All stories by Mary Ann Johnson on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘The Infinite Tales’ at 4615 Theatre Company by Mary Ann Johnson

Adapted and directed by Gregory Keng Strasser, “The Infinite Tales” at 4615 Theatre Company covers three of the four major periods recognized in Irish mythology. In this production, we h…

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Day of Absence’ at Theater Alliance by Mary Ann Johnson

This was a most unexpected play. It doesn’t shy away from confronting the audience with searing truths about the history of racism in this country. Douglas Turner Ward, the playwright, was…

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Theatre Review: ‘Last Night at Ballyhoo’ at Bowie Community Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

The Bowie Community Theatre does an admirable job at putting on this amusing, yet serious, slice-of-life look at what it means to be a Jew in the South before WWII. Set in Atlanta, the Freit…

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Theatre Review: Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage ‘Montgomery’ at Monumental Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Last year, Monumental Theatre presented Act 1 of “Montgomery,” a new musical about Claudette Colvin, Rosa Parks, civil rights attorney Fred Gray, and the civil rights movement in Montgom…

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Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Review: ‘A Thing of Beauty,’ Washington Stage Guild by Mary Ann Johnson

What is art “supposed” to do? Is there a proper way to view art, much less judge it? Is art even art if you don’t know the artist’s backstory, or at least a portion of it? . . . the …

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Theatre Review: The Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Review: ‘The Tempest + Movement Storytelling Workshop’ at Synetic Theater by Mary Ann Johnson

Synetic Theater is beginning their new season with a water-filled production of ‘The Tempest.’ So the ignite the late afternoon crowd at the Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage on Sunday, S…

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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Assassins’ at Signature Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

So, eight assassins walk into a bar, six men and two women. All are fabulous singers, skilled at immersing themselves in their roles; dedicated to their craft; and one is a smashing dancer. …

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Performance Review: ‘Cats, Criminals & Comedians!: The Untold Herstory of Feminist Performance Art;’ ‘George Cory Todd;’ and ‘MothBroth by Mary Ann Johnson

Let me be honest—I had never heard of any of the three acts I saw on Tuesday at RHIZOME, so had no expectations or preconceptions. And that’s good—because the work of all three was min…

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Diagnosed’ at Theater Alliance by Mary Ann Johnson

To be diagnosed is one thing—to accept it is another. In playwright and actor Iyona Blake’s new work (this is the first production; it is a work in progress) this is one of the issues sh…

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Blank,’ Word Becomes Action III: A Festival of Past, Present and Future at Theater Alliance by Mary Ann Johnson

Nassim Solimanpour is the playwright who created “Blank.” He also created “White Rabbit Red Rabbit,” another play which must be performed by a different actor each performance. Now t…

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Bent’ at Hard Bargain Players by Mary Ann Johnson

A natural amphitheatre in the woods, at the end of a gravel path and surrounded by rising walls of trees and dirt and foliage is a very fitting setting to experience “Bent,” now playing …

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘The Few’ at Unexpected Stage Company by Mary Ann Johnson

Interestingly, this play is billed as a “romantic comedy” by the publishing company for it, Samuel French. To my mind, that sobriquet is too lighthearted for a play that eviscerates love…

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Vivian’s Music 1969’ at The Essential Theatre, Anacostia Playhouse by Mary Ann Johnson

It would not be gushing to say that “Vivian’s Music 1969” is brilliant. It simply is. Impeccably acted and beautifully written, the play, written by Monica Bauer, is a snapshot in time…

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Fringe Review: ‘H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound’ at North Shore Theatre Productions by Mary Ann Johnson

Adapted from a short story published in February 1924 by brilliant horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, this production is very Gothic. It would be easy to picture Vincent Price stumbling into the …

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Fringe Review: ‘The Face Zone,’ Martin Graff, Capital Fringe by Mary Ann Johnson

Martin Graff is an illustrator, author and composer who has created this heartfelt work based on his travels and life and musings about how humans connect with one another. He uses his own l…

