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Articles by Jim Reiter

Enjoy an evening full of laughs in memory of Neil Simon
      Rumors was the first attempt at a laugh-out-loud farce from fabulously famous playwright Neil Simon, who died last month. It opened on Broadway in 1988 to decidedly mixed reviews....

Come to see not one but three terrific leading ladies 

          Based on the 1980 musical of the same name and featuring music and lyrics by the multi-talented Dolly Parton, 9 to 5 The Musical had a solid pedigree but lasted only five short months on Broadway. Critics blamed the show’s sparse story line wrapped in big budget choreography and musical numbers. Still, the three female leads drew praise.

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2nd Star’s production has it all: unique characters, intertwining stories and beautiful music

       Ragtime began as a novel. Next, E. L. Doctorow’s historical novel published in 1975, was made into a movie.  In 1998, it opened as a Broadway musical with a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens....

Come for the songs

       When Woody Allen’s movie Bullets Over Broadway opened in 1994, it received mostly positive reviews. Then Allen decided to make it a Broadway musical — without original music. Instead, standards from the 1920s and 1930s were inserted throughout. The result: tepid reviews and a short run of just 100 performances, despite a slew of Tony nominations.

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This wonderful production gives us deep emotions and high elation 

        A Chorus Line debuted on Broadway in 1975 and set records by running for more than 6,000 performances. The production now running at Compass Rose Theater, scheduled to close May 20, deserves to set records of its own.

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If you need a few laughs — and who doesn’t — grab your ticket 

         Colonial Players’ Lucky Stiff, a musical and comic charmer, is organized chaos. It takes precision to do comedy right. Director Eric Hufford’s production is laugh-out-loud funny not just because of the material — c’mon, if you read a story about a dead guy being shown around Monaco in a wheelchair, would you have laughed?...

How much of ourselves must we give up to coexist?

         It’s unusual for a play to have more relevance today than when it was written, but Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for drama, resonates powerfully in the context of current events that have awakened a deep-seated fear of dark-skinned, mustachioed people in many Americans....

Is it real … or just virtual?

       First, the elephant in the room: Sex with Strangers is not about sex with strangers. Rather, it is about the author of a book, Sex with Strangers, created from a blog written by young millennial Ethan, then bedding a different woman each week for a year, on a dare. The play is about Ethan, his attitudes, his trustworthiness and his generation’s seeming inability to connect without being “connected.”

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The acting is tight, the pace is fast, the one-liners fly and people die

      Take some Neil Simon-like one liners, add a dash of the door-slamming slapstick of Noises Off, mix with some World War II political intrigue, a bunch of mistaken identities and hidden passages in a dark mansion, and what do you get? The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, running through February 24 at the Bowie Playhouse. 
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The grand classic turns intimate 

      Fiddler on the Roof, which hit Broadway in 1964, set longevity records, won nine Tony Awards and has been performed thousands of times by high school and community theaters across the country. It’s usually a big musical with big casts. This month, Compass Rose Theater gives Tevye and his family a more intimate treatment that, in the hands of director Lucinda Merry-Browne, gives us a nice new perspective.

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