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Theatre Reviews

An abstract painting sets cast and audience wondering how well you know your friends — and yourself

In 1994, French playwright Yasmina Reza wrote an intellectual comedy about friendship, the foundations upon which it’s built and the walls we erect to preserve it. Three Moliere Awards, one translation and a Tony later, Art entertains  audiences with a message that seems more relevant than ever in this era of cyber friendships.

Davina Grace Hill

Journeys to familiar lands have a comforting appeal because you know what to expect. A different kind of interest comes from visiting new locations and experiencing new outlooks. This is true for vacations, as well as theater. In Dignity Players’ current superb offering of Almost, Maine, you get to experience a magical new place in theater and discover a new site on the map of the human heart.

Think your family is dysfunctional? You’ve not seen The Lion in Winter.

The Lion in Winter, now playing at 2nd Star Productions, is a masterful, gleeful verbal chess game. The players are intense because the fate of a nation and a family dynasty are at stake in this game of ever-changing checkmates.

See the miracle four young student actors achieve with the guidance of pros

Imagine for a moment that you can neither see nor hear, that you careen through life as an animal trapped in a silent, black maze.Omnipotent beings collude against your wild frustration until only your savagery can wear them down enough to earn you meager bribes and scraps of their exasperated affection. Such is the life of six-year-old Helen Keller.

Starting over can be very funny

Chapter 2, now at Colonial Players of Annapolis, is Neil Simon’s comedy about the blossoming of a new relationship in middle age, when starting over means stepping away from your past. Since it is Neil Simon, it is very, very funny.     Simon can condense a reaction or thought into an unexpected but perfect line in a way few other authors can. Add actors and directors who bring great timing to those lines, and the audience gets a crackling good night.

Kleenex needed for this unrequited romance about the surprise of the human condition — as we all know it.

Love Letters is a simple show about a complex relationship chronicled through 50 years of letters. It needs, playwright A.R. Gurney says, “no theater, no lengthy rehearsal, no special set, no memorization of lines and no commitment from its two actors beyond the night of performance.”     If those actors happen to be a couple? All the better.

Superb casting, sumptuous costumes, stunning sets and whimsical dance can transcend even the flimsiest plot

Remember Nelson Eddie and Jeanette MacDonald singing Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life, At Last I’ve Found You in their 1935 debut film, Naughty Marietta?     No?     How about Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein?     Ah, I thought so.

Anyone who is human or has ever been in love finds themselves reflected in these characters

Twin Beach Players have staged Theater at the Beaches since 1997, when the traveling nomads in search of a home debuted with A Christmas Carol.     In 14 years, they’ve brightened life at the Beaches. All with never a home of their own. And at prices lower than you’d pay to see a movie.

You’ll have to think outside the apartment to solve Bowie Community Theatre’s mystery

Bowie Community Theatre takes you through so many twists and turns in Murder by Misadventure that trying to keep up could be hazardous to your health.     With only four characters and one the police inspector, the 50-50 chance of guessing the murderer could have killed the mystery before final curtain.     It survives — though not all the characters do.

The dysfunctional family of this fractured fairy tale is the medieval equivalent of trailer park trash in a neighborhood populated by Grimms’ all-stars.

Ladies: Did you grow up on Cinderella dreams? How did that work out for you?     Gentlemen: Is the prince for real?     Parents: Which frustrates you more — the Disney princess culture or books such as the best-selling Cinderella Ate My Daughter that denigrate it?