fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Catching Up: Entertainment Edition

Continuing the blog catch-up, here's a run-down of various entertainment events over the past month and a half or so.

Dying City: This play at Signature Theatre had to do with the widow of an Army officer and an encounter she has with her dead husband's twin brother. To make things slightly confusing, the same actor (Thomas Keegan) played both brothers, with subtle changes of costume being the primary clue as to which was which. I found the characters unconvincing and, frankly, the whole play was too oblique for my tastes.

Dracula: This was the first show in my Washington Ballet season subscription. Michael Pink's choreography (to a musical score by Philip Feeney) is surprisingly true to the book (which is one of my favorites and is not what you think it is if you're only familiar with the story from the various film versions). Perhaps the one key point that the adaptation misses is the fundamental difference between Lucy's traditionalism and Mina's modernity, which highlights Stoker's own mixed feelings about feminism. But all of the dancers were excellent and Hyun-Woong Kim was effectively chilling in the title role. While there is still something inherently silly about, say, a series of pirouettes at Lucy's bedisde, this was an intriguing couple of hours.

My Fair Lady: Arena Stage is apparently obliged to drag out at least one old familiar musical a year. The oddity of this production was adding a racial element to it, with Eliza Doolittle and her father being Asians. This was merely a distraction and I enjoyed much of the production. The weak points were the numbers for the poor people, with the miscast James Saito making "Get Me to the Church on Time" a particular disappointment. The performances of Benedict Campbell as Henry Higgins and, especially, Thomas Adrian Simpson (a local favorite) as Colonel Pickering salvaged the show. And I loved the staging of "The Ascot Gavotte." I'll have to give this an overall grade of fair.

Pro Musica Hebraica: I subscribe to Pro Musica Hebraica largely to support their mission of bringing Jewish classical music to the concert stage. The fall concert featured the Ariel Quartet with pianist Orion Weiss performing 20th century works. The piece I liked best was Erich Korngold's Quartet No. 3. I was also impressed by Weiss's performance of Three Pieces for Piano by Arnold Schoenberg. I should also note that only one piece (Erwin Shulhoff's Quartet No. 1) sounded specifically Jewish, instead of merely modern classical music by a Jewish composer. I admit to preferring the 19th century to the 20th when it comes to music, but this concert was worthwhile. I will, alas, miss the Winter concert in the series due to a business trip. That's particulary disappointing as it's going to be cantorial music, but I still haven't mastered that whole being in two places at once thing.

Woody Sez: I'm not a fan of jukebox musicals, but I am a fan of Woody Guthrie's music. Throw in getting the ticket via Goldstar, and it was an easy decision to go to this show at Theater J. David Lutken did a good job as Woody, telling his own life story and performing lots of his songs, along with a very capable team of other musicians. Notably, the cast included Darcie Deauville of The Austin Lounge Lizards. The songs were a fine mix of familiar and unfamiliar and I only wish my schedule had allowed me to go to the one of the performances that had a post-show hootenanny. Looking back over this run-down, this was my favorite show of the past couple of months.
Tags: ballet, dance, holidailies, judaism, music, musicals, theatre

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