All stories by Jayne Blanchard on BroadwayStars

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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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). …

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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 …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:06PM
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Review: A Doll’s House, Part 2. Funny, sharp and smart by Jayne Blanchard

The door slam heard around the world. Has there ever been a more memorable exit than Nora Helmer banging the door closed on her life, marriage and children in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s Hou…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 03:42PM
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Review: A New Brain from Iron Crow Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

A medical emergency. If that’s not song and dance material, I don’t know what is. But under composer William Finn’s tunefully neurotic steerage, serious brain trauma becomes a bright, …

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 07:42AM
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Review: Queens Girls in Africa at Everyman Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

How many me’s can you fit in one teenage body? Jacqueline Marie Butler (Erika Rose) ponders this question and endeavors to find her place in the world in Queens Girl in Africa, D.C. playwr…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:24PM
Monday, May 20, 2019

Review: Queens Girl in the World at Everyman Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

2933 Ericson Street may prove to be as potent and prescient as August Wilson’s 1839 Wylie Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, the setting for many of his epic plays and the place where…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:12PM
Thursday, May 9, 2019

Review: The Oresteia, a stunning production marks Michael Kahn’s final show as STC Artistic Director by Jayne Blanchard

It seems somehow written in the stars that Michael Kahn would choose the world premiere of Ellen McLaughlin’s  The Oresteia as the final show of his towering tenure as Artistic Director a…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:54PM
Monday, May 6, 2019

Review: The 39 Steps, a joy-buzzery production of the noir comedy from Rep Stage by Jayne Blanchard

If there was ever a time for old-fashioned spoofy fun, it’s now. Your chance to goof off comes courtesy of Rep Stage’s joy-buzzery production of The 39 Steps, directed by Joseph W. Ritsc…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 08:12PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Review of Oslo. Round House Theatre’s cast brings heat to Nordic high-stakes drama by Jayne Blanchard

If someone told you to run down to the Lansburgh Theater to see a three-hour play about back-channel diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Army (PLO), you’d p…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 02:33PM
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Review: Black Pearl Sings! by Jayne Blanchard

Like my mama used to say, just because somebody asks for something doesn’t mean you have to give it. In the case of the Alliance for New Music-Theatre’s exemplary Black Pearl Sings!, it…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:15PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, glorious and inspiring musical at Toby’s Dinner Theatre by Jayne Blanchard

Toby’s Dinner Theatre has been transformed into a cathedral for its towering production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, including some of the most powerful and moving choral work you are l…

Linked From DC Theatre Scene at 12:17PM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue