Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quickly

Well, this day has totally gotten away from me. I wanted to delve further into “Something Intangible” but won’t have much time. So I’ll talk briefly about the negatives in my review, since those always seem to be what people want to talk about.


1. Disney specificity. So obviously the plot of the play follows the development of “Fantasia” at Disney. The brothers are surrogates for Ray and Walt. You can imagine Wistonville becoming Disneyland. “Grandioso” is the analog for “Fantasia.” Even the curly script of Disney’s autograph are mimicked on the water tower.


But this play seems to want to be more than just a pseudo-biography of the Disney brothers. The playwright talks about Theo and Vincent Van Gogh in his notes on the show. And the interplay of envy and love are wonderfully explored during the course of the show. This created a weird tension for me. After a point, every detail borrowed from the Disney’s story diluted the generalizability of the deeper themes, in my opinion. It made it easier to think, “this is just a story about the Disneys” instead of “this is a story exploring fundamental dynamics that might exist between all brothers / siblings.”


2. Creasy’s von Meyerhoff. My mention of Mr. Creasy’s performance led to a very interesting and edifying conversation between Frank and I. Among the things Frank related to me: “The stage direction for [von Meyerhoff’s] first entrance describes him as a man who is ‘theatrical even when standing still’. Clearly, he's …a man who stands out even amongst crazy artistic Hollywood types.


“…beyond that, in the context of the play, I believe (my opinion alone) that there's a reason Bruce Graham had one actor double in these supporting roles as opposed to having a sixth actor: Bartelli and Von Meyerhoff are even more extreme examples of the distinctions between Dale and Tony. Bartelli is even less attuned to creative matters than Dale, while Von Meyerhoff "out-Wistons" Tony's extreme behavior! The duality of the brothers is emphasized and underscored through the supported role doubling.”


This is all great background and perceptive analysis and I appreciate Frank sharing it with me. As I told him, the von Meyerhoff character didn't work for me because I could imagine all of the other characters as being real, even Tony (who just seems like a calmer version of Charlie Sheen, ya know?) But von Meyerhoff just seemed a bit cartoony to me; I didn’t quite believe in von Meyerhoff like I did the other characters. I don’t necessarily mean that Mr. Creasy was bad in the role; he may have been doing exactly what the playwright intended or what his director guided him toward. But because I didn’t believe in him, the scenes with von Meyerhoff took me out of me suspension of disbelief.


So that’s the quick ‘n dirty on “Something Intangible.” I could heap some more praise on Mr. Maupin or Mr. Reider but that’ll have to wait for another day. If you want another take on the show, here’s Matthew Miller’s review at GayRVA.


Did you hear that the Oscar-winning director of “The King’s Speech” is in talks to direct a musical film adaptation of “Les Mis?” I don’t know whether to be excited or scared by this.


Also, both “Quilters” and “Devil Boys from Beyond” open this weekend. Another pair perfect for a mash-up. Can you imagine “Devil Quilters from Beyond…the Prairie” or something… Could be funny.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Something Intangible

My review of "Something Intangible" is on the Style website. Some additional commentary to come tomorrow...

Monday, March 28, 2011

The “National Stage”

So how about VCU, ay? It was pretty amazing having two college basketball teams from Richmond in the Sweet Sixteen but now to have one in the Final Four is, to carry the alliteration to an absurd level, fabulously phenomenal. The buzz in town about this accomplishment is feverish and I only wish I could have gone downtown last night to join in the craziness that was going on.

The phrase “National Stage” always occurs to me at a time like this. You’ll hear commentators saying that VCU has now arrived on the national stage. But what a complex concept that one is. With the democratization of media, I think it’s harder than ever to figure out what the “national stage” is, where it is, who is on it, how you get there, etc. etc. For instance, Rebecca Black exploded on the national stage just a couple of weeks ago but I know there is a big slice of America who still doesn’t know who she is or why they should know her.

To propose another variation on the theme: as Ms. Haubenstock points out in her review of “Almost Maine,” this show that didn’t make much of an impact on the “national stage” (if you consider Broadway to be that place as far as theater goes) has obviously appealed to regional and local theater directors across the country. So the show has gone on to make a nationwide impact of sorts, but not from a position on the national stage.
Anyway, there’s a long rant on perception, reality, quantity vs. quality and the LA/NYC arbiters of “what is important” encapsulated in there but I don’t want to get too deep with it. Too much esoteric thinking is bound to make my head hurt on a Monday. So, instead, I’ll mention that in addition to “Almost Maine,” “Something Intangible” opened this past weekend. I went to opening night, thoroughly enjoyed the show and will post some additional comments about it when my review comes out, which with any luck will be this Wednesday.

