Game On: WAITING FOR LEFTY by Upstart Productions

  “The world is supposed to be for all of us…Hello, America!” Waiting for Lefty   Delighted to see that the frequently conservative Dallas Morning News has not blacklisted Upstart Productions for producing Clifford Odet’s Waiting For Lefty and that the production will continue its run through April 1, playing to full houses. That’s exactly … Continue reading

WHAT THE DEUCE! A Dreamy Double-Dose of Drama

Double your pleasure, double your fun. Double your impact? With the NEA, NEH and PBS funding at risk under a wildcat Republican administration in DC, it’s hard not to worry how the arts will survive and thrive. Two Best of the Region theatre companies have linked resources to offer audiences a special two-fer deal this … Continue reading

Step Up to The Basement: Our Future, Performing Today

Just don’t call them “kids” in the theatre…. When they walk into a rehearsal or performance setting, these artists are as professional as they come in our arts community. They are the creative engines, the future visionary drivers emerging from Jeff Swearingen’s Fun House Theatre and Film. And they are stepping out in style in … Continue reading

On Hallowed Ground at Second Thought Theatre

“Most guys don’t like what I do…feel they’re less of a guy around me. I take the guy spot, and they don’t know where they belong.” The female fighter pilot in Grounded Some reviews beg to be written. Second Thought Theatre’s Grounded by George Brandt has haunted me since I witnessed last Friday the 13th’s … Continue reading

Bang the drum: Trinity Shakespeare Festival 2017 doth come!

Trinity Shakespeare Festival proudly announces its productions for Summer 2017, as it enters its 9th year of audience-pleasing excellence in performance. Richard III and Measure for Measure will run in repertory June 13-July 2, 2017 on the campus of Texas Christian University. AUDITIONS FOR TRINITY SHAKESPEARE 2017 Wednesday and Thursday January 18th and 19th Open … Continue reading

Flock the Holidays with Cara Mia Theatre Co.

Cara Mia Theatre Co. aims to enchant Dallas theatregoers into the holiday spirit with their original family comedy favorite Nuestra Pastorela, opening Saturday November 19th and running through Sunday December 11th at the Latino Cultural Center. Directed by top-drawer movement and combat specialist and Cara Mia member artist Jeffrey Colangelo, the family friendly play unfolds … Continue reading

Final Bow: THE GOOD THIEF at FIT 2016

From Alexandra Bonifield, Director: Andrew and I have lived, breathed, worked, questioned, debated, resolved, and reworked aspects of character, voice, intent, arc and plot in THE GOOD THIEF since December 2015. It’s become a vital element of daily existence, script never poised far from thought or elbow, the subject of endless phone discussions. Weeks built … Continue reading

THE GOOD THIEF at FIT 2016: Redemption, Truth, Art

Mark Lowry of THEATER JONES interviewed Alexandra Bonifield via email for a feature about her production of Conor McPherson’s award-winning solo work THE GOOD THIEF starring R. Andrew Aguilar, produced by L.I.P. Service at The Festival of Independent Theatres in July 2016. Here is the interview in its entirety. Alexandra: since you’ve been back in … Continue reading

L.I.P. Service Gets Your Goat and Albee’s, Too

A Guest Review by Scott Davis of Runway Theatre in Grapevine. Between directing and acting soon, and being a company member with L.I.P. Service, I’m backing way off from reviewing much for a while. Features will still flourish. Cheers! Weird, wild, or experimental theatre is nothing new to our world. A few writers flourish with … Continue reading

SPRING AWAKENING: Soaring Sell-out at Runway Theatre

There are two sorts of theatregoers …those who have seen Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s Spring Awakening before (maybe multiple times), and those who have not seen it, ever. Both types could enjoy Runway Theatre’s current production of the 2006 Tony, Drama Desk and Olivier award-winning rock musical running through June 12. Fresh, sensual, vibrant, … Continue reading

Rudderless Rendition: SHOWBOAT at Dallas Opera

When Dallas Opera announced production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s venerated, ground-breaking 1927 musical Showboat as part of its 2015-2016 season, it promised both parallel and contrast to their exhilarating premiere of Great Scott from last November (Jake Heggie and Terence McNally’s collaboration that deftly blends opera into American football settings and marries classical … Continue reading

