By Ryan Echols and Elizabeth Hurd Published: February 24, 2016 Updated: Feb 24, 2016
“Avenue Q,” which played recently at Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, is a multiple award-winning show of Broadway puppet/human mashup fame. With Best Score, Best Book, and Best Musical under its belt, there is no question of the caliber Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Music and Lyrics) along with Jeff Whitty (Book) bring to the stage.
Much of the allure in “Avenue Q” came from the use of puppets alongside actors. While this might have taken a moment to get used to, the convention of puppets and humans coexisting quickly became accepted and added to the lovely intricacies of the show.
The story was about a young man grappling with real life as he faced the obstacles a recent college graduate confronts in today’s society. Continue reading
Elizabeth Hurd Published: February 26, 2016 Updated: Feb 26, 2016
When the dark side of the soul is revealed in classic drama it can be incredibly frightening.
In a modern comedy featuring average folks who, in extremis, expose the evil that lies within, the dark side can be frightfully amusing. The Pollard Theatre is currently showing “God of Carnage,” an example of this kind of humor, created by Yasmina Reza as only the French can.
Christopher Hampton’s translation retains the ambience, and “God of Carnage” becomes a universally appreciated light comedy. The production is unlikely to offend; however it should be noted that strong language occasionally erupts. Continue reading
Elizabeth Hurd | Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016
The Pollard Theatre in downtown Guthrie is presenting “Hairspray” through May 7, 2016. This production envelops the audience with music reminiscent of a favorite era: the ’60s. There is no audience participation in “Hairspray” but there is a palpable connection to the performers creating an atmosphere of excitement layered under the swirling scent of hairspray. Those of us who lived through the ’60s remember the period with great fondness. The audience shares in the story and the music with enthusiasm and joy increasing the pleasure in this performance for everyone. “Hairspray” tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a fan of the Corny Collins teen dance show, the Baltimore version of ‘American Bandstand. Continue reading
Anna Holloway | Updated: Thu, Apr 14, 2016
Lyric Theatre offers a moving production of “The Fantasticks” at the theatre on the Plaza through April 24. Co-written by Tom Jones (book and lyrics) and Harvey Schmidt (music), “The Fantasticks” ran from May 1960 until January 2002; it remains the longest-running production in American history and the only off-Broadway musical to win a Tony. The 2006 revival continues to play in NYC.
Jones and Schmidt created an allegory loosely based on Edmond Rostand’s “Les Romanesques” and intended for very simple set, prop, costume and lighting design. Continue reading
Elizabeth Hurd Published: April 14, 2016 Updated: Apr 14, 2016
Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre-CityRep will present “ ‘night, Mother” by Marsha Norman through April 17 at CitySpace Theatre in the Civic Center Music Hall.
This production is ambitious, because “ ‘night, Mother” (a Pulitzer Prize Winner) tackles the devastating problem of suicide in our population. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in those younger than 24. Continue reading
Elizabeth Hurd Published: April 13, 2016
Barrow, Alaska, is the northernmost city in Alaska. Many Americans in the lower 48 know Barrow as the location of the airplane accident costing the lives of Wiley Post and Will Rogers. Also, we might remember the extensive media coverage of three whales trapped in the ice in 1988. Due to the frantic efforts of area residents and others, two of the whales that were freed survived. The third whale died.
“The Day We Were Born” chronicles the lives of two boys, born on the day the whales were freed and growing up amid the hardships of Alaskan life today. They are In̋upiat, and they have occupied this area for untold years. Continue reading
Elizabeth Hurd Published: April 13, 2016
Chicago, a city of diversity, and sometimes animosity, is the setting for “Clybourne Park” being presented at Carpenter Square Theatre through April 23, 2016.
“Clybourne Park” received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize as well as the 2012 Tony Award and the 2011 Laurence Olivier Award.
Playwright Bruce Norris is also a noted actor and director, and he is affiliated with the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. “Clybourne Park” is a natural result of the experience, talent and skill of Mr. Norris and is considered to be the next generation following “Raisin in the Sun,” a 20th century classic. Continue reading