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ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | November 7, 2004
Few directors would leap at the chance to stage Pericles, one of Shakespeare's more problematic plays. But few directors are like Mary Zimmerman. "What seems normal to me may not seem normal to someone else," acknowledges the 1998 MacArthur "genius" grant recipient. The Chicago-based director is making her area debut at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre, where Pericles begins performances Tuesday. Pericles is, quite literally, all over the place: the story of kings and queens, prostitutes and pirates spans many years, crosses borders and bounds along on the high seas.
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NEWS
October 29, 2004
On Wednesday, October 27, 2004 MILDRED PEACOCK CROWDER of Bethesda, MD; beloved wife of the late Edward T. Crowder; loving mother of Janice Crowder Pulliam of Athens, GA. and the late Reverend Father Tomlin P. Crowder; grandmother of Juliet and Tomlin Pulliam and Catherine Anne Crowder; mother-in-law of H. Ronald Pulliam and Grace Anne Crowder. Memorial Service will be held at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, 5450 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda, MD on Saturday, October 30, 2004 at 4 P.M. Interment private.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | September 8, 2004
Shakespeare's Macbeth is a play whose title character concocts and carries out his most heinous deeds in the dark. So it's especially fitting that shadows figure prominently in the new production at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre. In director Michael Kahn's eerie vision - augmented by designer Michael Chybowski's spectral lighting - the prophesying witches first appear in shadow behind a scrim of bare trees. Later, when Macbeth revisits the witches for further soothsaying, their predictions take the form of shadows.
FEATURES
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,SUN ARTS WRITER | June 22, 2004
Evil exists in the world of Cyrano, but is nameless, faceless and kept at a distance. A new adaptation of the story about the 17th-century swordsman and poet with the enormous proboscis is currently at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre, and running throughout is the most old-fashioned, romantic, beguiling belief imaginable: that human beings are inherently noble. No wonder audiences have loved the play from the very first. It's true that there are bad guys in the world originally created by Edmond Rostand: aristocrats who will send a battalion of men to their deaths to exact a personal revenge.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 10, 2004
In his book Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, critic Harold Bloom writes that, along with Hamlet, Falstaff is "superior to everyone else whom they, and we, encounter in their plays," and that this superiority is "most vitally ... a matter of personality." That vital characteristic - personality - is largely missing from actor Ted van Griethuysen's muted portrayal of the fat knight in Henry IV, Part 1 at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre. It's also largely missing from the rest of director Bill Alexander's bland production.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jonathan Pitts and Jonathan Pitts,SUN STAFF | January 15, 2004
The father -- a politician, statesman and spin doctor of the first order -- made it to the top the hard way, and as leader of a powerful nation, he expects his son to carry on the family dynasty. Problem is, the boy can't tear himself away from his partying and practical jokes. Can a wanton playboy ever rise to the august role of commander-in-chief, or is he destined to choke on his silver spoon? George Bush the first might relate to such a problem; he faced one very like it with his son, the prodigal namesake who became our current president.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 2003
Last month, audiences at Washington's Arena Stage got to see the world premiere of Shakespeare in Hollywood, Ken Ludwig's sparkling take on the filming of Max Reinhardt's 1935 movie A Midsummer Night's Dream. Now Washington's Shakespeare Theatre is offering the inspiration for Ludwig's play and Reinhardt's movie. Mark Lamos, former longtime artistic director of Connecticut's Hartford Stage, is staging a production of Midsummer that emphasizes the theme of change. In keeping with this, designer Leiko Fuseya has created a set that deliberately muddies the boundaries between Athens and the forest, the real and the unreal.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN STAFF | August 28, 2003
Washington's Shakespeare Theatre opens its season Tuesday with Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 comedy, The Rivals. Tessa Auberjonois stars as Lydia Languish, the young lady who falls in love with a poor ensign who is really a well-to-do captain in disguise. Hank Stratton plays her love interest, and the supporting cast includes such Shakespeare Theatre favorites as Emery Battis, Edward Gero, Floyd King, David Sabin and Nancy Robinette (as the language-slaughtering Mrs. Malaprop). Director Keith Baxter, the Welsh-born actor who also directed the Shakespeare Theatre's 2000 production of William Wycherley's The Country Wife, has reassembled the same design team for this latest effort -- set designer Simon Higlett, costume designer Robert Perdziola and lighting designer Peter West.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 20, 2003
As Fats Waller might have put it, the joint will be jumpin' at Center Stage Sunday. That afternoon, the Waller musical Ain't Misbehavin' will play the final performance of what has been a record-setting run. That night, in the upstairs Head Theater, the world premiere of Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel will play its third preview. And from 8 a.m. to midnight in the fifth-floor rehearsal hall, a bevy of Center Stage staffers and volunteers will be manning the phones for the 26th annual radio auction.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | January 29, 2003
Ben Jonson's 1609 comedy The Silent Woman has a surprise ending, and because the play is so rarely performed, it genuinely startles the audience. You can tell by the gasps. Furthermore, when theatergoers leave Washington's Shakespeare Theatre - where The Silent Woman is receiving what is believed to be its professional American debut - they are met by posters in the lobby urging them not to spoil the surprise. So I'm certainly not going to give it away here. But I will tell you this: More than halfway into his second decade at the helm, artistic director Michael Kahn has molded the Shakespeare Theatre into the closest thing this country has to Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company.
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