Review: “FoxFire” at Theatre Three

Review:  “FoxFire” at Theatre Three

We all give lip service to slowing the pace of life to craft a more genuine “smell the roses” experience. In the meantime, we robotically consume over-caffeinated, over-priced, lattes, complain about gridlock traffic and politics while ingesting never-ending streams of social media, sitcoms and talking heads. Does the pace and focus of modern life enhance its meaning, or are most of us missing out on something more authentic?

Theatre Three’s production of “FoxFire” delivered a genuine and inspired performance exploring this time-honored debate of “tradition” versus “innovation” with quiet sophistication and grace. Audiences here found a comfortable, welcoming space for an introspective journey examining where we’ve come from and where we’re heading.

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Margo Seibert's "77th Street" Feels Like the Beginning of Something Special

Margo Seibert's "77th Street" Feels Like the Beginning of Something Special

From the first note of Margo Seibert’s “Make Up Your Mind”, it’s hard not to think of comparisons to Annie Lennox and Tori Amos. But there is no doubt that Seibert is an original. The blending of style of her album, 77th Street, is what makes it such a great listen. There are songs than evoke nostalgia and others that give a peak at what’s to come.

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Review: Mystical Feet Company & EMVEE Productions Present “THE MAR VISTA: In Search of My Mother’s Love Life”

Review: Mystical Feet Company & EMVEE Productions Present “THE MAR VISTA: In Search of My Mother’s Love Life”

Written, directed, and choreographed by the industrious and passionate Yehuda Hyman, “THE MAR VISTA: In Search of My Mother’s Love Life” is a comical, semi-autobiographical dance-play hybrid that ultimately gets lost within its dizzying breadth of aspirations.

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Off-Broadway Review: “The Mother”

Off-Broadway Review: “The Mother”

Somewhere in France, or perhaps in England in the nineteenth century, a young married woman is standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes after an evening meal. A dish slips from her hand, breaking I pieces as it hits the floor. The young woman begins to cry, sob really. Her husband not understanding any of this “odd behavior,” reaches out to the family physician who makes the diagnosis of hysteria and prescribes laudanum to “sedate” her. If the laudanum isn’t effective over time, this young woman – like many others of this time period – might be institutionalized for having “felt,” or “been sad,” or “not been a dutiful wife.”

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Review: MainStage Irving-Las Colinas presents “The Night of the Iguana”

Review:  MainStage Irving-Las Colinas presents “The Night of the Iguana”

The talented cast of MainStage Irving-Las Colinas skillfully navigated the complex emotional terrain of Tennessee Williams’ classic play, “The Night of the Iguana.” Based on a short story which was later expanded into a full-scale play, “The Night of the Iguana” offers an evocative journey through the rabid mind of the former priest, Reverend Lawrence Shannon. After enduring expulsion from a Virginia-based ministry over his sexual misconduct and blasphemy, Rev. Shannon flees to the west coast of Mexico to serve as a tour guide.

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Review: "Black Super Hero Magic Mama" Isn’t Perfect

Review: "Black Super Hero Magic Mama" Isn’t Perfect

The world premiere of the wildly theatrical Black Super Hero Magic Mama tackles real life social injustice with fantasy comic book super heroes. Playwright Ida Craig-Galvan tries to instill humor into a tragic event, yet it gets lost in its execution.

She wrote this piece during her second year in grad school about a grieving black mother after watching Tamir Rice’s mother on television. Seeing her sadness and helplessness, she wrote about a similar experience and how the mother goes into a magical fantasy world as a coping mechanism

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Review: 'Chicho' at Theatre Passe Muraille

Review: 'Chicho' at Theatre Passe Muraille

I was pleased upon my arrival at Passe Muraille and being told the production is not pronounced ‘Chico’ as in Chico & The Man but ‘Cheech’o (as in comedians “Cheech & Chong”). I am hoping you are old enough to remember these two references. Mr. Bitter also refers to this fact at the top of the show.

Theatre Passe Muraille has billed ‘Chicho’ as “an ashamed-queer-Catholic-man-boy from Venezuela who hilariously attempts to feel beautiful despite his warring identity politics”.  So much inferred within this statement that I had no idea what I was about to see; however, what I’ve been discovering lately is the theatre of which I know nothing about leaves an indelible mark. This was my first visit to Passe Muraille so I was looking forward to attending.

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Review: 'Lacawanna Blues' is a Moving Musical Montage

Review: 'Lacawanna Blues' is a Moving Musical Montage

Taking my seat during the opening night of Lackawanna Blues, two women named Pam and Sally sat down next to me. They started talking about their friend, writer, performer and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson. They shared with me how Pam is Ruben’s publicist, and that the first reading of Lackawanna Blues was in the living room of Sally’s home. Later I discovered I was sitting next to actress Sally Struthers and her publicist and good friend Pam Sharp.

Ruben’s deeply personal musical montage began with a spotlight shining on Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist, composer, and performer Chris Thomas King. While strumming his guitar, another spot illuminates Ruben standing in front of a brick boarding house with the number 32 above the doorway.

