All stories by John Stoltenberg on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: ‘Wig Out!’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

The world of  Wig Out! is a glittering fantasia on house ballroom culture. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s ingeniously metatheatrical 2006 script sets this play with music in the urban underg…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:21PM
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Review: ‘The Gun Show’ at 1st Stage by John Stoltenberg

Among the issues polarizing America (and degrading public discourse) is the hot-button question of what to do about guns. Proponents of positions right and left talk past each other. Both ca…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:18PM
Saturday, July 15, 2017

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Help Me, Wanda!’ by John Stoltenberg

Toni Rae Salmi is an actor seen frequently on DC stages, most recently “enjoyably grand” in Perfect Arrangement at Source Festival. In Help Me, Wanda!, she belts out a rockin&…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:35PM
Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: ‘The Originalist’ at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater by John Stoltenberg

The original The Originalist returns to Arena in a much larger house (The Kreeger, not the Kogod Cradle where it debuted in 2015). This is fitting. The play, the performances, and the produc…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:02PM

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘The Heroes’ Tale’ by John Stoltenberg

Four black men in their forties sit around a chess game in Dupont Circle park in 1980. They open the show singing barbershop-quartet style, an upbeat song about themselves: They are the 1342…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:13AM
Sunday, July 9, 2017

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘This Too Comes By Hard’ by John Stoltenberg

No way around it, this is a dark, harsh, and gritty domestic drama. For some, it may be too dark, too harsh, too gritty, perhaps a partner violence trigger. A fun, frothy, feel-good frolic t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:02PM
Saturday, July 8, 2017

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Last Ditch Playlist’ by John Stoltenberg

The unofficial rules for crafting a successful play also tend to apply to compiling the perfect mixtape: tell a compelling story, know your audience but keep them guessing, set a tone, stick…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:46AM

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘The Blind’ by John Stoltenberg

Against a backdrop of trendy dramedies and raunchy musicals, the Wheel Theatre Company’s The Blind leads its audience to a cold, dark forest a century old. Your experience depends on how…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:49AM

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Lazarus’ by John Stoltenberg

The notion that medical technology will one day enable human beings to live indefinitely is not just science fiction. Preventing the aging process (or “ending aging”) is an actua…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:06AM
Friday, July 7, 2017

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Constructive Fictions’ by John Stoltenberg

Was ever a jailed sex offender more self-righteous and self-pitying than Rabbi Barry Freundel in this brilliantly disturbing new play by A. J. Campbell? Were ever such a predator’sR…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:46PM

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Ready to Serve: Remember the Nurses’ by John Stoltenberg

Stories of war wounded told from the point of view of military medics—those who try to save lives and bag the bodies of the ones they can’t—give glimpses into the bravery and heroi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:56AM
Thursday, July 6, 2017

DC Theatre Scene and DCMetroTheaterArts’ Joint Capital Fringe Coverage Begins Tonight by John Stoltenberg

The two media companies combine writing strength to review 70 openings in 6 days The editors and publishers of DC’s two major theater websites—DC Theatre Scene and DCMetroTheaterArts—t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:44AM
Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Magic Time!: Report on a Staged Reading of ‘Olityelwe (The Forgotten)’ at Theater J by John Stoltenberg

When Jonathan David Martin came from New York to DC to be Theater J’s new associate producer in March of last year,  he brought with him a backstory as co-artistic director and produ…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:14PM
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Broken Glass’ at Theater J by John Stoltenberg

Arthur Miller’s 1994 Broken Glass does not rise to the stature of his greatest works (Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, The Price, and others). But even lesser Miller can be arresting…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:04PM
Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tantalizing Tastes from a Boffo Buffet: A Report on the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival Preview Night by John Stoltenberg

Fifteen of the 80-plus shows in the 12th Annual Captial Fringe Festival presented five-minute teaser scenes to a packed house Thursday night at Logan Fringe Arts Space. Act after act, the ho…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:25AM
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘When We Were Young and Unafraid’ at The Keegan Theatre by John Stoltenberg