Art & Risk: Austin Cline in L.I.P. Service’s LAUGHING WILD

L.I.P. Service’s features as its company slogan “It’s all about the ART”. Actor Austin Cline, currently featured in the L.I.P. Service production of Durang’s Laughing Wild in a double bill March 26 with Fun House Theatre and Film’s topical Theatre of Politics, might add to that “…and taking risks on stage.” This 6’3”, blue-eyed Paul … Continue reading

Your Sweet Bitter: BOGOSIAN at Dallas’ Wyly Theatre

“The point of being an artist and using language is to invite people into your reality. Who could imagine an Edward Albee or a Harold Pinter before there was an Albee or Pinter? That’s the thrill of the stage.” Eric Bogosian $25 RUSH STUDENT TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR ALL SHOWS AT BOX OFFICE Dallas welcomes playwright/ … Continue reading

Trinity Shakespeare Festival: Welcome, 2016 Cast

Trinity Shakespeare Festival announces its company for 2016, its 8th season, running June 7-26 at the TCU campus in Fort Worth. It features a distinguished assemblage of national artists, regional professionals and new faces. TJ Walsh directs The Winter’s Tale and Stephen Brown-Fried directs A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tickets will go on sale online in … Continue reading

FAME meets Fortune with Junior Players

Want to be a famous star? Do you know yourself well enough to handle it? A whirlwind of stylistic changes have transformed musical theatre performance since David De Silva’s stage adaptation based on the film Fame debuted in 1988 in Miami, Florida, as Fame on 42nd Street. Still, its core issues – the intense desire … Continue reading

Criticalrant’s Final “First Choices” of 2015

  2015 unfolded as a stunner of a thespian year, from classics to new work, dynamic paradigm-shifters to re-invigorated audience favorites, ensemble achievements to compelling solo work. Youth to senior artists. And music? Glorious music! Performance art in our region thrives with energy, respect, initiative and genuine variety. Dedicated, impassioned creative people form the backbone … Continue reading

BLACK NATIVITY: A Transcendent Tradition at TeCo Theatrical Productions

When celebrated African-American poet, novelist and playwright Langston Hughes’ gospel music-driven production Black Nativity opened Off Broadway in December 1961, it became one of the first African-American written plays ever to be staged there. Performed regularly coast to coast since that time, Black Nativity has charmed TeCo Theatrical Productions’ audiences at Dallas’ Bishop Arts Theatre … Continue reading

Tragedy of Convention: Cara Mia Theatre’s BLOOD WEDDING, Human Enough

Federico Garcia Lorca. Blood Wedding. Cara Mia Theatre Company. Duty v. Desire. Moments of breath-taking beauty implode into explosions of anguished desolation throughout the tragedy, burning deep into the senses of those who attend this morality masque, a ritualized soul cleansing with proto-feminist overtones. Through December 13 at Dallas’ Latino Cultural Center. An internationally recognized … Continue reading

Magnificently Grand: GRAND HOTEL at Lyric Stage

Grand Hotel isn’t just grand. It’s magnificent. Normally discussion of a show’s music jumps first off the page in a review of a work staged by a regional leading musical theatre presenter. In the case of Luther Davis, Robert Wright and George Forrest’s Grand Hotel, with additional music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, running though … Continue reading

Spongy-Grungy Macbeth at L.I.P. Service

Guest critic Anna Holloway is a professional dramaturg and reviewer based in Oklahoma City. She writes for The Oklahoman and for the NewsOK blog, as well as makes occasional guest appearances on Oklahoma Arts Scene and Hurd and OKConstage.com. Having directed Macbeth, she is always interested in seeing other approaches to the play. The genius … Continue reading

2016 in Review at criticalrant.com

I reread my first paragraph in 2014’s Best of Live Theatre in the DFW region for criticalrant.com. It still stands in 2016, a year in which my creative focus shifted tectonically. I saw fewer shows as I was busy directing, thrilled to be so doing. “I operate on the premise that a theatre’s job is … Continue reading