All stories by John Stoltenberg on BroadwayStars

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Magic Time!: ‘ 19: The Musical’ by John Stoltenberg

It was “a century of struggle” before women in the United States won the right to vote in 1920, and the centenary of the amendment that cinched it, the nineteenth, is just around…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:52PM
Sunday, December 23, 2018

News: Ford’s and Kennedy Center Shows to Go On During Federal Shutdown by John Stoltenberg

DC’s two major federally funded theater venues have both announced that performances will be uninterrupted by the federal shutdown. According to the website of Ford’s Theatre, …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:11PM
Friday, December 21, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘Washington Magic’ at the Arts Club of Washington by John Stoltenberg

When I was a kid, magic tricks and puppet shows were forerunners to my love of theater. They were like my gateway drug. I got hooked on the wonder and live storytelling. And to this day I as…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:05PM
Thursday, December 20, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘Kings’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

“Laws are like sausages,” goes the adage. “It’s better not to see them being made.” As it happens, I have a good mental picture of how sausages are made, because fo…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:21PM
Monday, December 17, 2018

Review: ‘Oh, God’ at Mosaic Theater Company by John Stoltenberg

Theater and theology have been boon companions for eons. Ever since religion was invented, humans have wanted divinities with drama. Way back in polytheistic antiquity, playgoers imagined go…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:53PM
Thursday, December 6, 2018

Review: ‘Crystal’ by Cirque du Soleil at Capital One Arena by John Stoltenberg

Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal is staged on a slick sheet of ice where acrobats and skaters combine to create an amazing entertainment. A spectacular array of chills and charms to thrill a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:19PM
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Review: ‘Gem of the Ocean’ at Round House Theatre by John Stoltenberg

There are only ever seven characters onstage in this majestic production—three of them former slaves—but it is as if multitudes of Africans lost crossing the ocean or sold in chains are …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:25PM
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Magic Time!: On Acting with a Conscience: A Q&A with Lianne Harvey, now appearing in ‘An Inspector Calls’ by John Stoltenberg

The character Lianne Harvey plays in J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls, Sheila Birling, really fascinated me. Sheila stands out as no ordinary ingenue. During the course of the play…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:46PM

Magic Time!: ‘How to Keep an Alien’ by Solas Nua by John Stoltenberg

I can’t recall seeing another play by someone who came to playwrighting from standup, but I’ll not soon forget how I laughed my feckin head off at Sonya Kelly’s How to Keep…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:37AM
Saturday, December 1, 2018

Review: ‘Watergate…with Puppets’ by AnyStage Theater by John Stoltenberg

Fans of zany humor might remember when AnyStage Theater popped up in the Capital Fringe Festival with its ridiculous (and mostly fact-free) takes on Margaret Thatcher and Amelia Earhart. The…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:38AM
Friday, November 30, 2018

Review: ‘Indecent’ at Arena Stage by John Stoltenberg

The controversial scene that ends this “true story of a little Jewish play” has been foretold at length throughout the show and mentioned in much publicity, so it’s no spoi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:02PM
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Review: ‘Barber Shop Chronicles’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

“To let one’s hair down” is to open up, be freer than usual, be willing to share. The idiom is apt for what transpires in Barber Shop Chronicles, an extraordinary explorati…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:46AM
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘An Inspector Calls’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

J. B. Priestley’s classic An Inspector Calls—a drawing-room drama set in England in 1912 and written there in 1944—has landed in DC with uncanny currency. Now at Sidney Harmon Hall…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:59AM
Monday, November 26, 2018

Magic Time!: Mike Daisey’s 18-Part, 30-Hour ‘A People’s History’ at Seattle Repertory Theatre by John Stoltenberg

I remember being so bored by my high school American history class that I got a D in it. This was not normal. My report cards always had A’s and B’s. So the kindly elderly woman …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:22AM
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Review: ‘The Choir of Men’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

If you’re in a mood for some boisterous joy this holiday weekend—some soul-rousing solos and heartbreaking harmonies in the tenor/bass range—nab a ticket to The Choir of Man. The t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:33PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘Cry It Out’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

