All stories by Peter Orvetti on BroadwayStars

Monday, March 18, 2024

Theatre Review: ‘Penelope’ at Signature Theatre by Peter Orvetti

One lesson of “Penelope”—both the new musical now running at Signature Theatre and the woman at its center—is that it is important to choose one’s partners well. Penelope is define…

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Theatre Review: ‘Coriolanus’ by Avant Bard and Longacre Lea at Gunston Arts Center by Peter Orvetti

If society treats soldiers as machines and war as a game, should it be a surprise when those soldiers lose their humanity? That is the question at the core of the startlingly original produc…

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Monday, March 4, 2024

Theatre Review: ‘The Trans-Atlantic Time Traveling Company’ by Theater Alliance at Anacostia Playhouse by Peter Orvetti

“The Trans-Atlantic Time Traveling Company,” a devised work presented by the Theater Alliance at the Anacostia Playhouse, is a vibrant and energetic production stuffed with music, storyt…

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Theatre Review: ‘Desperate Measures’ at Constellation Theatre Company by Peter Orvetti

“Measure for Measure” is a problem play. “Desperate Measures” is a problematic musical. To be sure, director Allison Arkell Stockman’s current production at Constellation Theatre C…

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Monday, February 5, 2024

Theatre Review: ‘The Victorian Ladies’ Detective Collective’ at Washington Stage Guild by Peter Orvetti

Director Morgan Duncan’s production of Patricia Milton’s “The Victorian Ladies’ Detective Collective” at the Washington Stage Guild is a spirited and impeccably performed show that…

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Friday, December 8, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘As You Like It’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company by Peter Orvetti

Daryl Cloran’s adaptation of “As You Like It” may not be the absolute best of the several dozen shows I’ve seen at the Shakespeare Theatre Company over the past decade or so, but it …

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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘An Irish Carol’ at The Keegan Theatre by Peter Orvetti

There’s an adage that states that no one on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I’d spent more time at work.” It encapsulates the theme of “An Irish Carol,” a charming but flawed o…

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Monday, November 20, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Arms and the Man’ at Washington Stage Guild by Peter Orvetti

When “Arms and the Man” opened in the West End in April 1894, George Bernard Shaw found himself called onto the stage after the curtain to receive a cavalcade of applause. The response s…

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Saturday, November 18, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Ride the Cyclone’ at NextStop Theatre Company by Peter Orvetti

In 2008, a new musical appeared on stage in Victoria, British Columbia. Ambitiously called the second work in the “Uranium Teen Scream Trilogy” (the first was a novel and one-act play an…

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Thursday, August 24, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘One Moment Now’ by Solas Nua and Murmuration at Eaton DC’s Baker’s Daughter by Peter Orvetti

There’s no stage, and it does not take place in a theatre. There are no actors, or at least none that can be seen. There is no set and there are no costumes, save those in the audience’s…

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Sunday, August 20, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Sandy Spring Theatre Group at Gaithersburg Arts Barn by Peter Orvetti

Theatre for young children is deceptively hard to do well. It may seem like simple stories would be the simplest to tell, but it requires great skill to craft such stories in ways that are c…

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Saturday, July 22, 2023

Capital Fringe Review: ‘TBD: A Devised Theatrical Celebration/A Musical Love Letter’ at Theater J by Peter Orvetti

The Capital Fringe Festival has changed a lot since the days of Fort Fringe and long afternoons at the Baldacchino Tent Bar. The artists behind “TBD: A Devised Theatrical Celebration/A Mus…

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Capital Fringe Review: ‘Attack on Tunggorono’ at Capital Fringe Rind by Peter Orvetti

The publicity for “Attack on Tunggorono” is compelling, which accounts for the full house on the evening I attended. But well before the end of the show, several patrons had quietly slip…

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Thursday, July 20, 2023

Capital Fringe Review: ‘I could have set the world on fire’ at Theater J by Peter Orvetti

Shaun Michael Johnson’s “I could have set the world on fire” is the rare play that is both too long and too short. The play takes us inside the hospital room of Ernest Williams (played…

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Sunday, July 16, 2023

Capital Fringe Review: ‘Tender’ by Transformation Theatre at Capital Fringe Sour by Peter Orvetti

It’s a winter night in Paris in 1926. F. Scott Fitzgerald, one year removed from the publication of his breakout hit “The Great Gatsby,” is churning out short stories for publication t…

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Capital Fringe Review: ‘Shut Up Martha’ at Capital Fringe Squirt by Peter Orvetti