In the meantime, have you read any of the reviews of “How to Succeed in Business…” with Daniel Radcliffe? I’ve made it through a few. One thing I think is interesting is how one critic’s reaction can be so much different than another’s even though they both seem to have seen the exact same thing. And by that, I don’t mean just that they saw the same performance but that they picked up something specific about a production but each put a completely different spin on it. For instance, the enthusiastic Entertainment Weekly reviewer says that you could see Radcliffe working hard in his role (“he always lets you see him sweat”) and that this part of the production added to its charm. The grumpy NYTimes review points out the same thing: “You can almost hear an unseen coach’s voice whispering to Mr. Radcliffe, telling him when to do what. [Y]ou… feel the effort and eagerness with which Mr. Radcliffe responds to that voice.” But instead of praising that behavior, condemns it. You can say Brantley is just a curmudgeon and EW is just a frothy entertainment mag and that accounts for the different conclusions. I’d say they were both astute reviewers, just with distinctly different attutudes about what makes a quality production or effective performance. What would you say?

Finally, thanks to everyone who made suggestions for what show I should see on Thursday. After caucusing with my companion for the trip, we have concluded to give Spidey a try. I'm almost embarrassed to have picked morbid curiosity over interest in quality but I do feel like there is some value to have seen the "bad Spidey" if and when a "good Spidey" ever emerges. Of course, I may feel differently around 11pm on Thursday night...

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Question

I was saddened to read yesterday about the death of Lanford Wilson, one of the true playwrighting legends. Though I’ve seen “Fifth of July” and “Burn This,” I’m hopeful to someday see a production of “Hot L Baltimore,” the play that really put him on the map as I remember it. Though I think my review at the time was a little harsh, I have fond memories of Barksdale’s production of “Fifth” five or six years ago. It starred some of my favorite Richmond actors, including Chris Evans as the lead character’s lover. Not the Captain America Chris Evans though, just so there’s no confusion.

It’s been hard to get conversation rolling here on the blog as of late. Beyond the general down-turn in blog interest -- or some particularly boring posts from me -- I’m thinking it may be because I’m too often asking “big questions” about the nature of theater and the purpose of criticism and such. So, in an effort to get comments – any comment! – I’m going to try a simple question. I’m going to be taking a quick jaunt to NYC next Thursday and I want to see a show. As I do every time I’m planning a trip to Manhattan, I’m struggling with the choices. Should I get a nose-bleed seat to “Spiderman” just to see exactly how awful it is? Should I see something fresh and new that most people haven’t seen yet (“Priscilla”)? Or how about an old classic that I'm embarrased to say I've never seen (“Phantom”) or a newer not-quite-classic that I might be able to get great seats for (“Adams Family”)? Then there’s the possibility to see an awesome actor starring in a smallish vehicle off-Broadway (Andre Braugher in “The Whipping Man”).

What would YOU do if you were popping up to New York just for a day at this specific moment in time? What show are you itching to see and why? I’m interested in your thoughts, of course, but also, I need your help!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The One That Got Away

In the absence of other shows opening, reviews of “A Thousand Clowns” continue to trickle in with Mr. Griset’s take on the show in this week’s Style. The opening drought ends tomorrow with “Something Intangible” raising the curtain at the Firehouse.

Speaking of openings, it is with a slight feeling of sadness that I read about the musical adaptation of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” opening on Broadway this past weekend. The sadness doesn’t come from the decidedly mixed reviews (an overview of the reviews can be found here; the NY Times calls the show “…monotonous and mechanical” in its review). It doesn’t come from the fact that “Priscilla” essentially kicked “West Side Story” off Broadway, a production I wouldn’t have minded seeing again (OK, that’s a simplification but still…). No, this particular opening causes a little pang in my heart because only once in a while do I look at the pictures of celebs like Christie Brinkley and Bette Midler attending an opening and realistically imagine that I could have been there.

The story behind it is a little long and it’s not worth going through every detail but my son was up for a role in “Priscilla.” If you remember the movie at all, the main character, Tick, has a son named Benji who is supposed to be around 10 years old. In fact, the whole trip across the desert is spurred by Benji’s mom booking Tick in her theater.

