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Hundred Days Review: The Bengsons’ Concert About Their Love and Anxiety

In “Hundred Days,” a musically engaging autobiographical concert by The Bengsons, Abigail and Shaun Bengson tell us they met one another at “the first rehearsal of a massive anti-folk folk-punk old-timey neo soul band,” and they were married three weeks later. Their relationship terrified both of them – shy Shaun because he feared Abigail would leave him; anxious Abigail because when she was 15 years old she had had a dream that she would meet the love of her life, but that he would only have 100 days left to live.
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Once On This Island Review, Pics, Video: Enchanting Caribbean Vacation on Broadway

The first Broadway revival of “Once on This Island,” a stunning storybook production of a Caribbean-flavored folktale, begins in the aftermath of a natural disaster, as a story of love and loss told to soothe a frightened girl. With a terrifically appealing cast, including Lea Salonga as the goddess of love and several impressive Broadway debuts, as well as a rhythmic score, infectious choreography, vibrantly colorful design, and clever stagecraft,  the musical itself could well serve to soothe audience members reeling from the year’s many disasters. There are even live roosters and a goat cute enough to be the star attraction in a petting zoo.

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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

Mabou Mines Fiddles with Tennessee Williams: Pics, Review of Glass Guignol

In its forty-seventh year, Mabou Mines is inaugurating its first permanent home, the ninety-nine-seat Mabou Mines Theater in the East Village, with a newly devised piece called Glass Guignol: The Brother and Sister Play, a riff on Tennessee Williams that presents passages from four of his plays, most prominently The Glass Menagerie. But to summarize the piece in such a straightforward way fails to capture the elusiveness of the work by this celebrated avant-garde theatre company. Glass Guignol makes the recent, critically bludgeoned, experimental The Glass Menagerie directed by Sam Gold on Broadway feel like a production for the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

Full review on HowlRound

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

 

Describe The Night Review. 90 Years of Russian Lies, Paranoia, and Love

Playwright Rajiv Joseph aims high in this ambitious, pertinent, resonant, sometimes compelling but often confusing drama that sprawls over 90 years (and three hours), taking place in Poland, Russia, and East Germany, branching out surreally from its roots in actual historical events. The central and most intriguing of these true stories is the relationship between the Russian Jewish writer Isaac Babel (portrayed by Danny Burstein, last on Broadway in “Fiddler on the Roof”) and the head of Stalin’s Soviet Secret Police Nikolai Yezhov (Zach Grenier, best known as the aggressive divorce lawyer David Lee in “The Good Wife.”

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Harry Clarke Review: Seduced by Billy Crudup

“Who are you?” Billy Crudup asks near the end of “Harry Clarke,” as he looks in an imaginary mirror, a tight spotlight on his face, the rest of him in darkness. It’s the question animating David Cale’s 80-minute solo show about a man’s fake identity overtaking his real one. In several of its particulars, this play at the Vineyard Theater about an orphaned, bisexual con man seducing his way to luxurious living recalls “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
It takes a charismatic performance by the talented Mr. Crudup to make something undeniably entertaining out of Cale’s familiar and improbable yarn.

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