All stories by John Stoltenberg on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Review: ‘Enron’ at 4615 Theatre Company Is an Excellent Investment by John Stoltenberg

Back in 1998, the official Enron vision and values statement had a line in it that said: “Ruthlessness, callousness, and arrogance don’t belong here.” Two years later, as the company…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:47PM
Monday, August 12, 2019

Review: ‘The War Boys’ at Ally Theatre Company Is Raw and Riveting by John Stoltenberg

The animus being whipped up against “invaders” at our southern border lends Naomi Wallace’s 1993 The War Boys an unsettling resonance. Written when she was but 26, the play is about th…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:23AM
Friday, August 9, 2019

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

“There are holes in the script!” would be the deathblow for any more conventional work of theater, but in Nassim Solimanpour’s Blank, the gaps are where the action’s at. As with Soli…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:44AM
Sunday, August 4, 2019

Review: ‘Or,’ by Theatre Prometheus at Capital Hill Arts Workshop by John Stoltenberg

Liz Duffy Adams’s play Or,—which premiered in 2009 at the Women’s Project in New York—is a deliciously literate feminist farce. A radical mashup of dichotomies (among them straight a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:09PM
Friday, August 2, 2019

Magic Time!: A Love Letter to ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ by John Stoltenberg

When Dear Evan Hansen debuted at Arena Stage four years ago, I was so moved by the show I wrote it a love letter, republished below. Now a Broadway hit, it returns to DC for a run at Kennedy…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:36PM
Saturday, July 27, 2019

Review: ‘Volta’ by Cirque du Soleil by John Stoltenberg

It always sparks joy when Cirque du Soleil comes to town, and its latest Big Top production, Volta, is a crazy-wondrous delight. The show is inspired by amateur street sports, and its theme …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:36PM
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Dispatches from Mike Daisey’s ‘A People’s History,’ Chapters 1 to 18 by John Stoltenberg

Over a period of 16 days in Washington, DC, in July 2019, Mike Daisey gave 18 different performances, each about an hour and 45 minutes long, of his epic look at America’s past, present, a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:16PM
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Magic Time!: Why ‘A People’s History’ Is “Painful”: A Q&A With Mike Daisey by John Stoltenberg

John: Before you brought A People’s History to DC, you performed all 18 parts three times—once through in Minneapolis and twice through in Seattle. I can imagine people could be picking …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:54PM
Saturday, July 6, 2019

Daily Dispatches from Mike Daisey’s ‘A People’s History’ by John Stoltenberg

Chapter 1: The Gold Earring, July 5 8pm Mike Daisey’s marathon retort to Trump’s Fourth of July “Salute to America” kicked off in the Kogod Chapel last night before a sold-out crowd.…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:31AM
Thursday, July 4, 2019

Review: ‘The Negroes Are Congregating’ (DC Black Theatre & Film Festival) by John Stoltenberg

Midway through this fast, furious, in-your-face poetic explosive about anti-black racism, one of the three cast members stops the action and says: “I’m sorry, I’m trying to keep up the…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:38AM
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Review: ‘Campaign ’72’ (DC Black Theatre & Arts Festival) by John Stoltenberg

Flashing a wide smile and a V sign, outfitted in power suit, sensible pumps, and her trademark glasses and bouffant, Shirley Chisholm enters the Anacostia Playhouse blackbox waving to the ap…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:04PM
Sunday, June 30, 2019

Review: ‘The Heroes’ Tale’ (DC Black Theatre & Arts Festival) by John Stoltenberg

This power plant of a play knocked me out two years ago during the Capital Fringe Festival and knocked me out all over again in the DC Black Theatre & Arts Festival. The Heroes’ Tale d…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:21PM
Saturday, June 29, 2019

Magic Time!: ‘The Boy from Troy’ (DC Black Theatre & Arts Festival) by John Stoltenberg

One looks for hope where one can find it. And sometimes hope pops up on its own, unexpected. That kind of hope, not sought out, can catch in one’s throat, can even move one to tears. Such …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:02AM
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Magic Time!: The Mind-Blowing Stagecraft in ‘Twisted Melodies’ at Mosaic Theater by John Stoltenberg

Twisted Melodies is a spectacular finish to Mosaic’s fourth season. Written by and starring Kelvin Roston, Jr., the show sweeps us into Donny Hathaway’s world of magnificent music-making…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:26PM
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Review: ‘Baldwin’s Nigger’ (DC Black Theatre & Arts Festival) by John Stoltenberg

