All stories by Robert Michael Oliver on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: ‘The Book of Will’ at Round House Theatre by Robert Michael Oliver

For the love of Shakespeare! There’s no doubt that Americans love their Shakespeare. In fact, many consider him America’s best playwright—? Then again, many Americans also love their f…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:55PM
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review: ‘Curve of Departure’ at Studio Theatre by Robert Michael Oliver

Rachel Bonds’ new play, Curve of Departure, now playing at Studio Theatre, is that rarity among modern plays: it’s traditional storytelling at its most engaging. Enter Rudy, played …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:47PM
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Review: ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Other Stories’ at Washington Stage Guild by Robert Michael Oliver

Dylan Thomas–known in the theatre world for his radio play, Under Milkwood, and in the prose world for Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, and in the poetry world for “Do Not …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:30PM
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review: Christian Sands in Discovery Artist at the KC Jazz Club by Robert Michael Oliver

Jazz pianist Christian Sands appeared at the KC Jazz Club last Friday evening with drummer Jerome Jennings and bassist Eric Wheeler: together, the pulse and rifts and energy lifted both hear…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:24AM
Saturday, November 18, 2017

Review: ‘Nina Simone: Four Women’ at Arena Stage by Robert Michael Oliver

After the Birmingham 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of 1963, Nina Simone turned her singing career toward the Civil Rights’ struggle. After a decade of singing mostly popular mus…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:32PM
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: ‘Nothing to Lose (But our Chains)’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company by Robert Michael Oliver

When the Born Again have the opportunity to witness, they do it before their congregation, and everyone shouts “Hallelujah!” When the Stand Up Comics have that same opportunity,…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:07PM
Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review: ‘The Dog in the Manger’ at We Happy Few Productions by Robert Michael Oliver

Lope de Vega, the author of We Happy Few Productions’ current offering at The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, was one of the most prolific writers in world history. Hundreds of plays and t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:39PM
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: ‘Top Girls’ at Keegan Theatre by Robert Michael Oliver

Only the indubitable Caryl Churchill could, in a play about a contemporary dysfunctional British family, give us an opening restaurant scene that includes the likes of: Dull Gret (a warrior …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:11PM

Review: Isley Brothers at The Kennedy Center by Robert Michael Oliver

The Isley Brothers rocked into The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall this last Sunday night. Though the Hall is still standing, it may never be the same. Since their founding in 1955, the I…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:08PM
Sunday, October 29, 2017

Review: NEA Jazz Master Ron Carter Trio at The Kennedy Center by Robert Michael Oliver

The Ron Carter Trio visited The Kennedy Center this Friday night. Consisting of bassist Carter, pianist Donald Vega, and guitarist Russell Malone, the harmonics couldn’t have been swee…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:36AM
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Review: Dizzy Gillespie Centennial Celebration at The Kennedy Center by Robert Michael Oliver

Dizzy Gillespie’s 100th birthday celebration at The Kennedy Center jazzed the Eisenhower Theatre last night. I’m sure the rooftop is still aglow this morning. Dizzy Gillespie (19…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:57AM
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: NEA Jazz Master Lee Konitz’s Birthday Celebration at The Kennedy Center by Robert Michael Oliver

Nonagenarian jazz–what is it? It’s Lee Konitz leading a quartet that includes George Schuller on drums, Jeremy Stratton on bass, and Dan Tepper on piano. And it couldn’t be…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:28AM
Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: ‘The Price’ at Arena Stage by Robert Michael Oliver

Arthur Miller is best known for his two American classics: Death of a Salesman and All My Sons. American high schoolers still know him for his third significant work, The Crucible. Although …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:38PM
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Spine: Love in the Time of Big Pharma, ‘The Effect’ at Studio Theatre by Robert Michael Oliver

Big Pharma is not only big, it’s growing bigger by the panic attack, by the back spasm, by the botched terrorist attack. We want that pill that makes us happy because that happy is our lat…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:09PM
Saturday, October 7, 2017

Spine: Love and Menace in ‘The Lover’ and ‘The Collection’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company by Robert Michael Oliver

Early Pinter is marked by menace. The Room, The Birthday Party, and The Homecoming leave a chill in the air, and in the audience’s agitated brain. We are disturbed as much by what …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:35AM
Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: ‘Lela & Co.’ by Factory 449 at The Anacostia Arts Center by Robert Michael Oliver

