All stories by Jayne Blanchard on BroadwayStars

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
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:48PM
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 …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:48AM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:36AM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 10:48AM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:06PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:54PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 11:48AM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:05PM
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…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 01:24PM

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