All stories by Jayne Blanchard on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Review: Black Pearl Sings! by Jayne Blanchard

Like my mama used to say, just because somebody asks for something doesn’t mean you have to give it. In the case of the Alliance for New Music-Theatre’s exemplary Black Pearl Sings!, it…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:36PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, glorious and inspiring musical at Toby’s Dinner Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

Toby’s Dinner Theatre has been transformed into a cathedral for its towering production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, including some of the most powerful and moving choral work you are l…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:06PM
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Review: Pantheon. Happenstance at play with the gods by Jayne Blanchard

Full disclosure:  As a mere slip of a girl I used to read Bullfinch’s Mythology and Edith Hamilton’s Mythology for fun and enlightenment and when I couldn’t sleep I would populate the…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:18AM
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Review: Dinner with Friends at Everyman Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

If breakups were only confined to the couple in question, life would be easier. Throw friends, children, potential new partners into the mix and it really takes a village to visit Splitsvill…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:24AM
Friday, March 8, 2019

Review: Indecent. Paula Vogel’s play is incandescent at Baltimore Center Stage by Jayne Blanchard

“This play changed my life,” proclaims shtetl tailor-turned-stage-manager Lemml (Ben Cherry) in Paula Vogel’s incandescent Indecent, and as you look up in wonder at the candle and stag…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 05:33PM
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Review: Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. Rodney King witnessed by Jayne Blanchard

How can one play make you low in spirit but high on life? In less than two hours, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 takes you on a whip-smart ride between sadness that race and class issues remain…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:57AM
Friday, February 8, 2019

Review: Nell Gwynn at Folger. A roaring good time on Capitol Hill by Jayne Blanchard

If there was ever a time for a bit of cheek, it’s now. We could all use some impudent humor, especially of the female variety. And there’s no better place than the august Folger Theatre,…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:32AM
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Review: Everything Is Wonderful, a hardspun joy of a play at Everyman by Jayne Blanchard

We quickly learn that Everything Is Wonderful is Amish shorthand for “Shut your pie hole, I beg you.” But you wouldn’t want to miss a single plainspoken word of this magnificent, whole…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:48AM
Monday, January 28, 2019

Review: Rent, Fox’s TV version, turns Larson’s grit into Disney squeaky clean by Jayne Blanchard

La Vie Boheme is not mort. On the contrary, it is shiny and perky as all get out. That could be a problem for those who consider Rent, the late Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking 1996 rock m…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:48PM
Monday, January 14, 2019

Thank You, Dad review. A searing solo performance about Jim Jones and blind faith by Jayne Blanchard

Furloughed? Sick of snow? Cheer up. You could be a member of the People’s Temple. The Reverend Jim Jones (Lance Bankerd) and his tragically devoted followers are back from the jungles …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:04AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Review: A Wonder in My Soul at Baltimore Center Stage by Jayne Blanchard

“Laugh or cry; it’s up to you,” my mother used to say. At Baltimore Center Stage’s stirring production of acclaimed playwright Marcus Gardley’s play A Wonder In…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:12AM
Monday, December 10, 2018

Review: The Importance of Being Earnest at Everyman by Jayne Blanchard

Bright as a boutonniere, Everyman’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is a strutting peacock of a show that portrays the mores of Victorian society with…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 09:12PM
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Review: Beetlejuice the musical, derivative and crass by Jayne Blanchard

Want to replicate the experience of seeing the pre-Broadway tryout of the musical version of Beetlejuice in the comfort of your home? Just pound down 19 espressos with a pound of candy chase…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:48AM
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Review: Sweat, Lynn Nottage’s brutal, brilliant sucker punch at Everyman Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

The white-hot rage and caustic bitterness against de-industrialization, unemployment, minorities, and immigrants, not to mention races and religions other than white and Christian, may have …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:36PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Review: D. W. Gregory’s Dirty Pictures at Baltimore Theatre Project by Jayne Blanchard

Racy photographs stoke the mayhem and comedy of local playwright D.W. Gregory’s world premiere play, Dirty Pictures, but its true catalyst lies in finding beauty in the ordinary and overlo…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:04AM
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Director Judith Ivey puts her stamp on Williams’ steamy drama by Jayne Blanchard