As anyone who has been through the casting process for a big production knows, it can be a little grueling and, for us, “Priscilla” may have been the hardest ever. The casting directors had seen Cooper a couple of times but had still not made a decision last fall when a “Press Event” had been planned. Basically, the producers wanted to alert the media to “Priscilla’s” eminent Broadway opening before the production had a try-out run in Toronto. But they didn’t have a Benji yet so they asked us if Cooper could be a Benji stand-in for the event. We thought this was an encouraging sign about his chances to land the role.

So, back in September, Cooper actually appeared on a Broadway stage opposite Will Swenson (still a hot name from “Hair”). He didn’t get to sing but still, he got his own dressing room, he met a lot of cool Broadway folks, and he performed in a packed New York theater. Not bad for a kid from Richmond.

Unfortunately, very soon thereafter, the casting folks said they were looking at kids in Toronto for the role. The boy they eventually cast, Luke Mannikus, seems like a cute kid. And while a role in a Broadway show could have been life-changing for all of us Tlines, there is a certain sense of weird relief in seeing that the young Master Mannikus isn’t named in the Times review and his one big scene is written off as “ludicrous.” Perhaps it’s just as well the way things worked out.

My lovely wife and I were talking about “Priscilla’s” mixed reviews over dinner last night and my never-shy son chimed in, between bites of pasta, “It would have been better with me in it.” Hmmm... Maybe. But I’m not convinced our lives would have been better…even if I had met Christie Brinkley.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Teach Your Children Well

In case you missed him on the radio, check out Mr. Porter's blog to read about the love he gave to "A Thousand Clowns" in his latest review.

That performance arts training hotspot, SPARC, had another boffo event this past weekend. The faculty banded together to produce a cabaret spotlighting the significant talents of the staff. It was a great idea and made for a very entertaining show. In talking to some of the performers afterwards, some of them took the opportunity to do a piece they would never actually be appropriate for on stage, a good indication to me that the staff at SPARC aren’t just talented teachers, actors, dancers, and singers but also students of their respective genres. They could have phoned it in, just doing one of their usual audition pieces. But instead, they gave it their all, stretching themselves and providing a delightful show for everyone who attended.

The highlights from the show are really too numerous to single out. But it was a real treat to see Erin Foley in three monologues sprinkled throughout the evening and to learn that she’ll be in “Circle Mirror Transformation” at the Barksdale soon. Matt Polson was both tuneful and hilarious with his “I am Adolfo” and I liked that Ali Thibodeau and Robin Harris both got a chance to belt out a solo. The performance of “Without Love” begged the earnest entreaty: will someone do “Hairspray” here sometime soon? Please? And there was a dance/art/poetry piece that ended up being pretty entrancing. Given that it involved people getting paint all over their feet, it looked like a lot of fun too!

A real surprise to me was hearing such a big beautiful voice from Deb Clinton having only seen her on stage in straight plays. And finally, the whole evening was hosted by a coterie of SPARC’s most charming and talented students – Meg Carnahan, Allison Gilman, Jessie Jennison and Michael Thibodeau – who make me wish I was back in high school every time I see them together. When did theater kids get so cool?

Speaking of young Ms. Gilman, she is one of the kids featured in the cover story of the latest Richmond Family magazine that talks about SPARC quite a bit as part of talking about young performers in general. The issue has been out for a while so you may have seen it. Pick it up to read about Allison as well as Eric Pastore and Ellie Wilson (who played Gretl in “Sound of Music” not Liesl as mentioned in the article. Kinda funny though that the actress who played Liesl – Ali Thibodeau – is a teacher at SPARC). The article also features a somewhat hilarious juxtaposition, mentioning a certain Timberline kid and then following it by listing former SPARC student Jason Mraz and Tony-nominated actress Emily Skinner. Hmmm. Not exactly parallel in terms of their acclaim and accomplishments. Well, at least not yet…

One last SPARC-related tidbit: I just read today that Henley Street Theatre Company will be using SPARC’s black box space as their performance venue next season. Given the challenges of Pine Camp, I expect this will be a boon to Henley Street and probably not a bad thing for SPARC either. I love a win-win situation.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Awakening

People are probably sick of me pimping for Entertainment Weekly but last week’s issue included not just one but TWO articles focused on Broadway. A preview of Daniel Radcliffe’s opening in “How to Succeed in Business in Without Really Trying” might be expected (there’s an excerpt online here) but there is also a fairly thoughtful piece on Jason Patric appearing in “That Championship Season,” a play written by his father (an interview available online). I mostly mention things like this because all EW cares about is what’s stirring at the top of the entertainment stew and when that something is theater-related, I think it’s a good indication of the enduring popularity of live theater. It also gives me something to write about.

