I never get tired of seeing “Mamma Mia!” or anything the musical group ABBA performed or wrote. And the current production of “Mamma Mia!” at The National Theatre in the District is just as fresh. Set on a Greek island, the 20 year old daughter, Sophie (Chelsea Williams) is engaged to Sky (Chris Stevens). On her own, Sophie invites three men who were her mother's lovers 21 years before, to the wedding. Georgia Kate Haege is Sophie's mother, Donna. The music is exciting and the singing dynamic. Here are some of the familiar hit songs: “Dancing Queen,” “I Have A Dream,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Take A Chance On Me,” “The Winner Takes It All” and many more! “Mamma Mia” runs through March 9. Still time to get tickets. You'll love it! “Mamma Mia” is another in The National's Season of Broadway. Next month it's Hal Holbrook and his portrayal of Mark Twain. For tickets and information, call 202-628-6161 and check the website at www.nationaltheatre.org.
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.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
One of the leaders and innovators in modern dance, the Joffrey Ballet played for two performances, March 7 and 8 at GMU's Center for the Arts. With a full company, under the artistic direction of Ashley Wheater, they performed “American Legends.” First choreographed by the renowned Jerome Robbins, it became part of the Joffrey repertoire in 1972. These contained humor and jazzy play. Later there was a pas de deux, “After the Rain” by Christopher Wheeldon, with two intermissions. The closing was “Nine Sinatra Songs” with seven couples in tuxedos and gowns dancing to his songs. Great program! For future programs at the Center for the Arts check the website at www.cfa.gmu.edu or call 1-888-945-2468.
The Little Theatre of Alexandria has a riveting four person play called, “Proof.” It's about a brilliant mathematician, Robert (Chuck Leonard) who goes crazy and dies leaving two daughters, Catherine (Anna Fagan) and Claire (Elizabeth Keith). The younger daughter, Catherine, took care of her father until he died and was also a brilliant mathematician. She fears she will end up like her father. She becomes involved with one of her father's former students, Hal (Josh Goldman) who tries to help her. Claire wants her to move to New York where she can look after her, but Anna wants to stay in Chicago in the house where she and her father lived. There are many flashbacks between Catherine and her father. Written by David Auburn, “Proof” is a very realistic portrayal of families with members struggling with depression. Wonderfully directed by Susan Devine. Kudos to set designer and construction by Dan Remmers. “Proof” plays through March 29 at The Little Theatre of Alexandria. For information and tickets call 703-683-0496 and check the website at www.thelittletheatre.com.
“Moby Dick, the Musical”
What fun last week at the Glenelg Country School in Elliott City, MD as students performed “Moby Dick, the Musical.” The students took some poetic license and lo and behold, Capt. Ahab was a fellow playing a woman playing Capt. Ahab. The roles were beautifully played by senior Cooper Taylor, a veteran of other Glenelg productions. Taylor was playing the headmistress of a girls academy falling on hard times. The girls decided to put on a show, “Moby Dick, the Musical,” to raise funds and, of course, the headmistress took on the role of Capt. Ahab. Taylor was awesome as were Tessa More as Ishmael, Sarah Narcise as Starbuck, Brendan DeBonis as Pip and Marissa Burks as Queequeg. Not sure what Herman Melville would say about this “Moby Dick,” but I thought it was pretty creative. My hat's off to the director Carole Lehan and musical director Jeff Yates. For more information about Glenelg Country School, check the website at www.glenelg.org.
“Mark Morris Dance Group”
The much celebrated choreographer, Mark Morris, brought his “Mark Morris Dance Group” to the Center for the Arts last weekend for two performances. With a live three-piece music ensemble, the large dance troupe performed four pieces showing the wit and athletic grace of the performers: “Italian Concerto,” “A Wooden Tree,” “Jenn and Spencer” and “Crosswalk.” Morris was on hand to take bows. For more information on upcoming shows at GMU's Center for the Arts in Fairfax, call 703-993-2787 and check the website at www.cfa.gmu.edu
“The Cole Porter Project: It's All Right With Me”
Carla Hubner, is celebrating her 29th year as artistic director and founder of the IN Series and what better way than with another winning songfest. This time it's, “The Cole Porter Project: It's All Right With Me,” being performed at the Source Theatre in the District. Ten singers, mostly IN Series regulars, sang 35 of Porter's songs used in clever skits about trying to get a Cole Porter Day bill passed in Congress. Steven Scott Mazzola and Greg Stevens conceived, wrote and directed this thoroughly enjoyable show. Accompanying the singers were pianist Paul Leavitt and Ephriam Wolfolk on bass who were also terrific. If you like Cole Porter, don't miss this treat! “The Cole Porter Project” runs through March 9. For information and tickets, call 202-204-7763 and check the website at www.inseries.org.
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“The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes”
Since 1967 Encore Stage & Studio has been bringing young people to the stage and its current production, playing at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater, is “The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes.” There's a large cast of talented kids who handled their lines without a hitch and the staging was very smooth. A lot of credit goes to director Marji Jepperson and stage manager Olivia Hammermaster. Holmes is played by Topher Wagner and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, by Sam Barrett. Seeking a case to solve they enter a time machine and find themselves in the 21st Century at an Institute treating people who think they are famous like Count Dracula, Marilyn Monroe, Tarzan, George Washington and others. “The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes” is humorous and lots of fun.. It's a good show not just for the kids, but adults as well. It runs on weekends through March 9. information and tickets, call 703-548-1154 and check the website at www.encorestage.org.