All stories by John Stoltenberg on BroadwayStars

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
Sunday, May 7, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Laura Bush Killed a Guy’ at The Klunch by John Stoltenberg

Who’da thunk that our current administration’s dysfunction would prompt nostalgia for our eight years worth of W.? But that indeed is the curious takeaway from watching Lisa Hods…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:29AM
Friday, May 5, 2017

Magic Time!: On Being Seen as “Angry Black Man”: A Q&A with Jaysen Wright About His Role in ‘Smart People’ at Arena Stage by John Stoltenberg

I remember thinking after I first saw Lydia R. Diamond’s Smart People at Arena that the character Jaysen Wright plays, Jackson Moore, has an important and particular role in how whole th…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:27PM
Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: ‘Building the Wall’ at Forum Theatre by John Stoltenberg

The dystopia delineated in Building the Wall is predicted by the playwright, Robert Schenkkan, to happen in America very soon.  By the time the play is set, in the year 2019, the two charac…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:51PM
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: ‘Forbidden Kingdoms’ at Rorschach Theatre by John Stoltenberg

There are mysteries of belief and faith beneath this fascinating parable of a play, roiling like the seawater that churns below the wooden house where its action takes place. This house is b…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:50PM
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Review: ‘The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington’ at Ally Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

“I do believe you darkies are trying to kill me,” says Martha Washington to her house slaves in this fantastical-historical play, just opened in a sensationally cheeky production…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:42PM
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Smart People’ at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater by John Stoltenberg

Racism, presumed in polite circles to be no laughing matter, gets a hilariously smart  deconstruction in Lydia R. Diamond’s Smart People. Arena Stage has given this 2016 play its DC p…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:47PM
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Or,’ at Round House Theatre by John Stoltenberg

As play titles go, Or, is one of the most ungoogleable. It is a search engine dead end. And as an original mashup of past and present, prose and poetry, and performative purposes, Liz Duffy …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:24PM
Friday, April 14, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Off the Leash: A Journey Into Reality One Black Life at a Time’ at Woolly Mammoth Rehearsal Hall by John Stoltenberg

After I watched eleven B.F.A. candidates in Howard University’s Class of 2017 perform a program of self-scripted audition pieces—character-rich monodramas, actually—I had one overw…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:48PM
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Magic Time!: Homoeroticism and the Mother in ‘Blood Knot’: A Q&A with Director Joy Zinoman by John Stoltenberg

Until I saw Blood Knot at Mosaic Theater Company, I knew the work of Director Joy Zinoman only by reputation. I had come to her legend late. And the production blew me away. Set in apartheid…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:22PM
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

News Release: DCMetroTheaterArts is Here To Stay! by John Stoltenberg

DC Metro Theater Arts “More Local Performing Arts Coverage Than You’ll Find Anywhere Else” Bruce Markowitz, Founder Joel Markowitz, Publisher and Editor Nicole Hertvik, Assistant Ed…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:45PM
Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: ‘A Human Being Died That Night’ at Mosaic Theater Company of DC by John Stoltenberg

There are moments in this gripping, challenging, and deeply thought-provoking drama when the smallest of gestures by the two actors say what the play is about more than words can. A Human Be…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:24PM
Friday, April 7, 2017

Review: ‘In the Next Room or the vibrator play’ at Georgetown University by John Stoltenberg

I lost count of how many orgasms are in this show. They keep, um, coming and coming. And each one is performed stunningly by a student actor with such precisely differentiated paroxysms and …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:12PM
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review: ‘Lucy’ at UrbanArias by John Stoltenberg

As the PETA-hounded circus left town on its farewell tour, I headed to the Atlas Performing Center to see Lucy, an UrbanArias opera about an actual chimp. I was reassured to learn that no an…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:39AM
Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review: ‘Pike St.’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

Even as fear and animus split the human race asunder, great authors have reminded us for millennia that we really are all one. From the ancient Roman playwright Terrence (“I am human, and …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:06PM
Friday, March 31, 2017

Review: ‘King Lear’ at George Washington University by John Stoltenberg

Director Leslie Jacobson has book-ended Shakespeare’s dark tragedy King Lear with lyrical and lovingly-lit tableaux of the mad king’s court as if in a fairy-tale photo op—Lear regal on…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:25PM
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Magic Time! ‘Dry Land’ & ‘What Every Girl Should Know’ at Forum Theatre by John Stoltenberg

I’ve seen some harrowing-to-watch theater in my time, but I recall nothing as excruciating as a particular scene in Dry Land, now running at Forum Theatre. The play by Ruby Rae Spiegel is …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:01AM

Post-Play Palaver: ‘Three Sisters’ and ‘No Sisters’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

Post-Play Palaver is an occasional series of conversations between DCMetroTheaterArts writers who saw the same production—in this case the same two productions, Chekhov’s Three Sisters a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:50AM
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Magic Time! ‘Well’ at 1st Stage by John Stoltenberg

“Social ills” is a term often used to name a problem without caring about the people affected by it—as in the phrase “racism and other social ills.”  It’s a way of keeping one…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:53PM
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review: ‘Mnemonic’ at Theater Alliance by John Stoltenberg

Just now when the world is wracked with wave upon wave of ethnic  animus—just now when our country has succumbed to xenophobia not seen on these shores for decades—there comes a work of…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:21AM
Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: ‘No Sisters’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

A shout-out to Studio Theatre co-founder Russell Metheny, who designed the complex on 14th Street, for installing a backstage stairway connecting the dressing rooms of the second-floor Milto…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:40PM
Friday, March 17, 2017

Magic Time! ‘Needles and Opium’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

When I left the Eisenhower Theater last night after witnessing this mesmerizing multimedia marvel, I had a quibble. I had just one, but it could be the most peculiar cavil I’ve ever had ab…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:04PM
Friday, March 10, 2017

Magic Time! ‘Intelligence’ at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater by John Stoltenberg

Lately I’ve been thinking that there are two key questions that must be asked of every season-programming choice by every theater’s artistic director: 1) Why now? 2) So what? There is no…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:18PM
Thursday, March 2, 2017

Magic Time! ‘The Select (The Sun Also Rises)’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

F. Scott Fitzgerald was among the first to take an editorial whack at Ernest Hemingway’s first novel, The Sun Also Rises (then called Fiesta). Among other things cut out by Fitzgerald was …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:24PM

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