All stories by Bob Ashby on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Review: ‘Legally Blonde’ at the Keegan Theatre by Bob Ashby

In this summer of our discontent – what with unchecked climate change, racist politics, and mass murders – a bit of cheer in the form of a frothy tale of a privileged white girl who, thr…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:08PM
Sunday, July 28, 2019

Review: ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ by Baltimore Shakespeare Factory by Bob Ashby

Baltimore Shakespeare Factory’s (BSF) production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Tom Delise, delivers the “merry” promised in the title. The wives – Alice Ford (Emily Clas…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:04PM
Monday, July 15, 2019

Review: ‘The Few’ by Unexpected Stage Company by Bob Ashby

The American interior West has long been a favored setting for stories about loneliness. The visual emptiness of vast open spaces – think of your favorite John Ford film – and the emotio…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:16AM
Sunday, July 14, 2019

Review: ‘American Spies and Other Homegrown Fables’ by The Hub Theatre by Bob Ashby

Playwright Sam Hamashima is described in his program bio as working in the “collision  between his queer identity and his Japanese-American identity.” In American Spies and Other Homegr…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:28PM
Monday, July 8, 2019

Review: ‘A Welcome Guest: A Psychotic Fairy Tale’ by Michael Weller at Contemporary American Theater Festival by Bob Ashby

Eat your heart out, Christmas Carol. Hang up your dancing shoes, Nutcracker. Change the channel on reruns of It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s Christmas in July in Shepherdstown, as the Contem…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:41PM

Review: ‘Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming of a Son’ by Dael Orlandersmith and Antonio Edwards Suarez at Contemporary American Theater Festival by Bob Ashby

The Antonio in question is Antonio Edwards Suarez, the writer (with Dael Orlandersmith) and actor in this one-man autobiographical piece, part of the Contemporary American Theater Festival i…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:11PM

Review: ‘My Lord, What a Night’ by Deborah Brevoort at Contemporary American Theater Festival by Bob Ashby

My Lord, What a Night, a new play by Deborah Brevoort at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, explores the relationship between two 20th-century greats…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:52PM
Sunday, June 30, 2019

Review: ‘Matilda’ at Olney Theatre Center by Bob Ashby

A young hero in her own story who redeems the lives of others around her, the title character in the musical adaptation by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin of Roald Dahl’s novel Matilda uses h…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:45PM
Monday, June 17, 2019

‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ by the Rude Mechanicals at the Greenbelt Arts Center by Bob Ashby

Tennessee Williams famously wrote fragile female leads: Laura, delicate and easily shattered; Blanche, already defeated before she is forced to rely upon the kindness of strangers. Not so wi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:14PM
Sunday, June 9, 2019

Review: ‘Princess Ida’ by The Victorian Lyric Opera Company by Bob Ashby

Princess Ida, now being presented by The Victorian Lyric Opera Company (VLOC), is something of an odd duck in the Gilbert and Sullivan repertory. It has three acts, the dialogue is in blank …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:21PM
Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Review: ‘A Misanthrope’ at WSC Avant Bard by Bob Ashby

The audience didn’t stop laughing all night. Between Matt Minnicino’s rhyming couplet- filled, witty, knowing, sometimes bawdy adaptation (or, as he would have it, “distillation”) of…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:51PM
Sunday, June 2, 2019

Review: ‘Stonewall 50’ by Rainbow Theatre Project by Bob Ashby

In the midst of Pride season, and in the 50th anniversary year of the Stonewall riots that defined the beginning of the modern gay rights movement, Rainbow Theatre Project presents a look at…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:04PM
Monday, May 27, 2019

Review: ‘Pride and Prejudice’ at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre by Bob Ashby

All the familiar characters are there: Lizzy Bennet, her sisters and parents; suitors Darcy, Bingley, Collins, and Wickham; the de Bourghs and Charlotte. The basic plot lines and period sett…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:20PM
Monday, May 6, 2019

Review: ‘Gypsy’ by St. Mark’s Players by Bob Ashby

Rose Hovic is one of the most riveting characters in the history of musical theater, inspiring allusions to the most renowned figures in dramatic literature. Gypsy’s lyricist, Stephen Sond…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:52PM
Sunday, April 28, 2019

Review: ‘Annie’ at Reston Community Players by Bob Ashby

Reston Community Players (RCP) serves up a tasty dish of that ultimate Broadway comfort food, Annie. Cooked up by Thomas Meehan (book), Charles Strouse (music) and Martin Charnin (lyrics) in…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:23PM
Saturday, April 20, 2019

