All stories by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Audio Review: ‘Hop Frog’ by the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre on the Air, WYPR by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

The Baltimore-based National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre on the Air returns this month of December with Caroline Bennett’s superb adaptation of Poe’s story “Hop-Frog.” As usual in this s…

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Saturday, November 21, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn’ on PBS Great Performances by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

  In anticipation of the holidays, PBS recently aired Roundabout Theatre Company’s  production of “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” on its long-running Great Performances series. It i…

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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Audio Review: ‘A Midnight Dreary: All Things Heard in the Heavens and the Earth’ by We Happy Few by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

In both story and verse, Edgar Allan Poe tried to connect thoughts with sounds or, as he himself put it in “The Rationale of Verse,” “the very germ of a thought seeking satisfaction in…

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Audio Review: Sonic Summerstock Playhouse at the Sonic Society by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

Cultural historian Martin Grams’ annual October Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Maryland, with its film showings, radio recreations, and lectures on popular culture, was cancelled thi…

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Audio Review: ‘Never Bet the Devil Your Head’ by Poe Theatre on the Air by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

    “Romantic poetry is a progressive universal poetry. Its mission is […to] fill and saturate the forms of art with sterling material of every kind, and inspire them with the vibratio…

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Audio Review: ‘The Flying Dutchman’ on ‘Doctor Who’ at Big Finish Audio by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

In a series of Big Finish audio adventures of the legendary Time Lord “Doctor Who,” classic theatre sometimes comes to the fore. So was it in “The Mask of Tragedy,” which found the D…

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Audio Review: ‘Dark Shadows’ by Oasis Family Media by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

There was a time when home technology did not allow viewers to watch their favorite shows via DVD’s, VHS cassettes, video streams, or even 8 or 16 mm film. Instead, one read “tie-in” n…

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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Twelfth Night’ at Blackfriars Playhouse by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

Blackfriars Playhouse of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, has continued with its productions through the Coronavirus pandemic, streaming  a complete playbill of its al…

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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Concert Review: ‘Ballroom Dancing at Home’ with Joe Enroughty and his Mellotones, streaming on Facebook by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

Bandleader Joe Enroughty is known for leading two swing bands in the Virginia region. As suggested by the band’s name, his fourteen-piece Royal Virginians perform and promote the sweet-swi…

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Monday, August 10, 2020

Audio Review: “Edgar Allan” by the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre on the Air, streaming on WYPR by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

For the past year, the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre on the Air has been creating brief, monthly audio plays based on the stories of  Edgar Allan Poe. Each audio play frames the story as…

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Concert Review: Schumann and Heine’s ‘Dichterliebe’ streaming from Opera San José by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

There are flutes “with trumpets blaring in . . . What a clashing, what a clanging,/ What a drumming, what a piping.” Thus reads one of Heinrich Heine’s poems, set to music with 15 othe…

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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Audio Review: ‘Dinner and a Show’ from ‘Torchwood’ at Big Finish Productions by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

  Theatre aficionados are accustomed to the phrase “Dinner and a Show” to mean an enjoyable evening at a dinner theatre. For our purposes now,  “Dinner and a Show” is the title of …

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Monday, July 20, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Amadeus’ streaming from the National Theatre, London by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

“How sad that Mozart, passionate as he was, keenly alive to all the beauties of the world, and full of the highest aspirations, never knew peace and contentment, in spite of all that he en…

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Audio Review: “Eldorado” by the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre on the Air, Streaming at WYPR, Baltimore by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

In Voltaire’s picaresque and satirical 1759 novel “Candide,” Candide and company make their way to El Dorado, the legendary city of gold. In 1849, at the peak of the California Gold Ru…

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Jazz Review: “Songs of World War II” by the Eric Felten Quartet, streaming at Blues Alley by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

On July 3, the eve of U.S. Independence Day, the Eric Felten Jazz Quartet appeared at the Blues Alley Jazz Supper Club in Georgetown. The event showcased the swing music culture of the Secon…

