All stories by John Stoltenberg on BroadwayStars

Sunday, December 1, 2019

5 reasons Christopher Boone liked ‘Curious Incident’ at Round House better than on Broadway by John Stoltenberg

My name is Christopher Boone and I am 15 and I am brave and I can do anything. I know that because I traveled by train by myself from Swindon to London and I solved the mystery of a neighbor…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:58PM
Friday, November 29, 2019

In ’19: The Musical,’ women sing and dance their way to suffrage by John Stoltenberg

On the day I was to see 19: The Musical—which is about how the amendment granting women the right to vote came to pass in 1920—our Constitution Denier in Chief made a perfectly timed gaf…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:28PM
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The bad romance at the heart of Studio Theatre’s ‘White Pearl’ by John Stoltenberg

Anchuli Felicia King’s White Pearl is a hilarious, fast-paced satire set in the Singapore office of a cosmetics startup called Clearday that sells skin-whitening cream to Asian women. As t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:43PM
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

In uproarious ‘Airness’ at Keegan Theatre, the rock ‘n’ roll is unreal by John Stoltenberg

In the competitive national and international air guitar scene, contestants vie for championships and prizes by pretending to play (or “shred”) imaginary guitars to 60-second tracks from…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:57PM
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

In Edward Albee’s first-rate ‘Occupant’ at Theater J, a gutsy woman sculptor creates herself by John Stoltenberg

“True if interesting” is Louise Nevelson’s byword in Occupant, Edward Albee’s witty and wise bioplay about the famous sculptor. She was quite the character. For Nevelson, in the hagi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:58PM
Sunday, November 10, 2019

‘Agnes of God’ at Factory 449 glories in a trinity of divine performances by John Stoltenberg

Following on Factory 449’s electrifying production two years ago of Lela & Co.—which earned Helen Hayes Awards for both its director (Rick Hammerly) and star (Felicia Curry)—the co…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:10AM
Saturday, November 9, 2019

What’s Beneath the ‘Sea’ at Scena Theatre? by John Stoltenberg

“It feels unknown. This is nowhere somehow,” says a character in this intriguingly cryptic poetic play by the acclaimed Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse. Indeed, where are we? And what is…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:21PM
Friday, November 8, 2019

Uplifting ‘Veils’ at Restoration Stage honors Black women in mourning by John Stoltenberg

Four African American women address the audience as if speaking to a department store clerk. Each is shopping for a dress—a dress, they stress, that must be “special.” As they turn to …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:59PM
Thursday, November 7, 2019

A powerhouse ‘Protest’ and a vague ‘Vaněk Unleashed’ from Alliance for New Music-Theatre by John Stoltenberg

In honor of the Czech dissident, political prisoner, and playwright Václav Havel, Alliance for New Music-Theatre has served up a two-course theatrical repast in DC’s most outré new arts …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:08AM
Monday, November 4, 2019

Rainbow Theatre Project’s ‘Blue Camp’ shows its lavender heart by John Stoltenberg

This world premiere comic drama about gays in the military takes us back to July and August of 1964 when LBJ was ordering American ground troops into Vietnam in response to the Gulf of Tonki…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:33AM
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Magic Time!: Mosaic’s brazenly brainy ‘Theory’ is both a treatise and a treat by John Stoltenberg

Academia has inspired several thematically penetrating plays featuring female protagonists—the two teachers falsely accused of being lesbian lovers, for instance, in Lillian Hellman’s 19…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:03PM
Monday, October 28, 2019

Magic Time!: Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Simon Godwin on conscience in ‘Everybody’ and himself by John Stoltenberg

On the day after opening night of Everybody, the first show in Simon Godwin’s much heralded first season as artistic director of Shakespeare Theatre Company, I visited him in his office to…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:00PM

Michael Burgos’s ‘Tiramisù’ is one hilarious trip by John Stoltenberg

Tiramisù—the caffeinated confection from Italy—translates as “pick me up” or “cheer me up,” which makes it the perfect name for the hilarious new solo show Michael Burgo brought…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:35PM
Sunday, October 27, 2019

Magic Time!: What’s magnificent and what’s muddled in ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ at Arena Stage by John Stoltenberg

Right to Be Forgotten is a play written from the outside in. By that I mean, its intention is to illustrate a legal issue: the tension in U.S. law between privacy and freedom of speech, a te…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:04PM
Thursday, October 17, 2019

Magic Time!: The Power of Subversive Design in ‘Day of Absence’ at Theater Alliance by John Stoltenberg

To realize how much white America loved minstrelsy is a reckoning painful or shameful, depending on one’s ancestry. Minstrel shows were never meant for people of African descent to see; th…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:51AM
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Magic Time!: On Tour in DC With ‘What to Send Up When It Goes Down’ by The Movement Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

