All stories by Mary Ann Johnson on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Moderation,’ part of the ‘New Works in Action’ series streaming by Spooky Action Theater by Mary Ann Johnson

“Moderation” is a psychological thriller by Kevin Kautzman. Since Spooky Action can’t present live readings, they are producing them via their YouTube channel. This is a fun way to spe…

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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Barber Shop Chronicles,’ streaming from the National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse by Mary Ann Johnson

‘Barber Shop Chronicles’ is the show we need right now—it pulls you in so sharply and you care so much about the characters you can completely forget about the mundane world around you…

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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘What Do We Need To Talk About? Conservations on Zoom’ by Public Theater by Mary Ann Johnson

This was simply lovely. The Apple family is back, having a Zoon conversation in the time of COVID-19. They’re older, feeling their mortality, and making plans for the future. They’re fra…

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Monday, March 16, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘The Realistic Joneses’ at Spooky Action Theater by Mary Ann Johnson

People can be fragile. Marriages can be fragile. Life is fragile. These are the themes of this multi-layered lovely little work about two couples who happen to be named Jones. One couple are…

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Head Over Heels’ at Monumental Theatre Company by Mary Ann Johnson

This is one of the most exuberant, silly, funny and irreverent jukebox musicals I have ever seen. Just like “Mamma Mia” or “Xanadu” or any of a number of jukebox musicals, the book b…

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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Suddenly, Last Summer,’ and pre-show play, ‘Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen,’ Avant Bard Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Both are lyrical plays, both are written by Tennessee Williams, although one is a rarely-produced, short fever dream and the other a study in more than just dysfunctional families; it’s a …

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Monday, March 2, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes’ at Signature Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Family ties can be hard, even as an adult. And when the adult child comes fleeing home after some unwise choices, they can be even harder. And when you add in a couple of other young lost so…

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Weep’ at Nu Sass Productions by Mary Ann Johnson

“Weep” by Amanda Zeitler is the final iteration of La Llorona produced at the Capital Fringe in 2014 when she was still an MFA in playwrighting graduate student at Catholic University. B…

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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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All that Chat

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