All stories by Mary Ann Johnson on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Theatre review: ‘Shipwreck, A History Play About 2017,’ Woolly Mammoth by Mary Ann Johnson

‘Shipwreck’ is a big play—big on ideas, big in its exploration of people’s expectations and view of themselves versus reality, hellbent on exploring the divide in America with the el…

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Paint’ and ‘Cats & Kings,’ Two One-Act Plays at American University by Mary Ann Johnson

Matthew Senie, a recent graduate of American University’s MA program in philosophy, showcased two of his plays, running in reparatory this past weekend. While outwardly dissimilar, both de…

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘A Daughter’s A Daughter’ at Arlington Players by Mary Ann Johnson

“A Daughter’s A Daughter” is one of the most meh titles I have ever read, and this confused play by Agatha Christie written under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott in the 1930s, put on …

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘The Royale’ at 1st Stage by Mary Ann Johnson

Go. See. This. Show. That is all. This is a must-see production. The strength of the script transcends the boxing world to encompass a world of bigotry and hatred where humans are denied bei…

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Theatre Review: ‘Venus in Fur’ at Providence Players of Fairfax by Mary Ann Johnson

“Venus in Fur” is a bold, riveting exploration of more than just sexuality—it’s about the exchanges of power between people and the lies we tell ourselves and others. It’s about st…

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Theatre Review: ‘Comedy of Venice’ at Best Medicine Rep Theater by Mary Ann Johnson

“Comedy of Venice” is a mildly diverting amusing pastiche of an old art form—the Commedia dell’ Arte. Focusing on two rivals for the hearts of Venetian playgoers, Carlo Goldoni (John…

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Silent Sky’ at Ford’s Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Henrietta Leavitt and her glass-ceiling-shattering compatriots, Annie Canon and Williamina Fleming, are the subject of Lauren Gunderson’s 2011 play, “Silent Sky” which covers about 20 …

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Bloomsday,’ Washington Stage Guild by Mary Ann Johnson

What would you do if you could go back in time and observe and interact with your younger self? If you knew how things were going to turn out? But yet you didn’t know how things might have…

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Move Over, Mrs. Markham’ at Port Tobacco Players by Mary Ann Johnson

“Move Over, Mrs. Markham” is a sprightly way to segue into the new year and beat back some of the doldrums of January and February. . . . the Port Tobacco Players have created a zesty, t…

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Sheltered’ at Theater J by Mary Ann Johnson

“Sheltered,” like “The Children” currently playing in Annapolis, asks some very important questions regarding what do we as a society owe to the next generation? This play goes a ste…

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘The Children’ at Colonial Players of Annapolis by Mary Ann Johnson

“The Children” is one of the most thought-provoking, humorous and heart-wrenching stories I’ve seen in quite a while. The writing is brilliant, and the story is timeless. This is a pro…

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Cabaret Review: ‘Passport to the World of Music’ Danielle Wertz Cabaret by Creative Cauldron by Mary Ann Johnson

Creative Cauldron kicked off the 2020 “Passport to the World of Music” cabarets with a breezy, relaxing jazz show by San Francisco Bay Area-based jazz vocalist and arranger Danielle Wert…

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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Acuña, Acuna’ at Washington Improv Theatre, Source Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Erick Acuña is a Peruvian comedian living and working in Washington, DC. He presents a series of gently amusing monologues taken from his life as a Latino immigrant. Skits include filling o…

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘I Take Your Hand in Mine’ at Taffety Punk Theatre Company, with The Chekhov Collective, and Theatrus. by Mary Ann Johnson

Prepare to fall in love—with words, with writing, with creating, with art, with theatre, and with Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper. This beautiful work is based on the 412 letters that the t…

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘The Infinite Tales’ at 4615 Theatre Company by Mary Ann Johnson

Adapted and directed by Gregory Keng Strasser, “The Infinite Tales” at 4615 Theatre Company covers three of the four major periods recognized in Irish mythology. In this production, we h…

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Day of Absence’ at Theater Alliance by Mary Ann Johnson

