Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Headman's Holiday--Recommended, Closes This Weekend

Lorraine Trenor, a trusted theater-goer, recommends "Headman's Holiday," at the Theater Alliance. She had trouble posting, as did many other people, who e-mailed me privately. And they told me Blogger was the EASIEST blog around. I'm so sorry. I will try to make it easier for anyone to start a thread, especially to recommend what sounds like a rare and wonderful show at the Theater Alliance, (The H Street Playhouse, at 1365 H Street, NE). The Web site is http://www.hstreetplayhouse.com/ but I could not find directions to the theater on the site. Best to mapquest it...I think the closest Metro is Union Station. Lorraine's review is below.

Dear friends -There is an extraordinary show at Theater Alliance which closes this weekend. It is a play the likes of which, quite simply, I'm not sure we will ever see again.

Headsman's Holiday is written by Hungarian playwright Kornel Hamvia. To have seen this play before, you would have had to visit the Czech Republic or Finland. Philadelphia director Aaron Posner heard rumors of it while he was in Hungary, and eventually worked up this exuberant stage version. We are the only city fortunate enough to see this play. It takes place during one of the most chaotic times in the history of the world. The French Revolution has just occurred and the people have taken over Paris. A popular executioner must pick up his transfer papers in a city where no one holds onto his position for very long.

This gorgeous production proceeds at a breathtaking pace. It is extremely funny, thought provoking, artistically daring, innovatively staged and features an ensemble of 13 gifted actors portraying more than 50 memorable characters. The show does contain brief nudity, two sexually explicit scenes, and the language is at times coarse, if that is a consideration for you. Among all the plays you see this season, this one will stand out.

I hope you can see Headsman's Holiday before it closes this Sunday.
--Lorraine Treanor

Just a postscript: There is a map, though no written directions, to the Theater Alliance's H Street Playhouse at:


Heaven forfend they should make it easy for the audience to find the theater by writing out directions from the Metro, or for giving pointers to parking. That would be too easy! We are Washingtonians and are used to foraging for good theater.
Incidentally, Lorraine has no connection with the production or the playhouse. She just admired the show.
Congratulations to Wendy for starting this blog - I've been lurking for a while now and enjoying it. I couldn't help but jump to the defense of the good people at Theater Alliance/H Street Playhouse where the marvelous Headsman's Holiday plays through June 26. (We called it "A highly entertaining romp through a hardly entertaining portion of human history.") They don't list directions from the Metro Subway because of the distance. As you can see from the map they have on their site, it is some 16 blocks from the Union Station stop and about the same to the RFK/Armory stop. There is a note at the bottom of the map they have on their site that says on-street parking is available. There is talk of an H Street Tram sometime in the future but nothing right now. I'd also like to point out that we have a "map quest bug" on all of our listings and reviews for those who find it difficult to find the location of theaters . . . and it can be hard.

Brad Hathaway
Potomac Stages
Thanks for all you do at Potomac Stages, Brad! It's a true public service and I read your reviews and use your maps faithfully. I do think that theaters should make it easy for their patrons to get to and from the show. They could say, "If you're coming by Metro, please allow 30 minutes to walk from Union Station. The most direct route is to walk via XYZ street..Be sure to wave or stop by our patron, The Great Theater Restaurant, on Address Here!"
It's not rocket science and might acquaint people with the neighborhood. This is not a small thing when it comes to H Street NE.
Just a suggestion.
My previous post got lost in the blogosphere--hope this makes it.
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