All stories by Alexander C. Kafka on BroadwayStars

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Review: Ballet West’s ‘Nutcracker’ is sweet, sly, and sumptuous by Alexander C. Kafka

What’s more seasonally entertaining than the country’s oldest continuing production of The Nutcracker? Sprucing it up with new finery that enhances the company’s fabulous performances.…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:42PM
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Review: Billy Elliot at Signature Theatre by Alexander C. Kafka

A country divided, tensions running high. That was Tuesday evening in America on midterm election night. It was also mid-1980s England in Signature Theatre’s production of Billy Elliot. Wo…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 04:42PM
Friday, November 2, 2018

Anastasia: highly entertaining historical hooey by Alexander C. Kafka

Pour Disney princess movies, Nicholas and Alexandra, Dr. Zhivago, Annie, My Fair Lady, and An American in Paris in a mixer, hit blend, and you’ll end up with Anastasia, a historically and …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:12PM
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Bracing new works from San Francisco Ballet’s Unbound Festival by Alexander C. Kafka

A meditation on the arc of a lifetime. A message piece about soul-eroding communication technology. A frenetic exploration of Jung’s notion of male and female psychic elements. Such was th…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:24PM
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Review: Viva V.E.R.D.I – an otherworldly convergence of Verdi and Shakespeare by Alexander C. Kafka

Giuseppe Verdi revered Shakespeare and wrote a Macbeth, an Otello, and a Falstaff. He longed to write a King Lear as well and even worked with two librettists toward that goal. But although …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:32PM
Monday, September 10, 2018

Review: South Pacific, enchanting and relevant by Alexander C. Kafka

Was ever a message musical wrapped in such a luxurious bounty of romance? Those love songs! Seventy years later, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific still floors us with its lyricism.…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:24PM
Friday, August 24, 2018

Review: Shakespeare Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet boldly conceived, superbly performed by Alexander C. Kafka

“These violent delights have violent ends / And in their triumph die, like fire and powder / Which, as they kiss, consume.” Friar Lawrence’s words ring pulse-quickeningly true in Shake…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:48AM
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review: The Hypocrites’ hijinks with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pinafore. Bring the kids. by Alexander C. Kafka

I am generally not a forced gaiety and audience-participation kind of guy. And yet Saturday night, there I was some 20 minutes before show time for H.M.S. Pinafore, in Olney Theatre’s Muli…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:04PM
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dance Review: Step Afrika!’s Soul-Stirring ‘Migration’ by Alexander C. Kafka

The painter Jacob Lawrence’s 60-panel Migration Series chronicles the exodus of more than six million African-Americans from the South to the North starting around 1916. The WPA-funded pro…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:12AM
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Review: Ballet Nacional de Cuba performing Don Quixote by Alexander C. Kafka

It was 40 years ago that the Ballet Nacional de Cuba made its U.S. debut at the Kennedy Center and 30 years ago that it premiered its production of Don Quixote. It was 70 years ago that Alic…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:54AM
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review: Saint Joan, a funky, spunky, stripped-down Shaw by Alexander C. Kafka

Brevity is not the soul of Saint Joan’s wit. Even at three and a half hours’ running time, however, the George Bernard Shaw classic never flags in Bedlam’s funky, spunky, stripped down…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:04PM
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Kennedy Center’s 2018/2019 Dance Season by Alexander C. Kafka

“I always think of our audience,” says Meg Booth, director of dance programming for the Kennedy Center. “There are always some attending their first performances, and subscribers of 20…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:48AM
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

New York City Ballet: Justin Peck’s dazzling “Pulcinella” makes DC debut (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

Justin Peck’s “Pulcinella Variations,” an ecstatic circus of the soul, made its sensational D.C. debut Tuesday in an altogether winning evening of mixed repertory by the New York City …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:32PM
Sunday, March 18, 2018

Review: The Washington Ballet presents three impressive world premieres by Alexander C. Kafka

“With any new endeavor,” said Washington Ballet’s Artistic Director Julie Kent before Friday night’s performance, “there is an element of risk – and excitement.” The risk was i…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 05:05PM
Friday, March 2, 2018

Review: Hold These Truths, a bright spirit from a dark era in American history by Alexander C. Kafka

“’Deru kugi wa utareru.’ Dad first said it to me. ‘The nail that sticks out is the one that gets hit.’ It’s an old Japanese proverb. To stay out of danger or harm’s way, one mu…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:36PM
Saturday, February 3, 2018

