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Filtering by Tag: Arena Stage

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?

How Men Crumbled: Arena’s "Kleptocracy" and Ford’s "Twelve Angry Men," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Christopher Geary is Vladimir Putin in Kenneth Lin’s world-premiere at Arena Stage. (C. Stanley Photography)

Christopher Geary is Vladimir Putin in Kenneth Lin’s world-premiere at Arena Stage. (C. Stanley Photography)

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something... something. In this week's Washington City Paper, I review Kleptocracy, an imperfect but intriguing Vladimir Putin origin story by Kenneth Lin at Arena Stage, starring the guy in the cast who looks the second-most Putinlike as Putin. Plus a puzzling new production of Twelve Angry Men at Ford's.

What's Past Is Prologue: The Great Society, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

All Occasions Do Inform Against him: Jack Willis as LBJ, with Elliott Bales, Brook Berry, Alana D. Sharp and Andrew Weems (C. Stanley Photography)

All Occasions Do Inform Against him: Jack Willis as LBJ, with Elliott Bales, Brook Berry, Alana D. Sharp and Andrew Weems (C. Stanley Photography)

I wrote about Arena Stage's production of Robert Schenkkan's LBJ play The Great Society in this week's Washington City Paper.

FURTHER READING: My April 2016 review of All the Way.

Dry Goods: Hamlet and Sovereignty, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

I wish I could muster more enthusiasm for Michael Kahn's final Hamlet, starring Michael Urie, or for Sovereignty, an Arena Stage World Premiere entry in the Women's Voices Theater Festival written by Mary Kathryn Nagle, who knows whereof she speaks but not how to make it sing. Those reviews are in this week's Washington City Paper.

Court Disorder: Roe, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Sara Bruner and Jim Abele as Norma McCorvey and Flip Benham in  Roe .

Sara Bruner and Jim Abele as Norma McCorvey and Flip Benham in Roe.

My review of Lisa Loomer's Roe — an "openly didactic wiki-play" that was never meant to be as timely as it is — is in this week's Washington City Paper.

This would've been a good one to discuss with the student critics I had the privilege of working with at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival last week. Usually I'm loath to summarize the plot of a play, or to foreground my own political leanings in a review. But when the plot is a history, and our politics desperate, that puts one in a bind.

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. 

A Silver Spoonful of Sugar: The Lion, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Benjamin Scheuer, composer & performer of the solo musical  The Lion  (Matthew Murphy).

Benjamin Scheuer, composer & performer of the solo musical The Lion (Matthew Murphy).

I struggled with my Washington City Paper review of The Lion, a strong, brief one-man musical play by the singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer. This was a case where learning about the circumstances of the show's creation—as one is wont to do when writing about art—made me like it less in hindsight than I did the moment the performance ended. Is that fair? I'm still not sure. You can read my attempt to work through my consternation while still giving the artist his due here.