Editor’s note: Woolly Mammoth Theatre, in conjunction with its staging of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview, has brought to DC a show produced by the Harlem-based Movement Theatre Company…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:24PM
Sunday, October 13, 2019

Magic Time!: A Theater Buff Auditions the GalaPro App by John Stoltenberg

How does that new GalaPro app work? How well does it work? And what’s it like to watch a show with it? This inquiring theatergoer wanted to know. Many Deaf and hard of hearing people are a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:12AM
Monday, October 7, 2019

Review: A Wild Tale Wags ‘My Barking Dog’ at Caos on F by John Stoltenberg

test The post Review: A Wild Tale Wags ‘My Barking Dog’ at Caos on F appeared first on DC Metro Theater Arts.

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:41PM
Saturday, October 5, 2019

Magic Time!: A #MeToo Memory Animates ‘I Am Her’ by John Stoltenberg

Midway through this taut, fraught drama about sexual trauma, a woman named Ana, a wife and young mother, is suddenly triggered. We are not told exactly why. It might be the Kavanaugh hearing…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:09PM
Monday, September 30, 2019

Magic Time!: The Sorrow Beneath the Surface of ‘School Girls’ at Round House Theatre by John Stoltenberg

Can one laugh heartily at a satirical comedy—be thoroughly engaged by the entertaining characters, story, and performances—and then after it’s over mourn what it was about?  That was …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:21PM
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Magic Time!: Natsu Onoda Power Crafts a Tennessee Williams Puppet Show by John Stoltenberg

Sitting in the front row in a child-size chair, I watched a puppet show based improbably on a play by Tennessee Williams. The occasion was a preview at Spooky Action Theater of a never-befor…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:52PM
Sunday, September 22, 2019

Review: Book ‘The Book Club Play’ at Silver Spring Stage by John Stoltenberg

Whether you’re an avid reader or a theater buff or both, there’s a supersmart, superfunny show up in Silver Spring that should be on your short list. Marking its 52nd anniversary (!), co…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:50PM
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Magic Time!: Maria Manuela Goyanes on ‘Fairview,’ Race, and What’s Next at Woolly Mammoth by John Stoltenberg

I saw Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview opening night at Woolly, and I cannot stop thinking about its originality—not only in form but in intent. I’m not writing about the production—…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:52AM
Monday, September 16, 2019

Review: The Miracle of ‘What the Constitution Means to Me’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

When Heidi Shreck steps out onto the Eisenhower stage and has what seems an informal, ad-libbed, introductory chat with us, the first thing you notice is her joy. She seems genuinely happy t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:35AM
Sunday, September 15, 2019

Review: ‘Surfacing’ at Expats Theatre Depicts the Desperation of the Displaced by John Stoltenberg

It isn’t every day you see a play that merges Becket and Martha Graham. That’s my takeaway from watching the hybrid form of Surfacing play out at the Atlas: Three actors are strictly cir…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:03AM
Thursday, September 12, 2019

REACH Report: ‘The Just and the Blind’ Aims to Save Black Sons by John Stoltenberg

“How does a black boy become an American?” asks spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph. “How does he learn his role to play?” For Joseph the question is personal and visceral. In The…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:29AM
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Review: Raise a Glass to ‘The Smuggler’ at Solas Nua by John Stoltenberg

The bar is open and there’s 100-proof theater on tap. It’s a stirring play about an Irish immigrant bartender, and it’s shaking up a classy new cocktail bar where only 30 patrons at a …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:53PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Review: ‘Fabulation’ at Mosaic Theater Is an Outright Joy by John Stoltenberg

It takes a certain talent to turn topics that are no laughing matter into laugh-out-loud comedy that doesn’t condescend, doesn’t ridicule, and yet imbues life with meaning as only art ca…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:18PM
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Review: ‘Enron’ at 4615 Theatre Company Is an Excellent Investment by John Stoltenberg

Back in 1998, the official Enron vision and values statement had a line in it that said: “Ruthlessness, callousness, and arrogance don’t belong here.” Two years later, as the company…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:47PM
Monday, August 12, 2019

Review: ‘The War Boys’ at Ally Theatre Company Is Raw and Riveting by John Stoltenberg

The animus being whipped up against “invaders” at our southern border lends Naomi Wallace’s 1993 The War Boys an unsettling resonance. Written when she was but 26, the play is about th…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:23AM
Friday, August 9, 2019

Magic Time!: ‘Blank’ at Theater Alliance by John Stoltenberg

“There are holes in the script!” would be the deathblow for any more conventional work of theater, but in Nassim Solimanpour’s Blank, the gaps are where the action’s at. As with Soli…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:44AM

All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue