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  Swampoodle at Washington Coliseum


Washington Coliseum
3rd and M Streets Washington

Today's Washingtonians might have forgotten or be too young to remember, but Swampoodle was once D.C.'s best-known Irish district. It's long-gone, but this new production by Tom Swift takes audiences on a thrill-ride back to Swampoodle, where the razzle-dazzle of a former showbiz mecca collides with the raw spirit of the once-notorious shantytown.

Presented by Solas Nua

Thru - May 28, 2011

Price: $25

Box Office: 202-669-7229

Running Time: 1 hr, 25 mins with no intermission
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  Swampoodle Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Washington Post - Somewhat Recommended

"...If you want to hear every word or if you’re in no mood to be on your feet for the 80-minute running time (longer, waiting to get in), forget it. It’s not a great performance. But as the cast ironically chirps “Enjoy the show!” and sends you back into the street, “Swampoodle” will have opened your eyes to a significant old slice of Washington. Not bad, that."
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Nelson Pressley

DCist - Somewhat Recommended

"...It's because of one very large and unfortunate problem: sound. The Uline is an echo chamber. When the actors play music and sing, the effect is glorious, but any time the actors attempt to speak plain dialogue, no one can hear a word. There are sight issues, too; anyone caught in the back after a move will probably miss the scene entirely. Too often, all there is to look at is fellow audience members frowning and cupping their hands to their ears. As stated, following the narrative word-for-word isn't necessary, but it can be very annoying having to essentially give up and wait five minutes for the scene to shift."
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Brett Abelman

WeLoveDC - Recommended

"...Scenes veer from startlingly intimate, as when Chris Dinolfo puts on stage makeup as Nureyev, to grandly expansive, like Jason McCool suddenly playing trumpet up high and far away. There’s a riveting moment as the cast wanders about you singing a spooky choral song almost in full darkness. Gorgeous use of black and white projection against the vaulted wall present flickering scenes of the Beatles, creating ghostly presences more real than the actors."
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Jenn Larsen

City Paper - Somewhat Recommended

"...And the sound designer deserves...a day or two more to figure things out than were likely available. For much of the performance I attended—a preview, I am bound to say, and the first performance inside the cavernous space for an audience—the dialogue was frequently unintelligible, lost inside a deafening echo. The actors use microphones, and their voices are sometimes made to issue, I think through selective speaker use, from places other than where they’re standing, which adds to the ghostly ambience but makes hearing them even harder. This cavernous room must have sounded very different when only the actors were inside of it. Getting rid of the microphones might be the best quick fix."
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Chris Klimek

DCTheatreScene - Highly Recommended

Ghosts abound in this dead, dark, rumbling part of town, and drawing them to seance is one of the things that theatre does best. It’s easy to give too much away in a show like this, but what’s probably clear is that the echoing expanse inside the Uline — a hollow, rotting, and utterly fascinating space
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Hunter Styles

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