All stories by Brett Steven Abelman on BroadwayStars

Monday, December 28, 2020

Review: An Irish Carol 2020 with original Keegan cast members by Brett Steven Abelman

No, this isn’t just A Christmas Carol with an accent; it is a riff on the familiar Dickens structure, transported to the equally familiar stage world of an old Irish bar. The ghosts and vi…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:24PM
Friday, April 6, 2018

Review: Honey, the shortest show in town by Brett Steven Abelman

Rare is the show that would be better if it were significantly longer. At a mere thirty-ish minutes, Nameless Theater’s Honey comes out to nearly a dollar a minute for the ticket price. An…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:10AM
Monday, April 2, 2018

Nora Achrati an inspired choice as Narrator in The Pavilion at Hub Theatre (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

Craig Wright’s The Pavilion is a modern classic because it wades through a starlit sentimentality on its way to a clear-eyed lesson. As a tale about a man trying to reunite with his lost l…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:27AM
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Review: Brooklyn the Musical from Monumental Theatre by Brett Steven Abelman

Essentially Rent, but half as long and without everything that makes Rent unlikeable to modern sensibilities. Monumental Theatre Company’s top-notch production of Brooklyn the Musical, whi…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:46PM
Friday, March 9, 2018

A Burial Place shows The Wheel has a growing presence in DC (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

I’m going to spoil one of the twists in A Burial Place for you. It comes about 25 minutes into this 100-minute production of A Burial Place, and sadly those first minutes before learning t…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:42AM
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

La Foto (A Selfie Affair) at GALA Hispanic Theatre (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

The Internet, cell phones, and photoshopping are not only for the young, and the narcissism they engender is not only the provenance of millennials. The most refreshing thing about Gustavo O…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:32AM
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New comedy theatre debuts with The Consul, The Tramp, and America’s Sweetheart (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

The debut production of Best Medicine Rep, a new theater company dedicated to comedy, is not really a comedy. The Consul, The Tramp, and America’s Sweetheart, written by artistic director …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 04:20PM
Friday, November 17, 2017

Crazy for You review. Gershwin. Tap. Who can ask for anything more? by Brett Steven Abelman

The sentiment expressed in the jaunty tune “Slap That Bass” tells us why Signature Theatre has chosen to stage Crazy For You: “the world is a mess with politics and taxes and people gr…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:18PM
Friday, November 10, 2017

Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls at Keegan Theatre (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

A look back at the past that contains a look back at the distant past, Top Girls comes across as almost more of a recently-written period play than the 1982 piece that it is. That is a credi…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:18AM
Monday, October 23, 2017

A spare yet lyrical Electra from 4615 Theatre Company (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

“A lot with a little” encapsulates 4615 Theatre Company’s jewel-box production of Sophocles’ Electra. British dynamo Nick Payne’s clean, contemporary translation of the classical r…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:04PM
Friday, October 13, 2017

The Smartest Girl in the World by Brett Steven Abelman

The best thing about The Smartest Girl in the World is that it is not actually about how smart the titular girl is, but about how much she learns from her brother, and how much her brother l…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:42AM
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pinter’s The Lover and The Collection review by Brett Steven Abelman

Spiraling in, and spiraling out: two opposing journeys are on offer in a pair of hour long Pinter plays, directed by Shakespeare Theatre’s Artisic Director, Michael Kahn, in his second-to-…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:42AM
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Shaw’s Widowers’ Houses review, a sly gut-punch of a story by Brett Steven Abelman

Black People’s Houses might be this play’s title if it were a play written today and set in DC. That title would probably give a better sense of how provocative and satirical it is. Conc…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:33AM
Monday, September 25, 2017

Rapture, Blister, Burn review by Brett Steven Abelman

Two plays in one: a well-observed drama about a woman’s mid-life crisis, and an academic and occasionally comedic delve into the complexities of feminist theory. Peter’s Alley Theatre Pr…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:36AM
Monday, July 17, 2017

Lakeboat (Capital Fringe review) by Brett Steven Abelman

Lakeboat was thought controversial when it debuted 40 years ago, but now it seems almost quaint, verging on classy. The very first script by David Mamet, it features many of the hallmarks o…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:12PM
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ten Principles )'( – Senior Year (Capital Fringe review) by Brett Steven Abelman

