All stories by John Stoltenberg on BroadwayStars

Sunday, July 15, 2018

2018 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Dragon Hunting Support Group’ by John Stoltenberg

The theater students at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD, are a plucky bunch. When the school had no funds for production, they organized as a club and got a budget from the Stud…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:21PM
Saturday, July 14, 2018

2018 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Spook’ by John Stoltenberg

Actor-Writer-Revolutionary Meshaun Labrone has done it again.  Two years ago he brought back Power! to Fringe. That drama about Stokely Carmichael I called “one of the best-written, b…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:51PM
Friday, July 13, 2018

2018 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Hexagon 2018: Tweet Land of Liberty’ by John Stoltenberg

The all-volunteer organization Hexagon, “DC’s only original political satirical musical comedy troupe,” has been around since 1955 and has long been a Fringe fan fave. Its …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:46AM
Thursday, July 12, 2018

2018 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Sobriety of Fear’ by John Stoltenberg

Count Shaun Michael Johnson among the stunning new talents to be discovered at Capital Fringe. His solo show, Sobriety of Fear, is a tour-de-force of empathic acting. With breathtaking emoti…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:39AM
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2018 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Barococo’ by John Stoltenberg

Happenstance Theater, the much-lauded purveyors of cheekily sophisticated whimsy, have brought another original devised work to Fringe, and if it doesn’t tickle your funny bone, you mi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:13AM
Friday, July 6, 2018

Review: ‘People for Whom the World Spins and Turns’ at The Essential Theatre by John Stoltenberg

The boarding house play is a staple in theater. Assorted folks who might otherwise never cross paths are thrown together by a playwright who then grips us with their backstories, intertwined…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:24PM
Thursday, July 5, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘East of the River’ at Anacostia Musical Theatre Lab by John Stoltenberg

Community engagement is a noble aspiration for a lot of theaters around town. The challenge is to make theater matter to folks who live in the nabe. To connect the institution to the communi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:30AM
Sunday, July 1, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Till Trilogy’ at Mosaic Theater Company by John Stoltenberg

The murderous race hate that killed young Emmett Till in 1955 is alive and well. The impunity with which white assailants get away with it is still much with us. And the irony is that the ic…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:04PM
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Love and Friendship IRL: A Q&A With Brandon McCoy and Brianna Letourneau About ‘Other Life Forms’ at Keegan Theatre by John Stoltenberg

I went to see Other Life Forms, the new comedy at Keegan Theatre, not expecting to write about it. But the play changed my mind. I wasn’t even home yet when on an impulse I tweeted th…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:34PM
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Is DC Theater Getting Addicted to Trump? by John Stoltenberg and David Siegel

Post-Play Palaver is an occasional series of conversations between DC Metro Theater Arts writers. In this one, Senior Writers and Columnists John Stoltenberg (Magic Time!) and David Siegel …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:00PM
Monday, June 18, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Emperor of Atlantis’ at The In Series by John Stoltenberg

The Emperor of Atlantis—an operatic takedown of autocracy—is relevant to our times in freaky and haunting ways. And its backstory is chilling. Near the end of World War II, the Czech com…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:25AM
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Review: ‘Switch’ at The Welders by John Stoltenberg

The gender-flip trope has been a staple on stage for much of theater history, and just when you thought it had been trotted out every which way imaginable, along comes a delightful surprise.…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:19PM
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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

The vagrant of the title is a Palestinian scholar named Adham who, while on a trip to London as a grad student, must decide, when war breaks out in his homeland, whether to stay or go. Will …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:37PM
Monday, June 11, 2018

“The Queerest Role I’ve Played”: A Q&A with Jon Hudson Odom About ‘Botticelli in the Fire’ at Woolly Mammoth by John Stoltenberg

Jon Hudson Odom’s performance in Botticelli in the Fire just blew me away. And it wasn’t the first time that had happened. I’ve been following his work for several years, …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:48PM
Saturday, June 9, 2018

Review: ‘The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence’ at Step Afrika! by John Stoltenberg

Step Afrika!, the acclaimed African American dance company, launched this powerful multisensory dance-theater work eight years ago. Since then the spectacular show has toured the world and h…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:53PM
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Review: ‘TransAmerica’ at Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC by John Stoltenberg

