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A delightfully looney ‘Barber of Seville’

Barber of SevilleWASHINGTON, D.C. – Readers may remember Bugs Bunny, in “The Rabbit of Seville” posing as a barber on the operatic stage, rubbing the hair tonic “Figaro Fertilizer” on Elmer Fudd’s bald head, only to have Fudd react angrily to the “wascally wabbit” when his head grows flowers instead of hair. Tom and Jerry also had an episode in which cat and mouse undermine each other’s efforts to sing Figaro’s famous aria. Cartoon antics testify to the enduring appeal of Rossini’s opera. They also inform the Washington National Opera’s delightful production of “The Barber of Seville,” now appearing at the Kennedy Center through May 19.

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Visiting Joseph in Laurel, Kate in Annapolis

Kiss Me Kate Kate and PetruchioLAUREL – “Take you the lute, and you the set of books,” writes Shakespeare in his raucous comedy “The Taming of the Shrew.” Two area shows take up both classic books and, if not the lute, then indeed a variety of instruments to bring vividly to life two classic stories which are so universal that they continue to speak to us today.

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Thoroughly modern retro musicals

SEABROOK – Two very different musical theater productions are in our midst – productions that have little in common at first other than being written early in the 2000s. At a closer view, however, both “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” performed by the Prince George’s Little Theatre and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” enacted by the Reston Community Players are – to adopt the title of the latter – “thoroughly retro modern musicals,” blending venerable broadway traditions with a dose of modern cynicism. 

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‘Snow Child’ makes world premiere at Arena Stage

snow childWASHINGTON, D.C. – The new musical, “Snow Child,” is onstage at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. through May 20. While interesting with its storyline of a grieving couple who find hope from a young girl who transforms their lives in the Alaska wilderness in the 1920s, never seems to hit the emotional ball out of the park.

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