But while I’m promoting other media outlets, let me make a push for the soon-to-be unfunded NPR which regularly has new content under it’s Performing Arts section. It’s the kind of place you can find an alternative take on “Spider-Man” (the article entitled “Don’t be so quick to write off the dark”), not to mention coverage of the “Arcadia” revival and Chris Rock’s new Broadway show. Now THAT is fair and balanced.

And I’m making a preliminary request from both of you readers for help with a possible intervention. As if falling under some seasonal spell, my wife has become obsessed with the current national tour of “Spring Awakening.” She already traveled to North Carolina last weekend to see the show and is now talking about heading to either Pennsylvania or New Jersey to see it again. The only show I’ve been similarly smitten by is “Les Miz” which I have not only seen in NYC a couple of times but traveled to DC (twice) and Kentucky to see on tour. Do you have any show obsessions you’d like to share?

Spring is the season for obsessions, after all, so enjoy the turn of the seasons this weekend (and Purim, too) and prepare to be obsessed with a new flock of local openings starting next weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On Judas

I packed quite a few adjectives into my review of “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” but one thing that I didn’t say specifically was that it was relevant. That seems like a pretty tepid adjective but it’s a pretty powerful endorsement in my book. Unfortunately, it’s not a word that I am frequently inspired to use in reference to a show. “Relevance” initially occurred to me during the testimony of Mother Theresa, the first scene that made me really sit up and take notice during the show. Here was a still-beloved contemporary figure being called to task for her less-than-spotless moral rectitude, a scene brought to vivid life thanks to performances by Jennie Meharg and Kristen Swanson. Certainly relevant as you consider that Pope John Paul II is set to be beatified in another couple of months. Kinda makes you wonder whether that whole sainthood thing is a little more complicated than you were taught in Sunday school, if not an outright farce.

Later on, we realize that there are compelling existential questions underlying Jennie Meharg’s character’s investment in Judas’s trial. And really, they are the kind of questions that we all face at different times in our lives. As the tragedy in Japan continues to unfold, how can we not wonder about the nature of God? Given the overwhelming scale of big tragedies and the prevalence of little daily tragedies, how do we find solace and/or hope? Simple honest people seem to be punished by fate when real modern-day villains (hello, Wall Street billionaires! And hey there, Khadafi!) wallow in their riches. How can you not wonder whether God really cares, perhaps whether he really exists?

Of course, the play does a great job of bringing it all down to a humanist level with the scene between Jesus and Judas and then Jonathan Conyer’s character’s coda. Whether we go to a physical hell or not, there is unquestionably an emotional hell and some people are living it every day.

I could talk about the content of this play for hours, making it a perfect “Acts of Faith” entry in my humble opinion, but it must be mentioned that Bo Wilson got some incredible performances out of his cast. I’ve slathered praise on David Clark and Ronnie Brown already but they deserve at least one more layer. Mr. Clark is a delight throughout the show and Mr. Brown is riveting as Pilate. Other stand-outs to me were Vinnie Gonzalez as Satan and Jill Bari Steinberg as Judas’s mother. And while Diana Carver was indeed hilariously profane as Saint Monica, I was pretty sure she was going wonky on some lines on opening night. Call me a stickler but I’m a firm believer that, before anything else, you have to know the lines.

This collaboration between Henley and RTP has certainly proven a winner and hopefully will lead to additional similarly exceptional co-pros in the future. This is the last weekend to see it and they’ve added a show on Sunday so there’s no excuse to miss it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Last Weekends

I’m mostly trafficking in old news today, playing catch up after several days being fairly staggered throughout the weekend by events in Japan. But the T-D review of “A Thousand Clowns” came out this weekend and Mr. Porter posted a review of “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” so there are plenty of other theater opinions to read out there.

For a myriad of reasons, I’ve seen several recent productions on their final weekend of performances. It has me pondering the tradition of critics going to a show’s opening night. There’s no denying the excitement and energy of opening night. But I’ve also seen productions gel as they go along, getting more relaxed and/or natural and/or fun from week to week (that was my impression of “BFG”). Of course, others get a little too loose as a run proceeds past its third or fourth week (I wondered if the “Jitney” cast was feeling a little fatigue going into their sixth week of performances this past weekend).

