All stories by Jayne Blanchard on BroadwayStars

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 11:18AM
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 01:36PM
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 …

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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…

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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…

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Transcendent production of Intimate Apparel at Everyman (review) by Jayne Blanchard

What wonderful serendipity in Baltimore this October. On one side of Fayette Street, the Hippodrome Theatre recently hosted the musical The Color Purple with heroine Miss Celie realizing he…

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Emilie—La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Emilie is like a perfectly icy glass of champagne laced with bitters. Avant Bard’s scintillating production of Lauren Gunderson’s play about Enlightenment-era scientific genius and mistr…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:36PM
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Cradle Will Rock review by Jayne Blanchard

You think you’re in for a reenactment of a historical night of American theater, but then The Cradle Will Rock gets rolling and before long you’re plunged into a musical production from …

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Bridges of Madison County review by Jayne Blanchard

When the expressive Erin Granfield sings about Iowa, drawing out each letter and syllable, you learn everything you need to know about her character’s quiet restlessness and pent-up longin…

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Christians at Baltimore Center Stage (review) by Jayne Blanchard

What keeps our butts in the pews? Is it faith, fellowship, fear of hellfire, or infatuation with the charismatic preacher up at the pulpit? Lucas Hnath’s play The Christians feistily exami…

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

M. Butterfly at Everyman Theatre (review) by Jayne Blanchard

David Henry Hwang’s Tony-winning play, M. Butterfly, was an electrifying treatise on gender and East-West tensions and tragic preconceptions when it premiered in 1988 with John Lithgow and…

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Heidi Chronicles at Rep Stage (review) by Jayne Blanchard

    Watching Rep Stage’s luminous production of The Heidi Chronicles as a spinster of a certain age, you don’t know whether to belt out “Mirror, Mirror” from Stephen Sondhe…

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Lysistrata Jones at Red Branch Theatre (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Happiness is tucked away in an office park in Columbia, MD. Amid the chiropractors, computer businesses, dance schools and Asian delis is the Red Branch Theatre Company, currently the home o…

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bootycandy, sexy and seditious fun from Iron Crow (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Who says theater is not educational? Why, just this past weekend I learned that “bootycandy” is a euphemism for the penis. Vocabulary expanded, thanks to playwright Robert O’Hara and I…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:04AM
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Toni Morrison’s Jazz at Baltimore Center Stage (review) by Jayne Blanchard

The big question in Jazz is—where’s the music? This world premiere adaptation by Nambi E. Kelley of Toni Morrison’s 1992 book isn’t meant to be a song-and-dance show, but still it la…

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fine cast equals 5 star Proof at Olney Theatre (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Nevertheless, she persisted. Persisted, pushed back depression and doubt and the burden of care to accept her legacy of genius. The “she” in this case is not Senator Elizabeth Warren but…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:18PM
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Noises Off at Everyman, “… delirious depiction of backstage dramatics” (review) by Jayne Blanchard

An enterprising Everyman Theatre board member calculated there are 152 laughs in Noises Off.  Surely, he jests. There is easily three times that number in Everyman’s gonzo production unde…

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Dorian’s Closet, new musical debuts at Rep Stage (review) by Jayne Blanchard

We’re lucky to be living where we do. Opportunities abound to see exciting new work, shows in development and emerging major talent. All three fortunes converge in Rep Stage’s stirring, …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:12AM
Monday, April 24, 2017

That Face opens Third Space at Baltimore Center Stage (review) by Jayne Blanchard

No longer do we need to shudder to think what Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire and Martha from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf would be like as mothers. The Tennessee Williams a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:06AM
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

LaChiusa’s soaring Los Otros at Everyman Theatre (review) by Jayne Blanchard

An indelible memory from a Michael John LaChiusa musical used to be the sight of Vincent Van Gogh (Jason Danieley) sitting in his bathtub and singing the score for The Highest Yellow in a 20…

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A captivating White Snake re-opens the Head Theatre at Baltimore Center Stage (review) by Jayne Blanchard

After more than a year-long renovation, Baltimore Center Stage unveils its new modern look—spacious, welcoming, sleek and inspirational—with an equally visually captivating and enchantin…

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The fatal attraction of H20 at Rep Stage (review) by Jayne Blanchard

The devil need not be a red-skinned gent with a forked tail. He could be Jake Abadjian (Robbie Gay), a gorgeous and charismatic Hollywood star of the blockbuster Dawnwalker movies, playing a…

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Suzan-Lori Parks’ Fucking A at Iron Crow (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is known for her outlandish imagination, creative use of language and boldly askew look at America’s past and history. Her mythic riff on Nathaniel Hawthorne’…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:24AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Stoppard’s The Hard Problem at Studio Theatre (review) by Jayne Blanchard

The opening scene of The Hard Problem, Tom Stoppard’s latest play since 2006’s Rock and Roll, reminds you of the opening scene from Stephen Sondheim’s musical Passion. Two half-naked b…

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What Did You Expect?: Play Two of The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family (review) by Jayne Blanchard

It is September 2016 and like many Americans who slogged through an endless, brutal summer of presidential campaigning, the Gabriel family seems frayed around the edges. Uncertainty, unease …

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Women of a Certain Age, Play Three of The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Here we are again on Election Day 2016, a day many Americans would be loath to relive, except for the obvious. If you are to be born ceaselessly into the past, you couldn’t find better bal…

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Hungry, Play One of The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Right now, “the room where it happens” happens to be the Kennedy Center Theater Lab, where Richard Nelson’s achingly prescient and intimate trilogy of plays The Gabriels pays a differe…

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Funny, pungent, fierce. Dot at Everyman Theatre (review) by Jayne Blanchard

A holiday comedy about a family matriarch’s failing brain—what could be merrier? In truth, Coleman Domingo’s Dot is an absolute delight no matter what time of year. Funny, pungent and …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:36AM
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Hairspray Live! Between commercials and cutaways, NBC proves they can stop the beat (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Now that we’re mired in Trump America, there’s unexpected profundity to the pop confection Hairspray Live!, the live TV version of the 2002 musical that aired Wednesday night on NBC. If…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:02PM
Monday, November 28, 2016

Black Nativity at Theater Alliance – a joyful noise and then some! (review) by Jayne Blanchard

Is there a roof left in Anacostia? Doubtful, now that Black Nativity is back in the community for a third time. A joyful noise is made—and then some—in Theater Alliance’s soulful, sou…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:18PM

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