American Ballet Theatre’s delectable Whipped Cream (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

The Nunes memo, election tampering by Russia, the refugee crisis, mass shootings, harassment and molestation, Olympic doping, North Korean nukes, climate change, fascism, nationalism, racism…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:27PM
Monday, January 22, 2018

All the Things You Are: Jerome Kern from In Series (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

“I hear you’re a son of a bitch,” said Jerome Kern, introducing himself to a producer. “So am I.”  But he was one productive son of a bitch, composing more than 700 s…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:43AM
Friday, December 15, 2017

Review: An American in Paris. S’Wonderful! by Alexander C. Kafka

“Life is not like your American movies,” says Lise, a ballerina who has captured the hearts of three men. “Why not?” asks one of those men, Jerry, an American soldier turned painter …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:48PM
Friday, December 8, 2017

Suzanne Farrell Ballet takes its final bows this weekend with Forever Balanchine (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

Parting really is sweet sorrow as the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, after 17 years, offers its final performances this week. Its budget and company size have been unsteady, but you’d never know …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:33PM
Monday, December 4, 2017

Washington’s own Nutcracker from Washington Ballet (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

There is finally something happening on Pennsylvania Avenue to bring Washington some bipartisan joy. No, not there. A couple blocks away, at the Warner Theatre, where Clara and her prince va…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:12PM
Monday, October 23, 2017

Synetic imagines The Adventures of Peter Pan (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

Peter Pan and Captain Hook should see a therapist together. How can they not realize by now that their commonalities are greater than their differences? Both are childish, boastful, and untr…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:04PM
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mariinsky Ballet’s La Bayadère: stunning and thrilling (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

Love is tragic and sumptuous in the Mariinsky Ballet’s La Bayadère. At the Kennedy Center this week, under director Valery Gergiev and acting ballet director Yuri Fateev, the production …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:12AM
Friday, October 6, 2017

The Washington Ballet’s Russian Masters review by Alexander C. Kafka

America may be in a new cold war with Putin, but the Washington Ballet this week takes Russia into a white-hot embrace. In her first season last year as artistic director, former American Ba…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:24PM
Monday, September 25, 2017

The Magic Flute review. In Series in a new venue by Alexander C. Kafka

Your mission: Venture to the land of Adams Morgan until you see a temple at 16th and Fuller. From Fuller turn right at Mozart Place, past the construction, into the auto-gated parking lot. T…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:54AM
Friday, June 16, 2017

Euan Morton in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at The Kennedy Center (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

The Kennedy Center Thursday night featured Teutonic offerings across a wide spectrum. In the Concert Hall, the National Symphony Orchestra was performing Beethoven’s Ninth. Next door at th…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:48PM
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New York City Ballet: Balanchine, Peck & Ratmansky (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

In a formidable and diverse program Tuesday night, the New York City Ballet juxtaposed affable athleticism with social and romantic tensions. The former was represented by two Balanchine cla…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:24PM
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Jesus Christ Superstar at Signature Theatre (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

Christ’s last mortal days are a “strange thing, mystifying” in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1970 Jesus Christ Superstar. But as conceived by director Joe Calarco in Signature T…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:05AM
Thursday, April 27, 2017

From St. Petersburgh: Three Sisters at The Kennedy Center (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

Life flies by, jeering at our measly accomplishments, even as it drags on endlessly, hour after weary hour. Love is elusive and taunting. Loneliness is an ever-present scourge, but company i…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:18PM
Friday, April 21, 2017

Misty Copeland’s curated Ballet Across America at The Kennedy Center (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

What’s more invigorating than one boundary-pushing ballet company? Three! Wednesday’s audience at the Kennedy Center’s Ballet Across America series was treated to a varied and impressi…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:48AM
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

2017 tour of Chicago starring Brandy Norwood (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

Had I not seen Chicago’s run at the National Theatre eight years ago, maybe I’d consider the current production at the Kennedy Center great instead of good. But I did, so I don’t. The …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:18AM
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hamburg Ballet’s exquisite The Little Mermaid (review) by Alexander C. Kafka

A tale of unrequited love is also a meditation on the anguish and ecstasy of art in Hamburg Ballet’s exquisite The Little Mermaid. The dance theater tour de force by John Neumeir, the comp…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:54AM

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