At a historical moment when appalling new waves of gender fundamentalism sweep our nation, leaving bigotry and violence in their wake, it was beyond refreshing to hear the Gay Men’s Ch…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:11PM
Sunday, June 3, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ at Signature Theatre by John Stoltenberg

The musical The Scottsboro Boys tells a true story of heinous injustice driven by race hate, and the theatrical form is a minstrel show—bouyant upbeat dancing, rousing melodic singing, and…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:32AM
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs’ at Spooky Action Theatre by John Stoltenberg

The mystery at the center of this adroit drama keeps getting mysteriouser and mysteriouser: What’s in the small room at the top of the stairs? Playwright Carole Fréchette has crafted …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:59PM
Monday, May 28, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘Republic Undone’ at The Metropolitan Club by John Stoltenberg

Going back to Ancient Greece, theater has functioned as a forum for informed public debate—about war, religion, politics, all the issues relevant to the citizenry of the day. The Greeks ha…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:03PM
Friday, May 25, 2018

Magic Time!: ’10 Million’ and ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

Among the rich offerings in The Kennedy Center’s Artes de Cuba festival were two extraordinary works of theater, each performed but twice: The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, from Teat…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:10PM
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Review: ‘The Remains’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

They have such a tasteful, immaculate, picture-perfect kitchen, how could their marriage be such a sorry mess? That’s a crass way to ask the question, but the answers are beautifully n…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:54PM
Monday, May 21, 2018

Review: ‘Flood City’ at Theater Alliance by John Stoltenberg

I would not have thought that a play about dreadful disaster could be done as a droll and delightfully dark comedy, but Playwright Gabrielle Reisman did. Having lived through Hurricane Katri…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:51AM
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review: ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

Obsessional unrequited love is what prompts Petra von Kant’s bitter tears in the 1972 German film by Rainier Werner Fassbinder. The movie is a languid immersion in the self-absorption …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:01AM
Monday, May 14, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Frederick Douglass Project’ by Solas Nua by John Stoltenberg

In a tent pitched on a pier overlooking the Anacostia River, there is a powerfully important work of theater being performed. The work is The Frederick Douglass Project, commissioned to comm…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:40PM
Sunday, May 13, 2018

Review: ‘Burst’ at Parlor Room Theater by John Stoltenberg

The sudden incapacity of their mother is the occasion for three siblings and their cousin to gather at a Boston hospital in Amy Leigh Horan’s touching and perceptive new family dramedy…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:20AM
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: ‘The Undeniable Sound of Right Now’ at The Keegan Theatre by John Stoltenberg

If KISS were starting out today, they’d be trying to get noticed on a streaming music site like Spotify. And followers would find their tour dates on apps like Bandsintown. Or maybe th…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:24PM
Saturday, May 5, 2018

Review: ‘Iron & Coal’ at Strathmore by John Stoltenberg

The sheer magnitude of the concert event was enough to inspire wonder and awe. More than 200 musicians packed the Strathmore stage and a balcony above—two orchestras, three choirs, a rock …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:08PM
Monday, April 30, 2018

Review: ‘Vietgone’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

There is so much in this show to flip over, you could be dizzied by its delights. The fantastical story and kooky characters, the wicked humor and badass music, the frisky cast and musicians…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:16PM
Friday, April 27, 2018

Review: ‘Girlfriend’ at Signature Theatre by John Stoltenberg

The rock musical Girlfriend celebrates the tentativeness and exuberance of a budding romance between two gay teens in a small town Nebraska in the 1990s. Just after graduating from high sch…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:53AM
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Review: ‘Amanuensis’ at Georgetown University by John Stoltenberg

Time has not been kind to Great Dead White Male Artists, poor things. Nosey feminist historians have been poking around in these guys lives and digging up dirt about how they treated women! …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:38PM
Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: ‘After the Rehearsal’ and ‘Persona’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

Back in college in Minnesota, I was so into the forlorn films of Ingmar Bergman that I think he affected my mental health. I could relate to his bleak Nordic worldview, which I associated wi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:43PM