Rich Massabny is a theatre, arts, & food critic in the nation's capital. He has been quoted in the Washington Post and Washington Times. One of the most visible cable television personalities in the Washington, D.C. area, his celebrity chefs on cooking shows, his weekly reviews and his hour long talk show, reach over 3,000,000 homes.

Monday, July 21, 2014

THE AMERICAN CENTURY THEATER



“An Evening with Danny Kaye”
     The great entertainer Danny Kaye is “back” at The American Century Theater starring in “An Evening with Danny Kaye.”  You thought Danny Kaye was dead?  Well, I saw him at Gunston Theater II, performing in a one man show. Oh, okay, so it was Brian Childers playing Danny Kaye---and he is terrific! I’m old enough to remember when Danny Kaye first started out in show business. TACT’s artistic director Jack Marshall first tapped Childers to become Kaye back in 2001 in a production of “Danny and Sylvia.”  Sylvia was Danny’s wife and wrote so many of the  patter songs he was famous for. How Childers pulls this off is quite something.  If you have ever seen any of the Danny Kaye movies, you need to see Childers because he IS Danny Kaye! This show is the 14th production presented as part of the Robert M. McElwaine Reflection Series. “An Evening with Danny Kaye” runs through August 16. For information and tickets, call 704-998-4555 and check the website at www.americancentury.org

ENCORE STAGE & STUDIO



“Once Upon A Mattress”
         Encore Stage & Studio is a theatre of youngsters. Its current production is “Once Upon A Mattress,” at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre. This is a musical adaptation of the tale, the “Princess and the Pea.” Queen Aggravain (Megan Mack) decrees that no one in her kingdom can marry until her “precious” son, Prince Dauntless (Sean Gilley) is married.  The queen rules out a dozen girls, then Princess Winnifred (Carla Astudillo) literally swims onto the scene. She’s not exactly the queen’s choice, but…  There’s a large cast plus a few adults. “Once Upon A Mattress”  runs on weekends just through July 27.Take the kids to see this Encore show—you’ll enjoy it too!. For information and tickets, call 703-548-1154 and check the website at www.encorestage.org.

ALDERSGATE CHURCH COMMUNITY THEATER (ACCT)


“Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”
      A very young and talented director, Amanda Coffin at Aldersgate Church Community Theater, has taken on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and is treating the production with a minimal set, props and costumes---and it seems to work. It’s also a shortened version which , frankly, was okay.  “The Tempest” starts off with an  exiled Duke,  Prospero (Travis Downing) and his daughter Miranda (Emily Wilson) waiting for the survivors of a shipwreck to land on their island. Prospero’s special powers and  spiritual angel, Ariel (MacKenzie Rivers) have caused the ship to wreck for reasons that become clear later. Nice ensemble cast. Check it out. “The Tempest” runs through August 3. ACCT is  located south of Alexandria at 1301 Collingwood Road off the George Washington Parkway.  For information and tickets go online at www.acctonline.org.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

JOE’s Prime Steak & Stone Crab Restaurant, D.C.



     A very impressive new restaurant opened its doors a few months ago at 15th and H Sts. NW in downtown D.C.---and it’s a winner!  I’m talking about Joe’s  Prime Steak & Stone Crab, well-known for its restaurants in Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas. You would never know it’s been open just a short time. Much credit, obviously, goes to managing partner Michael Rotolo and restaurant manager Travis Paez.   Joe’s is a handsome place with  stately white columns, high ceilings, a beautiful chandelier and a handsome bar with seating.  However, the best part is the menu. What a selection of seafood and steaks. The big thing is the stone crab, served cold with the shells already cracked for you.  Joe’s  boasts the finest stone crabs in the world.  Who am I to argue? Other seafood entrees are scallops, shrimp, crab and lobster.  And, if you like steak, Joe’s is the place for you. There’s something for everyone---not to mention the lamb chops, pork chops and calves liver. Don’t  overlook the appetizers, particularly the oysters Rockefeller, fried oysters and oysters on the half shell. Save room for dessert and a  piece of one of their many pies like key lime,  banana cream with foster sauce and Boston cream. Joe’s is truly a dining experience! For more information and  reservations, call 202-489-0140 and be sure to check the website at www.joes.net.

McLEAN COMMUNITY PLAYERS - - “Guys and Dolls”



     As far as I’m concerned, you can pack up McLean Community Players’  cast of “Guys and Dolls” and take them straight to Broadway. They are that good,  as is the whole production. “Guys and Dolls” is a fictional story about Damon Runyon characters in 1954 in New York City. The guys are gamblers looking for a place to hold a floating crap game. Nathan Detroit (Rich Amada) not only promises to find a place, but he’s got to hide it from his  long-suffering girlfriend,  Miss Adelaide (Jocelyn Steiner). A Salvation Army type group, led by Sister Sarah Brown (Elizabeth Hester) tries to convince the guys to repent their sinful ways. A well-known out of town gambler, Sky Masterson (Andrew Bolden) becomes smitten with Sister Sarah and sparks fly.  Bolden’s voice is Broadway all the way. “Guys and Dolls”  is full of great songs like  “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” “Luck be a Lady,”  “Sue Me,” “A Bushel and a Peck” and so many more . And with the full orchestra conducted by Walter McCoy, the tunes reach right into the audience.      Other characters like Nicely Nicely (Keith Tittermary) and Benny Southstreet (Mike Holland) add immensely to the enjoyment of this show as do the Hot Box Girls and Havana (Cuba) dancers.  Don’t miss this jewel directed by Rachelle A, Horn. “Guys and Dolls” runs on weekends through July 27. For information and tickets, call 703-790-9223 or check the website at www.McLeanPlayers.org.