John Lithgow Stories from the Heart: Pics, Review

John Lithgow, a Tony winner for his very first Broadway show in 1973, has decided to devote his 24th to the reading of two old short stories, Ring Lardner’s “Haircut” and “Uncle Fred Flits By” by P.G.Wodehouse. But “John Lithgow: Stories By Heart” differs from your basic library storytelling hour…Lithgow doesn’t just read the two stories; he performs them…Before each story, Lithgow also tells us at some length why they matter to him. These amount to something of a memoir of his father, and it is no denigration of the short stories to say that Lithgow’s well-told personal anecdotes are what provide much of the heart in Stories by Heart.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene


Disco Pigs Review, Pics: Enda Walsh’s impulsive teens

Enda Walsh, best known in the U.S. for the Broadway musical “Once,” first gained fame as the playwright of a furious burst of a play he wrote in five days about two intense and inseparable teenagers who share a birthday and a private language….Luckily, there is an energetic rhythm and vividness to Walsh’s prose that two good actors can make more accessible with their bodies, turning the language visual and physical. Colin Campbell and Evanna Lynch (best known as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films) do just that.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Click on any photograph by Jeremy Daniel to see it enlarged

Farinelli and the King: Review, Pics of Mark Rylance as Mad King

Four years after their splendid debut on Broadway, Shakespeare’s Globe returns to the beautiful Belasco Theater with a show that in a few glorious ways resembles their spectacular Twelfth Night. Their production of Farinelli and the King, an original play by Claire Van Kampen based on an odd true story about an opera singer whose music helped heal a mad king, gives us the gift of another opulent set and authentic-looking period costumes, and of another fine British cast again starring the always watchable Mark Rylance.

If Van Kampen’s script unsurprisingly falls far short of Shakespeare, Farinelli and the King also features what should count as a secret weapon — the singing of Iestyn Davies, a countertenor who provides what surely is the closest possible version in modern times to the arias sublimely rendered by the superstar castrati of the 18th century such as Farinelli.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Click on any photograph by Joan Marcus to see it enlarged.

Heavenly Voices: Legacy of Farinelli

Fiasco’s Twelfth Night: Review, Pics

Fiasco Theater offers a Twelfth Night for theatergoers who’ve never seen Twelfth Night or Fiasco Theater before.
For almost a decade, the ensemble company has been praised for its bare-bones productions of Shakespeare (and one Sondheim) that have been both intelligible and inventive. At CSC, they are delivering the Bard’s Christmas season comedy of mistaken identity with their customary clarity, but without that extra spark that characterized their Cymbelline or Into The Woods.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Meteor Shower Review, Pics: Amy Schumer makes her Broadway debut

Reverting to his early-career wackiness,  Steve Martin enlists four phenomenal performers, including Amy Schumer making her Broadway debut, for a joke-filled, overlong, trickster comedy sketch about marriage that is an uneasy stew of Neil Simon and Edward Albee, but falls short of either….

Meteor Shower may be a cloudburst of laugh lines lasting only about 80 minutes, but its non-sequiturs and silliness turn tedious in a remarkably short time.

Still, some sparks do fly….

Full review in DC Theatre Scene

The Parisian Woman starring Uma Thurman: Review and Pics

Uma Thurman and Josh Lucas neither kill a dog nor bed an FBI agent in The Parisian Woman, a tame, tidy, talky and only superficially timely play about a D.C. power couple engaged in political intrigue. It is written by Beau Willimon, who is also the creator of Netflix’s more daring House of Cards, where for five seasons the Underwoods have killed and bed with abandon.

Full review on DC Theatre Scene

Tickets to The Parisian Woman


John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons on Broadway: Review, Pics, Video

The ushers are wearing “Ghetto Scholar” sweatshirts in Studio 54, where for his sixth solo show John Leguizamo stands in front of a blackboard and lectures on the history, politics, culture and demographics of the 70 million Latinos in the United States. But Leguizamo is too much of an anarchic comic spirit, master mimic and candid memoirist to be merely erudite. “Latin History for Morons” exists on three planes – fascinating nuggets of actual history mixed with political commentary, eclectic comic shtick, and a funny, tender story of the performer’s efforts to connect with his family.

Full review at DC Theatre Scene

Leguizamo gives the keynote speech at the Immigration Arts Summit, July 17, 2017