It’s been awhile since I’ve done a theatre post.
We had the great good luck to see Sir Ian McKellen perform a one-night-only, one-man show at Shakespeare Theatre two weeks ago. He was amazing. Warm and funny and spontaneous. He did some Shakespeare, some poems, some Marlowe. He read from Roget’s Thesaurus with stunning expressiveness. Recited a Beatles song and a storm warning chart. Really-truly, he could have read from the phone book and we would’ve all been appreciative. He also told stories about working with great theatre artists, but one of the most touching moments was when he talked about his work for gay rights, specifically how he advocated for a hate crimes line in the South African constitution.
We also enjoyed Full Circle, a Charles Mee play at Woolly Mammoth. I am not always a fan of experimental theatre. I am, I confess, sort of horribly literal. But Woolly has a gorgeous theatre space and they used it to maximum effect. The audience started off in a rehearsal room, traveled to the lobby, went into the theatre, back to the lobby for intermission where the action picked back up, and then into the theatre again but with a different seating configuration. And the acting was top-notch.
Saturday we saw Angels in America: Millennium Approaches by Forum Theatre. It was amazing. I’d seen a college production and a handful of directing scenes and the HBO movie but nothing compared to this. The acting was brilliant and nuanced. I’d never really connected with Prior before, but Karl Miller nailed the pathos of the character, the humor that is so vital to balance out all the bleakness of the play. Casie Platt is wonderful as Harper, too. If you live in DC, definitely try to see this before it closes (November 21). It’s gotten great reviews and it’s selling out. I’m sad that I’m probably not going to get a chance to see Part 2, Perestroika.
Steve had a reading of his play The Tall Tales of the Sisters of Ellery Hollow on Friday at Active Cultures theatre. It was delightful. It’s a two-woman show and the narrative is lyrical and lovely. It’s been over a year since I’ve read it, and this wasn’t one I’d helped with too much; I totally forgot the ending, so I was on the edge of my seat along with the rest of the audience! I’m casting my vote for him to produce this one for CapFringe this summer. But he’s already got two other potential projects in the works as well, so we’ll see!