Rousuck's Reviews: "Red Velvet" and "All She Must Possess" | WYPR

Rousuck's Reviews: "Red Velvet" and "All She Must Possess"

Feb 16, 2018

Valerie Leonard (left) as Gertrude Stein, Grace Bauer as Etta Cone.
Credit Photo by Katie Simmons-Barth

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us today with reviews of two plays now running in the region:  Red Velvet, by the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and All She Must Possess, a world premiere at Rep Stage, on the Howard Community College campus.

Chesapeake Shakespeare's Red Velvet (profiled on Midday's January 31st showtells the story of Ira Aldridge, a celebrated and controversial African American actor who won international renown for his groundbreaking portrayal of Shakespeare's Othello at a London theater in 1833.  The play by Lolita Chakrabati is directed by Shirley Basfield Dunlap, and features Christian R. Gibbs as Ira Aldridge and Yuri Lomakin as a London theater manager.

All She Must Possess, directed at the Rep Stage by Joseph Ritsch, is the world premiere of a play by Susan McCully, who portrays the lives of Baltimore's Victorian-era Cone sisters -- Dr. Claribel and Etta Cone.  The iconic pair's passion for collecting art and curios from around the world brings them into the rarified company of many of the artistic and literary geniuses of their day, including avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein.

Red Velvet at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and All She Must Possess at Rep Stage in Columbia, both continue through February 25.