All stories by John Stoltenberg on BroadwayStars

Friday, November 17, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Republic For Which We Stand’ at United States Capitol Visitor Center by John Stoltenberg

For anyone who is more than a little unnerved that President Trump might go off half-cocked and trigger a war—which he could do with as little thought as he puts into a tweet—this civic-…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:24AM
Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: ‘The Real Americans’ at Mosaic Theater Company by John Stoltenberg

“Why am I a stranger in my own land?” the preternaturally talented actor-writer Dan Hoyle asks during his solo excursion into the heartland of America. Having set forth several y…

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘A Short Series of Disagreements Presented Here in Chronological Order’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

He might have had an interesting idea for a solo show. He hadn’t written it yet. but he told Studio Theatre, which had booked him, that its title would be A Short Series of Disagreeme…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:56AM
Friday, November 10, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Vicuña & The American Epilogue’ at Mosaic Theater Company by John Stoltenberg

“Even monsters need clothing,” says the bespoke tailor Anselm, an Arab Jew and immigrant, defending why he will sew a vicuña suit for a Republican presidential candidate whom hi…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:48AM
Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review: ‘In the Red and Brown Water’ at Howard University by John Stoltenberg

The wonder-filled stories that wend their way through In the Red and Brown Water were located by the playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney in “the distant present” in a fictional town…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:26PM
Sunday, October 29, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Hello, My Name Is…’ at The Welders by John Stoltenberg

Having heralded five* Welders productions, I approached Debra Kim Sivigny’s Hello, My Name Is… with both eagerness and wariness. Knowing that Sivigny had chosen as her subject a …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:30PM
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review: ‘God of Carnage’ at George Washington University by John Stoltenberg

The big laughs in Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage come from watching grownups behaving badly, and the big joke is that four parents end up acting more like petulant, belligerent children…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:53AM
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Judge Me Not’ at DC Arts Center by John Stoltenberg

Strong writing, passionate acting, and a meaningful purpose combined to make Judge Me Not a gem of a show. An assemblage of monologues around a common theme, the show came with a message: D…

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Sotto Voce’ at Theater J by John Stoltenberg

Among the revelatory dimensions of this lyrical play is one that caught my attention by surprise. I knew going in that Sotto Voce, by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Nilo Cruz, would re…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:43AM
Friday, October 13, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘An Act of God’ at Signature Theatre by John Stoltenberg

Rarely have I enjoyed such a perfect union of comic writing, acting, and staging with such non-stop hilarity. Just opened in the intimate Ark theater at Signature. An Act of God, had me dou…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:31PM
Monday, October 9, 2017

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

When two lovers in life or on stage display an intense interaction of attraction, they are said to have “chemistry.” That elusive feeling may be more than a metaphor, according t…

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Review: ‘Assassins’ at Pallas Theatre Collective by John Stoltenberg

This season for whatever reason—and far be it from me to speculate—three theater companies in the nation’s capital are presenting Stephen Sondheim’s tunefully insolent tribut…

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Review: ‘Blood at the Root’ at Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts by John Stoltenberg

Hard to imagine a dramatic work more perfect for undergraduate actors or more pertinent to the racial tensions of our times than Dominique Morisseau’s trenchant Blood at the Root, now…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:58AM
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘The Lover’ and ‘The Collection’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

The great Irish actor Lisa Dwan is in town doing something with the playwright Harold Pinter right now at the Lansburgh Theatre that is utterly amazing. She is both doing Pinter and undoing …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:31AM
Monday, October 2, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Love and Information’ at Forum Theatre by John Stoltenberg

This is a most peculiar play, but in a very good way. It’s more about its form than its content. And that’s what makes it one of Forum Theatre’s most fascinating offerings.…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:47PM
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Post-Play Palaver: ‘Lela & Co.’ by Factory 449 at The Anacostia Arts Center by John Stoltenberg

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 05:44PM
Friday, September 22, 2017