Review: ‘Spring Awakening’ by Boundless Theatre by Bob Ashby

It is a joyful occasion when a new, vital theater company opens, and the advent of Boundless Theatre in Frederick is a welcome addition to the Western Maryland arts scene. Their inaugural pr…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:13AM
Sunday, April 14, 2019

Review: ‘A Comedy of Tenors’ at Olney Theatre Center by Bob Ashby

Things are getting silly at the Olney Theatre Center these days. Very, very, silly. Very skillfully silly, in the production of Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors. A follow-on to Ludwig’s h…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:24PM
Sunday, April 7, 2019

Review: Curse of the Starving Class at Maryland Ensemble Theatre by Bob Ashby

When we first see the Tate family in Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class, now playing at Frederick’s Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET), they are already doomed, they just don’t ful…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:30PM
Saturday, March 30, 2019

Review: ‘My Fair Lady’ at Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre by Bob Ashby

“She sweeps out,” says George Bernard Shaw of Eliza in a stage direction at the end of Pygmalion, leaving Henry Higgins alone and feeling self-satisfied. As Shaw said emphatically in his…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:34PM
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Review: ‘Into the Woods’ at Ford’s Theatre by Bob Ashby

I have loved Sondheim’s Into the Woods since seeing its original Broadway production. Three decades on, Ford’s Theatre’s current version carries the tradition forward proudly. For anyo…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:00PM
Monday, March 18, 2019

Review: ‘Fallen Angels’ at NextStop Theatre Company by Bob Ashby

If there’s could be a single word to describe NextStop Theatre Company’s production of Noel Coward’s 1925 comedy, Fallen Angels, it would be symmetry. Emily Lotz’s delightfully reali…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:21PM
Monday, March 11, 2019

Review: ‘Queen of Basel’ at Studio Theatre by Bob Ashby

Christy Escobar’s mesmerizing, compelling, utterly brilliant, performance is the centerpiece of Studio Theatre’s world premiere production of Hilary Bettis’ Queen of Basel. In Bettis…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:47PM
Sunday, March 10, 2019

Review: ‘Disgraced’ at Greenbelt Arts Center by Bob Ashby

Your mother no doubt told you not to discuss religion or politics over dinner. In Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, now playing at the Greenbelt Arts Center, the exchanges among the characters duri…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:36PM
Sunday, March 3, 2019

Review: ‘Oil’ at Olney Theatre Center by Bob Ashby

There are a few shows – very few – which on first viewing have left me breathless. The original productions of Sweeney Todd and Copenhagen come quickly to mind. To this small list add th…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:15PM
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Review: ‘Finding Neverland’ at the National Theatre by Bob Ashby

The touring company of Finding Neverland (book by James Graham, music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Elliot Kennedy) is making a mercifully brief stop at Washington’s National Theatre. Spin…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:51PM
Monday, February 18, 2019

Review: ‘Radium Girls’ at Maryland Ensemble Theatre by Bob Ashby

The horrific and – not too strong a word – evil events recounted in Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s production of D.W. Gregory’s Radium Girls were, as the play underlines, a major, sensa…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:30PM

Review: ‘Thunder Knocking on the Door’ at Creative Cauldron by Bob Ashby

Thunder, in this case, is one Marvell Thunder, a supernatural, shape-shifting, competitive trickster who has surrendered a good bit of his humanity to act as the spirit of the blues. Played …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:33PM
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Review: ‘Richard the Third’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company by Bob Ashby

Did ever a villain so enjoy his murderously evil ways as Shakespeare’s Richard III? In the Shakespeare Theatre’s production, Matthew Rauch’s Richard teaches a master class in duplicity…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:19PM
Monday, February 4, 2019

Review: ‘Perfect Arrangement’ at the Greenbelt Arts Center by Bob Ashby

The title of Topher Payne’s play is, of course, ironic. Set during the early 1950s “Lavender Scare,” a purge of gay and lesbian Federal employees coinciding with the Red Scare of that …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:37PM
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Review: “Ain’t Misbehavin'” at Signature Theatre by Bob Ashby

Outside, the Polar Vortex reigned. Inside, the jazz was hot and smoky and funny and sexy. Ain’t Misbehavin’, celebrating the work of Fats Waller, brought his music and the feel of his l…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:50PM
Saturday, January 26, 2019

Review: ‘The Mystery of Love and Sex’ at the Iron Crow Theatre by Bob Ashby

Human beings are mysterious creatures: how deeply can we know even those closest to us, or ourselves? What’s the cost of knowing? In Bathsheba Doran’s 2015 play, The Mystery of Love and …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:55PM

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