All stories by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Audio Review: The Steve Cooper Orchestra’s CDs Cover the Great American Songbook by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

The Steve Cooper Orchestra offers a wonderful window into the American musical past, playing ballrooms in the Chicago area and also sharing their music on CD recordings. Mr. Cooper is especi…

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Monday, March 1, 2021

Audio Review: ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ presented by the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre on the Air, WYPR by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

“Please, this way,” says Dr. Maillard, the rascally director of the mental institution in the latest National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre on the Air. “My next patient might seem quite… w…

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Audio Review: ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Dancing Men’ by We Happy Few by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

Brent Morris is a mathematician, scholar of Freemasonry, and Sherlock Holmes aficionado who lectures on “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” and cryptology at the heart of the famous Sherl…

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Thursday, February 4, 2021

Opera Review: ‘Hansel and Gretel’ presented by Bel Cantanti Opera by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

  The story of Hansel and Gretel is one of the most famous of Grimm’s fairy tales. The story has had many iterations through the years, notably Engelbert Humperdinck’s famous 1893 ope…

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Theatre Review: ‘A Gilbert and Sullivan Drawing Room’ by Victorian Lyric Opera Company by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

In what it bills as its first film, Victorian Lyric Opera Company of Rockville, Maryland, has produced “A Gilbert and Sullivan Drawing Room.” Directed by Erica Ferguson with cinematograp…

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Audio Review: ‘Flash Gordon’ by Oasis Family Media by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

Flash Gordon, the “space opera” science fiction hero, has appeared in many media. Beginning with an artistically-aware comic strip by master comic strip artist Alex Raymond, Flash has ap…

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Sunday, January 3, 2021

Concert Review: ‘A Salute to Vienna and Budapest,’ from A Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

The New Year’s Concert from Vienna has become not only a tradition for residents and visitors to the Austrian capital, but also for millions of television viewers the world over. To bring …

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Thursday, December 24, 2020

CD Review: ‘Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, Live at Blues Alley,’ by the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

  “I beg you to call to mind the table covered with your last Christmas gifts…” Thus we read in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Christmas fantasy “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice.” Since …

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Monday, December 14, 2020

Audio Review: ‘The Mystery of the Drawn Daggers,’ a Loveday Brooke Mystery by We Happy Few by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

We Happy Few is a small but dynamic theatrical company housed in the Washington, DC Capitol Hill neighborhood. Currently, they are producing dramatized audio versions of classic mysteries, b…

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Theatre Review: ‘A Drifty Holiday,’ streaming from Swift Creek Mill Theatre by Dr. Mark Dreisonstok

Located in South Chesterfield, Virginia, some twenty miles from Richmond, Swift Creek Mill Theatre is housed in a former grist mill dating back to 1663.  Normally a venue for dinner and a s…

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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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