18th century and today. Many of the challenges to women of the past are still with us: gender, racial, sexual preference, religious and ethnic discrimination. There is violence against women, sexual assault, and […]

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In the Moment: ‘Jazz4Justice’ at Center for the Arts

Hardy, inspiring community engagement is vital for the continuing health of the performing arts. That is a given. With challenging times for arts funding; the changes in the acceptance of the one-time, all-encompassing subscription-based model for patrons; and so many newer forms of entertainment available that have caught the eyes of theater-goers: building strong community […]

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Sondra Radvanovsky. Photo courtesy The Metropolitan Opera.

Review: ‘Norma’ at The Metropolitan Opera and Live in HD

The new Metropolitan Opera production of Norma, which opened the company’s season, is the most intimate presentation of Vincenzo Bellini’s classic that I’ve ever seen. Norma is an impressive monument and has been called “the Mount Everest of operas.” Yet director David McVicar sees it as a family story, and conductor Carlo Rizzi conducts it […]

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Review: ‘Ideation’ at Theatre Exile

Ethics, morality, self-interest, and accountability are the big issues addressed in Theatre Exile’s smashing production of Aaron Loeb’s Ideation, in a sardonic send-up of over-the-top ambition, greed, expectations, and machinations in corporate America. Directed with no-holds-barred humor and razor-sharp insight by company Founder Joe Canuso, the provocative show uses shock value to examine our core […]

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Magic Time!: ‘Judge Me Not’ at DC Arts Center

Strong writing, passionate acting, and a meaningful purpose combined to make Judge Me Not a gem of a show. An assemblage of monologues around a common theme, the show came with a message: Do not pass snap judgment on others whose life story you know nothing of. As staged two nights only in the DC Arts […]

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The ensemble and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Photo courtesy The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Review: ‘West Side Story’ staged by The Philadelphia Orchestra

West Side Story has never sounded as good as in last weekend’s performances by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra. It even surpassed Leonard Bernstein’s own recording, which sounds sluggish in comparison. Never once did Yannick and the Philadelphians sound like a symphony orchestra performing a pops concert. Rather, the 42-year-old led a jazzy performance […]

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Review: ‘Pippin’ at The Arlington Players

The Arlington Players are entering the last weekend of their production of Pippin, a show that promises magic and fantastic feats, with book by Roger Hirson and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. The original Broadway production was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse in 1972 to much acclaim, and the show went on to […]

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Review: Margaret Cho: ‘Fresh Off the Bloat’ at Warner Theatre

Aptly named this year as one of the “50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine, five-time Grammy and Emmy nominated comedian, actress, and activist Margaret Cho returned to Warner Theatre Saturday night, blazed and primed to set DC on fire with her signature snarky, razor-sharp wit in her brand new, no-holds […]

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Review: ‘The Color Purple: The Musical’ at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre

Timing could not be better for a professionally mounted, national tour of The Color Purple: The Musical. Call this a reminder-on-wheels that sexual exploitation is not a Hollywood invention. Judging by the passionate outpourings of an opening night crowd at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre, there are plenty of untreated wounds out there needing some redress. What […]

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Review: ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ at the Folger Theatre

All for Love Noted critic Harold Bloom once said, “We certainly can say that Cleopatra and Antony do not bore each other, and they are bored, erotically and otherwise, by everyone else in their world.” As characters, they are expansive and endlessly interesting. Director Robert Richmond’s production focuses on the love affair between these two […]

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Paul Diem as Edgar. Photo by Britt Olsen-Ecker.10

Review: ‘Lear’ at Single Carrot Theatre

 Go call your dad. I’m not even kidding. By the time Young Jean Lee published Lear, in 2010, she was already le dernier cri in New York theater. The New York Times called her “A rising star of the downtown theater scene;” New York Magazine said she was “the clearest indication that the avant-garde isn’t […]

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Review: ‘Carrie: The Musical’ at Cumberland Theatre

Excellently directed by Kimberli Rowley with crisp musical direction from Daniel Chambers, Carrie: The Musical is an intensely emotional show not to be missed at Cumberland Theatre this Halloween season. Based on the famous Stephen King novella and movie of the same name, Carrie: The Musical tells the story of what happens when high school […]

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Duck (Shaquille Stewart) in the cage of his mind being harassed by his brother Crumb (James Nelson). Photo courtesy of Tom Block.

Review: ‘Duck’ by Tom Block at the Highwood Theatre

What difference does 1% make? In the case of Duck, a new play by Tom Block currently playing at the Highwood Theatre in Silver Spring, 1% can be the difference between life and death. Duck follows the internal struggle of Duck, a CIA statistician who earned that eponymous nickname because, under periods of great stress, […]

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Review: NEA Jazz Master Lee Konitz’s Birthday Celebration at The Kennedy Center

Nonagenarian jazz–what is it? It’s Lee Konitz leading a quartet that includes George Schuller on drums, Jeremy Stratton on bass, and Dan Tepfer on piano. And in his Kennedy Center’s Birthday Celebration, Konitz couldn’t have been any more expressive, or ready for flight. Nuanced, graceful, unhurried, and sublime are but a few of the descriptors […]

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