All stories by Anne Valentino on BroadwayStars

Monday, December 18, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘A Delicate Ship’ presented by 4615 Theatre Company at Studio 1469 by Anne Valentino

Last week I had the opportunity to see four shows. Three of them were larger-budget productions. The fourth was a much smaller show staged in a fairly intimate space. In my humble opinion, b…

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Theatre Review: ‘Girl from the North Country’ at The Kennedy Center by Anne Valentino

Some musicals don’t fit inside of a neat little box. Some musicals actually blow up said box in presenting a show that dares to defy conventions. Tony Winner (for Best Orchestrations) “G…

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Thursday, December 14, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’ at the National Theatre by Anne Valentino

The trend for turning movies into big-budget Broadway musicals has definitely been picking up steam in the past few years. From “Beetlejuice” to “Mrs. Doubtfire,” numerous iconic 90s…

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Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘The Seafarer’ at Round House Theatre by Anne Valentino

The idea of wrestling with one’s inner demons is given a slightly different spin in acclaimed Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s “The Seafarer,” now playing at Round House Theater. F…

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Monday, December 11, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘As You Dig It’ presented by Lumina Studio Theatre at The Silver Spring Black Box Theater by Anne Valentino

Shakespeare has something for everyone—a  little romance, some sword fighting, jealousy, greed, the most tragic of deaths, but is Shakespeare suitable for children? What’s more, can Sha…

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Monday, November 20, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Public Obscenities’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company by Anne Valentino

While technically there is no public obscenity in this play, the content offers a complex, edgy, and, at times, risqué look at modern Indian culture as framed through the literal and metaph…

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Saturday, November 18, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘See You Tomorrow’ at Theater J by Anne Valentino

The world premiere of Iris Bahr’s “See You Tomorrow” at Theater J invites audiences along on a frantic, guilt-driven, and semi-neurotic journey about a woman who is determined to help …

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Monday, November 13, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Wednesdays in Mississippi’ presented by Pipeline Playwrights at Joe’s Movement Emporium by Anne Valentino

Nicole Burton’s “Wednesdays in Mississippi” depicts a snapshot of the Civil Rights movement as experienced by a group of women from northern regions of the country who traveled to citi…

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Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Hazardous Materials’ presented by Perisphere Theater at The Writer’s Center by Anne Valentino

Perisphere Theatre’s production of “Hazardous Material” by Beth Kander paints a post-World War II, Lavender Scare-era portrait of two women whose “scandalous” behavior sets the ton…

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Monday, November 6, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Agreste (Drylands)’ presented by Spooky Action Theater by Anne Valentino

Spooky Action Theatre has deemed this season, under new Artistic Director Elizabeth Dinkova, as one that extends “Beyond Borders”—both literal and also more metaphorical as far as the …

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Thursday, November 2, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Night of the Living Dead Live’ by Rorschach Theatre by Anne Valentino

The DC theatre scene is on fire this fall! Just about every theatre I’ve had the opportunity to visit and every production I’ve thus far seen has had a critical hand in helping define wh…

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Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Confederates’ presented by Mosaic Theater at Atlas Performing Arts Center by Anne Valentino

As is the case with many of her plays, Dominique Morisseau is not afraid to depict what many are hesitant to say out loud. “Confederates” is no exception. Tackling racism, sexism, slaver…

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Theatre Review: ‘Proof’ presented by McLean Community Players at The Alden Theater by Anne Valentino

David Auburn’s “Proof” won both the Pulitzer and the Tony for Best Play. It has become a widely produced American classic. Ostensibly, it centers on mathematical equations and the head…

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Sunday, October 29, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Trees’ presented by Bethesda Little Theatre at The Writer’s Center by Anne Valentino

Musicals are notoriously difficult to get off the ground. Local DC-area composer, Neal Learner, was not deterred. Inspired by the often-passionate conversations centered around urban land-us…

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Theatre Review: ‘The Mountaintop’ at Round House Theatre by Anne Valentino

Plays that “rewrite” history are always intriguing to me. Positioning history as something other than a static set of dates or names or images allows you to draw lines that perhaps weren…

