The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess—which is to say, the 2011 opera-into-musical re-engineering by the playwright of Top Dog/Underdog and others—may indeed be a bastardization of a towering American classic, like Stephen Sondheim said it is, but I wouldn’t know. This Tony-winning gloss on the Gershwins’ (and the less famous Heywards) groundbreaking 1935 opera about life [...]
Author Archive for Chris Klimek
What made 2013 a thrilling year on D.C. stages was precisely the thing that makes it admirably resistant to year-end trendspotting—the variety, rather than the number, of good shows on offer. My favorite two plays were Studio Theatre’s The Motherfucker With the Hat and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s Stupid Fucking Bird. And exactly what the fuck [...]
Is there any staple of suspense films more hoary than the bomb-defusing sequence? Those glowing red LED digits ticking coolly, unsympathetically down to zero, and oblivion. (Six.) The sweat-dappled brow of the hero as he kneels over the device, alert for boobytraps, trying to quiet his mind so he can assess whether to snip the [...]
The Apple Family Plays have nothing do with iPads or MacBooks or the indignities visited upon those who assemble them. Richard Nelson’s quartet of hypercontemporary dramas attempt merely to chart the national mood, to the extent that such a thing exists (possible) and that a gathering of six white New Yorkers, the youngest of whom [...]
The darkness that frequently envelopes the Church Street Theatre during The Woman in Black is, or at least seems, total. It’s not the 75 percent grayscale dark you usually get in a theatrical blackout. It’s ink. You can’t help but search it, waiting for those splotchy pixels of the void to resolve themselves into something [...]
Some origin stories seem too good to be true. Like this one: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ parents met at an auction of memorabilia from America’s racially segregated history.
“Cookie jars shaped like Hattie McDaniel,” the 28-year-old playwright says. “Jim Crow posters. Signs that said ‘Colored Only.’”
The house where he grew up in Takoma was full of artifacts like [...]
Ford’s Theatre’s performance of The Laramie Project last Friday night was a full house, and the house was a house of God. Barred from performing in its own 661-seat space due to the federal government shutdown—the theater is partially funded by the National Park Service—Ford’s arranged to stage a pair of free performances just around [...]
For years, comedian Marc Maron watched his contemporaries—Louis C.K., Dave Attell, Sarah Silverman—pass him by. He never got a big movie role, never got a series, blew his meeting with Lorne Michaels about Saturday Night Live. He had problems with anger. He was addicted to drugs.
Things turned around for him in a big way four [...]
The Fringe & Purge Action News and Commentary Squad is once again looking for a few good women and men to write reviews of Fringe shows. No experience necessary, though we will ask you to follow this format—and if you want to read this helpful manifesto on How to Make Criticism written by a [...]
Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land is a 38-year-old Rubik’s Cube covered in Rorschach blots, a confounding examination of memory and masculinity that resists easy interpretation like an Aikido master shrugging off an unwanted bear hug. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart—Magneto and Professor X themselves!—are set to appear opposite each other in the play’s two main [...]