If a critics is supposed to give a sense of what the average patron will see, maybe the first Sunday matinee would be the best performance to see. Or maybe, since part of the joy of live theater is that every performance is a little different, it doesn’t really matter what show a critic sees?

Anyway, lest anyone think my question about “Jitney” is meant as a slight, it certainly is not. The production I saw at Sycamore Rouge last Friday was top-notch, great performances all around, and an entertaining night of theater. Toney Cobb is always solid, and his portrayal of Becker was spot-on, a real lived-in characterization of a proud man facing some hard life challenges. J. Ron Fleming was a hoot as Fielding and Delvin Young did amazing things with the smallish but pivotal part of Booster. I always love to see young talent like Justin Delaney (who was Youngblood) emerge. I only vaguely remember him from “Charcoal Street” and “Black Nativity” but he made a real impression with “Jitney.”

But my real favorite of the production was Ray Taalib-Deen and not just because his customer-service-pleasant refrain of “Car Service” always got a laugh. Turnbo is a character who somehow means well, even though his meddling in everyone’s business is the main source of dramatic tension during the play. Taalib-Deen’s soft voice lent a “gentle giant” vibe to the character and was a great asset when risen in outrage against Youngblood.

The show was a long one and there was a few spots that dragged. But in general Derome Scott Smith did an exceptional job of pacing the drama to balance the alternating ensemble scenes with the more syllologuy-like scenes. It’s definitely the best work I’ve seen from AART.

At this point, “Once on this Island” seems like really old news having closed two weekends ago, but my experience at the closing night performance was the best time I’ve had at a musical so far this year. Even with its tragic elements, it is such an exuberant show and, like the best of musicals, leaves you with several strong melodies that echo in your mind for weeks (“Waiting for Life” is playing in my head even as I write this).

There are numerous aspects of the Mill’s production that deserve recognition. Most all of the acting and singing was very strong, with particular kudos to Kris Roberts as TiMoune and Durron Tyre as Daniel. Both the lighting by Joe Doran and Leslie Owens-Harrington’s choreography were exceptional and director Tom Width brought it all together with flare. But the real, perhaps unappreciated star of this production was musical director Paul Deiss who led a rock-solid orchestra in keeping that lively, infectious Caribbean-tinged music flowing throughout the show. If there was a moment without music or sound of some sort I don’t remember it, so infused with melody is my memory of the show.

For those who are still following the ongoing saga of “Spider-man” on Broadway, there’s an interesting perspective offered by one journalist in Newsweek this week in response to Julie Taymor’s dismissal and the push of an official opening to the summer. I don’t know the show’s score but if it’s the antithesis of something like “Once on this Island” – that is, free of memorable melodies and engaging songs – then placing at a hearty chunk of blame for this massive fail in the laps of Bono and the Edge certainly seems warranted.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Sneaking one in

My review of "Last Days of Judas Iscariot" just showed up on the Style website. Supplemental commentary to come...

“J” names

There’s a line in the musical “Quilters” (now in rehearsal down at Swift Creek Mill and, based on what I’ve heard, peopled by a cast of awesome actresses) about the popularity of giving children names that start with ‘J.’ There’s also a great kid’s song -- a Timberline family favorite -- called “Favorite Names” all about ‘J’ names.

Two productions in town generating a lot of buzz are ‘J’ shows: “Judas Iscariot” and “Jitney.” This is the last weekend, you can catch the latter, so don’t hesitate to take the trip southward to Sycamore Rouge to check it out. “Judas” has been featured in a nice piece in Style this week and WCVE broadcast Joan Tupponce’s review of the show recently. I’m hoping my review will show up soon online and then I’ll expand on it.

I’m also collecting my thoughts on “Once on this Island,” which I saw the closing performance of last weekend. What a great production! More detailed thoughts to come…

Monday, March 07, 2011

Times Gone By

Joan Tupponce hasn’t been updating her blog recently but WCVE has been getting better (IMHO) at posting her audio reviews on their website. You can go to this link for a listing of all the recent ones they’ve broadcast, including her take on the still-running “Legacy of Light.”

I’ve had a few occasions to talk about “Godspell” since it closed two weekends ago and I’ve been intrigued at people’s impressions. On one extreme, one particularly harsh friend called the show “dated and dumb.” On the other, someone commenting on the post below said Nick Shackleford portrayal of Jesus was “one of the best performances I've seen in Richmond in a long time.” Among my critical pals, the response was also varied with even the most positive voicing some reservations, even the most negative admitting to some nice aspects of the Cadence production.

