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Washington D.C.
Reviews

Studio Theatre’s FLIGHT Traces a Refugee Odyssey in Miniature

By

Nathan Pugh

on

January 7, 2022

This past August, the fall of Afghanistan was witnessed by people across the globe, many of us watching news coverage on our phone screens. We could hold those illuminating rectangles in the palm of our hand, watching horrors unfold. With one click, we could also make the horrors disappear. The conversion of refugees from living people to just pixels on a screen can impact how Afghan refugees are characterized in the news. During September of this year, one AP News report described “two tiny dots dropping from [a] plane,” at the Kabul airport. For journalists and storytellers, it’s an impossible task to narrate asylum seekers in real time. But weren’t those “two dots” real people? Doesn’t an abstract representation of an atrocity hide the reality of the people experiencing it?Studio Theatre’s new show Flight doesn’t resolve these questions as much as it dives deeper into them with immersive storytelling and incredible detail. Instead of running away from the small images that often dominate refugee news coverage, the show embraces them, creating countless dioramas of refugees in miniature. Flight proves that small images aren’t necessarily diminutive in their impact. In fact, the small images in Flight conjure a different sort of power, one uniquely theatrical and purposefully abstract. 

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Washington D.C.
Features

Michael Anthony Williams and David Emerson Toney on Arena Stage’s Urgent Production of SEVEN GUITARS, and the Legacy of August Wilson

By

Nathan Pugh

on

December 23, 2021

We sat down to chat with Michael Anthony Williams and David Emerson Toney, two actors in Arena Stage’s production of August Wilson Seven Guitars.

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Regional
Reviews

TEENAGE DICK is a Brutal but Sensitive Portrait of an Unlikely Antihero — Review

By

Nathan Pugh

on

December 10, 2021

Dear Evan Hansen wants the humorous but scathing energy that Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick has in spades. The similarities between Hansen and Teenage Dick run deep. Both shows follow awkward, lonely teenage guys trying to get through high school. Both protagonists gain incredible social power through the force of their storytelling. They use this power to woo their popular love interests, and excuse their gaslighting because of their disabilities. And in the end, everything comes crashing down because of dangerous lies exacerbated by social media. Both shows have had large cultural moments this year. Hansen’s film adaptation premiered in movie theaters this past September and re-opens on Broadway this weekend. Teenage Dick, which previously ran off-Broadway in 2018, is now touring through some of the most well-known regional theatres in America. Having already played at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company this fall, the show is now running at the Huntington Theatre Company and will head over to Pasadena Playhouse in February.

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Washington D.C.
Reviews

A STRANGE LOOP Stages an Endless Spiral of Identity, and the Rupture my Hometown Needs — Review

By

Nathan Pugh

on

December 7, 2021

This production of Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop Woolly Mammoth comes after the show’s much-lauded off-Broadway production in the summer of 2019, produced by Playwrights Horizons and Page 73 Productions. The D.C. production of A Strange Loop was announced in March of 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered theatre across America, and right before Jackson’s won 2020’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the show. Woolly Mammoth isn’t known for producing musicals, yet it makes sense for A Strange Loop to be staged here. The musical has more in common with Woolly Mammoth’s past productions of experimental Black plays (like Fairview or An Octoroon) than the reworkings of classic musicals typically seen in D.C. theatre.

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Washington D.C.
Reviews

Round House Theatre’s THE GREAT LEAP Offers a Thoughtful Fable for Chinese-American Life — Review

By

Nathan Pugh

on

December 3, 2021

Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, now at Bethesda’s Round House Theatre and streaming online, offers one potent exploration of these questions. Yee’s answer—which is vividly brought to life in this production—is to reconfigure Chinese history into a story between parents and children, mapping painful histories of nations onto the painful histories of family. In this so-called “socio-political fable,” allegory and memory are intertwined to both delightful and calamitous effect.

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Washington D.C.
Reviews

In Mosaic Theater’s BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA, A Father and Daughter Yearn to Connect — Review

By

Nathan Pugh

on

October 29, 2021

Birds of North America is now in performance at the Mosaic Theater Company through November 21, 2021.

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Broadway
News

Jeremy O. Harris’ SLAVE PLAY Will Reopen at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre This November

By

Nathan Pugh

on

September 27, 2021

Jeremy O. Harris’ historic drama Slave Play will return with a special engagement at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre on November 23, 2021 with an official opening night slated for December 2, 2021. The play will run a strictly limited eight-week engagement through January 23, 2022.

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Tony Awards
News

Alex Timbers Wins 2020 Tony Award for Best Direction of MOULIN ROUGE!

By

Nathan Pugh

on

September 26, 2021

Alex Timbers has won Best Direction of a Musical at the 74th Annual Tony Awards for his direction of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. This is his first Tony Award win and third nomination. He was previously nominated for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (2011) and was also nominated for Best Direction of a Play for his co-direction with Roger Rees on Peter and the Starcatcher (2012).

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Tony Awards
News

Stephen Daldry Wins 2020 Tony Award for Direction of THE INHERITANCE

By

Nathan Pugh

on

September 26, 2021

Stephen Daldry has won Best Direction of a Play at the 74th Annual Tony Awards for his direction of The Inheritance. This is Daldry’s third Tony Award nomination and win. He previously won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play in 1994 for his direction of An Inspector Calls, and the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical in 2009 for his direction of Billy Elliot the Musical. 

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Tony Awards
Features

To Celebrate SLAVE PLAY, Honor its Black Predecessors that Haven’t Been on Broadway

By

Nathan Pugh

on

September 25, 2021

To honor Jeremy H. Harris and Slave Play's historic twelve Tony Award nominations, culture writer Nathan Pugh looks at how the new generation of Black playwrights have leaned on their past predecessors that have yet to have shows produced on Broadway.

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Washington D.C.
Features

Lydia R. Diamond on Arena Stage’s TONI STONE and Contradictions in Black Performance

By

Nathan Pugh

on

September 16, 2021

Playwright Lydia R. Diamond sits down with Theatrely's Nathan Pugh to chat about her play Toni Stone at Arena Stage.

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Washington D.C.
Features

At the Lincoln Memorial, COME FROM AWAY Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 with Triumph and Tears

By

Nathan Pugh

on

September 13, 2021

The hit musical Come From Away recently honored the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

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Virtual
Reviews

Madeline Sayet Explores WHERE WE BELONG at Woolly Mammoth — Review

By

Nathan Pugh

on

June 29, 2021

Madeline Sayet’s one-woman filmed show Where We Belong, now streaming through Washington D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Folger Shakespeare Library. Over the course of 80 minutes, Sayet gracefully explores the places she has tried to reclaim as her own—Shakespeare’s words, her Mohegan identity, her ancestors—and ultimately asks why we need to belong somewhere at all.

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