All stories by John Stoltenberg on BroadwayStars

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
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘If I Forget’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

To paraphrase the famous Passover Seder line, “Why is this domestic drama different from all other domestic dramas?” Or, to put the impudent question another way, “What mak…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:59PM
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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

Count on Branden Jacobs-Jenkins to leave you whiplashed and shell-shocked. He hits nerve after nerve then goes for the jugular. Whatever he writes, see it. Woolly’s previous productio…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:48AM
Thursday, September 6, 2018

Page to Stage 2018: Tastings from a Buffet (Part Two) by John Stoltenberg

Kennedy Center’s annual Page to Stage Festival is always chock full of tempting offerings, and the challenge of deciding what to see is daunting. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buf…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:06PM
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Review: ‘Small Mouth Sounds’ at Round House Theatre by John Stoltenberg

“You have everything you need within you to be human,” says an unseen guru on the god mic. He is speaking in a sonorous voice to six seekers who now sit rapt in a row facing us t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:40PM
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Page to Stage 2018: Tastings from a Buffet (Part One) by John Stoltenberg

Kennedy Center’s annual Page to Stage Festival is always chock full of tempting offerings, and the challenge of deciding what to see is daunting. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buf…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:23PM
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review: ‘Marie and Rosetta’ at Mosaic Theater Company by John Stoltenberg

I could well make this a one-word review: Wow. After the sensational opening of Marie and Rosetta at Mosaic last night, wow was first word I heard from everyone I talked to, and wow was the …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:27PM
Thursday, August 23, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Interstellar Ghost Hour’ at Longacre Lea by John Stoltenberg

Here’s an idea for a grad lit student in search of a dissertation topic:  “Bewilderment and Brilliance in the Theater of Kathleen Akerley.” That thought flipped through my…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:48PM
Monday, August 20, 2018

Review: ‘In the Closet’ at Rainbow Theatre Project by John Stoltenberg

“It gets better” is the premise and promise of a multimedia campaign that since 2010 has tried to offer hope and encouragement to LGBTQ+ youth. The message can be life-saving. Ne…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:04AM
Sunday, August 12, 2018

Review: ‘Happy Ending’ at Anacostia Playhouse by John Stoltenberg

Happy Ending is a one-act satirical comedy written in the 1960s by Douglas Turner Ward, co-founder of the Negro Ensemble Company. He had written an op-ed for the New York Times called “…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:29PM
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘The Story of the Gun’ at Woolly Mammoth by John Stoltenberg

Mike Daisey’s monolog The Story of the Gun is a show both hilarious and sobering, and he begins it with a wry riff on who we are who have come to see it. As he joshingly reminds us, we…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:16PM
Monday, July 30, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘Dave’ at Arena Stage by John Stoltenberg

You know those big live TV versions of blockbuster musicals that get broadcast decades after the show was a hit on the stage? Like, not until generations have come and gone? Well in the case…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:29AM
Sunday, July 29, 2018

Magic Time!: A Report on ‘The Trans-Atlantic Time Traveling Company’ by John Stoltenberg

The prodigiously imaginative performance artist Holly Bass belongs to the first generation of her family not to pick cotton for a living. I learned that startling fact as I passed through an…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:17PM
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2018 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Perfecting the Kiss’ by John Stoltenberg

This comedy about bad theater and inappropriate backstage behavior is just gobsmacking good. Laugh-a-minute is an underestimation. Don’t miss it. Perfecting the Kiss, a production fro…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:00AM
Monday, July 23, 2018

Magic Time!: Mike Daisey Takes Aim at ‘The Story of the Gun’ in America by John Stoltenberg

Masterful monologuist Mike Daisey returns to DC to skewer with humor another burning issue of the day. This time it’s America’s thing about guns. What’s that all about, any…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:58PM
Saturday, July 21, 2018

2018 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Almost Full: A Young Woman’s Guide to Growing Up’ by John Stoltenberg

On July 6, 2018, six girls ages 13 to 17 came together and began composing poetry and choreography and a little music about their just-starting-out lives. Two weeks later they performed the …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:17PM
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

2018 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Shopworn’ by John Stoltenberg

Race relations in the Deep South might not leap to mind as a promising topic for a laugh-out-loud comedy. But in Shopworn, premiering at Fringe, Playwright-Producer Derek Hills (who is whit…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:19AM

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