Trey Graham

Trey Graham edits and produces arts and entertainment content for NPR's Digital Media division, where among other things he's helped launch the Monkey See pop-culture blog and NPR's expanded Web-only movies coverage. He also helps manage the Web presence for Fresh Air from WHYY.

Outside NPR, Graham has been a lead theater critic at the Washington City Paper, D.C.'s alternative weekly newspaper, since 1995, which means he's seen a good deal of superb theater and a great deal of schlock. He's still stage-struck enough to believe that the former makes up for the latter.

Graham began his career as a writer and editor at The Washington Blade; his subsequent tenure at USA Today included a stint as the newspaper's music and theater editor. A past fellow at both the O'Neill Critics Institute and the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater, Graham won the George Jean Nathan Award for distinguished drama criticism in December 2004.

Graham is also a regular panelist on Around Town, the venerable arts roundtable program on Washington PBS affiliate WETA-TV, and the author of the theater section of the newest Time Out Guide to the nation's capital. He's written about books, travel, movies and the arts for publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Born in New Orleans (during Mardi Gras, no less) and raised in South Carolina, Graham has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1990 ­ except for a couple of years in Zimbabwe, which turned out to be way more fun than a politically perilous, economically disastrous situation has any right being.

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Monkey See
5:14 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Theater Diary: The After-Action Report

Miriam Shor, late of TV's recently cancelled GCB, played the fairy godmother at this year's Broadway Bares charity strip-a-thon. We are sorry, but this is more or less the only photo we can show you from the event.
Matthew Murphy

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:35 pm

The last few days of my post-Tonys theater week were so jam-packed that there was no time to write up what I was doing. Matinees, cabarets, stand-ups, burlesques, benefit readings; it was a mad dash of a weekend. So here goes, with the recap — and a few recommendations for things to try next time you get to New York:

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Monkey See
6:18 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Theater Diary: When Reactions Speak Louder Than Words

Mariah, at right, is the steel-spined matriarch of Porgy and Bess's Catfish Row. Actress NaTasha Yvette Williams, with Norm Lewis's Porgy and Bryonha Marie Parham's Serena, creats one of the show's pivotal moments without having to speak a word.
Michael J. Lutch

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 7:46 pm

There's plenty of high drama going on in Porgy and Bess, and high drama can often mean intense acting.

God knows Audra McDonald is tearing up the stage as the drug- and drink- and sex-addled Bess: I've never seen her loosen up her joints and contort her body the way she does in two or three of the show's more scorching moments. She's located something rough and ugly deep inside, and found a physical and a vocal language for it.

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Monkey See
7:14 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Theater Diary: Ludacris Meets The Von Trapps, And A Bartender Proves Unreliable

Three's company: M (Jason Butler Harner, left) and F (Amanda Quaid) spar over the affections of the paralyzingly uncertain John (Cory Michael Smith) in Mike Bartlett's The Cockfight Play.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 11:22 am

On Monday night, a theater-critic buddy and I were hoisting a round at a 9th Avenue saloon called Flaming Saddles. "God Bless Texas" was on the jukebox, which was an actual jukebox and not somebody's Spotify playlist, and the big-screen TVs were showing Shirley MacLaine getting smashed in Can-Can, because it's that kind of establishment.

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Monkey See
1:25 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Theater Diary: In Which Our Heads Explode From Sheer Nerd Joy

Emily Skinner (left) and Alice Ripley in the original Broadway production of a show that we will shortly discuss further.

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:44 pm

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Monkey See
1:35 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Tony Awards Recap: We Ponder The Highs And Lows Of A Show About Shows

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David Alan Grier dazzled audiences last night in "It Ain't Necessarily So," part of a song medley from best musical-revival winner Porgy and Bess.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:44 pm

The Tonys, like all awards shows, are about successful people dressing pretty to congratulate each other for being successful. Can't get past that.

But the Tonys, to me, always seem just a little less gross than the Oscars or the Grammys or the Xtreme Video Music Firewalking Awards or what have you.

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Monkey See
11:46 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Tony Awards Take Note Of A Little Musical That Emphatically Could

In Once, based on the cult-favorite Irish indie movie, a guy (Steve Kazee) and a girl (Cristin Milioti) fall in love during a whirlwind week of songwriting in Dublin. The show has earned 11 Tony nominations, including two for its leads.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 12:47 pm

Here's the thing about the Tony Awards: Sometimes you know what's going to clean up when the nominations are announced. (Think last year, and The Book of Mormon.)

And sometimes it's hard to get excited about the shows that get tapped — remember when Sunset Boulevard's only competition for Best Musical was the jukebox show Smokey Joe's Cafe?

Not this year: There's a real race. The bittersweet Irish romance Once — an absurdly appealing stage adaptation of the 2006 indie film — leads the pack with 11 nods.

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