All stories by Michele Simms-Burton on BroadwayStars

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Pianist Ahmad Jamal celebrates seven decades of playing ‘American Classical Music’ in Kennedy Center performance by Michele Simms-Burton

Nothing speaks louder about a musician’s accomplishments than receiving a standing ovation and cheers from the audience before he plays a single note. NEA Jazz Master and recipient of the …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:42PM
Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Shakespeare Theatre Company rescues James Baldwin’s ‘Amen Corner’ from the vault by Michele Simms-Burton

In May 1955, when Howard University staged James Baldwin’s play, The Amen Corner, Washington Post reviewer Richard L. Coe deemed it a “fine play that merits not only your attention but a…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:02PM
Sunday, January 19, 2020

Review: Jazzmeia Horn Makes Her Return in the New Jazz Club at the REACH by Michele Simms-Burton

Jazz vocalist, Jazzmeia Horn, returned to her home at the Kennedy Center on Saturday evening to deliver the first performance in the REACH’s jazz club, Studio K. Perhaps there is no better…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:48AM
Wednesday, January 1, 2020

‘A Jazz New Year’s Eve’ brought Branford Marsalis’ innovative style to the Kennedy Center by Michele Simms-Burton

The Grand Foyer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts teemed with patrons sporting gowns swirling against the carpeted floor and tuxedos announcing an auspicious occasion, si…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:40PM
Saturday, October 19, 2019

Review: ‘Nat King Cole at 100’ at the Kennedy Center by Michele Simms-Burton

A panoply of performers graced the stage last night to honor the extraordinary musician, composer, and civil rights activist Nat King Cole, who would have been 100 years old this past March …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:18PM
Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: ‘Spotlight on Jazz’ Events at The REACH at The Kennedy Center by Michele Simms-Burton

DCMTA joined the teeming crowd at the Kennedy Center’s “unprecedented new expansion,” the REACH, on the second day of a 16-day multi-genre festival to check out the spotlight on jazz. …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:18PM
Friday, September 6, 2019

Review: Jennifer Hudson and the NSO at Wolf Trap by Michele Simms-Burton

Gracious, engaging, and a powerhouse of a voice, Jennifer Hudson brought the house down and left the audience standing and cheering while in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra at W…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:28PM
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Ruben Santiago-Hudson on Directing August Wilson’s ‘Jitney’ by Michele Simms-Burton

Perhaps it is his distinctive voice or the fact that he has been called the “best storyteller of his generation” that makes Ruben Santiago-Hudson the apparent inheritor of the body of wo…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:54PM
Friday, July 5, 2019

Mark G. Meadows Wants To Change the World by Michele Simms-Burton

In 2016, after the presidential election that put Donald Trump in the White House, musician Mark Meadows felt lost. He believed that his voice, and the voices of other artists “weren’t h…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 09:00AM
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Bassist Carlos Henriquez and His Nonet Pay Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie June 1 at Sixth and I by Michele Simms-Burton

Last week, DCMTA caught up with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) bassist Carlos Henriquez via telephone on a rainy day in Chicago to chat about his Washington, DC tribute performance …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:34PM
Monday, May 20, 2019

Review: ‘Jubilee’ at Arena Stage by Michele Simms-Burton

In 1871, Fisk University – an all-Black institution of higher learning in Nashville, Tennessee – was in dire financial straits. To raise money for the institution, Treasurer and Music Pr…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:26PM
Friday, May 10, 2019

Review: ‘Spunk’ at Signature Theatre by Michele Simms-Burton

Since 1990 when New York’s Public Theater first staged George C. Wolfe’s adaptation of three short stories by Zora Neale Hurston into the play Spunk, audiences have gleaned the creative …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:37PM
Sunday, April 28, 2019

Review: “14” by Theatre Prometheus by Michele Simms-Burton

Arresting, provocative, and hauntingly relevant, 14 by playwright José Casas weaves a tale of sixteen characters living or born in Arizona who express their divergent views about immigrants…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 08:13PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Review: ‘Les Deux Noirs: Notes on Notes of a Native Son’ at Mosaic Theater Company by Michele Simms-Burton

In Les Deux Noirs: Notes on Notes of a Native Son, Playwright Psalmayene 24, Director Raymond O. Caldwell, and Founding Artistic Director Ari Roth take on the risky task of staging a well-kn…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:09AM
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

‘Two Wings’ Celebrates the Music of Black America in Migration by Michele Simms-Burton

“Pick a chord and I’ll be there,” Alicia Hall Moran told husband Jason Moran from the stage of a packed performance hall at Georgetown University. Moran, accompanying on piano, nodded …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:49PM
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Director and Playwright Psalmayene 24 Discusses ‘Native Son’ and ‘Les Deux Noirs’ by Michele Simms-Burton

DC Metro Theater Arts caught up with Director and Playwright Psalmayene 24 to discuss Native Son and Les Deux Noirs: Notes on Notes of a Native Son, which play in rep at the Mosaic Theater t…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:27PM
Thursday, March 28, 2019

Cynthia Erivo Brings ‘Legendary Women’s Voices’ to the Kennedy Center by Michele Simms-Burton

Cynthia Erivo may as well call the Kennedy Center home. Having previously performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, the intimacy between Erivo and the musicians is strong. For her upco…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:00AM
Monday, March 18, 2019

Christian Sands Brings ‘Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour’ to Strathmore March 21 by Michele Simms-Burton

The East Coast has the Newport and DC jazz festivals. The Midwest claims the world’s largest free jazz extravaganza, the Detroit Jazz Festival. The South showcases jazz and R&B talent …

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:00AM
Monday, March 11, 2019

Renowned Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith To Bring His Signature Sound to Sixth & I by Michele Simms-Burton

These days, it is rare to hear an organ in a jazz ensemble. The exception is Dr. Lonnie Smith who not only remains the master of the Hammond B-3 organ but also has had a career that spans mo…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 06:08PM
Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: ‘NEA Jazz Master Archie Shepp’s All-Star Tribute to John Coltrane’ at the Kennedy Center by Michele Simms-Burton

Moments in jazz performances punctuate the annals of jazz history. There are some performances that you wished you had attended because they will be talked about for years. “Archie Shepp…

Linked From DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:51AM

All that Chat

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