OK Art Scene and Hurd

Publisher: Elizabeth Hurd / Managing Director: Adrienne Proctor / Editor: Jillian Pritchard Ball

“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

Sound of Music: Heart & Beauty!

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: Friday June 10th, 2011

“The Sound of Music” is an absolute perfect classic and one cannot help but expect to attend comparing the wonderful movie with Julie Andrews to any live performance. Jenny Rottmayer in the role of Maria Rainer is quite capable of enchanting the audience into forgetting to make that comparison from the very first scene. Her voice is crisp and pure and her interpretation of the young woman meant for motherhood, song and joy rather than reflection within the confines of a nunnery is genuine and convincing.

The music of Rodgers and Hammerstein tells the story from the book by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse suggested by the true story of “The Trapp Family Singers.” It is the story of a young postulant nearly ready to take her final vows at Nonnberg Abbey. She is sent as a governess to the home of Captain von Trapp, a strict widower with seven children to care for. Continue reading

Theatre Review: “Avenue Q” Smash-Hit from CityRep

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

Theater Review: Pollard presents ‘God of Carnage’ — a perfect comedy

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

Alice in Wonderland: Great Talent

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: May17th, 2011

Fantastic fantasies are the bridge adults use to recapture the dreams of childhood lost. Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” is the book that showed us that our adult interpretations of childhood dreams and impressions are quite universal. The adaptation by Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus translate Carroll’s wonderful book into a fine stage production. Director Shawna Linck has the daunting task of bringing the play to life for Poteet Theatre audiences.

The play is a difficult project to mount with a large cast of unique characters. Of course the first order of business is to find the perfect youngster to bring Alice to life. Anna Hall is exactly the right young lady for this part. A fifth grade student, Hall brings a great deal to the interpretation of Alice and only a bit more experience is needed to fine tune some of her recitation skills in important pieces such as ‘Jabberwocky’. Continue reading