DCMTA 2019 Staff Favorites: Outstanding Professional Theater Productions

From dramas in church basements to high-budget musicals, the DMV produced an impressive array of theater in 2019, propelled by skilled, talented artists. Here are some of the productions that made an indelible impression on our writers this year. Did we overlook a favorite of yours? Let us know in a comment!

As the year draws to a close, we asked DCMTA writers to think back on the shows that left an indelible impression on them in 2019. In this category, outstanding overall production, we recognize:

  • Productions that stood out for their comprehensive artistry
  • Theaters that took risks or pushed boundaries through their programming choices
  • Productions by locally-based playwrights whose work elevated our stages

Here are the professional productions that left the biggest impression on our writers in 2019.

The cast of ‘A Chorus Line’ at Signature Theatre. Photo by Christopher Mueller.

A Chorus Line from Signature Theatre
A Chorus Line proved to me that “Boomer” musicals can evolve and be current in the right creative hands and outlook. Signature’s A Chorus Line is exuberantly alive in the creative hands of director Matthew Gardiner, Tony Award nominee and choreographer Denis Jones, and musical director Jon Kalbleisch with a vibrant 10-piece orchestra and those dancers/actors/singers who stood before my eyes and made me feel that they were telling their own real stories. – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Review
Andra Abramson’s Review

Agnes of God at Factory 449
As directed by Rick Hammerly, Factory 449’s visionary Agnes of God glories in a trinity of divine performances: Zoe Walpole as Agnes, Felicia Curry as Doctor Martha Livingstone, and Nanna Ingvarrson as Mother Miriam Ruth. Greg Stevens’s set insightfully sets the stage for the play’s inner conflicts. Kenny Neal’s sound design lends Agnes’s vocals an ethereal reverb. William D’Eugenio’s versatile lighting makes the space seem sanctified. It is a triumph of a production. – John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Review

Airness, a co-production between Keegan Theatre and 1st Stage
Airness, by Chelsea Marcantel, is a hilarious and touching production. Air-guitar competition is the focus of the play, but the characters: Shreddy Eddy (Harrison Smith), Golden Thunder (Gary L. Perkins III), Facebinder (Chris Stezin), and The Nina (Billie Krishawn) are the real attraction. As directed by Christina A. Coakley, Airness is a fully realized evening, and definitely worth seeing. It will rock you. – Sophia Howes
John Stoltenberg’s Review

Among the Dead by Spooky Action Theatre
Spooky Action is a smaller budget theater company that has a knack for producing dramas with non-Western themes and characters unmoored from convention experiences. Among the Dead was a wonder of fictionalized history about Korean women being forced by the Japanese government to be comfort women (ie. sex slaves to soldiers) during the war years before and during WWII. Among the Dead was humor and cruelty, time travel and family secrets that included a dead father, Jesus, an unseen mother and a scared young, very lost American. – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Column
Sophia Howes’ Review

Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven at Rorschach Theatre
Directed by Medha Marsten, this fanciful production made a lot of smart choices in the small black box theater at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Playing with levels, space, and technology around the room, Annie Jump took the audience on an intergalactic journey that lived up to the immersive theme of the Rorschach Theatre mission. From the mobile and jaunty set design by Matt Wolfe to the creative use of projection, screens, and shadow by Kylos Brannon’s video design and Katie McCreary’s lighting design, this production of Annie Jump had the core elements of science fiction seeped into its bones. – Em Skow
Em Skow’s Review

Ben Ribler and Christian Montgomery in ‘Be More Chill.’ Photo by RJ Pavel.

Be More Chill at Monumental Theatre Company
Our hero Jeremy, a self-described loser, has his aspirations to be “chill” granted when he ingests a Squip a kind of supercomputer pill. The music and lyrics are fresh and fun, and the cast is bursting with energy and talent. Ben Ribler is, if anything, too winning a presence to portray chronic loser Jeremy, but his acting makes his dilemma all too real. His love interest, Christine, (Jyline Carranza) is charming and bubbly. Christian Montgomery is marvelous as Michael, Jeremy’s best friend, and his performance in “Michael in the Bathroom” is one of the highlights of the production. Caroline Dubberly, as the Squip is a dynamic, if flawed, example of female empowerment. Teenagers, technology, love, and social media, Be More Chill has it all. Music and Lyrics are by Joe Iconis and the book is by Joe Tracz. – Sophia Howes
David Siegel’s Interview with Ben Ribler and Jyline Carranza
Sophia Howes’ Review

