The Hampton Years: Premiere of New Play From Theater J
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The last date listed for The Hampton Years was Sunday June 30, 2013 / 7:30pm.
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The high-stakes world of middle-school spelling competitions takes center stage in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This musical comedy follows six overachieving would-be wordsmiths and their neurotic parents. The hilariously catchy songs capture teenage troubles at their worst from "Woe Is Me" to "My Unfortunate Erection (Chip's Lament)." And the contest teaches the valuable lesson that winning isn't the only definition of success. With music and lyrics by William Finn and a book by Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was nominated for Best Musical and five other Tony Awards in its original run, winning for Best Book. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Laura UngerRed Velvet
view more less of this review
The play tried to handle too many issues - education, racism, sexism, red baiting, war, art criticism and the role of art in society... However it was well acted and engaging and did raise some interesting questions. Definitely worth checking out.
Quotes & Highlights
- “[Lawton writes] like a stew, with tasty ingredients chopped and swirling in a bubbly cauldron” – <em>DC Theatre Scene</em>
By Jacqueline E. Lawton
World premiere commissioned by Theater J and part of Locally Grown: Community Supported Art
Directed by Shirley Serotsky
Featuring Edward Christian, Crashonda Edwards, Lolita-Marie, Julian Martinez, Sasha Olinick, Colin Smith and David Lamont Wilson
Emerging from Theater J's inaugural Locally Grown Festival, this breakthrough premiere explores the development of great African-American artists, John Biggers and Samella Lewis under the tutelage of Austrian Jewish refugee painter and educator, Viktor Lowenfeld. Focusing on the pivotal years at Hampton Institute, Virginia during WWII, this richly researched tapestry of African-American luminaries like Elizabeth Catlett reveals the dreams and travails of young artists in a still segregated society while examining the impact of World War II on a Jewish immigrant and his wife finding shelter in the US and his controversial influence in shaping the careers of African-American students.
The running time of this show is two hours and 10 minutes.
Recommended for those age 14 and older. Children 5 and under are not permitted in the theater.