There's been no shortage of opportunities to see Mary Stuart, Friedrich Schiller's early 19th century play about mid-16th century skullduggery among queens, in the DMV over the last decade. But Olney Theatre Center honcho Jason Loewith's stripped-down update is good. I reviewed it in last week's Washington City Paper, and discussed it briefly on Around Town, which you can see below.
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Filtering by Tag: Mitchell Hebert
My review of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company's "rich and fervent" production of Taylor Mac's family tragicomedy Hir is in this week's Washington City Paper, along with a shorter one of WSC Avant Bard's latest King Lear — which just might be the swan song of one of DC's most venerable actors, the great Rick Foucheux. Pick up a paper copy for old time's sake.
The Heaven Over New York: Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches and Angels in America, Part II: Perestroika, reviewed.
Lemme tell ya, people: It was much easier to figure out why Tony Kusher's most recent play is lousy than it was to try to figure out why Angels in America, the epic masterpiece that shall be his legacy, is so good. You have countless other, more reputable sources on that, of course. I was just writing about the show's latest and largest local revival, the product of a Marvel Team-Up between Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre.
While researching this review I discovered that Mike Nichols' 2003 HBO miniseries of Angels in America earned four-stars-out-of-four for its artistic merit and four-for-four for its depiction of the nursing profession on the website The Truth About Nursing.
FURTHER READING: Here's my review of the 2011 revival of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, which came to Arena Stage four years ago. It was the first major play to address the AIDS crisis, and it was written from inside the trenches with shells exploding all around. Which is at least one of the reasons it hasn't had (in my opinion) the afterlife the more contemplative and mythic Angels, written several years afterward, has had. (Twelve years elapsed between Angels' premiere and its emergence as an HBO miniseries; for The Normal Heart to go from the stage to HBO took 29 years.)
Once again, Isaac Butler and Dan Kois' mighty oral history of Angels in America—soon to be expanded to book-length!—is here, and highly recommended.
We've got an An-ton of Chekhov in DC just now, what with Arena Stage doing Christopher Durang's Tony Award-winning, Chekhov-inflected Sonia and Masha and Vanya and Spike, while Round House Theatre has put together a sublime new Uncle Vanya, working from Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker's recent translation of the play.
I review both of those in today's Washington City Paper. I have seen Live Art DC's staged-in-a-bar Drunkle Vanya yet, but it's stumbling distance from my apartment so I should find the time.
FURTHER READING: My 2010 review of Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation. My 2011 review of Sydney Theatre Company's Liv Ullmann-directed, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving-starring Uncle Vanya. My 2012 review of Baker's The Aliens. My 2013 review of Aaron Posner's Stupid Fucking Bird, and its follow-up, from earlier, this year, Life Sucks, or the Present Ridiculous. Surely that's more than enough.
No stage production of Glengarry Glen Ross feels complete to me without the speech David Mamet added for the movie version, eight years after his play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1984. But Round House Theatre’s Mitchell Hebert-directed version is solid if not revelatory. Reviewed in today’s City Paper.