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Filtering by Category: theatre

When They Stop Looking at Us: "Fairview," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Chinna Palmer in the Woolly Mammoth production of Jacke Sibblies Drury’s  Fairview. ( Teresa Castracane)

Chinna Palmer in the Woolly Mammoth production of Jacke Sibblies Drury’s Fairview. (Teresa Castracane)

When I saw Woolly Mammoth Theater Company's production of Jackie Sibblies Drury's We Are Proud to Present... in 2014, it was the worst show I'd ever seen. Five-and-a-half years later, it still is. So to say that I liked Woolly's production of Fairview, Drury's Pulitzer Prize-winner that made its debut last year, better than her previous work is of little value. But I liked it a lot. I appreciated it, more like.

I do understand that my approval is not required. It never is. My Washington City Paper review is here.

Rebirth Until Birth: Mosaic Theater's "Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

William T. Newman, Jr. and Felicia Curry in  Fabulation . (Christopher Banks)

William T. Newman, Jr. and Felicia Curry in Fabulation. (Christopher Banks)

Lynn Nottage has won two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama in the 15 years since her play Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine was first performed; there is no Pulitzer Prize for Comedy. Mosaic Theater's production of Undine gets its weakest scenes out of the way early, though even in its most heart-rending moments I yearned for a little more variation in the rhythm of star Felicia Curry's speech. I've loved her in many other shows. My Washington City Paper review is here.

My colleague Jane Horwitz liked Fabulation more than I did, as you can hear her say in our brief Around Town discussion.

The Squeaky Gun Gets the Grease: "Assassins" at Signature Theatre, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Signature Theatre’s 2019  Assassins  is its third since 1993. (Christopher Mueller)

Signature Theatre’s 2019 Assassins is its third since 1993. (Christopher Mueller)

Whether a production of Assassins uses period-accurate prop guns doesn’t matter. Whether the director of a 2019 Assassins has thought about how our relationship to gun violence, mental illness, & presidential politics has changed since 1990 matters a lot. My review of Signature Theatre's second, and weaker, 21st-c. take on Stephen Sondheim's scandalous late-20th century musical is in this week's Washington City Paper.

Here’s the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1998 Washington Post series about DC’s raft of police shootings in the 1990s that informed my long lede graf.

And here I am with my pal Trey Graham, still failing miserably at smiling on command before we briefly discuss this production—which I still liked more than he did!—on WETA's Around Town.

527 Dog Years: Mike Daisey Tells "A People's History"

Chris Klimek

Class is in session. (Darrow Montgomery for the Washington City Paper)

Class is in session. (Darrow Montgomery for the Washington City Paper)

Mike Daisey is an artist I've written about more often and in greater detail than only anyone else. He's certainly the artist with to whom I've spent the most time speaking directly. The reviews I've written of his monologues and the features I've reported about how he creates them and editorial I was once moved to write in his defense all reflect my great admiration for his work.

That has not prevented me from condemning him when I think he's deserved it, and he did do something that warranted condemnation, years ago. I will say that in the third year of a Donald J. Trump administration, it seems awfully quaint that so many journalists who had never publicly discussed theatre at all before they lined up to express their outrage at Daisey in the spring of 2012 got so steamed over a guy who tells stories in theaters for a living taking some liberties with one of them.

Anyway, Daisey's wildly ambitious current show A People's History—an 18 part retelling of American history circa 1492-to-now, based heavily on the work of Howard Zinn but also on Daisey's own life—is the subject of my second Washington City Paper cover story about him, available today wherever finer Washington, DC alt-weeklies are given away for free. My 2012 WCP story detailing the problems he created for himself with his show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, and his effort to remedy them, is here. In fact, all of my writings about Daisey are mere clicks away! How much time do you have?

Despite Its Pedigree, "A Doll's House, Part 2" Is a Fixer-Upper

Chris Klimek

Holly Twyford and Craig Wallace as the long-separated Nora and Torvald. (Kaley Etzkorn)

Holly Twyford and Craig Wallace as the long-separated Nora and Torvald. (Kaley Etzkorn)

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 for a couple of years. The announcement that the Broadway hit’s DC premiere from Round House Theatre would star the great Holly Twyford as Nora? Music to my ears.

In this week’s Washington City Paper, I try to diagnose why Nicole A. Watson’s production is so bloodless.

Two Dope Queens: "Mary Stuart," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Megan Anderson and Eleasha Gamble in Jason Loewith’s update of Mary Stuart for Olney Theatre Center.

Megan Anderson and Eleasha Gamble in Jason Loewith’s update of Mary Stuart for Olney Theatre Center.

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.

Depth and Deprivation: "The Children" and "Love's Labor's Lost," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

I didn't write about Ella Hickson's Oil, the best play I've seen this year. But I did review Lucy Kirkwood's The Children, the second-best. I'm struck by how different two plays with ecological themes written by British women born in the 80s that premiered in 2016 can be. I also wrote about Folger's new production of the seldom-staged Shakespeare comedy, Love's Labor's Lost, and discussed it on Around Town, below.