All stories by Bob Ashby on BroadwayStars

Monday, January 30, 2023

‘Lifespan of a Fact’ at Keegan Theatre asks how to tell the truth by Bob Ashby

An explosive contest between a creative nonfiction writer and a zealous fact-checker at a time when fabrication is politics as usual.

SOURCE: at 08:32AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Maryland Lyric Opera’s ‘Falstaff’ delights at Strathmore by Bob Ashby

The concert performance highlighted the musical, more than the theatrical, virtues of Verdi’s comic masterpiece

SOURCE: at 02:55PM
Saturday, November 19, 2022

The theater gods are shining on Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’ at Signature by Bob Ashby

A deliciously detailed production encompassing the deepest emotions of one of the greatest works of American musical theater.

SOURCE: at 09:45AM
Saturday, November 12, 2022

‘Puffs’ spoofs ‘Harry Potter’ and delights its fans, at Potomac Playmakers by Bob Ashby

The play’s off-off-Broadway roots are evident in the deliberately dorky dialogue, physical comedy, and over-the-top characters.

SOURCE: at 08:55PM
Monday, October 31, 2022

Electrifying ‘Elektra’ at Washington National Opera by Bob Ashby

A stunningly effective mixture of all the elements that make opera worth attending.

SOURCE: at 05:14AM
Sunday, October 23, 2022

A searing ‘King Hedley II’ at Dominion Stage by Bob Ashby

Brilliant acting highlights August Wilson’s harrowing, imperfect play.

SOURCE: at 06:01PM
Saturday, October 15, 2022

Vocal splendors shine in ‘A Little Night Music’ at Reston Community Players by Bob Ashby

Whether for first-time viewers or longtime Sondheim fans, the singing here is not to be missed.

SOURCE: at 06:19PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Saturday, September 10, 2022

‘Old Stock’ at Theater J tells two refugees’ deeply affecting love story by Bob Ashby

Klezmer, folk, and rock styles marry in this powerful musical based on playwright Hanna Moscovitch’s great-grandparents.

SOURCE: at 07:35PM
Saturday, July 30, 2022

Unforgettably powerful ‘American Prophet’ is on fire at Arena by Bob Ashby

Inspiring new musical based on Frederick Douglass’ revolutionary speaking and writing evokes his public and private life.

SOURCE: at 06:05AM
Monday, July 11, 2022

‘The House of the Negro Insane’ by Terence Anthony at the Contemporary American Theater Festival  by Bob Ashby

A grippingly intense experience of theater, and a microcosm of Jim Crow America, set in a mental hospital for Negroes in segregated 1935 Oklahoma.

SOURCE: at 07:04PM
Sunday, July 10, 2022

‘Sheepdog’ by Kevin Artigue at the Contemporary American Theater Festival by Bob Ashby

She’s Black. He’s white. They are in love. They are police officers. Their acting is as close to perfection as one can expect to find on any stage.

SOURCE: at 09:48PM

‘Ushuaia Blue’ by Caridad Svitch at the Contemporary American Theater Festival by Bob Ashby

In this vision of Antarctica in crisis. two married scienists explore what it means to coexist with the universe and each other.

SOURCE: at 09:47PM
Tuesday, July 5, 2022

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ set in the 1920s at Arlington Players by Bob Ashby

The gender-switched adaptation contains performances and production elements that are energetic and entertaining.

SOURCE: at 07:45AM
Friday, June 24, 2022

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Kennedy Center opens us to our political onus today by Bob Ashby

Aaron Sorkin's reimagining of Harper Lee's novel set in the 1930s is urgent and exhortative about the need to take sides against racism and ignorance now.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:54PM
Saturday, June 18, 2022

Resonant ‘Fires in the Mirror’ at Theater J depicts communities in conflict by Bob Ashby

Anna Deavere Smith’s exquisite script and January LaVoy's compelling acting capture the truth of, and the contradictions among, all the voices.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:30AM
Sunday, June 12, 2022

Race-casting jitters in ‘Playing Juliet and Casting Othello’ at Providence Players of Fairfax by Bob Ashby

The first portion of Caleen Sinnette Jennings’s play threatens to go full 'Noises Off' at any moment.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:47AM
Monday, June 6, 2022

Singing superbly, Gay Men’s Chorus lauds queer history in ‘Unbreakable’ by Bob Ashby

At the beginning of Pride month, a musical celebration of what has been achieved, often at great cost.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:37PM
Monday, May 16, 2022

‘The Joy That Carries You’ at Olney is a gem of the theater season by Bob Ashby

The playwrights’ skills and vibrant acting provide memorable portraits of two very different women seeking to be more fully together.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:04AM
Thursday, May 5, 2022

‘John Proctor Is the Villain’ at Studio is provocative and gripping by Bob Ashby

Kimberly Belflower's entertaining new play embeds its feminist message in the very real, sometimes mercurial, emotions of teenagers.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:45AM
Sunday, May 1, 2022

A ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ to admire at Rockville Little Theater by Bob Ashby

The comedy of manners spoofs the British class system. Direction, costumes, and set are worthy of Watch Awards.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:36PM
Sunday, April 24, 2022

A circus of quirks in ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ from Goose Creek Players by Bob Ashby

In this family of comic eccentrics, they love each other as much because of as despite their oddities.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:47PM
Thursday, April 21, 2022

Intense “We declare you a terrorist…” detonates and resonates at Round House by Bob Ashby

Tim J. Lord's brilliantly written play references a tragic event during Russia's war on Chechnya when theatergoers in Moscow were held hostage.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:07AM
Thursday, April 14, 2022

‘Come From Away’ lands at the National with a cargo hold of care and joy by Bob Ashby

The emotional power of the material comes through clearly in this quintessential ensemble show about ordinary people's kindness.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:50AM
Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Actors eclipse script in ‘Meteor Shower’ at Maryland Ensemble Theatre by Bob Ashby

The cast of Steve Martin's comedy work hard at being wild and crazy.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:59PM
Sunday, April 3, 2022

Revenge for slavery incites ‘Nat Turner in Jerusalem’ at NextStop by Bob Ashby

In the title role, Kevin Thorne gives a performance of contained power and commands the stage.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:12AM
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Enlightenment becomes delight in ‘Nathan the Wise’ at Theater J by Bob Ashby

Produced with the Folger, a well-acted and tightly directed expression of hope.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:40AM
Monday, March 14, 2022

A warning about ‘othering’ in ‘Back of the Throat’ at Silver Spring Stage by Bob Ashby

Yussef El Guindi’s post-9/11 play reminds us that bias against disfavored groups remains a danger worth guarding against.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:51PM
Saturday, March 12, 2022

Signature romances a delightfully entertaining ‘She Loves Me’ by Bob Ashby

Irresistible songs and a top-flight cast make for a musical that's sweeter than vanilla ice cream.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:00AM
Sunday, March 6, 2022

Her Majesty & Sons boils down ‘Richard II’ and stirs in more myth by Bob Ashby

An omnipresent Holy Spirit illuminates a 90-minute version to indicate the divine right of kings.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:44AM
Saturday, February 5, 2022

‘Change Agent’ at Arena asks if a JFK mistress made history by Bob Ashby

The new Power Play proposes that pillow talk prodded his policies.

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:37AM

All that Chat

Nov 27, 2022: KPOP - Circle In The Square