view counter

Theatre Reviews

You’ve two more weekends to grab this corner of the sky.

Pippin, a deceptively complex and challenging musical, gets a strong interpretation by 2nd Star Productions. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell) and lyrics by Roger O. Hinson, it recounts a fantastical tale that ultimately comes home to rooted values.

Louisa May Alcott’s classic is perfect for young romantics as well as nostalgic mature ladies

Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women is one of those novels you either love or love to forget. It’s sweet or cloying, buoyant or overblown, fiery or flagging — and so is the musical, Colonial Players’ last offering of 2011. Jason Howland’s contemporary score, embellished with eight period songs to cover scene changes, offers some highs and humdrum, presented by some gifted performers and a supporting cast of sweet young things. Think Broadway meets Victorian parlor recital.

An ode to panache*

Cyrano, an original adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 classic, is given a new staging by the Theatre at AACC. The set, costumes, incidental music and minimalist staging all covey timelessness to the well-known story. Guest director Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski adds strong moments and concepts.

Take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia and meet merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers

Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights is not your same old Ali Baba, Sinbad and Aladdin story. None of them appears in this 15-story sampling of the bawdy and moralistic tales. But if you take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia, you will meet the masses: merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers.

Plotting a course to triumph

The new Compass Rose Studio Theater in Eastport’s Bay Ridge Shopping Center has hit on a winning strategy for success, debuting with Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Lost in Yonkers. That strategy: deliver family entertainment starring student-child actors alongside seasoned professionals, and watch them grow. It’s inspirational on a human and artistic level.

Twin Beach Players’ cast and company unite for toothy fun.

Twin Beach Players brings Dracula to the light of day in North Beach. Needle-sharp teeth sink into soft flesh ... but I digress.     By the way, did you know that a vampire’s fangs are retractable? They are. I’ve often wondered about that.

A clichéd pairing of opposites turns dying into a Hallmark production in this Bowie Community Theatre effort

Dying is one drama we all star in. This makes it an irresistible subject for playwrights, actors and directors. Grace and Glorie, now playing at Bowie Community Theatre, has death and dying as its focus and personal relationships as its theme.

Logistically challenging, Dignity Players’ attention to detail shows.

Sordid Lives, a black comedy about white trash, rode a wave of financial and critical success for over a decade, from L.A.’s theater scene to film and TV credits. Playwright Del Shores did it by playing on stereotypes that feed social discord, from homophobia to fundamentalism, from the country club to the trailer park. His characters are as big as Texas, comic diversions of tragic proportions. Underneath the honky-tonk hijinks is a sweet story about a family’s struggle for unity amid fragmenting differences.

Two hours to ponder the bearings on which a life rests

In Wit, Bay Theatre Company tackles a heartfelt and erudite play about a woman coming to terms with cancer.

Even the actors don’t know whodunit in this appealing mystery

The works of Agatha Christie, the queen of murder and reportedly the best-selling author of all time, are timeless because her characters transcend their settings. The privileged classes, it seems, are no happier than the rest of us, so we adore their frailties as much as the grandeur that surrounds them. Christie mysteries are box-office gold even when they’re so-so; Colonial Players’ The Unexpected Guest is diamond-studded platinum.