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Filtering by Category: Theater

Sounds of the 60s: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Bethany Anne Lind, Tess Malis Kincaid, and Tom Key in Arena's Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. (Teresa Wood) 

If you don't know what to get your playgoing (or at least not-theatre-averse) parents for Christmas, and you can afford the freight, Arena Stage's Malcolm-Jamal Warner-starring Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and the Shakespeare Theatre Company's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum are both good revivals of 1960s items that they're likely to enjoy.

I liked them, too. But then, I'm big on the music, movies, and TV of the 60s. I review both in today's Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.

Kinky Reboots: Mies Julie and Bondage, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Hilda Cronje and Bongile Mantsai in Mies Julie. (Rodger Bosch)

My reviews of Mies Julie, a South African August Strindberg update, and Bondage, a 1992 David Henry Hwang play from locals Pinky Swear Productions, are in today's Washington City Paper.

While their origins and scale differ, it's useful to compare the productions to one another. Both plays use the sexual negotiations of an interracial couple as means of discussing the troubled racial histories of their native lands.

Bondage reminded me of David Ives' Venus in Fur, while Mies Julie recalled uncomfortably a slavery-era exploitation flick from 1975 called Mandingo that's come up lately in discussions of Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. I don't imagine that's what adapter-director Yael Farber was going for, but nothing exists in a vacuum.  Anyway, read.

Rosebud the Sled: Spoilers, considered.

Chris Klimek

1968: Humanity learns the location of the  Planet of the Apes.

1968: Humanity learns the location of the Planet of the Apes.

Last year, a brilliant new play premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company called Mr. Burns, a Post-Apocalyptic Play. Everyone who reviewed it told their readers far too much about it. Everyone but me... he said modestly.

The cycle repeated itself when Mr. Burns opened last month at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. So I wrote this for the Village Voice.

This Was Supposed to Be the New World: Theater J's After the Revolution and Woolly Mammoth's Detroit, reviewed

Chris Klimek

Nancy Robinette & Megan Anderson in  After the Revolution.  Photo: Stan Barouh/Theater J. 

Nancy Robinette & Megan Anderson in After the Revolution. Photo: Stan Barouh/Theater J. 

I was a bigger fan of Studio Theatre's production of Amy Herzog's 4,000 Miles earlier this year than I am of Theater J's new staging of its companion play, After the Revolution.

I can't fault director Eleanor Holdridge's staging of the latter for that; I just connected more strongly to the material in 4,000 Miles. Getting to see two marvelous actors, Tanya Hicken and Nancy Robinette, offer their takes on the same character -- a close approximation of Herzog's grandmother -- in 4,000 Miles and Revolution, respectively, within a half-year of each other was fun.

I review After the Revolution in today's Washington City Paper, along with Woolly Mammoth's production of Lisa D'Amour's Detroit, which is a nice showcase for some of Woolly's favorite actors -- and mine, too.

 

Wrecks & Effects: Folger's Twelfth Night and Taffety Punk's The Golem, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

(Scott Suchman/Folger Theatre)

(Scott Suchman/Folger Theatre)

No, Elvis Costello has not embarked upon a mandolin tour with Steve Nieve. That's Louis Butelli as Feste, whose performance is one of the highlights of the Folger Theatre's new production of Twelfth Night, which I review in today's Washington City Paper along with Taffety Punk's spooky The Golem. Grab yourself a copy wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.

Wrap Your Legs Around These Velvet Rims and Strap Your Hands Across My Engine 31

Chris Klimek

I infer from the official graphic there will be trampolines. I am pro-trampoline.

I infer from the official graphic there will be trampolines. I am pro-trampoline.

Tomorrow morning I will fly to Louisville, Kentucky to help cover the final, three-day "industry weekend" of the Humana Festival for New American Plays. I'll be doing this as part of Engine 31, a pop-up newsroom.  (Sasha Anawalt, the "motherfucker who found[ed] this place -- Sir"*, answers your eminently reasonable questions about what that is and who pays for it here; thank you for asking.)  I'm excited to be a part of it, and to see and work with my old friends Sasha, Michael Phillips, Rebecca Haithcoat and Doug McLennan.  And nearly as excited to meet the other seven journalists who're part of this thing.  Follow along at Engine 31, and/or via Twitter @enginethirtyone.

I am reliably informed there will also be some basketball thing happening.

*Sasha is not actually an actual motherfucker; she is in fact delightful. I am merely quoting Jessica Chastain's character from the movie Zero Dark Thirty here, as is only sensible and appropriate when discussing a theater festival. Engine 31 contributor Michael Phillips, whose name I used as an FCC-permitted substitute for "motherfucker" on the radio once, but who is also not one, usually, called ZDT the best film of 2012, so context.

(Severed) Hands Across America: Keegan's A Behanding in Spokane and Studio's 4,000 Miles, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

The Broadway cast of  A Behanding in Spokane  in 2010: Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie.

The Broadway cast of A Behanding in Spokane in 2010: Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie.

In this week's Washington City Paper, I review the local premiere of Martin McDonagh's A Behanding in Spokane and reminisce uncomfortably about the show's 2010 Broadway debut, which I saw twice on my way to the realization that I don't like the play very much. I also review Studio Theatre's terrific production of Amy Herzog's sublime 4,000 Miles.