CityRep Scores Big with Mandy Patinkin
Elizabeth Hurd Published: June 23rd, 2016
Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre presented an incredible event at Oklahoma City Community College Visual & Performing Arts Center Theater on Saturday, June 18. “Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Dress Casual” was a brilliant show of many aspects and massive energy.
Patinkin is beloved for his movie roles including ‘The Princess Bride,’ ‘Yentl,’ and ‘Men with Guns,’ to name only a few. He also starred in Broadway hits such as “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Evita,” and “The Wild Party”; he was nominated for Tony awards for all three and won for the last two. He also starred in ‘Criminal Minds,’ ‘Dead Like Me,’ ‘Chicago Hope’ (for which he won an Emmy) and currently stars in ‘Homeland’ on Showtime. Continue reading
“American Idiot” Pollard’s Brash Musical Blast
Elizabeth Hurd Published: June 21st, 2016
The Pollard Theatre is presenting the punk rock opera “American Idiot” through July 2nd in Guthrie, Oklahoma. In the generation coming of age in the early 1990’s Green Day became a very successful punk rock band. Punk rock is a somewhat ‘in-your-face’ expression of social anarchy embracing chaos over order. After living the ups and downs typical of most musical groups, Green Day released the album titled ‘American Idiot’ as a semi-autobiographical expression of their own coming of age. In 2009 the musical, “American Idiot” appeared, officially opening April 20, 2010. The book is by Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day vocalist/guitarist and Michael Mayer. Lyrics are by Billie Joe Armstrong and the Music is by Green Day. Continue reading
Summerstock goes “Into The Woods” in Edmond
Anna Holloway Published: June 14th, 2016
The Brothers Grimm collected dark and scary stories in the early 19th century, and near the end of the 20th century, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine collaborated on the Tony-winning musical “Into the Woods” based on some of those same tales UCO’s Summerstock Productitons and Broadway Tonight, in partnership with the College of Fine Arts and Design offers a lively and entertaining production at Mitchell Hall in Edmond through June 19, 2016.
Directed and choreographed by Steven Smeltzer, the show follows the script of the 2002 revival, which includes the three little pigs and two big bad wolves. The use of space and the pacing of the show is deceptively smooth, allowing the stories to stand out and interweave. Continue reading
Fatally Funny ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ Opens a Sizzling Season
Elizabeth Hurd Published: June 6th, 2016
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park opens Season 32 with Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” one of the bard’s most amusing romantic comedies. D. Lance Marsh, Associate Artistic Director of OSP directs the season opener with his usual distinctive flair as well as some interesting casting choices. The set is presumably the creation of Ben Hall, OSP production Manager and Technical Director and is a lovely as well as workable set. The Costume Designer for this Production is Tamitha Zook, joining OSP this season.
“Much Ado About Nothing” deals with some serious issues of the day—honor and shame alongside the politics of courtly behavior. These subjects are tackled head on while the characters are caught up in situations of robust hilarity serving to drive home the points rather than trivialize them. Benedick and Beatrice, trade barbs of criticism rather than charms of witticism as young couples destined to fall in love often do. Continue reading
“In The Next Room (Or The Vibrator Play)” Shakes up the Senses and Shapes up Sensibilities
Elizabeth Hurd Published: June 4th, 2016
“In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)” is currently and perhaps daringly being presented by Reduxion Theatre Company at the Civic Center Music Hall. It is realistic that, upon hearing the title, one allows a few moments for tittering. After all, the title is suggestive of a very titillating subject! This fascinating period play by Sarah Ruhl premiered in 2009 and has been nominated for three Tony awards.
“In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)” is the story of a young medical doctor who treats women for hysteria using the popular new electrical device, a vibrator. Dr. Givings is happily married to Catherine and they have recently had a baby girl, Letitia. Mr. Dick Daldry brings his wife, Sabrina to the clinic for treatment and Dr. Givings and his assistant, Annie provide a very clinical and discreet but successful experience for patients. Continue reading
Very Funny – “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” Red Dirt Theatre Company at Paramount Theatre
Anna Holloway Published: June 2nd, 2016
Red Dirt Theatre Company has produced a very funny evening of satire with “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” by Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder. Directed by noted filmmaker George Adams in Oklahoma City’s newest black box theatre, The Paramount Theatre, the critically acclaimed play deals with illusory terrors of nuclear attack in the midst of the iconic mythos of the 1950s. The story serves up layers of American social symbols to expose our tendency to believe that we have the power and technology to survive—and therefore ignore—any danger. And it’s very funny to watch.
In the bomb-proof basement of a local church, the widows of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are meeting for their annual quiche baking contest and brunch. The officers, led by Wren, open the meeting of the membership, which includes the audience. Continue reading
The long way home – ‘4000 Miles’ at Carpenter Square Theatre.
Ryan Echols Published: May 20, 2016
Preservation of modern humanity – one of the ultimate goals of theatrical art – presents an especially difficult challenge to playwrights. At any given moment, any passing person may be torn between moments of captivating elation, intense sorrow, or tragic loss – all offering the writer a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Produced by Carpenter Square Theatre, “4000 Miles” by Amy Herzog brilliantly encapsulates the mundane passion of daily existence. Presented as a relatively brief cross-section of young outdoorsman Leo’s life, the piece looks at the simplicity of humanity, the difficulties that some attempt to outrun, and the struggle of inevitable confrontation.
The lights rise on Leo quietly entering his grandmother’s New York apartment in the middle of the night. Continue reading
Theatre Review: ‘Top Girls’
Elizabeth Hurd Published: May 16, 2016
Rachel Irick and Krissy Jones collaborate as Directors of “Top Girls” the unique look at the feminine struggle to succeed.
Caryl Churchill, talented British playwright, explores the internal thoughts of a career woman trying to climb the unsteady ladder of executive achievement. Written in 1982, “Top Girls” takes place in a time of blatant discrimination. Today, where it exists, it is a bit more subtle. However, the profound and personal demons faced by today’s working woman are exactly the same. “Top Girls” examination of one woman’s journey is interesting and entertaining. This production from Oklahoma City Theatre Company is creatively directed by Irick and Jones. The cast they have chosen brings the competence necessary to stage a very complicated piece. Continue reading
Theater Review: Dramatic Knockdowndragout success with ‘Gidion’s Knot’
Elizabeth Hurd Published: February 26, 2016 Updated: Feb 26, 2016
Johnna Adams is a playwright willing to go out on a limb in “Gidion’s Knot.” This edginess creates a challenge for actors as well as for the audience.
It is disturbing and also unfortunately real — striking a discordant chord within current societal attitudes. The action takes place in a fifth-grade classroom. Corryn Fell has an appointment with her son’s teacher, Miss Clark. Her son, Gidion, has been suspended from school for a number of days; the action which instigates the appointment. Continue reading
Theater Review: Funny and fun found at Carpenter Square with ’37 Postcards’
Elizabeth Hurd Published: February 26, 2016 Updated: Feb 26, 2016
Carpenter Square Theatre is presenting the delightful comedy “37 Postcards” by Michael McKeever, a playwright of discerning wit.
The play centers on the return of the prodigal son Avery after a long absence touring Europe. He arrives with his lady love, Gillian, and he is hard-pressed to explain the vagaries of his dysfunctional family to her. In fact, he has a hard time understanding their eccentricities himself. The Suttons, bearing an old and established New England name, enjoy a significant fortune and an apparent carefree approach to life. As in all comedies, the humor is based on tragedy, and the tragedy is only endurable through escape and laughter. Continue reading