Martha Mitchell is having a moment. In April 2022, a well-reviewed limited series about the outspoken wife of Attorney General John Mitchell, with Julia Roberts in the lead, began to air. Tw…

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Friday, July 14, 2023

Capital Fringe Review: ‘Who Did It? An Improvised Murder Mystery’ by Erick Acuña Productions at Theater J by Peter Orvetti

The 16th Capital Fringe Festival kicked off Wednesday evening with a true showstopper: a corpse on the Theater J stage. For the next 50 minutes, a crack team of local improvisers tried to fi…

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Monday, May 15, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘In the Heights’ at NextStop Theatre Company by Peter Orvetti

It has been a decade since the Elden Street Players, an all-volunteer community theatre located in a nondescript office park in Herndon, took a leap of faith and reinvented itself as NextSto…

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Monday, May 8, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Henry IV’ by Lumina Studio Theatre at Silver Spring Black Box Theatre by Peter Orvetti

Part of the magic of Lumina Studio Theatre is that it mounts serious, artistically thoughtful productions of complex works with a young cast of all ages and makes it work for all of them and…

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Monday, March 27, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Push the Button’ at The Keegan Theatre by Peter Orvetti

The fast-paced and energetic “Push the Button” is making its world premiere at the Keegan Theatre. The hip-hop musical emerged from Keegan’s Boiler Room Series, an incubator for works …

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Monday, March 13, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen’ at Imagination Stage by Peter Orvetti

Imagination Stage has a well-earned reputation for presenting innovative children’s theatre that does not talk down to its audience. It continues to impress with “The Hula-Hoopin’ Quee…

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Monday, January 30, 2023

Theatre Review: ‘Endgame’ at Washington Stage Guild by Peter Orvetti

Washington Stage Guild has mounted a production of Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” that is more than satisfactory in its parts. The acting, direction, and set and sound design are all top-n…

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Theatre Review: ‘46 Plays for America’s First Ladies’ at NextStop Theatre Company by Peter Orvetti

Five years ago, NextStop Theatre Company presented “45 Plays for 45 Presidents,” (read our review here), a collection of super-short plays about each of the men who had served in the nat…

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Monday, November 14, 2022

Theatre Review: ‘People, Places & Things’ at Studio Theatre by Peter Orvetti

The actor playing Nina in a production of “The Seagull” trips over one line and forgets another. Her scene partner tries to cover for her. She stumbles through another line or two, then …

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Friday, September 2, 2022

Theatre Review: ‘The Outsider’ at The Keegan Theatre by Peter Orvetti

“The Outsider” by Paul Slade Smith feels unstuck in time. First performed in 2015, the politics of this agreeable, light satire are those of 2008, and the tone and style evoke smart sitc…

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Monday, July 25, 2022

Theatre Review: ‘Blue Man Group’ at the Kennedy Center by Peter Orvetti

Blue Man Group is, as the Kennedy Center website says, a “phenomenon.” Created in New York in 1987, Blue Man Group has performed for more than 35 million people on multiple continents, w…

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Monday, July 18, 2022

Capital Fringe Review: ‘All the Feels’ by Pinky Swear Productions at Capital Fringe 3 Stars by Peter Orvetti

Capital Fringe perseveres. Two years after the pandemic led to the cancellation of the 15th annual festival, Fringe has returned—a bit smaller, a bit quieter, but alive and unbowed. If the…

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Capital Fringe Review: ‘Etched Glass Decanter’ by Evening Crane Theatre at Capital Fringe Representation by Peter Orvetti

Michael Seebold’s “Etched Glass Decanter” evokes Edgar Allan Poe or the darker works of Neil Gaiman. The 70-minute play takes place in an obscure universe where dream logic prevails an…

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Capital Fringe Review: ‘Green Machine’ by Urban Idyll Theater at Capital Fringe Home Rule by Peter Orvetti

“Is this legal?” “More or less!” Welcome to the weird world of D.C. marijuana gifting. In the District of Columbia, every law comes with an asterisk. The Council can overturn a measu…

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Friday, July 15, 2022

Theatre Review: ‘Beckett Shorts’ by SCENA Theatre at DC Arts Center by Peter Orvetti

If you laugh at the abyss, the abyss laughs back at you. Samuel Beckett was the funniest of the existentialists who took European thought by storm after the horrors of Nazism and the Second …

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Monday, July 11, 2022

Theatre Review: ‘The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful (and Her Dog!)’ at The Keegan Theatre by Peter Orvetti

In addition to being a prolific playwright, Lauren Gunderson is also one of the nation’s best ambassadors for science. Works like “Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonig…

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