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Dirty Laundry

by Alexander M. Stern October 30, 2014

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  Nicky Silver’s uneven The Lyons gets an enthusiastic staging at Curtain Call with a strong cast that comes off better than the play itself. Ben Lyons (Jack Fallon) is an unloved and unlovable man dying of ...

0 comments Curtain Call Theatre

No Blarney

by James Yeara October 2, 2014

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  Two wooden chairs flank one wooden table, and a wooden podium stands downstage right. The curved two-story projection screen runs the 40-plus feet wide upstage, a soft green light cast from the top of the ...

0 comments GE Theatre at Proctors

Fear and Loathing in Palm Springs

by Alexander M. Stern October 2, 2014

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  Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities is—on the surface—another play about dysfunctional family dynamics. What revelations will surface, like bloated corpses, from the murky bottom of everyone’s collective past once granny’s had one too many ...

1 comment Capital Repertory Theatre

Mr. Broadway

by James Yeara September 25, 2014

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  The genius of Jim Brochu’s Character Man: A Musical Memoir shows smartly in its simple setting: “Now and Then, Backstage or out front of a theatre.” A concert piano sits upstage right; two red theater ...

0 comments Barrington Stage Company

Shaken, Not Stirred

by Alexander M. Stern September 18, 2014

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  Curtain Call kicks off its 15th season with the regional premiere of A.R. Gurney’s Family Furniture, a wickedly funny piece of postwar Americana. It is summertime on the shores of Lake Erie. Here, Buffalo’s elite play ...

0 comments Curtain Call Theatre

Chekhov Chuckles

by James Yeara August 28, 2014

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  Christopher Durang’s 2013 Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike does to Anton Chekhov what Durang’s surreal comedy classic The Actor’s Nightmare did to Beckett, Coward, Shakespeare, and Robert Bolt (A Man for All Seasons), ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

Transformed

by Ralph Hammann August 21, 2014

  Beautifully sung, smartly set and energetically staged at Oldcastle, My Fair Lady is a splendid fit for the company’s winningly intimate theater, which is currently brimming over with some of the loveliest songs in American ...

0 comments Oldcastle Theatre Company

The Odd Couple

by James Yeara August 21, 2014

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  The single most romantic scene this summer theater season is in Mark St. Germain’s Dancing Lessons, currently having its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company. And it’s not the obvious one in this fast-paced, well-crafted, ...

0 comments Barrington Stage Company Boyd-Quinson Mainstage

Timeless Audacity

by B.A. Nilsson August 14, 2014

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  It’s a story of great sweep, a David Lean epic, but, as Shakespeare wrote it, laced with comedy of the Richard Lester variety. Henry IV is one of the Bard’s history plays, which right there ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

Revenge is Sweet

by Ralph Hammann August 7, 2014

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  I had misgivings about this. First, it is an adaptation of a seemingly unadaptable morality play. Second, it bode ill that, given its songwriters’ stature, it never made it to Broadway when written in 1998 ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage

A Compelling Enigma

by James Yeara July 31, 2014

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  Is it a fairy tale if the poison apple is dipped in cyanide, or does the cyanide make it a spy story? Like the math equations literally hanging over the characters or framing them on translucent ...

2 comments Barrington Stage Company

Smoke Not Fire

by Ralph Hammann July 31, 2014

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  Tortured lovers in a way station on the outskirts of hell are at the center of Sam Shepard’s 70-minute propulsive one-act play. A number of patrons on opening night voiced puzzlement at what the meaning ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Dueling Divas

by Ralph Hammann July 24, 2014

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  Former artistic director Jenny Gersten has given WTF audiences a terrific parting gift with this beautifully mounted, deftly written and gloriously acted and directed production. A musical or two aside, it is the best comedy ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage

Lost Intentions

by Ralph Hammann July 17, 2014

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  Jeffrey DeMunn suffers indignities well and is always a compelling victim. He was ingested by alien jello in the remake of The Blob, given a bloody nose by a tentacled monster in The Mist, and ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Not Forgotten

by Alexander M. Stern July 17, 2014

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  An elderly father and his family face Alzheimer’s and the right to die with dignity. Sounds like a rollicking good time. Oddly enough, the production of Bruce Graham’s impressionistic black comedy The Outgoing Tide, currently running ...

0 comments Curtain Call Theatre

Jazz Bard

by B.A. Nilsson July 10, 2014

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  It’s party time in New Orleans--but wasn’t it always during that city’s fabled era as the wellspring of jazz? As a motley set of white-clad instrumentalists strikes up a rousing “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

A Truck With a Soul

by James Yeara July 10, 2014

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  “Can I do it?” one of the last contestants asks, standing just stage right of the Nissan pickup center stage, his left hand touching the truck’s body. As he looks out into the night, a ...

0 comments Park Playhouse

Feeling Blue

by Ralph Hammann July 10, 2014

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  Let me be clear. George S. Kaufman is one of my heroes, and his collaborations with Moss Hart were defining moments in the golden age of American comedy. But his partnerships with other others were ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival

Comedy Camp

by James Yeara July 3, 2014

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  Thirty years ago, Charles Ludlam wrote a comic masterpiece. Here, the Berkshire Theatre Group celebrates it with a ridiculously hysterical production on the Fitzgerald Main Stage in Stockbridge. The Mystery of Irma Vep is a ...

0 comments Berkshire Theatre Group Fitzpatrick Main Stage

Too Much Richard, but Still Hot

by James Yeara June 26, 2014

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  This “Too Darn Hot” is too damned good for mere words. The Act 2 opening number of Barrington Stage Company’s current production of the classic Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate starts slowly: As the ...

Barrington Stage Company Boyd-Quinson Mainstage

Her Story

by James Yeara June 12, 2014

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  Those lips that Love’s own hand did make Breathed forth the sound that said “I hate,” To me that languish’d for her sake: But when she saw my woeful state, Straight in her heart did mercy come, Chiding that tongue ...

Shakespeare & Company Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

Soul Selling

by James Yeara May 28, 2014

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  The Other Place is a smart play about smart people. It begins smartly after a blackout with a smartly dressed woman in gray slacks, gray coat, blue blouse, and black heels commanding center stage: “The ...

Barrington Stage Company St. Germain Stage

Righteously Sexy

by James Yeara May 22, 2014

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  The 2014 version of The God Game begins, appropriately enough, with a tease. An attractive blonde stands in an oval office, slowly stripping as a handsome salt-and-pepper-haired man sits in his upholstered, high-back executive chair ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

Bring Out Your Dead

by Alexander M. Stern May 15, 2014

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  Let’s make one thing perfectly clear right at the outset: The Schenectady Light Opera Company absolutely kills it in their production of Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks’ musical adaptation of his classic 1974 film. Their high-energy ...

2 comments Schenectady Light Opera Company

The Maestro

by David King May 14, 2014

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  Eddie Izzard brought his show screeching to a halt only a few minutes after its start at the Palace Theatre on Monday night. There was a beetle on stage, and Izzard was not about to ...

1 comment Palace Theatre