A choose-your-own-adventure review – pick one of the following: a) I have little or no idea what the Burning Man festival is; b) I know about Burning Man, but have never been; c) I am …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:32PM

In the Company of de Sade (Capital Fringe review) by Brett Steven Abelman

Satire is a noble pursuit, but it can also be used as an excuse. Regardless of what a would-be satirist puts onstage, if you dislike it, he can say that your negative reaction is the point. …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:32AM
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Back to the 70s. When We Were Young and Unafraid (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

“All women should see this show,” said a male audience member in the lobby, enthusiastically. “What about the men?” his female companion asked. “Well, it’s not for men,” he off…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:06PM
Monday, June 12, 2017

Perfect timing for return of Perfect Arrangement at Source (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

In its tenth anniversary, CulturalDC’s Source Festival has chosen to revisit one of its previous hits to celebrate, and has made the prime choice of Perfect Arrangement for this honor. It…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:24PM
Friday, May 12, 2017

Protest, Havel’s 1978 comedy shockingly familiar (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

“Can this nation be the same one that until recently behaved so magnificently?” wrote Václav Havel, in 1978, in Czechoslovakia. That unnaturally relevant line is spoken by a character i…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:36PM
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Constellation Theatre reprises Mary Zimmerman’s Arabian Nights ten years later (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

The Arabian Nights is perhaps the quintessential Constellation Theatre show, and therefore ideal for them to revisit ten years after they first presented it, as part of their anniversary sea…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:42PM
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Fantasticks still charms, if you pardon its age (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

There may be no local theatre with a house style more suited to The Fantasticks than Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. Before every show, and during every intermission, representatives of the …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:48AM
Monday, March 27, 2017

Back to Methuselah concludes at Washington Stage Guild, 3 years after its start (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

Perhaps we can call this ‘slow theatre,’ as an analog to the ‘slow food’ movement. George Bernard Shaw’s epic five-act Back to Methuselah is now being concluded, a full three years…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:06PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Synetic’s wordless Taming of the Shrew, take 2 (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

A viscerally entertaining romp about a grieving woman tortured until she falls in love with her captor, Synetic’s wordless-Shakespeare adaptation of Taming of the Shrew is a quality showca…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:06PM
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls at Maryland Ensemble Theatre (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

Half of MET’s production of Top Girls is a nightmare staged like a dream; the other is a dream staged, if not so badly as a nightmare, then at least as a bit of a mess. The famous first po…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:32AM
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Pointless Theatre’s absurd – or is it? King Ubu (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

The time may have come around when we need anti-art bombs like Ubu again. Regardless of your political leanings, you must admit that reality has once again become too strange and ridiculous …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:24AM
Monday, December 5, 2016

An ideal production of Copenhagen from Perisphere Theater (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

A major transition or two could be given more time to breathe, an actor occasionally misses a subtlety, a light cue is rarely a little obtrusive in Perisphere Theater’s production of Mich…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:48AM
Monday, October 24, 2016

Anne of the Thousand Days at Chesapeake Shakespeare (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

Sexism, and the responses women make to it, do not seem to have evolved in any simple or linear way, if Anne of the Thousand Days is any indication.  Written in 1948 by Maxwell Anderson, so…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:21AM
Monday, October 3, 2016

Kushner’s Angels in America: Perestroika at Round House (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

The standard take on Perestroika, the second part of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, is that it is not of equal quality to the masterful first. Perhaps this is why there’s a slight sen…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:32PM
Monday, September 19, 2016

Antony and Cleopatra from Brave Spirits (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

You might be forgiven for wondering how Brave Spirits will pull off a sea battle, given the extremely minimalist aesthetic they’ve assembled for Antony and Cleopatra. The play begins with …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:56AM
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches at Round House (review) by Brett Steven Abelman

Recent reports of the death of relevance for Angels in America’are greatly exaggerated. If anything, the recession of the AIDS crisis in America (or, at least, in the mainstream American …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 05:28PM

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