Friday, July 24, 2009
Final Performance: Saturday 7/25 @ 3:15.
Now, I’ll start this out by saying that one of my best friends was in this show, so I am clearly biased. That’s why I didn’t review it for DCTS. But if you want to read an unbiased report, check out the glowing reviews on DCTS or at Fringe and Purge.
This show is what Fringe is all about. It is short and poignant. It is conceptual and realistic. It is urban, and exciting, and powerful. It tells us something we did not know, and moves us at every turn. And then, once it’s sufficiently made its point, it lets it rest, so as to not beat it to death.
The Girls Inside is the story of four young women who are incarcerated at the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center in Laurel, MD. It is thoughtfully written by Leayne C. Freeman. It avoids cliché in a genre where that might be particularly hard, and gives us some real insight into the lives of these girls. The stars, Adena Good, Jo Higbee, Anyanna Hardy, and Zurin Villanueva are all wonderful. The float easily from longingly recollecting their childhoods to heart-wrenchingly discussing their current circumstances. Villanueva, the star of Arena Stage’s Crowns last spring, is particularly wonderful. Her beautiful singing voice is backed up by some powerful acting chops.
I won’t dwell. I will, however, say that this play is engaging from start to finish, and that if you are looking to have a real Fringe experience, this is how I’d do it.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
They're not glowing, but he seems to be enjoying himself. I hope he gets to see something truly amazing before the festival is over (I hope you do too). I heard really good things about Titus X, if that helps.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Address: 607 New York Ave, NW
Metro: Mt. Vernon Sq (green/yellow) or Gallery Place/Chinatown (red/green)
Through: July 26
Rating: 5/5 “Starving Artists”
I wanted to let you now about some yummy, cheap eats that support a great cause. Those smart folks of the Fringe Festival staff have set up a bar and restaurant at 607 New York Ave., NW which they call the Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar (named after the Italian restaurant that used to live on that site).
We've eaten there twice and the food is remarkably good. I recommend the Ginger-Teriyaki Turkey Burgers, which is 6 bucks. You can't beat that. They also have a fantastic selection of local and regional beers that are equally reasonably priced. Oh, and they have happy hour specials Wed-Fri from 5-6:30. And, the best part is that the proceeds go to sport Fringe and Fringe Artists. Now how can you say no to that?
So, if you're between fringe shows (as I will be a lot in the next few days), or if you live in the neighborhood (Lady AWesome and I just moved 5 blocks from here), or if you are just looking for a fun, bohemian place to hang in the Mt. Vernon and Gallery Place area, then you have to check out Baldacchino's Gypsy Tent Bar. And if you liked it (or even if you didn't) be sure to tell us about it in comments.
I'm off to 2 plays tomorrow and then 4 this weekend, so I'm hoping to see something I can actually recommend to you all.
Yay for inter-blog love!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Location: 55 M Street, SE
Metro Stops: Navy Yard-Green line.
Genre: All the art… ever.
Rating: 5/5 Starving Artists
I’ve been meaning to write a post about Artomatic, but I wanted to go first, and now it’s the last weekend and I’m going to miss it. But that doesn’t mean that you should have to miss it too. If you’re looking for something fun and free to do this weekend, I think this is a great option. We went a few times last year and loved it and Lady AWesome went this year.
Artomatic is a yearly festival that features local and national artists. Each year they take over a building and fill it to the rafters with Art of all kinds. There are paintings, sculptures, and instillations. Much of it is weird, some of it is stunning, but all of it is interesting. And, for those of you who are fans of PostSecret, they got their start at Artomatic and they have a display every year.
Admission is free and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon. If you are looking for something to do on your holiday, check out Artomatic.
Metro Stops: Dupont Circle – Red line or U Street/Cardozo-Green line. Directions here.
Genre: Wikipedia says it's a comedy. I'm not so sure
Cost: All tickets are half price for people 35 and under (and the Sunday shows are only $30 to begin with).
There are also $10 tix from Goldstar and $15 Neighborhood Nights (use the code Dupont for Wed or Thurs tickets through the rest of the run).
Rating: 3.5/5 Starving Artists
A note: I’ve been really negligent in getting this post up, even though I saw this show over a week ago. This was due in part to the fact that we left for vacation, and in part because I wasn’t sure what to say. I’ll keep this short for both reasons.
In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the title character notes, "He thinks too much: such men are dangerous". Though Caesar is talking about Cassius, he could just as easily be talking about the Seagull on 16th St, Theater J’s new production Chekhov’s classic. In an effort to include all of the headiness of the original play, and add new themes and undercurrents, the Theater J staff has created a play with so many thoughts that it becomes dangerously wordy, on the verge of crumbling under its own weight. This is not to say that the play is not good. It is certainly well preformed by a veteran cast. These stars shine, but they get buried under so many love triangles, subplots, and revelations that it is hard to focus on their performances. Theater J’s most notable addition to the original text is the introduction of a plotline that explores the Jewish identities of some of the characters. This text seems poorly grafted on, and it is difficult to see how it fits with the themes of the rest of the play, or why it was necessary.
The play is an interesting one. It is about the struggle to find one’s own identity, in the midst of family strife and unrequited love. The interplay between Arkadina (powerfully performed by Naomi Jacobson) and her son Treplev (Alexander Strain) was notably compelling. Treplev is trying to assert his own identity by launching a new theater company (in this version it is a Jewish Theater Company, in the original it is a part of the Russian Symbolist movement) while his mother, a star actress on summer holiday, steals his spotlight. This sets up a tense and complex storyline about artistic expression and individual identity that is one of the play’s most compelling themes.
So how can one feel about a play that says too many interesting things? Is too much of a good thing still a good thing? I recommend you go see the show and let me know what you thought in the comments.