Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019

Best of the 2018 Theater: Brand Visitors and Heroes from His Hometown

Bryson Bruce, center, and the "Hamilton" company at the Kennedy Center. (Joan Marcus)

There have been many enchanting parties on the Washington scenes in 2018. Here are the best shows from outside and the best house shows.

Simply visit

Hamilton. The chaos around the notes has tarnished the brilliance, but this show is still the best new Broadway musical in ages. He filled the Kennedy Center Opera House all summer long.

Humans. National tours of major plays are rare, and it was a treat to see Stephen Karam's first-class drama depicting the worries of the working class at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater. It's also worth remembering, for one night only, singer-provocateur Taylor Mac, with a gorgeous group, glamorous the Kennedy Center with three hours of its 24-hour "A 24-Hour History of Popular Music", which lasted 24 hours. soared and was totally different from everything else.

The fall. Created and performed by South African university students, this 90-minute protest docudrama is a perpetual surprise. The cerebral and passionate arguments about resistance and political empowerment in post-apartheid South Africa have become complicated so that the American public can easily understand each other.

Actors from the movie "An Inspector Calls" by the Shakespeare Theater Company (Mark Douet)

An inspector calls. Still an amazing show of intellectual melodrama a quarter of a century later Stephen Daldry's historic production was created. Daldry put a Brechtian edge on JB Priestley's 1946 detective story, and this British import – doing an American tour at the Shakespeare Theater Company – combines nocturnal and dark suspense with a dark policy (and always d & rd; news).

Waitress. The musicals being tested in Washington this year included the political comedy "Dave", produced by a film, about Arena Stage and "Beetlejuice" at the National Theater. The best of the new shows was the show "Is not Too Proud" of the jukebox Temptations, who played at the Kennedy Center in summer and goes to Broadway in the spring. It's slippery as ice in Des McAnuff's staging, but boring in his numbers book that tells the Motown group's eventful story. Then yes, ""Waitress": check if you can not find a soft spot for bitter-sweet comedy with Sara Bareilles' score.

Jennifer Mendenhall, Beth Hylton, Susan Lynskey and Kate Fahy in Round House Theater's "Handbagged" production (Kaley Etzkorn).

House Highlights

Handbag / Familiar / Noura. A delicious trifecta from last winter Women's Voices Theater Festival. "The Hand in the Bag", Moira Buffini's comedy about Margaret Thatcher and Elizabeth II, sets records at Round House Theater. "Familiar" by Danai Gurira, a Minnesotian comedy from Zimbabwe who knew everyone, was surprisingly warm at the Woolly Mammoth. And at the Shakespeare Theater Company, Heather Raffo wrote and starred in "Noura", the Iraqi-American recap on Henrik Ibsen's "Dollhouse".

Wolves. The balanced distribution of Marti Lyons at Studio Theater has mastered the emotions and kicking footballs accurately in Sarah DeLappe's insightful drama, featuring highly competitive high school girls.

The Frederick Douglass project. This successful Irish-themed Solas Nua troupe was staged on a Yard Park pontoon at the Capitol Riverfront. The show crushed "An elusive fugitive slave who flees to Ireland", written by Psalmeyene 24 of D.C., and "Wild Notes", by Deirdre Kinahan, of Ireland. The intriguing cultural counter-theater wind of this well-played drama bodes well for director Raymond O. Caldwell, who in January takes the artistic direction of Anacostia's Theater Alliance.

Hamlet. Michael Urie has proven to be an unusual interlocutor of Shakespeare's liquid language. In Michael Kahn's production for the Shakespeare Theater Company, Urie was haunted and memorable when Hamlet was trapped in a state overseen by Elsinore.

The wiz. This year, there was no real slam-dunks among locally produced musicals. So take Kent Gash's delirious "The Wiz" at Ford's Theater, mainly for the bold and flamboyant, in the face of Matthew Gardiner's solid "Billy Elliot" at the Signature Theater.

Every brilliant thing. Several shows at the Olney Theater Center were breathtaking: the ferociously played "The Crucible"; James Graham's "Labor of Love" political comedy with Julia Coffey delivering one of the most courageous performances of the year as a career political agent; and Ayad Akhtar's political thriller, "The Invisible Hand". "Every Brilliant Thing" was a solo show about sorrow played with joy and emotion by Alexander Strain, who brilliantly animated a rare thing: the inspired participation of the public.

Taffety Punk. A choice of cover. The most vital of the city's smaller troupes this year, the Taffety Punk, a bragging feat that runs through the intimate atmosphere of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, offers a modest, but carefully chosen, stream of clever, generally timely works. . This year's harvest: Madeline Joey Rose's exploration of pro-life in "Mom Baby God", a "Don Juan" composed entirely of women, and Sadie Hasler's two-act British drama on maternity, "Pramkicker ".

Jaysen Wright and Sylvia Kates in "Actually" of Theater J (C. Stanley Photography)

Actually. Washington had a remarkably timed #MeToo moment this fall. Through an imaginative performance of Kimberly Gilbert as Billie Dawn, "Born yesterday at the Ford's Theater, unexpectedly resounded on the subject of abuse, and at Round House, the price "How I learned to drive" of Paula Vogel in 1998 reaffirmed its power to dramatize a sexual predator. Anna Zeigler's "Actually", produced by Theater J at the Kogod Cradle at the Arena Stage, simplifies the problem with clinical precision, while two skilful young actors, Jaysen Wright and Sylvia Case, play students trying to be honest and fair after a well-watered evening. "He said / she said" case.

See Rock City. Unpretentious and well-worked: the second part of Arlene Hutton's "Nibroc trilogy", which tells the story of a young man from the south of the 20th century and a man in love who falls in love with the girl. Nothing good. Set it aside with the character studies that followed by the latest Horton Foote – yet, the discrete performances of Lexi Langs and Wood Van Meter (for the Washington Stage Guild) had good old-fashioned chemistry.

Indecent. Affecting the work at Arena Stage. Paula Vogel's screenplay, nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play last year, sparkles in this saga of fleets of anti-Semitism, homophobia and the disturbing power of art, drawn from the controversial history of the controversial play 1907 by Sholem Asch, "God of Vengeance".


%d bloggers like this: