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 1,000,000 homes.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


“Testing the Waters” Concert
     The Metropolitan Chorus opened its 50th anniversary season on November 1 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington. The organization’s new artistic director and conductor, Dr. Nancia D’Alimonte led the 60 plus member group in a program called “Testing the Waters.” The concert began and ended with an African Processional entitled “Welcome My Friends.” The singers were accompanied by pianist Terry Sisk. Also featured were soloist Don Dosch, percussionist Sidonie Wade, violinists David Brown and Gray Dickerson and cellist Paul Marshall. The next two concerts are December 5 and December 13, both at the church. They are free and open to the public. For more information check the Chorus website at

MOSAIC THEATER COMPANY - - “Unexplored Interior”

Mosaic Theater Company, began its inaugural season with a show called “Unexplored Interior.” It’s about the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 and the world’s reluctance to intervene. Playing at the Atlas Performing Arts Center at 1333 H St. NE, over a dozen actors are thrust back to 1994 where playwright Jay Sanders said, “Humanity slipped through the cracks.”  This is a riveting yet disturbing play, directed by Derek Goldman,  calling into question, “How could this happen with the world watching?”  If “Unexplored Interior” is an example of what we have to look forward to by Mosaic Theater Company and its founding artistic director Ari Roth, I can hardly wait. The show plays through November 29. For information and tickets, call 202-399-7993, ext. 2 and check the website at

METROPOLITAN OPERA simulcast of Richard Wagner’s “Tannhäusen”

     Last weekend the Metropolitan Opera of New York simulcast a beautiful production of Richard Wagner’s “Tannhäusen” with James Levine conducting the Met Orchestra. The simulcast took place at Potomac Yards Regal Theatres in Alexandria. Tannhausen (John Botha) has spent a year in the underground world of Venus, god of love (Michelle de Young) but yearns to return to the real world and his former love, Elizabeth (Eva-Maria Westbrooke). He does return, but complications arise and he is sent away to Rome for forgiveness. Particular nod of appreciation to costume designer Patricia Zipprodt and choreographer Norbert Vesak. The next simulcast from the Met is November 21 with Alban Berg’s “Lulu” with soprano in the title role. For more information and tickets, check the website at Tickets are very reasonable.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


    Who knew lovable looking puppets could be a little bit dirty? Well, that’s what we have in a really funny musical called, “Avenue Q”  produced by Constellation Theatre in the District. Just so you know, the puppets are attached to the hands and arms of real people, but honestly, you can’t take your eyes off the crazy antics of the puppets. The story is  about a young college grad named Princeton, played to perfection by Matt Dewberry. He has dreams about making it big in New York City and arrives without a job, a place to live and very little money. He finds a shabby apartment on “Avenue Q”  where his neighbors are raunchy puppets.  Constellation vet Katy Carhuff plays Princeton’s girlfriend Kate Monster. This show is so much fun—no wonder it won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book. Constellation did a great job with this show thanks to director Allison Arkell Stackman, musical director Jake Null and a wonderful ensemble cast. The show is playing at the Source Theatre at 1835 14th St. NW. For information and tickets, call 202-204-7741 and check the website at

Monday, October 26, 2015


     I’m a Sushi lover and have had it many places in the Metro area and beyond. Little did I know that I would find the best Sushi in my own back yard at Sushi-Zen in the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Not only is the Sushi great, but so is the service in this family operation led by Shoji Mochizuki, his wife, Rosie Gordon and their son, Brian. Sushi-Zen has been open since 1997 and consistently receives well deserved rave reviews. There’s Sushi, Sashimi, Teriyaki and Tempura dishes for both lunch and dinner and carry-out.  Check out the Bento boxes for lunch. Sushi-Zen’s wide variety of  rolls are not only works  of art, but delicious as well. One of my favorites is the President’s roll made with soft shell crab, cucumber, avocado and salmon drizzled with eel sauce. Another favorite is the crunchy spicy salmon rolls. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed  the Tempura dishes—lightly deep fried shrimp and vegetables—really scrumptious. In true Japanese fashion, Sushi-Zen’s Teriyaki is pan seared with their own specially blended sauce and you can choose from chicken, rib eye beef, salmon or shrimp. There’s so, so  much more including Japanese beer, sake and some interesting antioxidant beverages. Thanks to my friend Chuck Toftoy for introducing me to Sushi-Zen. I suspect I’ll become one of their many regulars like Chuck.  For more information, call Sushi-Zen at 703-534-6000 and check their website at