On the top floor of The Keegan Theatre is a cork board labeled “What Does Feminism Mean to You?” Pushpins, pens, and slips of paper are provided so that patrons can have their sa…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:17PM
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘The Return’ at Mosaic Theater Company of DC by John Stoltenberg

Inside this taut and provocative two-character play—which vividly evokes the political tension between the Israeli state and its Palestinian citizens—there is a startling sex scene, one …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:38PM
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Still Life with Rocket’ at Theater Alliance as Voyage to a New Form: A Q&A with Director Mollye Maxner by John Stoltenberg

Still Life With Rocket is greater than the sum of its arts. The diverse forms of installation, choreography, and character-driven drama come together in this collaboratively devised experien…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:53AM
Monday, June 12, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘School for Lies’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

The set that we see is a towering eyeful, The interior decorator spared nary a trifle, For decked all about are amusing objets d’art On loan from museums with tastes tres bizarre. Claes Ol…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:14AM
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review: Source Festival 2017: ‘Perfect Arrangement’ by John Stoltenberg

Perfect Arrangement by Topher Payne was a smash hit at Source Festival when it debuted there four years ago, and the comedy’s return to Source on the occasion of the festival’s t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:19PM
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review: ‘And the Tony Goes to…’ at The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC by John Stoltenberg

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, concerts never lack for inspired high concepts and ingenious themes. Whether featuring love songs, cowboy songs, nostalgia songs, or who-knows-what-…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:30PM
Monday, June 5, 2017

Magic Time!: “Never Fear Your Own Radical Ideas”: A Q&A with Malic White, Who Plays Max in ‘Hir’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

The young performer, playwright, and self-described gender warrior Malic White is in town from Chicago making a singularly significant debut on a DC stage playing Max, a whip-smart radica…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:47PM
Monday, May 29, 2017

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

The absurdity and grim reality of gender get a scathing going-over in this extraordinary play by Taylor Mac. Inside the hilarity of Hir (pronounced “here”) is a tragedy howling t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:49PM
Friday, May 26, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at Signature Theatre by John Stoltenberg

There’s an extraordinarily tender and touching moment in Signature Theatre’s ebullient Jesus Christ Superstar when Mary Magdalene (Natascia Diaz), after singing her gorgeous ball…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:13PM
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: ‘Ulysses on Bottles’ at Mosaic Theater Company of DC by John Stoltenberg

Near the beginning of this transporting play, the actor Sarah Marshall, wearing a man-tailored white suit, unrolls a map of Gaza and lays it on the floor. She then dumps onto it 150 tiny pl…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:27PM
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review: ‘Sioux Falls’ at 10th Muse Productions at Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint by John Stoltenberg

Megan Dominy’s The Wedding Party was a huge hit in Capital Fringe 2015 (the DCMetroTheater Arts review called it a “delightful comedic romp”). Now in her new play, Sioux…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:45PM
Friday, May 19, 2017

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

There are reasons aplenty not to miss The Father now playing at The Studio Theatre, and Ted van Griethuysen’s performance in the title role is foremost among them. Recently the recipie…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:10PM
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Review: ‘The Man Who’ at Spooky Action Theater by John Stoltenberg

Curious questions tease the brain during this peculiarly provocative production. One is: Is this theater? Another is: What are we to make of it? The Man Who, just opened at the estimably idi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:17PM
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Outside Mullingar’ at The Keegan Theatre by John Stoltenberg

How does a play that starts out about real estate for gosh sake—adjacent farms in rural Ireland—become a heart-wrenching story of adjacent lost souls who fall in love late in life? How d…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:04AM
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: ‘Protest’ at Alliance for New Music-Theatre by John Stoltenberg

DC site-specific theater of resistance reached a new height last night—also a new low—as Alliance for New Music-Theatre’s arresting staging of Vaclav Havel’s Protest became t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:13PM
Monday, May 8, 2017

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche by John Stoltenberg

Much to my tickled surprise, last night I found myself shouting out that I am a lesbian—I along with an entire audience in Lab One at The Atlas Performing Arts Center! Really, all of us, a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:34PM