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Review: "Canyon" at Los Angeles Theatre Center

Review: "Canyon" at Los Angeles Theatre Center

Walking into the intimate theatre at Los Angeles Theatre Center to see Jonathan Caren’s newest play ‘Canyon’, I admired the three-sided thrust stage allowing the audience greater intimacy to see and hear the actors onstage.

The majority of the show takes place on a raised wooden deck with potted plants, a bench, an outdoor table and chairs. Scenic designers Daniel Soule and Ryan Wilbat include a stairway leading up to the house of Jake (Adam Shapiro) and Beth (Christine Woods), a 30+ white couple living the American Dream. They recently bought their first home with the money left to Jake from his deceased father. Beth is newly pregnant and the bread winner, working as a doctor at County hospital. The time is during the 2016 Presidential elections, and Beth mentions donating to the Hillary campaign.

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Review: “Tammy’s Bachelorette” at the Producer’s Club

Review: “Tammy’s Bachelorette” at the Producer’s Club

With spring time creeping right around the corner, that means only one thing in the worlds of comedy and independent theatre: The return of the long-running Improvisational Repertory Theatre Ensemble, with their latest season at the Producer’s Club in Hell’s Kitchen. Having managed to catch all four of their shows during their season last year, I recently had the chance to return and see their most recent outing, and their first of 2019.

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Review: “Moral Support” at Medicine Show Theatre

Review: “Moral Support” at Medicine Show Theatre

Alcoholism. Abuse. Divorce. Dysfunctional families.

 All of these are familiar themes in American drama. Rightly so, given how well they’ve proven to continuously resonate with audiences, to some extent or another. However, it’s not every day you come across a script that seamlessly weaves each of them together as well as Moral Support, which recently enjoyed a successful two-week run at the well-renowned Medicine Show Theatre.

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Jeremy Jordan Owns the Stage, Bares It All, and Takes No Prisoners in His Town Hall Triumph

Jeremy Jordan Owns the Stage, Bares It All, and Takes No Prisoners in His Town Hall Triumph

It’s been said that the era of the great Broadway leading man has passed.  While this bizarre claim generally emanates from the fingertips of those who relish living in their memories and fail to provide any hard evidence, it does leave a person periodically flipping through old Playbills for great examples to the contrary. 

How fortunate are we that we need not look too far when one Mr. Jeremy Jordan is heartily emoting on the stage.  A man who truly needs no introduction to the readers of this publication, the Tony-nominated tenor occupies one of very few spots in the stratosphere of the elite and, indeed, reigns supreme among those leading men under the age of 40.  Hailing from Corpus Christi, by way of Ithaca College, Jordan not only cleaned out the inventory at the Handsome Store, but clearly ransacked the Talent Warehouse en route to Broadway.

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Off-Broadway Review: “If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka

Off-Broadway Review: “If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka

“If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka” in the Mainstage Theater at Playwrights Horizons is a must see. Audiences need to support new voices like Tori Sampson. Her contributions to the theatre will continue to challenge the ways we have understood what theatre is, how it is expressed, and how its messages can be exposed to audiences.

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Review: "New Magic Valley Fun Town" at the Tarragon Theatre

Review: "New Magic Valley Fun Town" at the Tarragon Theatre

A rather odd and quirky title, but man, oh, man the Toronto premiere of Daniel MacIvor’s ‘New Magic Valley Fun Town’ masterfully said so much for me in those moments where not a great deal was said. This will make sense when you see the production as I’m trying not to spoil where the story leads.

And when an exceptionally remarkable cast played and toyed with my emotions and thoughts right up to the play’s enlightening conclusion, I was completely taken and moved by the journey I had just experienced. Another bonus was the talkback after the performance so, future audiences, stick around for the dialogue and post show conversation.

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Review: "Bouffon Glass Menajoree" at Centene Center for the Arts St Louis

Review: "Bouffon Glass Menajoree" at Centene Center for the Arts St Louis

Ten Directions is a theatre company that originated in New York, but moved St. Louis Missouri recently. Connecting with the theatre company Young Liars lead to this production of “Bouffon Glass Menajoree: a parody of the beloved American classic.” Take that ‘parody’ as a warning. This production takes every extreme twist and turn while spinning the story of the Wingfield family.

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Off-Broadway Review: National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s “Fiddler on the Roof”

Off-Broadway Review: National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s “Fiddler on the Roof”

One father longing to be wealthy enough to adequately care for his family – and letting the Creator know he feels overlooked – and three “adult” daughters dodging the craft of the local matchmaker are the grist for an epic challenge to the traditions held dear by the members of Tevye’s Shtetlekh and its “on-the-fence” Der Rov (a confident yet conflicted Adam B. Shapiro) who is often consulted to determine which traditions remain relevant and which might have become obsolete. Tradition. Culture. Politics. Love. Tevye grapples with these four and more in National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s “Fiddler on the Roof” currently running at Stage 42.

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“The Tallest Man in the World” at The Tank

“The Tallest Man in the World” at The Tank

Telling three intersecting stories, “The Tallest Man in the World” takes us through the fragmented mind of a man struggling with alcoholism and how that affects those around him. At the same time, we are taken to a far-off island in Ireland, home of the tallest man in the world. We see him struggle with his isolation and loneliness, a perfect mirror to the alcoholic memories of the first man.

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