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Filtering by Tag: Theater J

Period Piece: On Theatre J's The How and the Why

Chris Klimek

Valerie Leonard and Katie deBuys are evolutionary biologists in Sarah Treem's play. (Theater J)

Valerie Leonard and Katie deBuys are evolutionary biologists in Sarah Treem's play. (Theater J)

Here's a little preview I wrote for Theater J's imminent production of The How and the Why, a play about dueling evolutionary theories regarding menstruation from The Affair showrunner Sarah Treem.  It's in today's Washington City Paper.

A-choo: The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Paul Morella, Lise Bruneau, Susan Rome, and Barbara Rappaport (Theater J).

Paul Morella, Lise Bruneau, Susan Rome, and Barbara Rappaport (Theater J).

My review of Theater J's updated production of drag-playwright Charles Busch's 2000 mainstream breakthrough The Tale of the Allergist's Wife is in today's Washington City Paper. God bless you.

On Around Town, talking Choir Boy, Life Sucks, and The Widow Lincoln.

Chris Klimek

Three new Around Town play reviews means three new opportunities to attempt to smile on command and to speak in concise sentences that end rather than trail off. (I'll keep working on it.) This time, host Robert Aubry Davis and Washington Post arts writer Jane Horwitz and I discuss Studio Theatre's Choir Boy, Theater J's Life Sucks, Or the Present Ridiculous, and Ford's Theatre'The Widow Lincoln. That's two shows I liked a lot, respectively, plus one I liked, well, more than many others did. (My Washington City Paper reviews are herehere, and here.) I am informed that one of these aired on WETA right after Downton Abbey last night, which I am certain is the best lead-in I shall ever get. We're the A Different World of public broadcasting!

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Reality Chekhov: Life Sucks, or the Present Ridiculous, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Sad to the Bone: Eric Hissom and Judith Ingber as Astor and Sonia. (C. Stanley Photography)

Sad to the Bone: Eric Hissom and Judith Ingber as Astor and Sonia. (C. Stanley Photography)

I was excited to see Life Sucks, writer-director Aaron Posner's new variation on Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, because my love for Stupid Fucking Bird, Posner's 2013 gloss on The Seagull, was mean and true. And because I tend to like almost everything Posner does. My review is in today's Washington City Paper.

FURTHER READING: My June 2013 review of Stupid Fucking Bird. And my August 2011 review of the Sydney Theatre Company's Uncle Vanya, starring Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving.

On Around Town, discussing Theater J's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide and Arena's Fiddler on the Roof

Chris Klimek

We take you once again to the studios of WETA, where I was delighted as ever to join Around Town host Robert Aubry Davis and Washington Post arts writer Jane Horwitz for on-message discussions of two shows I recently reviewed for the Washington City Paper. We covered Theater J’s production of Tony Kusher’s latest play, the exhausting (deep breath) The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scripturesas well as Arena's square and satisfying production of Fiddler on the Roof  my first. That's the one I'll be sending my folks to see for Christmas.

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Suicide Admission: Theater J's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Tom Wiggin, right, is the emotional anchor of this discursive and pointy-headed gabfest.

Tom Wiggin, right, is the emotional anchor of this discursive and pointy-headed gabfest.

My review of Theater J's production of Tony Kusher's latest play, (deep breath) The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, is in today's Washington City Paper, just in case your own family's arguments aren't sufficiently academic and orotund and insufferable enough for you. Good performances, though. Happy Thanksgiving.

Freud Where Prohibited: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Freud's Last Session, reviewed, and In Praise of Frank Britton

Chris Klimek

Today in the Washington City Paper, I review two plays that mull over free will and the existence of God, both of which feature Sigmund Freud as a character. The better of the pair, Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, features a towering performance from Frank Britton as Pontius Pilate. 

Around 2:15 Tuesday morning, after he'd left the cast party that followed Judas' opening-night performance, Britton was assaulted and robbed by four or five unidentified attackers near the Silver Spring Metro stop. He underwent surgery at Holy Cross Hospital to treat a broken cheekbone. Britton does not have medical insurance. A crowdfunding campaign to cover his hospital bills (donate here) has raised over $45,000 so far.

I've known Frank for years. I think we first met in 2008, when my then-girlfriend was in a production of Temptation with him at Constellation Theatre Company, but it might've been earlier than that. Everyone I know who's involved with theatre in DC loves him. He's a talented, hardworking, generous artist.

He's going to miss at least a couple of performances of Judas Iscariot as a result of his injuries, which is a shame, because I've never seen him in anything where he was better. (Thony Mena, who already appears in the show as Simon the Zealot and other characters, will stand in for him.) Michael Dove, the artistic director of Forum Theatre, which is staging Judas, visited Frank in the hospital Tuesday and reported him to be in high spirits and eager to get back to work. I hope he will, soon. His current project is a stirring production of a funny, provocative play, and Frank is a huge part of why it's so powerful.

Unfortunately, the production photos Forum made available for Judas do not include any shots of Frank as Pontius Pilate. You'll just have to go see the show, which you should do anyway, if great, intimate theatre is a thing that matters to you. It's at Round House Theatre Silver Spring, next to the AFI Silver cinema, through June 14.

UPDATE: My pal Rachel Manteuffel, who saw Judas Iscariot with me on Sunday, has pointed out I erred in my WCP review when I said that Annie Houston is silent throughout the play after her (excellent) opening monologue. In fact, she has another scene where she is called to the witness stand to testify against her son. I simply forgot it. As I said, it's a long show! I apologize for my mistake.

All photos: Melissa Blackall/Forum Theatre.