All stories by Jayne Blanchard on BroadwayStars

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Review: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Never will you see anything like it again. by Jayne Blanchard

All hail Ma Rainey. The real-life Mother of the Blues gets star power treatment of such high wattage it can scarcely be measured. Peerless acting, a tight ensemble, cinematography burnished …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 06:24PM
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Review: What the Constitution Means to Me, streaming on Amazon Prime “exuberant, angry, proud and patriotic” by Jayne Blanchard

You know things are dire during Corona Times when you find yourself sobbing over a piece of parchment—aka The Constitution of the United States. What’s next? Rending my garments over the…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 03:42PM
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

New Black theatre company, Two Strikes Theatre Collective, opens with Brown Sugar Bake-off play fest by Jayne Blanchard

“I’m speaking.”–Kamala Harris to Mike Pence at the Vice Presidential Debate. That simple, emphatic statement could serve as the rallying cry for the new theater company, Two Strikes …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 09:54AM
Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Boys in the Band Netflix review: “vivid and scorching” by Jayne Blanchard

Mart Crowley’s 1968 Off Broadway play The Boys in the Band was provocative and trailblazing in its knives-out portrayal of a group of gay friends celebrating a birthday in the West Village…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 02:18AM
Monday, October 5, 2020

Review: Telephonic Literary Union’s Human Resources. One help line you’ll be happy you called by Jayne Blanchard

Usually, the phone tree process for any corporate call-in help line is either migraine-inducing or so frustrating you find yourself spewing rancid obscenities at the robotic prompts until yo…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 03:48PM
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Review: The Humans, streamed. Olney cast excels in closeup of Stephen Karam’s American family by Jayne Blanchard

Public health officials are recommending Zoom Thanksgiving festivities this year, but you can celebrate early with a boisterous and bittersweet sit-down with the Blake family, the proud and …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 12:36PM
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Raised-consciousness. Theatres are working on it. Audiences can too, Theater J says with its course by Jayne Blanchard

Many view the Coronavirus pandemic as The Great Pause, where we hunker down and muddle through, hoping we return to normalcy some time in the near future with at least some of our marbles in…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 01:06PM
Saturday, July 4, 2020

Hamilton, one of the most dazzling leaps from stage to screen ever by Jayne Blanchard

Health experts say to avoid crowds and large gatherings this holiday weekend and during the current COVID-19 surge. As if you needed another reason to stay inside and celebrate the red, whit…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 12:24PM
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Artists persist: Playwright Bob Bartlett writes Starbucks romance MIXTAPE for Facebook audiences by Jayne Blanchard

I always root for romance, even in plague times. Maybe that’s why I was completely drawn in by THE MIXTAPE, local playwright and Bowie State professor Bob Bartlett’s “connection during…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 12:36PM
Friday, May 15, 2020

Jayne Blanchard: Confessions of a theatre critic by Jayne Blanchard

Every day, I navigate to DC Theatre Scene’s guide, the New York Times and the Washington Post websites and read up on all the creative and upbeat ways people are feeding their theater jone…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 12:36PM
Thursday, April 9, 2020

Review: Where We Stand, Baltimore Center Stage’s virtual production by Jayne Blanchard

Viewing a live performance of a play on an iPad is a new experience for me in these pandemic times and, unlike working from home, is something I hope I never have to get used to. As a lifelo…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 01:18PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Review: Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains at Everyman Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

Ain’t no mountain high enough to throw shade on Jacqueline “Jackie” Marie Butler (the incandescent, triple threat Felicia Curry), the heroine of Caleen Sinnette Jennings’ world premi…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 02:18PM
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Review: Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes at Signature Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

Empty nest syndrome is not an issue for Marian (an expertly controlled and controlling Susan Rome), a contentedly retired wife and mother living in Florida with her second husband Richard (J…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 03:36PM
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Review: Kill Move Paradise asks Why are we so afraid of young black men? by Jayne Blanchard

When a show lists a Trauma Counselor in the credits and has a “healing space” outside of the theater proper, you know you are in for an intense experience. Kill Move Paradise will make y…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 11:48AM
Monday, February 17, 2020

Review: Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally at Baltimore Center Stage by Jayne Blanchard

Boy, things have certainly changed since the days of “See Spot Run.” Dick is sick and goes by the grown-up name Richard (Neimah Djourabchi, a textbook 50s Dad with existential longing). …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 05:06PM
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Review: Synetic’s Phantom of the Opera, a sexy female-driven ballet of obsession by Jayne Blanchard