“Godspell” will always be a show I have a hard time being thoroughly objective about. It was the first musical I remember seeing as a kid and was really my entrĂ©e into any interest in theater. My high school’s production when I was a sophmore will in many ways remain the gold standard against which I compare all productions I’ve seen since, a now gauzy euphoric memory infused with the joy of discovery. This poses both positive and negative challenges for me when considering any production: I automatically react with excitement when I hear that fabulous music but I also instinctively know nothing will measure up to my memory.

But even carrying that baggage into the Cadence production, I left having really enjoyed it. I loved the 60s-era vibe that director Anna Johnson gave the production, the overall sense of freshness and innocense that emanated from the performances (this vibe was one some of my pals specifically did not enjoy). She also made good use of what was undoubtedly a challenging performance space. The choreography by Leslie Owens-Harrington was fantastic, skillfully keeping the players in compelling motion throughout a somewhat cramped space. Kim Fox’s music direction was strong and assured.

There weren’t any weak spots in the cast, a real testament to Ms. Johnson’s ability to lure top-notch talent to her projects. It’s always a joy to see new talent seize the opportunity a production like this provides and the unbelievably young T’arah Craig was a revelation: agile in her movement, sincere in her performance and amazing in her voice, partnering with Aly Wepplo to perform the sweetest version of “By My Side” I’ve ever heard. Daniel Cimo is someone who seems born to act, his emotions coming across so clearly from the stage, and it was impossible not to get caught up in Chris Hester’s antic energy. Carolyn Meade’s “Turn Back Old Man” was a distinct highlight and Wepplo seemed to be genuinely choked up at the show’s end, adding a real poignance to the finale.

But while both Shackleford and Russell Rowland did fine jobs, I think there was something of an inbalance in their relationship. Basically, I think Rowland is such a forcefull presence, particularly with that voice, that it was hard for Shackleford to be more compelling. And I wanted Jesus to be more compelling than Judas.

Another issue for me just has to do with the actual story of “Godspell,” which I was much more willing to let flow over me when I was younger. I’ve read a fair amount on the historical Jesus and the history of Christianity in the past decade. I’ve also had a touchy ideological relationship with the faith over the years, particularly with guidance offered by its more fundamental adherents. So its hard for me to put that stuff out of my head and just take in the dramatization of the history of Jesus as a nice little story (one of the reasons I appreciated the “free love” era vibe of the production was it helped me put all of that out of my mind as much as possible.)

So, in the final analysis, I thought it was quite a fine production, another feather in the cap of Cadence’s still-young cap. I was particularly glad that my sons got to see it because it’s a show I’ve wanted them to see and I’m happy they saw an excellent production instead of a marginal one. But seeing it also has had the lingering effect of making me wonder how anxious I’ll be to run out and catch the next production of “Godspell” that shows up on the radar (a Broadway production is being planned for this summer).

Speaking of Broadway, a new production I think people in regional theaters across the country will be checking out with interest is “Good People,” starring the always-intriguing Frances McDormand. David Lindsay-Abaire’s work has been a favorite of local theaters for years – Firehouse has done great productions of “Fuddy Mears” and “Rabbit Hole,” just to name a couple – so I would expect “Good People” to show up on a local stage as soon as the rights are available.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Still

My little finger’s still in a cast and typing is still a pain in the butt. So this will have to be short and sweet. My review of “Legacy of Light” was in Style this week. I’ve got a link up to the T-D review of “Judas” over to the right there but there is also a wonderfully written Richmond.com review by Ms. Jewett that was posted yesterday. My review of the production should show up online soon.

The same week I mention EW’s stage coverage they do a big spread in the magazine on “Broadway’s Craziest Season!” but, in a classic ‘dis to stage fans, the article is nowhere to be found on their website. Anyway, the article includes this interesting assertion: “Spiderman has arguably done s much as – if not more than – the TV show “Glee” to raise theater’s profile as a popular art form in the past few months.” Would you agree? Is this in line with the ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ ethos we hear so much about?

No openings this week but plenty of closings (“BFG,” “Once on this Island,” JCC’s “Kindertransport,” etc.). Just because a couple of shows are getting summer revivals – congrats to “Nunsense” and “Dog Sees God” – doesn’t mean anyone should get complacent about getting out there to see shows while they can!