“Dogfight” is a play at the newly renovated Keegan Theatre, located at 1742 Church St. NW in D.C. It’s a musical, set in San Francisco in 1963 and 1967, where three Marines are about to deploy to Viet Nam. The night before they are to leave, they decide to play a game called, “Dogfight.” Suffice it to say, the game involves each guy seeking out the most unattractive date. The play is thought-provoking and beautifully set to music. The Marines are acted superbly by Tiziano D. Affuso, Harrison Smith and David Bernstein. The female lead, Rose, is played so effectively by Isabelle Smilkinson. The entire “Dogfight” cast is outstanding. This is a play that is emotionally compelling and I suspect, relatable to many in the audience. Great direction by Christina Coakley and Michael Innocenti and musical direction by Jake Null. “Dogfight” runs through Sept. 20. For more information and tickets, call 703-892-0202 and check the website at www.keegantheatre.com.
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.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Throughout the summer, Creative Cauldron in Falls Church, has been presenting a series of weekly concerts, cabaret style. Last weekend, I caught a cast reunion of singers from a past production called “Once on This Island.” Six of the seven cast members sung songs from the play plus favorites from other shows. It was a delightful evening listening to Tiara Whaley, Avia Fields, Jade Jones, Harrison Lee, Carl Williams and Malcolm Lee. Each had their own style and could easily have a lead role in any musical. One of my favorites was Tiara Whaley’s rendition of “A Change in Me,” This was my first time to Creative Cauldron and I was pleased to learn they are continuing their cabaret series on Friday and Saturday nights through Sept. 26.
Coming up on Sept. 12 is Nora Palka in “Girls Like Us,” about the evolution of women in music from the 60’s to today. Creative Cauldron’s regular season begins Oct. 1 with “The World Goes Round,” songs by Kander and Ebb. For more information and tickets, call 703-436-9948 or 571-239-5288 and check the website at www.creativecauldron,org.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Who doesn’t like “My Fair Lady?” This wonderful musical has truly stood the test of time. Last weekend I saw it performed at the James Lee Community Center Theatre in Falls Church, produced by Zemfira Stage. It was a delightful production with three outstanding leads: Jim Mitchell as Henry Higgins, Stacy Crickmer as Eliza Doolittle and Terry Mason as Colonel Pickering. Plus a great ensemble of singers and dancers and an enthusiastic band under the direction of Annette Fakoury. Jim Mitchell is one of those actors whose comfortable stage presence draws you into every role he plays. Unfortunately, the show concluded last weekend. But not to worry, Zemfira will be back in January 2016 with “August: Osage County.” Zina Bleck is the founding producer and director and she always puts forth quality shows. For more information, call 703-615-6626 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Signature Theatre began its 2015/2016 season with a musical satire, “The Fix.” It’s a very funny, inside-politics show, knocking at every turn, American bureaucracy and what it takes to run for office. “The Fix” opens with a a Presidential candidate, Senator Reed Chandler (Bobby Smith) dying in the arms of his mistress (Jamie Eacker). His power hungry wife, Violet ( Christine Sherrill) and his brother, Grahame (Lawrence Redmond), scheme to get Reed’s son, Cal (Mark Evans) to enter politics and eventually run for President. That’s the plot. What makes this show is not so much the plot, but the outstanding music, vocals and ensemble singing and dancing. “The Fix” is very entertaining and the cast couldn’t be better. It first premiered at Signature in 1998 and is one of its favorite shows. “The Fix” runs through Sept. 20. For information and tickets, call 703-820-9771 or check the website at www.sigtheatre.org. Coming up next at Signature is the world premiere of “Cake Off,” a musical comedy.