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
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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.
For further evidence of how hopeless I am at looking into a camera and smiling when someone says my name, we take you once again to the studios of WETA, where I was delighted as always to join Around Town host Robert Aubry Davis and Washington Post arts writer Jane Horwitz last week for ultra-concise discussions of two shows I recently reviewed for the Washington City Paper. We covered Synetic Theatre's fresh adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and Old Trout Puppet's Workshop's surreal Famous Puppet Death Scenes.Read More
This acrobatic Moreau is a rich sensual experience, one that deflates at the end but not before it has vividly dramatized Wells’s big question: Is physical suffering at best irrelevant and at worst necessary? Can we evolve by teaching ourselves to ignore it? By way of demonstrating his answer, Moreau takes a glinting blade and slices a red trail through his own forearm, ignoring the pain like he’s Peter O’Toole playing Lawrence of Arabia, or Gordon Liddy playing himself, or Gary Busey playing Mr. Joshua. (In Lethal Weapon, duh. Read a book, why don't you.) We always hurt the ones we’re forcibly trying to improve.
My review of Synetic Theater's new adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau is in today's Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.
Its cover feature is "The DC Manual of Style and Usage," the handy and hilarious brainchild of my editor, Jonathan L. Fischer, who announced this week that he's leaving his post as the Washington City Paper's managing editor to become a senior editor at Slate. He's a meticulous, imaginative, patient editor who always smartened-up my copy, and a genius at punny headlines and captions. (Here's just one example.) I look forward to working for him again.
I was a big admirer of writer/director/illustrator Natsu Onoda Power's Astro Boy and the God of Comics at Studio Theatre earlier this year, and also of Martin Scorcese's 2011 film Hugo, which was in part about pioneering filmmaker Georges Méliès. So I was excited to see Power's new stage adaptation of Méliès’ most famous film, A Trip to the Moon -- which I found promising but underdeveloped.
I review it in today's Washington City Paper, along with a Faction of Fools' A Commedia Christmas Carol.