Cry It Out—an exhilaratingly funny and touching comedy about new parenthood—is a joyous reminder that when a playwright of Molly Smith Metzler’s skill and compassion writes “…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:05AM
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Youthful Fresh Take on ‘Our Class’ at Georgetown University by John Stoltenberg

Long before the recent shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Derek Goldman had planned to direct a production of Our Class with student actors at Georgetown University. It is…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:55AM
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Review: ‘The Agitators’ at Mosaic Theater Company by John Stoltenberg

“Do you still believe there can be a country for all?” When that blunt question comes up in The Agitators—Mat Smart’s deeply affecting play about the friendship between S…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:33AM
Monday, October 29, 2018

Review: ‘Long Way Down’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

Long Way Down, adapted from the renowned young adult novel in verse by Jason Reynolds, is told in the voice of a 15-year-old named Will and performed by the prodigiously talented Justin Wea…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:56PM
Saturday, October 27, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Fever’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

If you’ve ever been in an acting class, a group-encounter session, a sensitivity training, or  kindergarten, you’ll feel right at home in The Fever. Even if you’re by natu…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:51AM
Friday, October 26, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘Actually’ by Theater J at Arena Stage by John Stoltenberg

The vexing concept of consent in sex gets a seductively smart parsing in Anna Zeigler’s Actually. Now playing in an electrically well-acted Theater J production directed by Johanna Gre…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:09PM
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Fall’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

There is so much to be blown away by in The Fall, the powerful and thrilling performance piece devised and performed by seven South African students. Their majestic musicality, their propuls…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:40PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘How I Learned to Drive’ at Round House Theatre by John Stoltenberg

I’ve been wary of this play since it was first produced in 1997. I remember hearing that it was about a pedophile and his niece and that its treatment of the uncle was sympathetic. So …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:32PM
Monday, October 22, 2018

Review: ‘Blight’ by Pinky Swear Productions at Anacostia Playhouse by John Stoltenberg

A few years ago, the teenage son of a single mom shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic, and now the nice suburban home they lived in is a blight. The house not only brings the neighborhood dow…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:00PM

Magic Time!: ‘Chocolate Covered Ants’ by Restoration Stage at THEARC by John Stoltenberg

When three-hours-plus in the theater elapse faster than many a 90-minute performance, it’s a good bet you’ve been in the thrall of a master storyteller. And that’s what hap…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:25AM
Sunday, October 21, 2018

Magic Time!: Actor Michael Kevin Darnall Opens Up About Being Open on Stage by John Stoltenberg

When Michael Kevin Darnall plays a character who is the focus of a long scene and we can watch every nuance and shading of his emotional expression without interruption, he can be transfixin…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:36AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Review: ‘Aida’ by Constellation Theatre Company at Source by John Stoltenberg

Just before intermission in Constellation Theatre Company’s sparkling and stirring production of Aida, there comes a wonderful “Wakanda Forever” moment. The fearless Nubia…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:33PM
Saturday, October 13, 2018

Anon(ymous) by Theatre Prometheus at the Silver Spring Black Box by John Stoltenberg

Countless migrant children have been separated from home and family in war-torn parts of the world, and there is no way all their stories will be told. But Naomi Iizuka’s Anon(ymous)…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:26PM
Sunday, September 30, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘Safeguards’ by Brave Soul Collective at Anacostia Arts Center by John Stoltenberg

Brave Soul Collective is a hidden gem of theatrical truthtelling about black men who are LGBTQ. Periodically the collective surfaces with a one-night-only showcase of work by local writing a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:10PM
Monday, September 24, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘How to Win a Race War’ at The Klunch by John Stoltenberg

I know from my feminist antipornography activism that there is plenty of misogynist hate literature around. (The hard-core stuff is brutal, sadistic propaganda marketed to men arousing them …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:47PM
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Events’ at Theater Alliance by John Stoltenberg

Theater Alliance’s The Events, now playing at Anacostia Playhouse, is one of several plays this season that deal with a mass shooting. (There’s also Pinky Swear’s Blight, …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:32AM

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