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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No Jacket Required, Apparently: Talking Death of a Salesman, In the Heights, and The Wild Party on Around Town
You can see for yourself what a business-casual mood I was in the day Robert Aubry Davis, Jane Horwitz, and I convened at WETA to shoot a fresh batch of Around Town segments. Perhaps you are correct that I should have chosen a shirt that is not the same shade as our studio backdrop. Hey, I don't tell you how to do your part-time job.
I reviewed Ford's Death of a Salesman and Constellation's The Wild Party for the Washington City Paper. For In the Heights, the musical I herein refer to as "Lin-Manuel Miranda's THX-1138," I didn't write about it. I just bought four more tickets the morning after to take my folks.
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.
After our summer hiatus, I'm back on WETA's Around Town with host Robert Aubry Davis and fellow theatregoer Jane Horwitz to talk about three recent shows I reviewed for the Washington City Paper: MetroStage's historical musical Uprising, Olney Theatre Center's brutal-but-funny addiction drama Bad Dog, and Synetic Theatre's confused new version of Alice in Wonderland. You will no doubt notice from my lapels that I am wearing a new sport jacket, at my mom's insistence. Anyway, please enjoy my stuttering, my trailing off, and of course, my truly peerless sportjacket-wearing.Read More
My reviews of Bad Dog, a tough new comedy about alcoholism from prestige-TV writer Jennifer Hoppe-House, and Alice in Wonderland, Synetic Theatre's watery take on the Lewis Carroll classic as reinterpreted by former Washington Post film & theatre critic Lloyd Rose, are in today's Washington City Paper. I got paid to write them but you can read them for free. Everybody wins.