June 12, 1999 |
Lack of communication among family members is a salient point in each of two short plays presented by the Fictitious Theatre Company. But "not communicating" doesn't necessarily mean not talking. In one of these pieces at 2nd Stage at The Adrienne, everyone speaks a great deal; in the other, not at all. The family Steve Martin creates for his satirical comedy WASP talks constantly, but no one says much that's meaningful to, or learns anything about, anyone else. Martin's parody takes a bead on the 1950s nuclear family of Father Knows Best: a dad full of sage advice about life; an always-smiling, subservient mom; and a teenage son and daughter who are bright-eyed, fresh-faced and - seemingly - innocent.
May 3, 2011 |
Having the formidable Lady Bracknell among us - she appears in two of the three acts of Oscar Wilde's stylish comedy The Importance of Being Earnest - is to be faced down by Victorian London in its most elite, repressed, judgmental, haughty, and very funny form. She has been famously played over the last 106 years, since Earnest first opened in London, by leading ladies of every decade and by leading men, too - Brian Bedford is elegantly portraying her nightly on Broadway this season.
November 2, 2009 |
"Finished, it's finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished. " This odd first line of Endgame seems to end the play just as it begins. But then it undoes itself, getting less finished as the sentence goes on. So it goes: Just when you're really fed up, just when it seems things couldn't get worse and might actually, finally end, you find you're only in the middle. Again. Endgames - in chess, politics, or life - can be very long. Onstage, too. Two main characters in Samuel Beckett's Endgame, Hamm (Ed Swidey)
May 9, 1993 |
Registration for this year's Summer Stage begins tomorrow, but area children should beware - it can become addictive. Just ask the man who will be producing this summer's six Children's Theater shows. Christopher Sapienza, 26, who is returning for his 14th year with the nationally recognized theater program, began as a backstage crew assistant at age 10. "I remember sitting backstage by myself eating lunch and asking myself why I was doing this, and to this day I don't know, but I love it," Sapienza said.
January 29, 2013 |
Katori Hall set her play The Mountaintop in Room 306 of Memphis' Lorraine Hotel on April 3, 1968 - the night before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination on the balcony outside that room. Though King's legacy lives on, the world will always wonder what he could have achieved had he not been murdered at age 39. Philadelphia Theatre Company's current pared-down production encourages a similar counterfactual wondering. Hall imagines a conversation between King (Sekou Laidlow)
October 9, 2013 |
Tarell Alvin McCraney has been scooping up grants, prizes, and residencies like jelly beans; he is young, black, and gay, and his trilogy, "The Brother/Sister Plays," gives voice to the voiceless. The Brothers Size , in a haunting production at Simpatico Theatre Project, is the middle play of the three. The setting is San Pere, La., and the time is the tantalizing "Distant Present. " The older of the Brothers Size is Ogun (Carlo Campbell), who owns a car repair shop; his exasperating younger brother Oshoosi (Akeem Davis)
November 5, 1993 |
Figaro, that incorrigible and indispensable hero of The Barber of Seville, is pulling his stunts over at the Academy of Vocal Arts tonight and Saturday. Rossini's comic opera is a favorite of nearly everybody, including David Gately, the director, who is staging it for AVA. Still, Gately admits there have been times that "when someone says, 'Oh, I want you to do The Barber,' I cringe a bit. This is my 18th Barber, believe it or not," says the 40-year-old director. "I started with it in the late '70s, and it was big success and people kept asking me. " One reason Gately believes his productions have been popular is that he doesn't load them up with gimmicky time changes or slap them into farce.
May 2, 1991 |
As a group of adults gathered around the piano to rehearse songs for their show, Hello Dolly, Jason Mayland, stage manager, was busy attaching blue filters to the lights. A few minutes later he was talking to choreographer Cynthia Nagle about the positioning of the ballet barre and watching the sets being rolled into place for the night's rehearsal. Mayland's show responsibilities are common tasks for any stage manager, but uncommon when the stage manager is only 13 years old. "When I first met him, I noticed he was much more mature than the average 13-year-old and he knew the terms of various stage directions," said Chuck Bailey, director of the Marple-Newtown Players Community Theater.
March 18, 2009 |
Delish and dazzling: this Twelfth Night is Shakespearean comedy true to the text but made gorgeously fresh by a brilliant young director, Rebecca Taichman. In association with the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, McCarter Theatre's production is a celebration of love, what Taichman calls "a deep freeze that thaws into a playground of desire. " Orsino (Christopher Innvar) speaks the play's first lines: "If music be the food of love, play on;/ Give me excess of it. . . . " And excess is what everybody gets - wild love, a half-dozen plots, spectacular costumes by Miranda Hoffman.
May 31, 2012 |
A smorgasbord approach to theater: Luna Theater Company offers a festival of 10 10-minute plays all focused on the general theme of "Identity Crisis. " Ten playwrights, nine actors, five directors, and four designers team up to create these quickies. The advantage of a smorgasbord is that you get to taste a little bit of many things; some you like, some you don't. Each playlet is introduced by a video of silhouettes; the actors replace their shadow figures — although in one of the plays, Shelly, a man (David Sanger)