Betrayal by 4615 Theatre Company
Harold Pinter’s Betrayal is known as one of his finest works. It is well suited to the intimate space of the Dance Loft on 14th. Director Stevie Zimmerman had a deep understanding of the music of the script, and her cast, Caroline Dubberly (Emma), Jared H. Graham (Robert), and Matt Dewberry (Jerry) performed it beautifully. – Sophia Howes
Sophia Howes’ Review

Blue Camp by Rainbow Theatre Project
Blue Camp is an essential, historically invaluable story. Set in 1964 when the United States began to ramp up its military might for the war in Vietnam, Blue Camp is “about prejudice and a national policy of discrimination against gays in the military,” as playwrights Tim Caggiano and Jack Calvin Hanna wrote in their program notes. What I found rewarding is that Blue Camp chronicles the complexities and intersections of an array of marginalized individuals. Caggiano and Hanna developed a script with tense racial issues, urban/rural cultural divides, educational attainment strains, and faith-based pressures. – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Column
John Stoltenberg’s Review

Dear Jack, Dear Louise at Arena Stage
With mere sheets of paper and a bit of ink, two strangers are able to create a tangible partnership that stitched together distance and time during an age when the world was displaced. From the fantastic acting to the brilliant directing and entire creative team, the world premiere of Ken Ludwig’s Dear Jack, Dear Louise at Arena Stage is an absolute must-see. This nearly-biographical production will both warm and stop your heart as it proves that the connection between two people is strongest in the face of the unknown when fortified by the written word. – Em Skow
Em Skow’s Review

L-R: Nikki Crawford (Beverly), Samuel Ray Gates (Dayton), Shannon Dorsey (Jackie), and Chinna Palmer (Keisha) in 'Fairview' at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
L-R: Nikki Crawford (Beverly), Samuel Ray Gates (Dayton), Shannon Dorsey (Jackie), and Chinna Palmer (Keisha) in ‘Fairview’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Fairview at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Woolly Mammoth’s production of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, was explosive, riveting and totally unique. It reminds us of the singular power of art to expose our deepest societal schisms. Stevie Walker-Webb directed a first-rate ensemble of actors who move unerringly from the first act’s sit-com vibe to an astonishingly perverse second act without missing a beat. Scenic designer Misha Kachman provided a splendid home interior that went from pastel-perfect to totally surreal as the drama itself took off into uncharted dramatic territory. Hats off to everyone involved in this extraordinary production. -Amy Kotkin
Amy Kotkin’s Review
Artistic Director Maria Goyanes on ‘Fairview,’ race, and what’s next at Woolly Mammoth by John Stoltenberg

FAME! at GALA Hispanic Theatre
Fame’s choreography is so crisp, so vivid and alive, that the excitement pulsates off the stage and straight into your heart. As director and choreographer, Luis Salgado is the heart and soul of this production. Fame marks Salgado’s triumphant return to DC after winning last year’s Helen Hayes Award for directing GALA’s In the Heights. He is joined by Musical Director Walter “Bobby” McCoy and a group of performers that are at the top of their game, triple threats able to precisely execute Salgado’s vision. – Nicole Hertvik
Nicole Hertvik’s Review

Ghost Writer at Quotidian Theatre
In this play by Michael Hollinger, time is fluid, and the characters – a writer, his muse and his angry wife – float back and forth between past and present. Laura Giannarelli (director) has done a masterful job, coaching the performers to glide in and out of flashbacks. Carol Spring, who plays the role of the secretary who falls in love with the writer, is extraordinary. Even after the writer’s death, she goes on typing “in a kind of blind ecstasy.” She is portrayed “with such rapture and joy that at times she seems to levitate.” – Ravelle Brickman
Barbara Mackay’s Review
Ravelle Brickman’s Interview with Director Laura Giannarelli

Gulf View Drive at Washington Stage Guild
Featuring an excellent cast, accomplished director, terrific set, sound, and lighting designers and a beautifully wrought script Gulf View Drive is the third and final play in Arlene Hutton’s highly-acclaimed Nibroc Trilogy. Audiences who missed the earlier plays will still find much to enjoy in this saga of romantic love struggling to survive in mid-century America. In this concluding chapter, it is 1953 and the newlyweds are on the edge of success when a horde of relatives descends upon them. The play is by turns funny and sad. The mothers-in-law, as different as can be, fight over who rules the kitchen. Racial and gender issues loom in the background. – Ravelle Brickman
Ravelle Brickman’s Review

Anthony Chisholm (Fielding), Francois Battiste (Booster), Harvy Blanks (Shealy) and Ray Anthony Thomas (Turnbo) in ‘Jitney’ at Arena Stage. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Jitney at Arena Stage
Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s production of August Wilson’s classic at Arena Stage’s Kreeger Theatre was hands down the best I saw this year; all of the elements clicked, and there were no perceptible weak links. David Gallo’s set, visible from the moment you walked into the theatre, immersed you into a run-down, 1970’s Pittsburgh jitney office—the improvised transportation service for a neighborhood (the Hill District) where taxis never cared to go.  The cast was brilliantly, finely tuned, and you found yourself breathing their every breath, and noting every nuanced reaction, spoken and unspoken, onstage. – Andrew Walker White
Ramona Harper’s Review
Michele Simms-Burton’s Interview with Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Barbara Mackay’s Interview with Ray Anthony Thomas

La Paloma at the Wall by the IN Series at GALA Hispanic Theatre
Script by Anna Deeny Morales
Anna Deeny Morales successfully turned a historic zarzuela into a meaningful contemporary musical, setting it on the border between Mexico and the U.S., in Friendship Park and dealing with immigration and the presence of a wall between the two countries. – Barbara Mackay
Barbara Mackay’s Review

Logan Festival of Solo Performance at 1st Stage
Thinking well beyond the usual tried and true for summertime entertainment, 1st Stage’s Logan Festival of Solo Performance offers a diverse group of shows on topics that deserve a deep dive. The three productions should be considered together as a whole. Together they were idiosyncratic, personal and very intimate journeys into the lives of people who seemed real; full of trials and tribulations that I could relate to. I am not aware of a similar series in the DMV. – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Review of Joy Rebel
David Siegel’s Review of The Things They Carried
David Siegel’s Review of The Happiest Place on Earth

Holly Twyford and Yesenia Iglesias in 'Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity' at Signature Theatre. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.
Holly Twyford and Yesenia Iglesias in ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ at Signature Theatre. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity at Signature Theatre
Arresting and compelling are two words that describe Signature Theatre’s fiery production about survival in a society racked by long-term natural disasters and deadly human-made upheavals by Playwright Heather McDonald. – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Review

Mirele Efros and the newly created Yiddish Theater Lab at Theater J 
In 2019, Theater J Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr launched the Yiddish Theater Lab, a program that aims to bring the classics of Yiddish to an American English-speaking audience. For the program’s debut, he chose a long-forgotten 19th-century classic called Mirele Efros. While the play, referred to as ‘The Jewish Queen Lear,’ had been produced in many languages around the world, it had never been staged in English. Immerwahr’s decision, backed by the Theater J Board, opened a new chapter in American theater history, bringing modern generations of American theatergoers a chance to discover some of the masterpieces of the past. – Ravelle Brickman
David Siegel’s Review
Ravelle Brickman’s Interview with Yiddish translator and playwright Nahma Sandrow

Nell Gwynn at The Folger Theatre
Nell Gywnn (1650-1687) was a gifted actress in Restoration Theatre and one of Charles II’s principal mistresses. She went from a childhood of poverty to being one of the most beloved performers of her time. British playwright Jessica Swale has turned her story into a celebration of life in the theatre. Director Robert Richmond’s production is visually opulent and full of wicked fun. – Sophia Howes
Sophia Howes’ Review

The ensemble of 'Oil' by Ella Hickson at Olney Theatre Center. Photo by Teresa Castracane Photography.
The ensemble of ‘Oil’ by Ella Hickson at Olney Theatre Center. Photo by Teresa Castracane Photography.

Oil at Olney Theatre Company
There are a few shows – very few – which on first viewing have left me breathless. To this small list add the American premiere of British playwright Ella Hickson’s Oil at the Olney Theatre Center. Hickson’s nothing less than brilliant script traces three interlocking arcs over a 162-year span: the rise and fall of petroleum as the engine of progress and politics, the related waxing and waning of Western (especially British) imperialism, and, most importantly, the fierce, close, and fraught relationship of a mother and daughter as oil-driven changes in the world affect it. Melding large-scale themes with a deep and complex primary relationship, Oil succeeds on intellectual and emotional levels. – Bob Ashby
Bob Ashby’s review

On Air at Creative Cauldron
On Air was part of the multi-year Bold New Works series from Creative Cauldron. Fifteen original musical numbers created by DMV locals Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith provide engaging, emotional underpinnings to On Air and its easygoing dramatic action about establishing the first radio station in America. The Bold New Works for Intimate Stages series has been a memorable, adventurous undertaking for a small-budget professional theater company such as Creative Cauldron. – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Review

Peter Pan and Wendy at Shakespeare Theatre Company
In the majestically magical production at Shakespeare Theater Company, all the dreamlike wonder remains—the flying and adventures, the fairies and pirates, the canine nanny and crocodile. It is absolutely a show for all ages. Peals of intergenerational laughter greet the performance throughout, and now and then there’s that delighted sound of just the children cracking up. As in the best of Disney, there are simultaneous appreciation channels, one for kids and one for grownups. What Playwright Lauren Gunderson has done in Peter Pan and Wendy, though, goes Disney one better: she has not shied from what can be known now about patriarchy and colonialism, which under Alan Paul’s inspired direction has resulted in a marvelous amalgam of awesome spectacle and mindful meaning. – John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Review
Nicole Hertvik’s interview with playwright Lauren Gunderson
John Stoltenberg’s interview with Tiger Lilly actor Isabella Star LaBlanc

Richard III at Synetic Theater
Synetic Theater’s cutting-edge Richard III, rightly introduced as Richard 3.0. is a remarkable achievement. Their Richard, played by Alex Mills, is part man, part machine.
Director and Founding Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili and Founding Associate Artistic Director and Choreographer and Resident Composer Konstantine Lortkipanidze bring us an ambitious production which succeeds on every level. – Sophia Howes
Sophia Howes’ Review

Todd Scofield, James Beaman, and Tonya Beckman in Taffety Punk's production of 'Bootleg Shakespeare: Richard III.' Photo by Glenn Ricci.
Todd Scofield, James Beaman, and Tonya Beckman in Taffety Punk’s production of ‘Bootleg Shakespeare: Richard III.’ Photo by Glenn Ricci.

Richard III by Taffety Punk’s Bootleg Shakespeare
Richard III can be intimidating. It can seem like an endless series of family quarrels, in which some members 1) Suffer terrible injustices 2) Get murdered and 3) Appear to have the same name. This Richard is so full of laughter, strange twists of fate, and mysterious events that you are spellbound even when you are not quite sure what is going on. – Sophia Howes
Sophia Howes’ Review

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at Annapolis Shakespeare Company
Annapolis Shakespeare Company does an amazing job with Tom Stoppard’s clever play about the minor characters from Hamlet. All the elements come together, from Clay Vanderbeek and Nate Ruleaux deftly handling the witty wordplay of the title characters, to Donald Hicken’s excellent direction, with lots of complex entrances and exits and quick costume changes, and Adam Mendelson’s lighting design, which adds to the absurdity onstage. – Charlie Green
Charlie Green’s Review

She Kills Monsters at Rorschach Theatre
Through uncommon uses of environment and intimate passionate performances, Rorschach Theatre seeks to lure its audiences beyond the limits of ordinary theatrical experience. They went above and beyond this mission with their astounding production of Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters. The entire team at Rorschach created something truly special and unique – they pulled out all the stops to present a heart-pounding, hilarious, emotional ride celebrating the warrior (and the nerd) within us all. – Julie Janson
Julie Janson’s Review

Stirring the Waters Across America at The REACH
If this is the type of production that The REACH can attract, then all the fundraising was clearly worth it. Electrifying. Awakening. These are words to describe the heart-rending workshop presentation of Stirring the Waters Across America. With its focus on the Civil Rights Movement in America over the past decades, Stirring the Waters Across America was a theatrical concert that vigorously and clearly illuminated the atrocious past in this country’s centuries-old struggles with race. To call it anything less than outstanding would be just plain wrong. – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Review

Nigel Rowe (at the microphone) with Jabari Exum, Michelle Rogers, and Matty Griffiths in 'Stormy Weather.' Photo by RX Loft.
Nigel Rowe (at the microphone) with Jabari Exum, Michelle Rogers, and Matty Griffiths in ‘Stormy Weather.’ Photo by RX Loft.

Stormy Weather by In Series
Stormy Weather is a revelatory original theatrical work based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest written by local playwright Sybil Williams. With a narrative by Williams and an arc of Billie Holiday musical selections, the play has a storyline for those, like me, who are not Shakespeare purists and seek a wider reading of The Bard. The venerable, though often un-provocatively produced The Tempest has been reconstructed into theater with an invigorating musical arc and an awakening narrative bite. It has been reconceived to become a provocative play that sings. – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Review
Sophia Howes’ Interview with Nigel Rowe from Stormy Weather

White Pearl at Studio Theatre
White Pearl is a satirical portrayal of women behaving badly in a corporate setting. Playwright Anchuli Felicia King explores the exploitation of pressures on women to be beautiful, and on cross-cultural tensions they also face. The humor is sharp, the performances impressive, and the overall impression one of startling originality. The rocky romance at the center of the play emphasizes the burnout of patriarchy and abusive relationships. – Sophia Howes
Barbara Mackay’s Review
John Stoltenberg’s column
Cori Dioquino’s op-ed on the toxicity of whiteness

The Band’s Visit at The Kennedy Center
The Band’s Visit is a gorgeous, generous work of art. It is a musical that knows and dignifies the soul. It is a show about a small sliver of humanity that has an enormous sweep to it. With fifteen splendidly performed musical numbers, The Band’s Visit is an inspired journey providing an attentive audience a look into the human condition with its longing for true connections. Picking just one performer, I will list the character named “Telephone Guy” portrayed by Mike Cefalo who waits patiently and mutely by a phone booth for most of the show. But wait for him as he brings his high tenor to bear singing “Answer Me.” The stage fills with the full ensemble singing “Answer Me.” “All alone in the quiet/And my ears are thirsty/For your voice/For your voice/ Can you answer me?”
Wow! – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Review

Gabby Wolfe as Mercedes in The Hub Theatre's production of 'The Burn.' Photo by DJ Corey Photography.
Gabby Wolfe as Mercedes in The Hub Theatre’s production of ‘The Burn.’ Photo by DJ Corey Photography.

The Burn by The Hub Theatre
The Hub is off to a remarkable start under new Artistic Director Matt Bassett with its production of The Burn by Philip Dawkins. Featuring snippets from the Arthur Miller classic The Crucible (1953), The Burn is about bullying (online and IRL), but so much more than that. The demonization of the Other, which is increasing in our society as well as around the world, is portrayed here with accuracy and compassion. The acting is especially fine, and the message is an important one. – Sophia Howes
Sophia Howes’ Review

The Color Purple at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts
Magic. Magnificent. Marvelous. There are only so many superlatives I can muster in such a small space, but The Color Purple at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts is phenomenal. Director Amy Jones, Music Director and Conductor Garrett Jones, and Riverside’s Producing Artistic Director Patrick A’Hearn, who also produced the show, have put on a must-see show for spring. With music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray and a book by Marsha Norman, this Color Purple is based on the Broadway revival, which opened in late 2015 and ran until early 2017 and won two 2016 Tony Awards–including Best Revival of a Musical. – William Powell
William Powell’s Review

Jasmine Brooks. Photo courtesy of Peter’s Alley.

The Gulf at Peter’s Alley
Audrey Cefaly’s The Gulf richly traffics in both silence and the abundant pent-up forces of two people past the first passions. A daring dark venture about two women entwined with heartache and sadness, it is a scorching two-hander character study that takes place in the cramped intimacy of a small boat that is just plain stuck in some wicked shallows: the shallows of some backwater Alabama gulf coast tributary and the deeper shallows of two unhappy people stuck together by habit after six years of their relationship. – David Siegel
David Siegel’s Column
Caroline Bock’s Review
Nicole Hertvik’s Article about Audrey Cefaly winning the Lambda Literary Award for The Gulf 

The Oresteia at Shakespeare Theatre Company
Ellen McLaughlin’s translation of The Oresteia is a magnificent piece of poetry. With a superb cast, led by Kelley Curran’s Clytemnestra and Kelcey Watson’s Agamemnon, Director Michael Kahn presents a version of this classic play that simply could not be bettered. – Sophia Howes
Sophia Howes’ Review

Rex Daugherty in ‘The Smuggler.” Photo by DJ Corey Photography.

The Smuggler by Solas Nua
The Smuggler is a storytelling solo performed by Solas Nua’s Artistic Director Rex Daugherty (who nimbly mixes craft cocktails for customers while doing so!). This has to be one of DC’s coolest site-specific shows ever (the program lists drink specials!). And on top of the kick of the spirited ambiance, The Smuggler is a spellbinding, up-close-and-personal drama about the struggle for survival and self-worth of documented and undocumented immigrants in America today. – John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Review

The Tragedy of the Othello, The Moor of Venice by the Taffety Punk Riot Grrrls
The all-female production of Othello at Taffety Punk, directed by Kelsey Mesa, is a breath of fresh air. Because all the characters are played by women, you forget that they are female after a few minutes, and just enjoy the performances. Fortunately, they are deeply satisfying. Once again, the Riot Grrrls achieve their mission of promoting gender parity in theatre. – Sophia Howes
Sophia Howes’ Review

The War Boys at Ally Theatre Company
The animus being whipped up against “invaders” at our southern border lends Naomi Wallace’s 1993 The War Boys an unsettling resonance. Written when she was but 26, the play is about three men in their early twenties, freelance vigilantes, who spend their nights scouting for fugitive “beaners” at the Texas-Mexico border. With nervy theatrical flair, The War Boys takes us into the messed-up dynamics of their macho game playing and ostensible friendship. Under the tight and insightful direction of Matt Ripa, Ally Theatre Company’s production is a raw and riveting look at the nexus of manhood, misogyny, and xenophobia. – John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Review

Kelvin Roston Jr. in 'Twisted Melodies' at Mosaic Theater Company of DC. Photo by John Chavez.
Kelvin Roston Jr. in ‘Twisted Melodies’ at Mosaic Theater Company of DC. Photo by John Chavez.

Twisted Melodies at Mosaic Theater Company
In a  mesmerizing solo production written and performed by Kelvin Roston, Jr. the tragic life story of R&B singer Donny Hathaway shined a light on the challenges of mental illness as it illumined the gigantic talent but the dark night of Hathaway’s soul right up until the very last moment of this startling production. – Ramona Harper
Ramona Harper’s Review
John Stoltenberg’s Column

What to Send Up When It Goes Down by The Movement Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
This powerful ritual of Black grief, anger, and love, performed by an intensely connected ensemble of eight, is a living, uplifting memorial to lives lost to anti-Black violence. Nothing before seen on a major DC mainstage has been so deeply personal, so profoundly moving, and so unapologetically Black in its conception and celebration. – John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Column
Ramona Harper’s Review

Farrell Parker in 'We're Gonna Die' by Flying V at The Writer's Center. Photo by JayLee PhotoGraphy.
Farrell Parker in ‘We’re Gonna Die’ by Flying V at The Writer’s Center. Photo by JayLee PhotoGraphy.

We’re Gonna Die by Flying V
When Farrell Parker steps out onto the black box stage, something explodes.
Light and sound—literally—erupt. And while much of the effect is created by lighting designer Kristin A. Thompson, it is Parker herself who turns the switch. Parker, backed up by a terrific jazz quartet, offers us a series of vignettes that are, by turns, painful, funny, silly and sad. She combines monologue, drama, song, and dance to expose the darkness that comedy hides. Think of it as a riff on death, with laughter to lighten the load. (Singer and storyteller Farrell Parker, backed up by Alex Green on guitar, David Hutchins on percussion, Jason Wilson on bass and Marika Countouris as music director and keyboardist. Written by Young Jean Lee and directed by Josh Sobel). – Ravelle Brickman
Ravelle Brickman’s Review


  1. shocked that theatre alliance’s BLOOD AT THE ROOT and 1st stage’s BROTHERS SIZE are not on this list! I know there’s a lot of good theater in DC but really those two shows blew me away


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here