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Filtering by Category: theatre

Intimate Apparel: STC's "The Panties, the Profit, and The Partner," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Kevin Isola takes a liberty with Kimberly Gilbert in  The Panties.  (Carol Rosegg)

Kevin Isola takes a liberty with Kimberly Gilbert in The Panties. (Carol Rosegg)

For your Washington City Paper, I reviewed The Panties, the Profit, and the Purse—a series of linked David Ives comedies adapted, with shrinking fidelity, from a trilogy by the 19th century German social critic Carl Sternheim. That sounds awfully highbrow, doesn't it? Ives is better at farce than at satire, and the show is a better document of what he likes than what he thinks. I liked it, but I'd like it more if Ives would—in the words of the 21st century social critic Boots Riley—"Sho[his]Ass." As it were.

Two-Thirds of a Year of Magical Thinking: Remembering Ricky Jay, my most extraordinary boss.

Chris Klimek

A generous gift from a remarkable man.

A generous gift from a remarkable man.

I learned of my former boss’s passing last Saturday via a text from my friend Brian just after midnight: “My sincere condolences on your friend Ricky Jay.”

I worked for RJ for eight months, 13 years ago. He was kind to me, and I recall many moments of warmth between us, but it would be disingenuous for me to imply we were buddies. I was his employee. Then again, people who knew him for much longer than I did spoke of being very conscious of minding those kinds of boundaries with him, too.

I didn't think I was going to write anything about him. I didn't see how I could without also writing about me, and a rough patch in my life, which seemed perilously narcissistic/self-pitying/starfucking/all of the above.

Then old buddy Glen, who is also, happily, my editor, prodded me to start and I couldn't stop.

Action Figure: A Syrian Asylum Seeker Makes Her English-Language Debut in "This Hope: A Pericles Project"

Chris Klimek

Lida Maria Benson, Raghad Makhlouf, Lori Pitts, and Rocelyn Frisco (Hannah Hessel Ratner)

Lida Maria Benson, Raghad Makhlouf, Lori Pitts, and Rocelyn Frisco (Hannah Hessel Ratner)

I've got a feature in today's Washington City Paper about Raghad Mahklouf, a Syrian asylum-seeker—and veteran actor—who's appearing in The Welders' new riff on Pericles. Only 34 seats are available for each performance, so don't sleep on those tickets if this appeals to you.

Written in the Stars: Constellation Theatre’s "Aida," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

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Because three shows had their press nights here in the DMV the same night Constellation Theatre Company opened their version of the Y2K-era Elton John-Tim Rice musical Aida, myWashington City Paper review took a little while to appear. Here it is. The principal actors are better than most of the material.

Theatre of Pain: Woolly's "Gloria" and Round House's "Small Mouth Sounds," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Megan Graves and Ahmad Kamal are two of the standout performers in  Gloria . (Teresa Castracane)

Megan Graves and Ahmad Kamal are two of the standout performers in Gloria. (Teresa Castracane)

After the customary late summer lull, I’m back on the theater beat. Last week’s Washington City Paper featured my reviews of two plays that first appeared in 2015, now making their regional premieres Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ stunner Gloria, at Woolly Mammoth, and Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl, at Round House.

FURTHER READING: My 2013 City Paper profile of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is here.

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's me on The Original Cast!

Chris Klimek

It all started when I bought my buddy, Superman biographer Glen Weldon, a copy of this LP in Asbury Park, New Jersey for $20.

It all started when I bought my buddy, Superman biographer Glen Weldon, a copy of this LP in Asbury Park, New Jersey for $20.

Funny thing: Patrick Flynn lives in Bethesda, Maryland, a short public-transit trip across the northwest border of Washington, DC, where I live. We know many of the same people because we're both involved in theatre; him as a playwright, me as a critic. And yet our paths never crossed until he heard me on James Bonding last fall, which Matt Gourley and Matt Mira record weekly at Gourley's beautiful home in Pasadena, all the way on the other side of country.

Anyway, Patrick kindly invited me to appear on The Original Cast, his fine podcast celebrating Broadway cast albums, to discuss a musical of my choice. I picked the 1966 curiosity It's a Bird! It's a Plane!, which I'd never heard of but never heard until I picked up a secondhand LP of it as a gift for my buddy Glen Weldon a couple years back. Glen wrote the book on Superman, or at least a book on Superman. It's certainly the book on Superman I can most enthusiastically recommend.

Here's the discussion Patrick and I had, which does not confine itself to the Man of Steel's brief life as a Broadway star, for reasons that shall become clear. This was recorded in late April.

The Once and Future Prince: Botticelli in the Fire, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Jon Hudson Odom and Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan (Scott Suchman)

Jon Hudson Odom and Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan (Scott Suchman)

Canuck Renaissance Man Jordan Tannahill's Renaissance fantasy Botticelli in the Fire is the quintessence of what several speakers at Monday night's tribute to retiring Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company co-founder Howard Shalwtiz referred to as "a Woolly play." I tend to like those, and this one I happened to love. Here's my Washington City Paper review.