All stories by John Stoltenberg on BroadwayStars

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
Monday, July 16, 2018

Magic Time!: ‘O Monsters’ at Capital Fringe and the Limits of Criticism by John Stoltenberg

I went to see O Monsters, the radically abstract production created by Philadelphia’s New Paradise Laboratories, now playing in the Kogod Cradle at Arena as one of five curated productions…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:26PM
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

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