This was a most unexpected play. It doesn’t shy away from confronting the audience with searing truths about the history of racism in this country. Douglas Turner Ward, the playwright, was…

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Theatre Review: ‘Last Night at Ballyhoo’ at Bowie Community Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

The Bowie Community Theatre does an admirable job at putting on this amusing, yet serious, slice-of-life look at what it means to be a Jew in the South before WWII. Set in Atlanta, the Freit…

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Theatre Review: Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage ‘Montgomery’ at Monumental Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Last year, Monumental Theatre presented Act 1 of “Montgomery,” a new musical about Claudette Colvin, Rosa Parks, civil rights attorney Fred Gray, and the civil rights movement in Montgom…

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Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Review: ‘A Thing of Beauty,’ Washington Stage Guild by Mary Ann Johnson

What is art “supposed” to do? Is there a proper way to view art, much less judge it? Is art even art if you don’t know the artist’s backstory, or at least a portion of it? . . . the …

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Theatre Review: The Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Review: ‘The Tempest + Movement Storytelling Workshop’ at Synetic Theater by Mary Ann Johnson

Synetic Theater is beginning their new season with a water-filled production of ‘The Tempest.’ So the ignite the late afternoon crowd at the Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage on Sunday, S…

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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Assassins’ at Signature Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

So, eight assassins walk into a bar, six men and two women. All are fabulous singers, skilled at immersing themselves in their roles; dedicated to their craft; and one is a smashing dancer. …

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Performance Review: ‘Cats, Criminals & Comedians!: The Untold Herstory of Feminist Performance Art;’ ‘George Cory Todd;’ and ‘MothBroth by Mary Ann Johnson

Let me be honest—I had never heard of any of the three acts I saw on Tuesday at RHIZOME, so had no expectations or preconceptions. And that’s good—because the work of all three was min…

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Diagnosed’ at Theater Alliance by Mary Ann Johnson

To be diagnosed is one thing—to accept it is another. In playwright and actor Iyona Blake’s new work (this is the first production; it is a work in progress) this is one of the issues sh…

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Blank,’ Word Becomes Action III: A Festival of Past, Present and Future at Theater Alliance by Mary Ann Johnson

Nassim Solimanpour is the playwright who created “Blank.” He also created “White Rabbit Red Rabbit,” another play which must be performed by a different actor each performance. Now t…

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Bent’ at Hard Bargain Players by Mary Ann Johnson

A natural amphitheatre in the woods, at the end of a gravel path and surrounded by rising walls of trees and dirt and foliage is a very fitting setting to experience “Bent,” now playing …

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘The Few’ at Unexpected Stage Company by Mary Ann Johnson

Interestingly, this play is billed as a “romantic comedy” by the publishing company for it, Samuel French. To my mind, that sobriquet is too lighthearted for a play that eviscerates love…

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Vivian’s Music 1969’ at The Essential Theatre, Anacostia Playhouse by Mary Ann Johnson

It would not be gushing to say that “Vivian’s Music 1969” is brilliant. It simply is. Impeccably acted and beautifully written, the play, written by Monica Bauer, is a snapshot in time…

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Fringe Review: ‘H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound’ at North Shore Theatre Productions by Mary Ann Johnson

Adapted from a short story published in February 1924 by brilliant horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, this production is very Gothic. It would be easy to picture Vincent Price stumbling into the …

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Fringe Review: ‘The Face Zone,’ Martin Graff, Capital Fringe by Mary Ann Johnson

Martin Graff is an illustrator, author and composer who has created this heartfelt work based on his travels and life and musings about how humans connect with one another. He uses his own l…

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Blackbeard’ at Signature Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Signature Theatre is ending its 29th season with a funny, light-hearted look at the end of the era of pirates in the Atlantic Ocean in the 1700s. “Blackbeard” is a fun, mildly ribald rom…

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘The Oldest Boy’ at Spooky Action Theater by Mary Ann Johnson

Imagine that two monks show up at your house, politely knocking and bowing, and then want to discuss taking your three-year-old son back to India because he is believed to be the reincarnati…

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue