Tag Archives: DC Theatre

Review: A Raisin in the Sun at Arena Stage

Photo courtesy of Arena Stage

Photo courtesy of Arena Stage



Whenever I write a review of show for the blog, I always feel like prefacing it with a reminder that I am not a professional theatre critic. I love going to the theatre and the whole experience of it — seeing stories brought to life on stage, admiring the talent and courage of actors, appreciating the set design and stage direction, and just losing myself in a (hopefully) good production for a while.

But when it comes to writing about theatre… I’m no expert. That said, I always hope I can at least convey a good sense of what a show is about, make age recommendations, and give readers an idea of whether it’s something they want to experience with (or without) their kids.

I feel compelled to say this because my lack of expertise may not always do a show justice, especially one as outstanding A Raisin in the Sun, currently running at Arena Stage. There are some productions that nail it on many levels, and to me, this is one of them.

Written by Lorraine Hansberry and first performed on Broadway in 1959, the play follows a 1950’s African American family as they yearn for a better life from their Chicago tenement and have the opportunity to realize it when they receive a windfall from a life insurance policy. The Youngers — Ruth and Walter, their son Travis, Walter’s mother Lena, and his sister Beneatha — all live together, but have differing views on what will make for a better life and how they will attain it.

Their diverging dreams are sources of conflict within the family and, at times, within the characters themselves that are played out brilliantly by the cast. Especially stellar is Lizan Mitchell in the role of Lena. Her emotion is palpable, and you can almost physically feel it watching her tremble with a mix of frustration, yearning, and a deep love for her family. It’s this love, plus a steadfast pride in who they are, that maintain a strong family bond despite their differences.

The show is poignant, hopeful, and thought-provoking as it spotlights struggles and issues that our society still grapples with today. And taking place on the Fichandler Stage, the intimate theatre-in-the-round setting is just right for this production, almost making you feel like a guest in the Younger’s living room.

As for age recommendations, I think kids about middle school ages and up could appreciate the story and performances (my friend who joined me for the show agrees). However, it’s a long production — nearly three hours including a 15-minute intermission — something to keep in mind for young theatre-goers who might get antsy. Of course, this would make for a nice KidFree outing, too.

A Raisin in the Sun is running at Arena Stage through May 7. Tickets are $40-111. And if you love theatre, I highly recommend considering a subscription to Arena Stage, which are now available for the 2017-18 season — more details are available here.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to A Raisin in the Sun from Arena Stage, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2017, Date Night, DC, Live Entertainment, Middle Schoolers, Parents, Teens, Tweens, Weekdays, Weekend

Enter to Win Tickets to “Chicago” at the National Theatre!

Chicago-ecard

This one is for grown ups, so plan for a date night or mom’s night out!

“‘Chicago’ still GLITTERS HYPNOTICALLY.”
Ben Brantley, The New York Times

A true New York City institution, Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune, and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. No wonder it has been honored with six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards®, a Grammy®, and thousands of standing ovations. It’s also no surprise that Chicago has wowed audiences all around the world, from Mexico City to Moscow, Sao Paulo to South Africa.

Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you’ve seen the Academy Award®-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage or you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic, Chicago always delivers.

Chicago will be on stage at the National Theatre February 10-15. Tickets are $48-93.

Giveaway: For a chance to win two tickets to see Chicago at the National Theatre on February 10, simply leave a comment below naming your favorite Broadway musical. To be eligible, you must follow KidFriendly DC on Facebook. The giveaway will run through Sunday, February 1. A winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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Filed under Date Night, DC, Giveaway, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

{Giveaway} Fly Away to Neverland as The Washington Ballet Presents “Peter Pan” at the Kennedy Center

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From April 16 – 27, The Washington Ballet is bringing the magic of Peter Pan to the Kennedy Center stage, and you can win a pair of tickets to see it!

Here’s the official description of the show:

Take a high-flying adventure to Neverland with the The Washington Ballet’s NEW Production of Septime Webre’s dazzling Peter Pan. A swashbuckling coming of age tale that pits Peter and the Lost Boys against Captain Hook and his outrageous band of pirates, this whimsical adventure is told through vibrant dance. Peter Pan is a story about growing up that never seems to grow old.

There will be both matinee and evening performances, and tickets prices range from $25 – $125.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Peter Pan, simply leave a comment below. To be eligible, you must “like” KidFriendly DC on Facebook. This giveaway will run through noon tomorrow, and a winner will be picked from a random drawing. Good luck!

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Filed under DC, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Spring, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Enter to Win Tickets to “I Love Lucy Live on Stage” Coming to the Warner Theatre

ilovelucy

4/30/13 UPDATE: This show has, unfortunately, been canceled.

“Luuucy, I’m home!” Imagine stepping back in time and into the Desilu Playhouse soundstage! It’s 1952 and you are a member of the studio audience awaiting the filming of two hilarious and familiar “I Love Lucy” episodes. A charming host entertains and enlightens you to the behind-the-scenes filming process, the 1950s hi-fidelity technology and this brand new thing called ‘television.’ The episodes begin and you witness firsthand the sidesplitting antics of that crazy redhead in the Ricardos’ New York apartment and the Cuban sounds of “The Ricky Ricardo Orchestra” at the famed Tropicana Nightclub. In between scenes? The Crystaltone Singers perform live advertising jingles of the show’s newest sponsors in perfect ’50s style harmony. Can you say ‘Brylcreem’?!

I Love Lucy Live on Stage,” the brand new hit musical stage show adapted from the long-running, beloved television program, starring Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel: America’s favorite foursome, is coming to DC for the very first time at the Warner Theatre from June 1 – June 14. It premiered in Los Angeles in 2011 to stellar reviews, prestigious awards, and sold out crowds for its initial five-month run. And it’s recommended for audiences young and old (though I think older children would likely enjoy it more).

Many performances will take place over it’s two week run every day of the week except for Monday. Tickets start at $40.

GIVEAWAY: I have a four-pack of tickets up for grabs to the show on Tuesday, June 4, at 8pm, perfect for a double date night or a special late evening with the kids. For a chance to win the tickets, leave a comment below. To be eligible, you must “like” KidFriendly DC on Facebook, and you can earn an extra entry by following on Twitter. This giveaway will run through next week, and a winner will be drawn at random shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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Filed under DC, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Music, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend