Cappies Review: ‘Hairspray’ at Thomas S. Wootton High School

"You Can't Stop the Beat" from Wootton's Hairspray featuring Edna (Jeffrey Morse), Amber (Jackie Kempa), Velma (Meghan Wright) and Motormouth Maybelle (Aaliyah Dixon).  Photo by Joe McCary.

Review submitted by Zoe Le Menestrel of McLean High School. Superficiality and ignorance abound in Baltimore, Maryland circa 1960, but lion-hearted Tracy Turblad, whose sense of social justice surpasses the height of her heavily lacquered hair, is prepared to turn the tide. Diving straight through the taunts about her large physique, she uses her prowess and […]

Theatre Review: ‘Richard III’ at Baltimore Shakespeare Factory

Chris Cotterman as Richard III. Photo provided by The Baltimore Shakespeare Factory.

The Baltimore Shakespeare Factory kicks off its 2014 season of “Malice and Misadventure” with the production of one of the most deliciously fun villains in Shakespeare’s canon of historical dramas. Tom Delise directs this Richard III with 15 actors portraying an astounding 50 roles. Richard III is the bloody tale of the crippled, hump-backed member […]

Theatre Review: Hal Holbrook in ‘Mark Twain Tonight!’

Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain.

Scratch one off the bucket list for this reviewer. I have been fortunate to see and work on a number of solo shows in my career and have now seen live onstage the one piece that is the pre-cursor to all the others. It featured an award-winning actor as one of America’s preeminent humorists and […]

Theatre Review: ‘Camp David’ at Arena Stage

Richard Thomas as Jimmy Carter and Hallie Foote as Rosalynn Carter in 'Camp David' at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater March 21-May 4, 2014. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Because he was witness to history — Jimmy Carter’s 13 day peace summit between the heads of Israel and Egypt in 1978 — former White House Communications director Gerald Rafshoon always felt he should capture that moment in history. After trying a couple of screenplays, he found the stage a more natural place for the […]

Theatre Review: ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ at Ford’s Theatre

The cast of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Photo by Scott Suchman.

There aren’t enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe the s-u-p-e-r-l-a-t-i-v-e production of the The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC under the brilliant direction of Peter Flynn. This one-act musical comedy – conceived by Rebecca Feldman with music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin and […]

Theatre Review: Brief Encouter by the UK troupe Kneehigh at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Photo of Hannah Yelland as Laura and Jim Sturgeon as Alec in Kneehigh’s U.S. tour of 'Brief Encounter.' Photo by Jim Cox.

The Noel Coward-based play Brief Encounter, the Kneehigh import now playing at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Landsburgh Theatre, comes to Washington as if from another era, another time and space when reality was defined by beauty, lyricism, and purity of intent.  In it, romantic love becomes but a sliver of time, stolen from the mundanity of […]

Theatre Review: ‘Bring It On The Musical’ at the Music Center at Strathmore

The cast of 'Bring It On The Musical.' Photo by Clint Tuccio.

The current tour of the high energy production Bring It On The Musical roared into the Music Center at Strathmore this past weekend and turned, what is usually a hall known for concerts, into a Broadway theatre. With its driving score and snazzy cheerleading production numbers, the show proves that sometimes it’s ok to go to […]

Theatre Review: ‘Hamlet’ at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

Nafeesa Monroe* (Gertrude) and Manu Kumasi (Hamlet) in Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s 2014 production of HAMLET directed by Sally Boyett.  Photo by Joshua McKerrow.  * Appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association.

Annapolis Shakespeare Company opens its new season with William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and director Sally Boyett chooses to modernize their production by adding guns, credit cards and 21st Century business attire. Manu Kumasi plays Hamlet, and he plays the doomed prince of Demark with all the emotional range and angst needed to portray a young man […]

Theatre Review: ‘Solomon and Marion’ by Baxter Theatre Centre (South Africa) at Kennedy Center’s 2014 International Theatre Festival

Janet Suzman and Khayalethu Anthony. Photo by Ruohin Coudyzer.

With the passing of Nelson Mandela, the universally loved leader of post-Apartheid South Africa, the attention of that nation has returned to the difficult business building civil society.  But harmony has proven hard to achieve, and a history of economic dispossession has led to epidemics of lawlessness and gang violence, with random shootings made even […]

Theatre Review: ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ by Visible Fictions Theatre Company (Scotland) at Kennedy Center’s 2014 International Theatre Festival

WORLD STAGES: The Adventures of Robin Hood, Visible Fictions (Scotland).  Photo courtesy of Visible Fictions Theatre Company.

The more than a dozen productions that make up the World Stages International Theater Festival in Kennedy Center, most are listed for mature audiences. Others are listed for those at least this 15 and up. Even a marionette show was recommended for those 14 and up. That leaves “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” a production […]

Cappies Review: ‘Macbeth’ at Northwood High School

Noah Wasco (Donalbain), Sam Gracia (Duncan), Simon Enagonio (Malcom), Muhammed Rafinelli (Lenox), Emily Tartaglia (Angus/Menteth/Old Man), and Blake Johnson (Rosse).  Photo by Stephanie Smestad.

Review submitted by Makiko Miyazaki of Walt Whitman High School. Yet here’s a spot. Out, damned spot!” Lady Macbeth’s shriek of agony pierces the audience in any production of the poignant play, Macbeth. The unsettling scene, in which she, driven mad by the countless murders she helped commit to push her husband to power, tries to […]

Theatre Review: ‘Not by Bread Alone’ presented by Nalaga’at Theater Deaf-Blind Acting Ensemble as part of World Stages International Theater Festival at Kennedy Center

The cast of Not By Bread Alone. Photo courtesy of Kennedy Center.

Eleven deaf and blind actors are in a kitchen making, kneading, and baking dough. “Welcome to our darkness and silence,” one says. “We invite you to share our everyday lives together. In the darkness, you may encounter things you would prefer to forget.” These thought-provoking words illuminate what some people may take for granted; one’s sight and one’s […]

Theatre Review: ‘The Admission’ at Theater J

L to R: Pomme Koch, Hanna Eady, Leila Buck, Danny Gavigan Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

In 1987, the First Intifada broke out and plunged Israeli cities and Palestinian villages into utter chaos. Every neighbor was suddenly a potential enemy, and many feared for their lives and those of their loved ones. It is during these troubled times that, in Motti Lerner’s The Admission, Avigdor (Michael Tolaydo) begins construction on a […]

Show Review: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents ‘Built to Amaze’ at Baltimore Arena

Andre McClain, Ringmaster. Photo by JC Photos.

Nothing makes you feel more like a kid again than a trip to the circus. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey presents, Built to Amaze an amazing circus show that captures the excitement and fun of tightrope acrobatic stunts and stunning exotic animals performing rare tricks. Built to Amaze is a magical experience for every […]