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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Theatre Review: August Wilson’s ‘Seven Guitars’ presented by The AngelWing Project at the Chesapeake Arts Center by Anne Valentino

The plays of August Wilson are indeed theatrical treasures. The pieces comprising the acclaimed Pittsburgh Cycle (10 plays spanning every decade in the 20th century) are among the most treas…

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Theatre Review: ‘POTUS; Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive’ at Arena Stage by Anne Valentino

When thinking about how far the fight for women’s rights has come, how much has been accomplished, and how many glass ceilings have been shattered over the course of the past 100 years, ce…

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Saturday, October 21, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘The Chameleon’ at Theater J by Anne Valentino

When people conjure images of superheroes, what generally comes to mind are more traditional caped figures in six-pack outlining body suits with personal branding emblazoned across their che…

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Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘The Caretaker’ presented by The Edge of the Universe Theater at The Writer’s Center by Anne Valentino

Not all plays are about the story. In fact, with many Harold Pinter plays, the story is the least interesting part. His works tend to center on character, the turbulence inherent in the rela…

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Sunday, October 8, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘The Brothers Paranormal’ at Olney Theatre Center by Anne Valentino

Stunning, haunting, and entrancing are the words that came to mind as I watched Olney Theatre Center’s production of Prince Gomolvilas’ play “The Brothers Paranormal.” The show’s d…

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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Dorothy’s Dictionary’ at Washington Stage Guild by Anne Valentino

  Intergenerational stories that spotlight that moment, or moments, when a younger person suddenly “gets” what an older person is going through and vice versa can be difficult to pull o…

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Dishwasher 2: I Pay You’ at Brian Feldman’s Apartment by Anne Valentino

I had no idea what to expect going into Brian Feldman’s “Dishwasher 2: I Pay You.” Was this going to be some sort of performance art piece? A no-holds-barred theatrical experiment? An …

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Baño de Luna’ (‘Bathing in Moonlight’) at GALA Hispanic Theatre by Anne Valentino

The emotional stakes are high in Nilo Cruz’s “Baño de Luna” (“Bathing in Moonlight”). Cruz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, also directs GALA Hispanic Theatre’s production …

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Monday, September 18, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre by Anne Valentino

“My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion” defies genre. It defies any sort of easy categorization. In many ways, it even defies a label like “play,” and that is precisely why it is so me…

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Theatre Review: ‘Circle Mirror Transformation’ at Spotlighters Theatre by Anne Valentino

Pulitzer Prizing-winning dramatist Annie Baker’s “Circle Mirror Transformation,” like many of her plays, focuses as much on what is not said and the awkward silences as it does on the …

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Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Out of the Vineyard’ presented by Joe’s Movement Emporium in conjunction with the Freedom Stories Initiative by Anne Valentino

Psalmayene 24’s play “Out of the Vineyard,” now running at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mt. Rainier, offers an incisive look at racism and slavery in America through stories conveyed b…

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Friday, September 8, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Ink’ presented by Round House Theatre, Co-produced with Olney Theatre Center by Anne Valentino

The depressing opportunism that takes on a life of its own in James Graham’s drama “Ink,” is largely embodied by the set design as conceptualized in Round House Theatre’s production,…

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Friday, September 1, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks’ presented by Theater Alliance at Anacostia Playhouse by Anne Valentino

Creating a show that appeals to both children and adults can be a bit of a tricky feat. You have to incorporate enough action, color, and vibrancy to appeal to young people while sustaining …

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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Sweat’ at The Keegan Theatre by Anne Valentino

When Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Sweat” first opened on Broadway in 2017, New York Times critic Ben Brantley, reflecting on the play’s blue-collar, Reading, PA roots,…

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Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Grounded’ presented by In Character Productions at Maryland Hall by Anne Valentino

“Grounded” is a one-woman show that chronicles an Air Force pilot’s transition from flying actual fighter jets to becoming part of what she deems the “Chair Force.” Not previously …

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Monday, August 7, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Agnes of God’ by The Maryland Theatre Collective at Chesapeake Arts Center by Anne Valentino

In rather vehemently discussing the stark differences between the cold, hard facts of science and the reassurance of belief, Mother Miriam exclaims, “I want the opportunity to believe. I w…

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