The story of Cordelia Lynn’s Lela & Co. is a universal story, told across many borders and many nationalities, ethnicities, and races; during wartime and peacetime, at Super Bowls,…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:03PM
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review: ‘The Arsonists’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company by Robert Michael Oliver

Woolly Mammoth’s The Arsonists is not so much an entertainment, even though I laughed frequently, psychotically–and loud, as it is a paratheatrical event during which an absurd p…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:54AM
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Spine: What’s Left of America’s Makers, ‘Skeleton Crew’ at Studio Theatre by Robert Michael Oliver

Lord, in a bourgeois town It’s a bourgeois town I got the bourgeois blues Gonna spread the news all around Any Washington theatregoer who craves a working class show, where the charact…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:37PM

Review: ‘In Cabaret We Trust’ by TBD Immersive at Blind Whino by Robert Michael Oliver

Tradition Be Damned Immersive has taken over a desanctified church at 700 Delaware Street, SW, Washington, DC. Known as the Blind Whino, or better by the fanciful colors that electrify the c…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:24AM
Saturday, September 9, 2017

Review: ‘M. Butterfly’ at Everyman Theatre by Robert Michael Oliver

Though written 30 years ago, few contemporary plays speak so profoundly to America’s current situation in the world as does David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly, now playing at Bal…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:06PM
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Spine: Bessie Smith and ‘The Devil’s Music’ at Mosaic Theater Company of DC by Robert Michael Oliver

Fresh from World War I and a devastated Europe, The Roaring Twenties indeed roared across America. In the midst of a raging economic boom fueled in no small part by the advent of film and ra…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:25PM
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: ‘Big Fish’ at The Keegan Theatre by Robert Michael Oliver

Family-friendly musicals are relatively rare these days. Family-friendly musicals that have adult themes are even rarer. Big Fish, with book by John August and music and lyrics by Andrew Lip…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:22PM
Friday, July 21, 2017

Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF): ‘Welcome to Fear City’ by Robert Michael Oliver

Fear City is the South Bronx in July 1977. There is nothing particularly unique about that July in that year in that place. Fear, it seems, is a way of life in the South Bronx. Kara Lee Cort…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:10PM

Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF): ‘Everything Is Wonderful’ by Robert Michael Oliver

The Amish with their horse and buggy, 19th century culture; their simple, old world uniforms and habits; their infamous Rumspringa where the teenage Amish is given the opportunity to choose …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:44AM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF): ‘The Niceties’ by Robert Michael Oliver

Eleanor Burgess’ The Niceties is a political play that takes the gloves off. It’s bare knuckled and it’s bloody, though no bones are broken and no souls crushed. But who kn…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:23PM

Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF): ‘Byhalia, Mississippi’ by Robert Michael Oliver

Evan Linder‘s Byhalia, Mississippi pulls theatre-goers into familiar territory: the “white trash” world of Laurel and Jim. Once there, however, the unfamiliar takes shape: amid…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:06PM

Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF): ‘We Will Not Be Silent’ by Robert Michael Oliver

David Meyers’ We Will Not Be Silent places American audiences within an interrogation room in Nazi Germany in 1943. Leaders of the White Rose, one of several resistance groups to Hitler an…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:02PM
Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF): ‘Wild Horses’ by Robert Michael Oliver

Last year there was Not Medea; this year there is Wild Horses, Allison Gregory’s rollicking one-woman ride through a 13-year-old’s adventures in horse country. Though structurally not as…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:13PM
Monday, July 3, 2017

Capital Fringe Preview: ‘HOWL’ in the Time of Trump’ at Sanctuary Theatre’s Performing Knowledge Project by Robert Michael Oliver

I am not a specialist. I’ve never wanted to be a specialist. In fact, I’ve always wanted to be a non-specialist: someone who encounters life across many disciplines and many love…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:33PM
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: Source Festival 2017: ‘Through the Wall’: Artistic Blind Date by Robert Michael Oliver

A Source Festival Artistic Blind Date brings together three area artists of different disciplines for an adventure in performance art. In five months they need to create and perform a perfor…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:51AM
Friday, June 23, 2017

Spine: ‘When We Were Young and Unafraid’ at The Keegan Theatre by Robert Michael Oliver

Stepping back 45 years, America is in the midst of a social revolution, and feminist consciousness-raising sessions are underway. Radical feminists, cultural feminists, and political feminis…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:29AM

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