Author Archive for Chris Klimek

Stupid Fucking Bird to Return to Woolly Mammoth This Summer

On the heels of what might be the worst show it's ever produced, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is bringing back one of its best: Stupid Fucking Bird, playwright Aaron Posner's irreverent update of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, which was a huge hit for the 34-year-old company last summer, will return with its original cast intact [...]

The Life Despotic: Actor Drew Cortese on Richard III and What Could Have Been

In another life, Drew Cortese might have ended up a banker instead of a mendacious, murderous king.
The 38-year-old star of the Folger Theatre’s intimate, in-the-round production of Richard III began researching the role, after a fashion, almost 17 years ago. It was the summer before he was enrolled in the Tisch School of the Arts [...]

The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, Reviewed

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 [...]

Stage Wisdom: Notes From an Eclectic Year in D.C. Theater

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 [...]

Mourning Edition: Edgar & Annabel at Studio 2ndStage, Reviewed

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 at Studio Theatre, Reviewed

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 Woman in Black at Keegan Theatre, Reviewed

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 [...]

Invisibility Man: How Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Writes, and Doesn’t Write, About Race

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 The Laramie Project Goes on, for Now Without Ford’s

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 [...]

Talk Back in Anger: A Conversation with Marc Maron

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 [...]