Posted in March 2009

When Lorraine Hansberry selected the line from Langston Hughes’ poem as the title of her 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun she had no clue she had written one of the most important American plays of the 20th century. In fact, when the play previewed on Broadway to mixed reviews, she didn’t know if it would succeed at all, much less break so many barriers so completely…. Continue reading

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Farther than Closer: Enter Stage Left’s Launch

Here’s yet another play about despondent, spoiled, well heeled malcontents. They puff cigarette smoke in each other’s faces, spout the f and c words liberally, occasionally take a swipe at each other and obsess about sex and broken relationships, sobbing out their sullied dreams in oceans of self-pity. Enter Stage Left’s mission statement says the company “seeks to…explore current and timeless human issues.” Hope for more artistically satisfying results in the company’s future productions. Ouch. Continue reading

Upstanding Start: Upstart Productions at the Green Zone

If playwright Lonergan were firing up the metaphorical grill to barbecue for his drinkin’, partyin’ buddies from the 1980’s, he’d marinade the bloody meat in a liberal dose of angst-ridden narcissistic nihilism with a liberal salt shaker’s worth of misogyny. Master playwright David Mamet he is not, bludgeoning the audience with fine-tuned balance of savagery and cunning in imagery and character. Yet this initial stage endeavor shows the promise that filled his coffers with later film ventures. It also affords a young company like Upstart Theater nuanced fodder to sink their artistic teeth into, particularly under the wise guidance of a seasoned director like Rene Moreno. Look for more high caliber performance from these “upstarts.”
Rate this dish? Medium rare to extremely well done. Continue reading

Dream of Godless Madness: KDT’s Psychos Never Dream

Kitchen Dog Theatre’s mission statement says the company chooses plays that invite audiences to be “provoked, challenged and amazed.” Complimented by a reverberating rock score as sound, sallow-hued, soul-draining lighting effects and a set that unfolds like a hot pillow house hide-a-bed, this production of Dennis Johnson’s Psychos Never Dream is resoundingly awesome in its ability to do all three. Continue reading

Ego-Surfing Out of the Loop

Successful Showtime, Fox and ABC TV screenwriter Jason Schafer wrote the stage thriller i google myself as a topical ‘what if’ that descends into nightmarish levels of garishly intertwined relationships between three men, all of whom share names and connect through the google search engine. Featured on opening night of WaterTower Theatre’s 8th Annual out of the loop fringe festival and playing to an enthusiastic near capacity crowd, the short thriller helps kick off the diverse, creative festival in high fashion. Continue reading

Timely Excellence in TeCo Theater Production’s One Act Winners

The results are in from the 7th Annual New Play Competition: The Best of Political Theater, sponsored by TeCo Theatrical Productions (www.tecotheater.org) at the Bishop Arts Theater Center in Oak Cliff. By popular acclaim, Paula J. Sanders, local author, teacher, performer and UT Arlington graduate won for her entry The Valiant Never Taste of Death But Once, in a tough field of six diverse, competitive one act plays. Continue reading