Author Archive for Benjamin R. Freed

D.C. Bands to Play Russian Embassy on Anniversary of Pussy Riot Imprisonment

D.C.'s punk rockers have a message for Russian President Vladimir Putin: They still don't like you.

A District of Ice and Fire

It’s been a month since Game of Thrones, HBO’s fantasy series based on the novels of George R. R. Martin, wrapped up its second season. And the more we rewatch episodes via OnDemand, the more Martin’s sprawling epic of dragons, ice demons, and warring dynasties feels like an allegory for our situation here in the [...]

Arts Roundup: The Last Edition

Winning Fragrance: PopMatters named The Caribbean's album Discontinued Perfume as the top indie-pop LP of 2011, beating more notable groups like Architecture in Helsinki, Girls, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Of The Caribbean, PopMatters wrote, "Like scientists, they’re quietly experimenting, but like journalists or novelists, they sing of ordinary people who, of [...]

Gray’s Latest Studio Pitch: The Statehood Show?

This post has been updated.
Earlier this year, Mayor Vince Gray, while in Los Angeles for a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, took a side trip to meet with several Hollywood production companies in hopes of enticing them to bring more film and television shoots to D.C. Since those July meetings, the Office of [...]

Arts Roundup: Alive Edition

Breaking: One post down, Ryan Little debunks reports of Black Cat Bill's death. Read, please, and be careful with your tweets in the future.
No, Don't Sing. Just Destroy the Sweater: On WaPo's Arts Post blog, Maura Judkis looks at that recent ironic holiday trend, the Ugly Sweater Party. Whose to blame for this fauxhemian meme? [...]

Arts Roundup: It’s Never Too Early for an Amtrak Cheese Tray Edition

GUYS, Some People Are Funny, This Guy Is ON IT: Earlier this month, The New York Times launched a new column on comedy, penned by Jason Zinoman, who is the son of Studio Theatre founder Joy Zinoman and author of Shock Value, a recent book about horror movies. Splitsider has a long, sometimes funny interview with Jason [...]

Reviewed: Hugo

It wasn’t that long ago we marveled over the adventures of another spritely orphan who launched out from another enchanted train station. But no amount of wand-waving and quasi-Latin recitation can top the magic in Martin Scorsese’s latest.
Harry, meet Hugo, on whom you’ve got nothing.
Leave it to Scorsese, so accomplished in cinematic bloodletting, to make [...]

Scorekeeping Beyond Theater Beyond Twitter

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Arena Stage played host Saturday evening to some super-wonky yakking that started out with 140-character thoughts on theater but quickly expanded to cover all aspects of theater journalism. Peter Marks, The Washington Post's sometimes curmudgeonly lead critic, and Howard Sherman, a former executive director of the American Theatre Wing [...]

Parsing Arena Stage’s Scheduling Changes

In today's Washington Post, Peter Marks and Jacqueline Trescott broke the announcement that Arena Stage has removed two shows from its schedule next spring. One, a musical version of the Laura Esquivel novel Like Water for Chocolate, was postponed over creative difficulties. But the other, Tazewell Thompson's new play Mary T. and Lizzy K., has been [...]

Arts Roundup: #ClassicOuterwear Edition

Cheap Tickets, Please: D.C.'s Office of Human Rights is stepping into the fray over discounted theater tickets for young audiences, following a complaint it received about venues capping the definition of "young" at 30 or 35 years old, the Washington Business Journal reports. The city agency started looking at theater prices across town, and has [...]