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Audio Review: ‘Murdering Dickens,’ streaming at Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theater by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

Charles Dickens is known as one of the greatest novelists in the English language, yet his interest in the theatrical is less widely known. During his later years, Dickens would take to the …

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Monday, June 22, 2020

Audio Review: Victorian Lyric Opera Company’s Full Productions on Compact Disc by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

An unusual operetta was to have been performed this month by the Rockville-based Victorian Lyric Opera Company – “El Capitan” by John Philip Sousa, an exotic romance by America’s “…

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Monday, June 8, 2020

Audio Review: “The Premature Burial” by the Poe Theatre on the Air, Streaming at WYPR, Baltimore by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

  The monthly podcast series (heard on Baltimore’s WYPR and by Podcast on NPR) by the Poe Theatre on the Air is developing an excellent reputation, for it is not only dramatizing the famo…

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Theatre within Theatre: ‘Dark Shadows’ at Big Finish Audio by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

  The television serial “Dark Shadows” originally aired between 1966 and 1971. The show was essentially a soap opera, but one with an unusual twist. Rather than following the tangled li…

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Audio Review: ‘The Rise of King Asilas” Streaming via Podcast by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

  “The Rise of King Asilas” is a fascinating, thought-provoking, audio series currently in its third season. The brainchild of JV Torres, who writes and stars as King Asilas, the show r…

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ streaming from Blackfriars Playhouse by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

John Steinbeck on an Elizabethan stage? Blackfriars Playhouse, a recreation of a venue of Shakespeare’s time in Staunton, Virginia, shows how well this can work in its current production o…

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Audio Review: ‘The Raven’ by the Poe Theatre on the Air, Streaming on NPR by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

“What clang was that, and doleful song,/ And rush of raven’s wing?” — Gottfried August Bürger,  “Lenore” How does one continue an up-and-coming dramatic radio series in the era…

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Sunday, April 19, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2’ Streaming from American Shakespeare Center at Blackfriars Playhouse by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

At Blackfriars Playhouse, we are nearing the end of its traditional Actors Renaissance Festival, in which the troupe of actors at the American Shakespeare Center stages a series of plays wit…

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Hamlet’ Streaming from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

Both the United States and Britain are currently “locked down” due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. With theatres on both sides of the Atlantic now closed due to public health concerns, the …

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Monday, April 13, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Macbeth’ Streaming at the Folger Theatre by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

As several theatres are now streaming performances due to the pandemic, Washington’s Folger Theatre is following suit, but with a difference:  The Folger is streaming its older production…

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Friday, April 10, 2020

Audio Review: ‘Poe Theatre on the Air’ at NPR by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

A new radio horror series has developed based on the works of the Romantic Era writer Edgar Allan Poe.  Appropriately enough, the show is produced and recorded in Baltimore, which was home …

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Audio Review: ‘The Avengers’ by Big Finish Productions by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

“The Avengers” was a campy English 1960’s television spy series and is still remembered fondly today. While the show clearly placed itself within the James Bond 007 spy-thriller genre,…

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Anything Goes’ at Good Shepherds Players by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

“Anything Goes,” courtesy of the Good Shepherds Players. The Cole Porter musical “Anything Goes” was to have run two weekends in March at Good Shepherds Players, part of the annual t…

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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Midsummer 90’ streams from Blackfriars Playhouse by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

“The show must go on!” So runs an old dictum in the theatre world, but how do theatre companies survive and thrive in the era in which we find ourselves? Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunto…

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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Opera Review: ‘Briscula the Magician’ at Bel Cantanti Opera by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

Bel Cantanti’s world premiere production of “Briscula the Magician” is magical indeed; it combines modernistic, often atonal, operatic music with political observations about the past …

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Thursday, March 5, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at The Puppet Co. by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

The Puppet Co.’s current  production of “Beauty and the Beast” is not a recreation of the 1991 Disney animated version, and there are no enchanted teapots and candlesticks to make chi…

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