All stories by Bob Ashby on BroadwayStars

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
Saturday, January 19, 2019

Review: ‘Jerusalem’ at Fells Point Corner Theatre by Bob Ashby

People staying when they need to go; people going when they long to stay. People hanging on to bits of myth and legend, or a bit of land, in the face of overwhelming forces of economic logic…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:46PM
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review: ‘Measure for Measure’ at Green Globe Theatre by Bob Ashby

There is some uncanny and rather dismaying contemporary resonance in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, now playing at Baltimore’s Green Globe Theatre. The virginal Isabella (Grace O’K…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:33AM
Sunday, December 16, 2018

Review: ‘Blithe Spirit’ at Spotlighters Theatre by Bob Ashby

British comedies considerably older than Noel Coward’s 1941 Blithe Spirit enjoy frequent, high-spiritedly successful revivals. Think The Importance of Being Earnest or Charley’s Aunt (a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:05PM

Review: ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ by Iron Crow Theatre by Bob Ashby

When the pre-show features an audience participation orgasm contest, can things possibly get any wilder? Yes indeed, as Iron Crow Theatre’s Rocky Horror Show readily proves. Rocky has alwa…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:15PM
Friday, December 14, 2018

Review: ‘Striking 12’ by Free Range Humans at BlackRock Center for the Arts by Bob Ashby

Striking 12 is a striking exception to the mandatory Christmas sappiness occupying most entertainment venues this time of year. It’s set at holiday time, but the holiday in question is New…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:43PM
Monday, December 3, 2018

Review: ‘How to Keep an Alien’ at Solas Nua by Bob Ashby

Love is unique. It is an intense bond of emotion, desire, and care between two people, deeply special to one another, that for them cannot be duplicated anywhere on Earth. Bureaucracy must r…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:49PM
Saturday, December 1, 2018

Review: ‘Charley’s Aunt’ at Fells Point Corner Theatre by Bob Ashby

At 126 years old and still going strong, Charley’s Aunt by Brandon Thomas has lost none of its power to tickle an audience’s funny bone. Fells Point Corner Theatre’s production keeps…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:59PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Review: ‘Silver Bells’ at The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre by Bob Ashby

For people seeking holiday entertainment in the Frederick area who might seek an alternative to A Christmas Carol, or The Nutcracker, or It’s a Wonderful Life, or one of the endless cavalc…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:32PM
Monday, November 19, 2018

Review: ‘Running on Glass’ at Venus Theatre by Bob Ashby

Cynthia Cooper’s Running on Glass, playing at Laurel’s Venus Theatre, celebrates six pioneering female athletes, all of whom had to overcome barriers not only of gender but of race, clas…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:32PM
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Review: ‘Anything Goes’ at Arena Stage by Bob Ashby

“De-Lovely” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Arena Stage’s production Anything Goes is as close to musical theater heaven as you can get. Cole Porter’s classic melodies and innuendo…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:29PM
Sunday, November 4, 2018

Review: ‘The Toxic Avenger’ at Greenbelt Arts Center by Bob Ashby

The small, low-ceilinged theater at the Greenbelt Arts Center, with intimate seating arrangements and limited space for sets, is a natural habitat for The Toxic Avenger, a quintessential sma…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:58PM
Monday, October 29, 2018

Review: ‘A Chaste Maid in Cheapside’ by The Baltimore Shakespeare Factory by Bob Ashby

Moved by an impulse analogous to the original instruments movement in early music, Baltimore Shakespeare Factory (BSF) is dedicated to mounting the Bard’s plays and those of his contempora…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:43AM
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review: ‘Illyria, or What You Will’ by Avant Bard by Bob Ashby

Illyria is fabulous, darlings. The clothes are to die for. The décor is out of its 1980s mind. The music is as eclectic as it is electric. And plot elements and characters drawn from Twelft…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:16PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Review: ‘Henry V’ by Faction of Fools by Bob Ashby

A current exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library explores Winston Churchill’s admiration for Shakespeare, above all the World War II-era patriotic inspiration of Laurence Olivier’s fi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:14PM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue