Counseling Compromise

Dror Moreh, documentarian, believes in asking for what he wants. “Everybody told me, ‘You are crazy. Shin Bet will never speak to you. What are you talking about?’ ” he says. “And I said, ‘Well, let’s try.’ ” Shin Bet is Israel’s security service, and Moreh’s new Oscar-nominated movie, “The Gatekeepers,” opening today at the Landmark theaters […]

Out of Africa, a Play is Born

Danai Gurira takes no prisoners. Not as zombie-shredding, katana-wielding Michonne on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and not in the plays she writes. She tackled sex slavery in “Eclipsed” and AIDS in “In the Continuum.” And in “The Convert,” playing at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, she takes on the violent European colonization of Africa, specifically the area […]

The Poetry of Profanity

Before the lights go down at Studio Theatre for “The Mother[expletive] With the Hat,” audiences will probably be chattering about the language in the title. And, yes, anyone offended by it may keel over dead during the two-hour-with-no-intermission, lose-count-of-the-number-of-obscenities dark comedy. The star of the show is the language, just not because a family newspaper […]

On the Spot: Tonya Beckman

There are a lot of Shakespeare-focused companies in D.C. but only 38 Shakespeare plays to go around, so theaters will often overlap, producing the same show in the same season as one of their competitors. Tonya Beckman is living proof: A company member at Taffety Punk and a regular on other local stages, she is […]

Living (and Flying) in the Past

A treadmill. A cage. A bar. The visual metaphors on the set of “The Grand Parade (of the 20th Century),” an experimental theater piece at Arena Stage, suggest a grim view of the past century. The people flying through the air definitely lighten the mood. “Grand Parade” is an imaginative survey of American history between […]

Toby or Not Toby?

Attention “West Wing” nerds! (This is D.C.; we know your numbers are legion.) It’s a Toby Ziegler red alert! Bethesda native Richard Schiff, the actor who indelibly portrayed the bearded, balding, brooding White House speechwriter Toby Ziegler for seven seasons on “The West Wing,” is currently starring in the Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s […]

Second Bananas

As vice presidents who did not become president go, Al Gore gives hope to those who have held a job that basically consists of checking whether the president’s still alive and then going back to sleep. Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” scored an Oscar and won […]

Inside Scientology

The secrets of Scientology are not so secret anymore. Magazine articles, personal testimonials and even a “South Park” episode have exposed the deepest doctrines of the belief system espoused by Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Beck. For his new book, “Going Clear,” journalist Lawrence Wright conducted hundreds of interviews with current and former Scientologists to […]

Go Out Before the Swearing In

The upcoming four-day weekend offers something to suit you, whether you’re apolitical or a political junkie. Use our highly scientific matrix to find weekend events that fit both your level of enthusiasm for the transfer of power and your distance from a personal fiscal cliff. 1. The “Politics as UN-usual” exhibit collects interpretations of modern political […]

Occupational Hazards

How far would you go to keep your job? That’s the question asked (again and again) of Emma (Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan) in Studio Theatre’s U.S. premiere of “Contractions.” In this satirical look at corporate control of our everyday lives, Emma squares off with her manager (Holly Twyford), trying to negotiate work-life balance. “When you first […]