Maura Judkis

Reporter, The Washington Post

Washington, D.C.

Maura Judkis

Maura Judkis is a reporter for the Washington Post. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report,, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper, and the Onion A.V. Club. She has appeared on MSNBC, PBS, Al Jazeera and numerous radio programs.


The new gimmick on (and off) Broadway: Enjoy the show — and pass the pierogi

There are real pies made for the audience in the Tooting Arts Club’s production of “Sweeney Todd.”. And if you know anything at all about the musical, that sentence should make you feel equal parts giddy and revolted. The audience walks into a theater that has been fitted out to look like Harrington’s, an ancient, real meat pie shop in London, with dingy walls, cafeteria-style seating and a sign that advertises “Jellied eels no licker.”.
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The freshest comedy act today: Two old New Yorkers pranking people with tuna sandwiches

né Gil Cosby — is an unlicensed doula who wears Velcro sneakers. Anytime he introduces himself, he caps it off with, “Charmed, I’m sure.”. He’s always accompanied by his best friend, George St. Geegland, author of the unwritten 1971 novel “Rifkin’s Dilemma,” “a real ’70s novel about masturbation and such.”.
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Alan Cumming hates Valentine’s Day but loves sappy songs

The show is called “Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs.”. But if Cumming wasn’t going to be performing at Strathmore on Valentine’s Day, he and his husband would be celebrating in a decidedly un-sappy way: by staying in. “We actually kind of hate Valentine’s Day because you can never get a table. And if you do, then the couples next to you are always fighting,” says the actor-singer.
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‘The Nutcracker’: Fairies and tulle onstage, total nuts backstage

From the audience, it looked magical. The girls curtsied and line-danced in their party dresses. Mysterious Godfather Drosselmeyer presented a beaming Clara with a special gift: a nutcracker, promptly stolen by her impish little brother, Fritz. The Christmas tree grew three times taller, the nutcracker came to life, Clara vanquished the sneering rat king with the strike of a shoe — and then it was off to the twinkling land of snow queens and sugarplum fairies with her prince.
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‘I’d better get the shoes right, and I’d better get the ballgown right’

When famed Broadway costume designer William Ivey Long set out to create the costumes for the musical “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” his inspiration didn’t come from a fairy godmother, but rather, a more unconventional source: Vegas magicians Siegfried and Roy. Yes, the tiger guys. Long had previously designed costumes for their stage show, and “Cinderella” made him think of one of their sayings.
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They cooked up a play about the only man to win the Pillsbury Bake-Off. But they didn’t tell him.

In 1996, single dad and home cook Kurt Wait became the first and so far only man to win the Pillsbury Bake-Off — in the first year that the contest prize was raised to $1 million. After his stereotype-defying victory — thanks to a decadent macadamia fudge torte recipe — he did the talk show circuit, autographed a few cookbooks for his friends and gradually settled back into comfortable obscurity in Redwood City, Calif.
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‘Women Laughing Alone With Salad’ goes from meme to world-premiere play

What’s so funny about salad? Nothing, really. And that’s why the stock photography trope — you may have seen it in advertisements or illustrating health stories online — is so absurd. Picture an ecstatic woman with glowing skin, salad bowl in hand, fork perfectly poised, leaning forward and laughing.
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A Republican consultant tries his hand at a different kind of political theater

Cal Chandler’s candidacy is either a political consultant’s greatest challenge or his worst nightmare. Chandler is coasting by on his family name but clueless about governing. He lies and cheats and breaks the law. But top political consultant Russ Schriefer, who has worked on the campaigns of George W.
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How does it feel to fly like Peter Pan? We sent a reporter to find out.

In the famous song from the classic children’s musical “Peter Pan,” Peter and the Darling children describe the exhilarating instant their feet leave the ground: “I’m flying / I can soar / I can weave and what’s more / I’m not even trying.”. Well, I can report firsthand that Peter, Wendy, John and Michael are a bunch of dirty liars.
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Taking a break at the old ‘Cabaret’

When Wesley Taylor wanted a break from the high-pressure New York theater scene, he didn’t jet off to an island paradise or a grand European city. He made his escape to Shirlington, Va. — home of Signature Theatre, where the Broadway veteran (“The Addams Family,” “Rock of Ages”) and actor on NBC’s “Smash” is playing the Emcee in “Cabaret,” a gig he considers “a nice work vacation.”.
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When art doesn’t pay the bills, an actor needs a good supporting role

To be a good actor, you have to have people skills. You must be a quick study and a keen observer, with a broad, analytical knowledge base. Foreign language skills are encouraged. Organizational abilities are a must. Punctuality is key. Turns out, that skill set also is attractive to other employers.
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‘Lieutenant of Inishmore’ cats are getting the hang of this acting thing

Even the best actors sometimes find it hard to hide their true feelings onstage. It’s particularly difficult when the character’s nemesis is a cuddly orange tabby and he’s purring like crazy. “I have to not like this cat,” actor Chris Dinolfo said during a recent rehearsal of Constellation Theatre Company’s production of “The Lieutenant of Inishmore,” Martin McDonagh’s pitch-black comedy set against the backdrop of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
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Maura Judkis

Maura Judkis is a reporter for the Washington Post, covering culture, food and the arts. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report,, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper, and the Onion A.V. Club. Maura has appeared on local and international TV and radio, including MSNBC, PBS, and Al Jazeera. She is a 2007 graduate of the George Washington University, and a 2011 arts journalism fellow with the National Endowment for the Arts and the University of Southern California.