With the recent release of  I Am Not Your Negro and If Beale Street Could Talk, the eminent writer James Baldwin received significant cinematic attention. This has been followed in DC by t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:45AM
Sunday, June 23, 2019

‘A People’s History’ at Capital Fringe Will Rock Your Worldview 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 who taug…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:56PM
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Review: ‘HERstory: Love Forever, Hip Hop’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

I have to marvel at all the ways the national culture temple named for our 35th president reaches out to an audience that looks like America. There’s no such uniform audience, of course—…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:18PM
Friday, June 14, 2019

Magic Time!: ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’ at Round House Theatre by John Stoltenberg

How do I love this play? Let me count the ways. My colleague David Siegel’s review heaps accolades on the Round House Theatre production of Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, now pl…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:44PM
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Review: ‘Byhalia, Mississippi’ at The Kennedy Center by John Stoltenberg

The pivotal character in this profoundly moving comedy is Laurel, a young woman who has relocated from Jackson to Byhalia, Mississippi, to make a life with the young man she plans to love fo…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:25PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Magic Time!: ‘The Oldest Boy’ at Spooky Action Theater by John Stoltenberg

Sara Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy tells a gut-wrenching story serenely, almost gently. At the heart of it is the bond between mother and child, a tie that Ruhl knew intimately when she wrote the…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:51AM
Monday, June 3, 2019

Post-Play Palaver: ‘Second Body’ at Synetic Theatre by John Stoltenberg and Sophia Howes

Post-Play Palaver is an occasional series of conversations between DC Metro Theater Arts writers who saw the same performance, got really into talking about it, and decided to continue their…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:51AM
Monday, May 27, 2019

Review: ‘Antigonick’ and ‘The Fragments of Sappho’ by Taffety Punk Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

Antiquity is in the house and what’s old is new again. Taffety Punk is presenting two short theater pieces featuring its signature integration of dance, drama, and music based on voices fr…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:21PM
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Review: ‘Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem’ at Theater Alliance by John Stoltenberg

Dane Figueroa Edidi is one of DC’s most original and multitalented theater artists. A dancer, actor, poet, playwright, and choreographer, she is also a teacher, novelist, political comment…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:05PM
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review: ‘Sooner/Later’ at Mosaic Theater Company by John Stoltenberg

A rom-com about manhunting…at Mosaic? That’s probably not the sort of fare you’d expect from DC’s preeminent theatrical platform for social-justice programming. But who is to say tha…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:37AM
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Review: ‘The Member of the Wedding’ at 1st Stage by John Stoltenberg

It was nearly 70 years ago that Carson McCullers adapted her beloved 1946 novel The Member of the Wedding into a prizewinning Broadway play. Set in a small Southern town, the story centers o…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:47AM
Sunday, May 12, 2019

Review: ‘The Tarot Reading (V)’ at Anacostia Arts Center by John Stoltenberg

The circusy-party vibe begins before showtime. The place is festooned with streamers,  furnished with comfy sofas, bedecked in colored light, and stocked with bags of popcorn to share. A fr…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:07AM
Friday, May 10, 2019

Magic Time!: ‘The Chibok Girls: Our Story’ at Georgetown University by John Stoltenberg

One night five years ago, a horror happened in Chibok, North Eastern Nigeria. The Boko Haram—Islamicist terrorists who believe that Western education is evil—abducted 276 girls from the …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:59PM
Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Magic Time!: ‘God of Carnage’ at Keegan Theatre by John Stoltenberg

The set foreshadows the coming fracas.  There’s a fault line down the middle where this living room seems sliced in two. And something’s out of whack. The halves do not align. Like two …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:04PM
Monday, May 6, 2019

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

Three retired nuclear physicists meet in a quaint cottage not far from the nuclear power plant where they once worked and where a catastrophe has occurred. Earthquake, tsunami, tidal wave, r…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:15PM
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Magic Time!: ‘Oslo’ by Round House Theatre by John Stoltenberg

It is rare that theater seriously asks us to believe something far beyond itself. Typically we are asked to suspend disbelief about let’s-pretend that happens on stage. The gripping and in…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:06PM
Sunday, April 28, 2019

Magic Time!: 10 Questions for the Brains Behind ‘The Tarot Reading’ by John Stoltenberg

Even in this theater town abounding in innovation, The Tarot Reading stands out as an original. I can’t think of anything it’s quite like. After I saw an iteration last year (The Tarot R…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:17AM

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2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
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