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

In a recent satire published on Medium, the San Francisco writer/actor/comedian Alison Page listed five dozen “Honest Theatre Awards.” Among them was one that struck me as an apt…

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Magic Time!: Refinding the Soul of ‘Word Becomes Flesh’ at Theater Alliance: A Q&A With Director Psalmayene 24 by John Stoltenberg

Winner of five Helen Hayes Awards last season, Theater Alliance’s production of Word Becomes Flesh is now playing at Anacostia Playhouse in an encore presentation that is garnering eve…

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

News: ‘Olityelwe (The Forgotten)’ Returns to DC in Full Production for Two Performances Only at Theater Alliance by John Stoltenberg

I reported on this extraordinary play when it was a staged reading at Theater J last June and said at the end: “Somebody needs to pick this one up and bring it back.” Well, that&…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:38PM

Magic Time!: ‘Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train’ at 1st Stage by John Stoltenberg

There are times in the theater when the particulars of a play—its people, place, and poetics—pull you in as only an arresting, well-told story can. But then something even more interesti…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:23AM
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith’ at Mosaic Theater Company by John Stoltenberg

In what is surely the most badass, take-no-prisoners performance by a musical artist on a DC stage in recent memory, Miche Braden brings her sensational star turn as Bessie Smith to H Street…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:18PM
Friday, August 18, 2017

Review: Free For All ‘Othello’ at the Shakespeare Theatre Company by John Stoltenberg

Every great play by Shakespeare takes on altered shades of meanings depending on a production’s directing, design, and acting. That’s a theater truism. Also well-known to practit…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:43PM
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Magic Time!: ‘Big Fish’ at The Keegan Theatre by John Stoltenberg

The musical Big Fish is by any measure a feel-good show for the whole family, as evidenced by the buoyant and beautiful production now playing at The Keegan Theatre. But the main narrative a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:06PM
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Magic Time!: Sweet Spot Aerial Productions’ ‘Smoky Mirrors’ at Atlas Performing Arts Center by John Stoltenberg

No sooner did some aerial apparatus drop from the fly space—ropes, straps, silks, hoops, trapezes—but what some artist-athletes would take hold of it and make acts of suspended animation…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:19AM
Friday, July 21, 2017

Review: ‘The Mark of Cain’ at Synetic Theater by John Stoltenberg

Fans of Synetic Theater’s music-and movement-based works derived from classic texts will find a surprise twist in the company’s latest offering. Typically, s Synetic extravaganza…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:49PM
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: ‘Wig Out!’ at Studio Theatre by John Stoltenberg

The world of  Wig Out! is a glittering fantasia on house ballroom culture. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s ingeniously metatheatrical 2006 script sets this play with music in the urban underg…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:21PM
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Review: ‘The Gun Show’ at 1st Stage by John Stoltenberg

Among the issues polarizing America (and degrading public discourse) is the hot-button question of what to do about guns. Proponents of positions right and left talk past each other. Both ca…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:18PM
Saturday, July 15, 2017

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Help Me, Wanda!’ by John Stoltenberg

Toni Rae Salmi is an actor seen frequently on DC stages, most recently “enjoyably grand” in Perfect Arrangement at Source Festival. In Help Me, Wanda!, she belts out a rockin&…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:35PM
Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: ‘The Originalist’ at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater by John Stoltenberg

The original The Originalist returns to Arena in a much larger house (The Kreeger, not the Kogod Cradle where it debuted in 2015). This is fitting. The play, the performances, and the produc…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:02PM

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘The Heroes’ Tale’ by John Stoltenberg

Four black men in their forties sit around a chess game in Dupont Circle park in 1980. They open the show singing barbershop-quartet style, an upbeat song about themselves: They are the 1342…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:13AM
Sunday, July 9, 2017

2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘This Too Comes By Hard’ by John Stoltenberg

No way around it, this is a dark, harsh, and gritty domestic drama. For some, it may be too dark, too harsh, too gritty, perhaps a partner violence trigger. A fun, frothy, feel-good frolic t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:02PM

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