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Filtering by Tag: Signature Theatre

Honey, Believe Me: Girlfriend, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

James Lukas Miller (standing) and Jimmy Mavrikes sing Sweetly to one another in Signature's  Girlfriend .

James Lukas Miller (standing) and Jimmy Mavrikes sing Sweetly to one another in Signature's Girlfriend.

My review of Signature Theatre's production of Girlfriend, wherein book writer (and songwriter, though not here) David Almond takes a (then) 20-year-old album Matthew Sweet wrote about his divorce and retcons it into a minimalist musical about two boys falling in love in Nebraska the summer after high school, is in this week's Washington City Paper. A fine little show. Nothing wrong with that sort of appropriation. But everyone I've heard from who really loves it has never heard the album from which Almond borrowed its music.

Less Is More: John and Underground Railroad Game, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard, the writers/performers of  The Underground Railroad Game.  (Scott Suchman)

Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard, the writers/performers of The Underground Railroad Game. (Scott Suchman)

Criticism imitating art imitating life: My Washington City Paper review of Annie Baker's John at Signature Theatre is three times as long as my review of the touring Underground Railroad Game at Woolly Mammoth, just as John is three times as long as Underground Railroad Game. And roughly a third as rewarding.

Your mileage, as ever, may vary.

Unsinkable? Unthinkable! Signature Theatre's all-singing, all-dancing Titanic, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Christopher Bloch, Nick Lehan, Lawrence Redmond, and Bobby Smith in Signature's  Titanic.  (Christopher Mueller) 

Christopher Bloch, Nick Lehan, Lawrence Redmond, and Bobby Smith in Signature's Titanic. (Christopher Mueller) 

Signature Theatre has revived Titanic, a multi-Tony Award-winning musical from 1997 that almost no one remembers. Apparently it was upstaged by some movie? My Washington City Paper review is here.

All that (Inventor of) Jazz: Jelly's Last Jam and The Lonesome West, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Jelly's Last Jam,  a celebrated but rarely-revived musical biography of seminal jazz artist Jelly Roll Morton.

Jelly's Last Jam, a celebrated but rarely-revived musical biography of seminal jazz artist Jelly Roll Morton.

My reviews of Signature Theatre's new production of George C. Wolfe and Susan Brikenhead's early-90s Jelly Roll Morton bio-musical Jelly's Last Jam, and Keegan Theatre's production of Martin McDonagh's late-90s black comedy The Lonesome West, are in today's Washington City Paper.  Notice is served.

Gay for Play: La Cage Aux Folles, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Brent Barrett surrounded by Les Cagelles (Signature).

Brent Barrett surrounded by Les Cagelles (Signature).

My review of Signature Theatre's robust revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's beloved Reagan-era musical farce La Cage Aux Folles is in this week's Washington City Paper. I like the show, but I don't like my review as much as the one I wrote of the Goodspeed Opera House's production about a year ago, as part of my coursework for the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's National Critics Institute. Which is odd, because I remember thinking I was producing mostly unpublishable copy while I was there. I've never been a fast writer. Most days we had copy due at 8:30 or 9 a.m. about the show we'd seen the night before. Anyway, the Critic Class of 2016 starts their two-week term on Saturday. Good luck, you guys. I envy you, sort of — just not your early-a.m. deadlines or your accommodations or your on-campus meals. 

Actually, the coffee was pretty decent. I drank a lot of it, at any rate.

Losin' It: All the Way and The Mystery of Love and Sex, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Most of the cast of Arena Stage's  All the Way,  starring Jack Willis as LBJ. (Stan Barouh)

Most of the cast of Arena Stage's All the Way, starring Jack Willis as LBJ. (Stan Barouh)

Prince is all I've thought about in the can-it-really-be-only-a-day since the world learned of his death, but here are the two theatre reviews I filed earlier in the week for the Washington City Paper. Arena Stage does Richard Schenkkan's 2014 Tony winner All the Way, and Signature Theatre stages Bathsheba Doran's The Mystery of Love and Sex.

Okay, back to deliberating whether I should post Prince's long out-of-print 2002 three-disc live album One Night Alone Live, which is not available for purchase anywhere unless you're prepared to drop north of $300 on a used copy. 

Popcorn Psychology: Signature's The Flick, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Thaddeus McCants, Laura C. Harris, and Evan Casey in  The Flick  (Signature Theatre).

Thaddeus McCants, Laura C. Harris, and Evan Casey in The Flick (Signature Theatre).

I review Signature Theatre's production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic drama The Flick in this week's Washington City Paper. It's the fourth Annie Baker play I've reviewed — five if you count her translation of Uncle Vanya — and the second in which I've quoted a heckler. Maybe I wouldn't have done that had I remembered doing it in my review of Studio Theatre's The Aliens three-and-a-half years ago.

Further reading, if you really want to see me struggle not to repeat myself: Circle Mirror Transformation, from 2010, and Body Awareness, from 2012.

When You're a Jet Something Something: West Side Story, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

(Signature Theatre/Christopher Mueller)

(Signature Theatre/Christopher Mueller)

I brought my folks to Signature Theatre's reverent, rapturous production of the Broadway classic West Side Story the week before Christmas, but due to vagaries related to two issues falling on holidays between then and now, my Washington City Paper review is only now surfacing. I filed on time, dammit. At least I think I did. Who can remember anything from before Christmas now? Holiday-time usually brings a conventional but deeply satisfying revival of a proven crowd favorite, and this winter, West Side Story is the one to beat.

For what it's worth, the first time I heard "America" was when Bono was singing a snippet of it during "Bullet the Blue Sky" on U2's PopMart Tour in 1997.