The Phantom of the Opera meets The Red Shoes in Synetic Theater’s sexy and Goth take on Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel about ghosts, haute society, obsession and the symbiotic relationship b…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 12:03PM
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Review: Be Here Now at Everyman Theatre. Seizures, sanity and the smell of spring by Jayne Blanchard

What if happiness was not only a choice, but a side effect? That’s the intriguing premise of Deborah Zoe Laufer’s play Be Here Now, which she also directs with depth and quirky humor at …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 01:32PM
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Review: Murder on the Orient Express at Everyman Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

Nix the candy canes, the carols, and the seasonal folderol. This year, get into the holiday spirit with a juicy murder. We need a little Christie, right this very minute. Everyman Theatre fu…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 11:18AM
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Review: Men on Boats at Baltimore Center Stage by Jayne Blanchard

No men. No boats. No man-splaining. That’s part of the concept of the high-energy and low testosterone of Jaclyn Backhaus’ adventure saga, Men on Boats. All the roles in John Wesley Powe…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 07:06PM
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Review: E2. British royals behaving badly. Bob Bartlett’s ambitious play gets a sexy production at Rep Stage by Jayne Blanchard

You’d think the big perk of being king is being able to do whatever you want. That is tragically not the case with Edward II, the duty-bound and defiant monarch of E2, an ambitious and sob…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 11:36AM
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review: Everybody, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ sunny, stunning journey from Life to Death by Jayne Blanchard

Everybody is a wonder. Brilliant visuals, arresting acting, ingenious direction by Will Davis, a searching script by playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and an overall generosity of spirit tha…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 01:06PM
Monday, October 21, 2019

Review: Thoughts of a Colored Man at Baltimore Center Stage by Jayne Blanchard

I admired many things about my late father, among them that he never stopped learning or being curious about people and life, even at the age of 92 and grappling with major health issues. I …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 02:24PM
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Highwood Theatre sexting scandal: a mother’s perspective by Jayne Blanchard

It comes down to trust. A parent sends their theater-loving child to the Highwood Theatre, a Silver Spring, Md.-based youth educational theater company, where he can get performance and tech…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 06:48PM
Friday, September 27, 2019

Review: The Bodyguard at Toby’s Dinner Theatre. Toby’s top talent and Whitney Houston’s songs aren’t enough by Jayne Blanchard

The legacy and superstardom of Whitney Houston endures, judging from the bobbing heads and impromptu singalongs at Toby’s Dinner Theatre’s production of The Bodyguard. Based on the 1992 …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 06:03PM
Monday, September 23, 2019

Review: Miss You Like Hell musical at Baltimore Center Stage by Jayne Blanchard

Baltimore Center Stage’s new artistic director Stephanie Ybarra gets off to a dynamic start with the winning, women-centered musical, Miss You Like Hell, which celebrates the passion and p…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 04:33PM
Saturday, September 21, 2019

A tribute to Alan Friedman, 71, beloved theater volunteer by Jayne Blanchard

Local theater lobbies just got a bit colder with the passing of Alan Friedman, 71, on September 19.  Along with his husband Lou Altarescu, Alan was a fixture in the Washington theater scene…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 05:12AM
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Review: The Gulf, Audrey Cefaly’s Delta drama by Jayne Blanchard

We’ve seen “Jaws.” We all know what an innocent fishing expedition can become. The stakes are more emotional than predatory in Audrey Cefaly’s intense and steamy one-act, The Gulf, r…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 07:42AM
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Review: Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins at Rep Stage by Jayne Blanchard

Rep Stage’s gracious production of Stephen Temperley’s Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins makes you miss many things. Piano players in restaurants and cocktail l…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 11:33AM
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Theatre critic Nelson Pressley retires from The Washington Post by Jayne Blanchard

Longstanding and highly regarded theater critic and arts writer Nelson Pressley of The Washington Post announced his retirement on August 31 on Facebook. His last piece ran in the Sunday Pos…

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 06:36PM
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Review: Vivian’s Music 1969 from The Essential Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

Somebody cared enough about a young black girl killed by a white cop in the powder keg summer of 1969 to give her a story. Nothing much was known about the girl—just her name, age and how …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 11:24PM
Thursday, June 27, 2019

Review: Touring company of Hamilton is young, impassioned and wildly-talented by Jayne Blanchard

Third time still charms with Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s game-changing, blood-drumming 2015 musical about Alexander Hamilton, whom he describes in his syncopated, ear-worm lyrics as a …

SOURCE: DC Theatre Scene at 02:06PM

All that Chat

Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54