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Blackbeard’ at Signature Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Signature Theatre is ending its 29th season with a funny, light-hearted look at the end of the era of pirates in the Atlantic Ocean in the 1700s. “Blackbeard” is a fun, mildly ribald rom…

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘The Oldest Boy’ at Spooky Action Theater by Mary Ann Johnson

Imagine that two monks show up at your house, politely knocking and bowing, and then want to discuss taking your three-year-old son back to India because he is believed to be the reincarnati…

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Theatre Review: ‘Gwen & Ida: The Object Is of No Importance’ at Nu Sass Productions by Mary Ann Johnson

I am officially besotted with Ida Lupino after seeing ‘Gwen & Ida: The Object Is of No Importance’; I was so intrigued by the character onstage (gracefully played with steely resolve…

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘A Doll’s House, Part Two,’ Roundhouse Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Nora returns, and Nora returns in style. She returns as her own fully-realized woman, and even better, keeps learning and growing. It’s a challenge for any writer to credibly imagine what …

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Forest Treas’ at Pointless Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

‘Forest Treas’ (actually pronounced Forest Triage), the world premiere now playing at Pointless Theatre, is an interesting exploration of an almost-Stepford-type of a community shaken ou…

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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Leaving Iowa’ at Providence Players of Fairfax by Mary Ann Johnson

Remember family vacations—in an earlier era, piling into a station wagon or a big old Chevy Bel Air (or something similar), later in mini-vans, and now in SUVs? While the mode of transport…

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘A Misanthrope’ at WSC Avant Bard by Mary Ann Johnson

This show is so hysterically funny it should come with a warning label: may cause unrestrained glee and weakness in the core from laughing so hard. Your jaws might ache, but it’s a good ac…

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Describe the Night’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company by Mary Ann Johnson

This is an ambitious, involved show that uses the 2010 plane crash in Smolensk that killed 96 people, including Poland’s president as a linchpin. Starting in 1920 with the chance meeting o…

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Monday, May 20, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Deathtrap: A Thriller in Two Acts’ at Port Tobacco Players by Mary Ann Johnson

As the season winds down, Port Tobacco Players joins with many theatres in producing a lovely piece of nostalgia. “Deathtrap” is knowingly self-referential, wryly witty, and convoluted e…

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘On Air’ at Creative Cauldron by Mary Ann Johnson

The musical partnership of Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith has produced their fifth new musical under Creative Cauldron’s “Bold New Works for Intimate Stages” musical theatre com…

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘P.S. Your Cat Is Dead!’ at Dominion Stage by Mary Ann Johnson

For their final show of the 2018-2019 season, Dominion Stage is closing with a vintage 1970s play by James Kirkwood, Jr. Interestingly enough, the play came first, then the novel (both writt…

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘The White Snake’ at Constellation Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

Using simple, beautifully polished and painted screens and low tables and pristine parasols, Constellation has transformed itself into the setting for a magical journey into legend. This is …

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Theatre Review: ‘Curtains’ at Arlington Players by Mary Ann Johnson

When you’re in the mood for just sheer frothy fun and music by Kander & Ebb (the book is by Rupert Holmes), then “Curtains” is both a witty send-up of theatre tropes and a lovingly…

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Play Date’ at Best Medicine Rep by Mary Ann Johnson

Let me get this out of the way up front—the Best Medicine Rep Theatre is on the second floor of Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg. It is the first time I have ever been to see a show in a ma…

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Grand Hotel the Musical’ at Signature Theatre by Mary Ann Johnson

When the doors open for seating, theatre-goers are in for a visual extravaganza—the entire MAX (the larger of Signature’s two black box theatres) has been turned in a grand, paneled and …

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Theatre Review: ‘Social Darwinism’ at The Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Montgomery College by Mary Ann Johnson

This is a very physical, lively play written by Angela Gant in the early 2000s while she was in college; in fact, it won national playwriting awards at the Kennedy Center American College Th…

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue