Week of February 5, 2023
1. “Ghost/Writer” at Rep Stage
“…breathtaking…the beauty of Act One and the compelling performances by Dane Figuero Edidi in both roles are not to be missed.” – Nancy Blum
Synopsis: Family secrets spanning decades unravel as history and fiction collide. In 1920 just outside of Tulsa, Patrick, an Irish immigrant, seeks out the services of Ms. Ruby, a mysterious Black woman from Baltimore, known to help exorcise ghosts from her clients, but the price she is asking may be too high. Meanwhile, in 2019, Charles Ross hires infamous ghost writer Rebecca Warren to help him through his writer’s block, but what she invokes could be his salvation or undoing. Edidi’s new play examines the intersections of race and gender inviting us to explore the role of love, justice and joy in a world where the ghosts of the past have yet to be laid to rest.
2. “Stick Fly” at Arena Players
“Thanks to brilliant casting and direction, seats at Arena Players should be filled.” – Max Garner
Synopsis: Features the LeVays, an affluent African American family with multiple houses, including a vacation home on Marth’s Vineyard, where most of the plays’s action occurs. It is a play about love and family that explores themes of race and privilege through the lens of class and status. We learn the idea that just because you are privileged it doesn’t necessarily mean you are fortunate. You may come from or have a fortune, but you may not always be privileged
3. “Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner” at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
“It is the two-woman cast…that truly dazzles with the ability to express such wide-ranging emotion and depth at a lightning-quick pace…nuanced, timely, and insightful piece…” – Jeannette Mulherin
Synopsis: When Forbes Magazine declares Kylie Jenner a “self-made” billionaire, Cleo takes to Twitter to call out white women who co-opt and profit from Black culture. Soon online discourse spills into reality, blurring the tenuous lines between internet personas and who we are IRL. On the internet, actions don’t always speak louder than words.
4. “paper backs” and “Life Jacket” presented by 4615 Theatre Company at The Writer’s Center
“The production values of both pieces help lift the playwrights’ respective poetry and prose into fulfilling theatrical moments…a powerfully thought-provoking evening.” – Anne Valentino
Synopsis: In Tristan B. Willis’ paper backs, a scholar and artist navigate their passion for their art and each other while stuck in a relationship that continuously cycles back to the beginning.
Caridad Svich’s Life Jacket is a story about two friends on a boat. They live in a small town near the sea. On this Sunday, they go out, as they have done in the past, but this time, something changes. Call it a spirit encounter. Or maybe they just hit some nasty debris in the water. Whatever the case, it is a day that will test them both.
5. “Les Misérables’ at The Hippodrome
“The vocals are extraordinary…the solos are spine tingling and nearly perfect.“ – Sue Tilberry
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. This epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history.
Honorable Mention: “The Learned Ladies” at Classic Theatre of Maryland
“…funny and delightful.…The acting by the entire cast is first rate, made into a tight, seamless production by veteran director Donald Hicken.” – Sue Tilberry
Synopsis: Henriette’s liberated, feminist mother wants her to marry the man she has picked out for her: a posturing, unctuous fop masquerading as a poet! Her father agrees with her that she should marry her true love. The problem? Dad caves in to Mom’s wishes at every turn! Will Dad assert his right as the head of the house? Must Henriette flee to a convent to avoid her suitor’s insipid poetry? It’s the war of the sexes, 17th-century style!