Hold onto summer heat and humid emotions just a little while longer with Baltimore Center Stage’s juicy production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The lies we tell ourselves so we can sleep and …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:06PM
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Review: Dancing at Lughnasa at Everyman by Jayne Blanchard

Dancing at Lughnasa casts a spell before the actors utter a word. Irish music peppily plays as you enter the theater and drink in Yu-Hsuan Chen’s painterly set–with sinuously twi…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:04AM
Thursday, September 6, 2018

Review: Small Mouth Sounds, oddly beguiling by Jayne Blanchard

The last place you’d think to go for a little peace and quiet is the theater. But that’s what happens in Round House Theatre’s production of Bess Wohl’s 2015 off-Broadway hit, Small …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:42AM
Monday, July 30, 2018

Review: Debut musical Dave, a good guy becomes an accidental president by Jayne Blanchard

Dave is a musical for our times. A snapshot of our current political climate swathed in red, white and blue, the world premiere musical with music by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), a book by the…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:18PM
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review: The Legend of Georgia McBride, a drag-to-riches musical comedy by Jayne Blanchard

Break out the Bedazzler and falsies and shimmy into your Spanx. It’s high season for drag in downtown Bethesda, thanks to the fierce and funny The Legend of Georgia McBride, playwright Mat…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:42AM
Friday, May 18, 2018

Review: Waitress, a sweet slice of musical heaven by Jayne Blanchard

“Butter. Sugar. Flour.” These three words are sprinkled like incantations throughout the 2016 musical Waitress, a tasty, buttermilk tart and bright woman-powered show that features Sara …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:06PM
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review: The Book of Joseph, telling letters by Jayne Blanchard

“We’ll wait and see.” Normally, words of prudence and patience.  In the context of Karen Hartman’s intense epistolary play, The Book of Joseph, the words are a chilling death senten…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:12PM
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Review: Annie Baker’s John at Signature Theatre. by Jayne Blanchard

Theater is traditionally thought to be a place of communion, a meeting of like-minded souls who crave a good story. Playwright Annie Baker turns that expectation on its head, along with so m…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:38PM
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review: Translations at Studio Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

Many languages are bandied about in Brian Friel’s Translations—Greek, Latin, Gaelic, the king’s English, to name a few—creating a rich linguistic tapestry central to the play’s the…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:30PM
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Review: Baltimore Center Stage’s savage staging of George Orwell’s Animal Farm (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Those pigs. Can’t trust them, can’t ignite a revolution without them. Why can’t they just be content with being what they are–bacon? Pigs, propaganda, the proletariat and politic…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 06:30PM
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

All She Must Possess. Matisse, Gertrude Stein and the Cone sisters at Rep Stage (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Of all the reasons to love Baltimore, perhaps the most sumptuous are the Cone sisters—iron-willed Dr. Claribel and the softer, more social Miss Etta—and specifically, the stunning collec…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:10AM
Friday, February 2, 2018

Skeleton Crew at Baltimore Center Stage (review) by Jayne Blanchard

That a play set in an auto parts stamping factory is part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival is reason enough to see Skeleton Crew, Dominique Morisseau’s fine, emotionally feral play…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:05PM
Monday, January 15, 2018

Theresa Rebeck’s frothy and fanged Way of the World (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Ah, the 1%. If you can’t join ‘em, berate ‘em. That’s the thought behind Theresa Rebeck’s cynical, screwball-funny, comedic bed-hopping The Way of the World, a fresh adaptation of …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:28PM
Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson. “Sometimes a revolution needs a woman’s touch” by Jayne Blanchard

The giddy sense of discovery takes hold of you during Lauren Gunderson’s plays about unsung women throughout history. This fall’s theater highlight was certainly Avant Bard’s luminous …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:18PM
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Amid a year of callousness, a message of kindness is joyfully delivered in Toby’s Dinner Theatre’s production of Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical, touchingly directed by Shawn Ketteri…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:06PM
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Shakespeare in Love at Baltimore Center Stage by Jayne Blanchard

Before he was Shakespeare with a capital “S,” he was just plain Will (Nicholas Carriere), an ordinary guy—a fledgling playwright, somewhat disheveled, a bit of a skirt-chaser, and fran…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:48PM

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