Posted in April 2009

The Cemetery Club: no fooling around at CTD

+++EXTENDED THROUGH SUNDAY MAY 17TH+++ There’s nothing funereal about Ivan Menchell’s The Cemetery Club, now on stage at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas–nothing slouchy about it, either. Director Susan Sargeant has a real talent for teasing out comic moments from deep within dramatic scenes and illuminating humorous elements within revelation of universal truth, with genuine flair. … Continue reading

Bunraku Bonanza at The Ochre House

Isn’t there a law of physics that says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? I’m no science geek, but Matthew Posey’s Bunraku-based puppet comedy Coppertone II: The Pope of Chili Town uses this law to re-balance Dallas theatre’s humor quotient. Lately an unseemly number of self-indulgent, pompous, belabored “relationship dramas” about … Continue reading

KDT TITUS: There will be Bard

Shakespeare. Still relevant? And how. When a Supreme Court justice weighs in about Master Will and makes the front page of the Wall Street Journal with his thoughts (April 18/19, 2009), The Avon Bard is definitely still relevant. Reflect upon the eerily modern themes of his Titus Andronicus, currently in performance at Dallas’ Kitchen Dog … Continue reading

Five Tons & A Bird at the Greenzone

SEAGULL. When all you really want is to give life the bird. The play’s over! It’s over! ALL OVER! Well done, Mom. You totally fucked up my play. SATISFIED?— Alex      What are you so angry about? — Maria Sans overpowering costumes. Sans rubber ferns. Sans foamcore scenery. Sans cheesy recordings of gunshots or train whistles. … Continue reading

A totally downer life: WTT regional premiere

Based on a Totally True Story. High on style, shy on substance. There must be a discount on royalties for less than compelling plays about 20-something malcontents and their relationship challenges; why else would companies choose to produce them often? In its studio theatre space Water Tower Theatre presents a gay romance with attempts at … Continue reading

Greek for Berliners: MBS Productions’ Oedipus Rex

It’s all Greek to me. Why is it that people are afraid of attending classical theatre — Shakespeare and the Greeks? Their plays offer some of the best writing, plots and characterizations ever seen on stage. Clear, logical, illuminating. Illustrating this is MBS Productions‘ current offering Oedipus Rex, a famous Greek play about a man … Continue reading

Transcendence and Loss: Undermain’s Black Monk

It naturally followed that when Dallas-based Undermain Theatre selected Rabe’s adaptation of The Black Monk for inclusion in its 2008-2009 season, music would become a major part of the production. Resident Composer Bruce Dubose made sure that music is central to the ambience and sustained breathless quality of mystical doom that permeates Undermain’s production. Continue reading

True Magic, True West: Sundown Collaborative Theatre

Gut-wrenching pain and resentment, soul-deep and gunny-sacked for years, pervade True West by Sam Shepard and drive its characters to sub-human acts of desperation. Support these folks at Sundown Collaborative Theatre. Donate time and money- free pizza coupons, intermission refreshments and certificates to local thrift stores. (They’ll destroy a lot of furniture before the run’s end.) It’s okay. Their art’s in the right place. Continue reading

Carousel: Denton’s First Class Ride

Quick: what Broadway show did Time Magazine name as the “best musical of the 20th century” in its 1999 “Best of the Century” list and composer Richard Rogers describe as his all-time favorite in his autobiography Musical Stages?

Carousel. Surprised? If you had the good fortune to attend Denton Community Theatre’s recent production at The Campus Theatre in downtown Denton, you‘d understand why. The music takes your breath away. How it’s naturally interwoven into the dialogue with a nod to classical opera recitative weaves an auditory magic unrivalled by many other musical theatre shows. Continue reading

When Love Really Hurts

Asked how she feels about Dont u luv me, Lauren Rosen exudes enthusiasm: “ It’s one thing to talk about these things, and a completely different thing to see it happening right in front of you. That’s why theater is such an important medium. It brings the issue to life and you get to see the consequences unfold right there. It can happen to you, your best friend or anyone. I think everyone should bring their kids, family, friends, everyone!” Continue reading