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 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
Elizabeth Hurd Published: April 24th, 2011
“Money Matters” the final Jewel Box Theatre production for the season gives the audience a sense of delightful farce and British style comedy. Carole Brendlinger submitted “Money Matters” to the Jewel Box Original Playwriting Competition in 2002 and earned a well-deserved first place for the script. Don Taylor directs this production which has been brought back by audience demand. Taylor does a marvelous job of directing; actors have the opportunity to deliver some truly great one-liners and the audience has the opportunity to appreciate those moments. The action takes place in 1894, the basic story concerns a young questionably principled gentleman who decides to rescue his family status by marrying money, but he is unable to open his heart to his enthusiastic bride due to his mis-understanding of propriety. Continue reading
Elizabeth Hurd Published: April 15th, 2011
The Pollard Theatre continues Seasons of Laughter with “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” a surprising musical. “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is a musical based on a successful movie about two con artists creatively bilking unsuspecting wealthy women of their assets. The screenplay by Dale Laudner, Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning is full of wit and twists. The book by Jeffrey Lane should be a good read. However, the musical does not translate fully. Music and Lyrics by David Yazbeck create an average musical for a great cast. Unfortunately, good directing and solid casting do not counter the fact that reducing witty repartee and complicated set ups to a series of song and dance numbers eliminates much of the nuance and challenge created in the original movie.
Elizabeth Hurd Published: Mon, Apr 11, 2011
OKC Improv twists the audience into apoplectic seizures once again with their line-ups. “The Ones Your Mother Warned You About” are, as always, outstanding as they seize a zany idea delivered by some hapless member of the audience and create improvisational humor around the idea with brilliant one-liners made up on the spot. Cristela Carrizales, Buck Vrazel, Clint Vrazel and Raychel Winstead deliver a series of six different ‘couple’ dialogues that reveal a complete understanding of common misunderstandings. Humor is very revealing, reminding us of the universality of miscommunication, and misdirection. That is, if we can stop laughing long enough to catch our breath!
Elizabeth Hurd Published: April 1st, 2011
Back in the days of the Great Rebellion, many of us didn’t know much about bluegrass. Hearing the term made us think of Kentucky, but not Bill Monroe. Everything was about Rock & Roll. New and original, Rock & Roll is the music of a generation. Eventually we ran across The Flying Burrito Brothers and one of the best Rock & Roll experiences ever – “The Last of the Red Hot Burritos”. We discovered Byron Berline on the fiddle and we finally discovered bluegrass. We began to trace back Byron’s history in music and fell in love with bluegrass, and every album of every group Berline has been affiliated with. What a fiddle! Continue reading
Elizabeth Hurd Published: March 25th, 2011
Jim Garling is just about the most versatile crooner around. Garling frequently appears with Byron Berline and is also a member of the Sons of Sage – a group consisting of Garling, with Greg Burgess and Richard Sharp. Sharp and Burgess are regular members of the Byron Berline Band. Garling frequently appears solo, as well as with Berline or the Sons of the Sage, and occasionally with others. His performances are often scheduled at the R & R Restaurant & Event Center, 209 W. Oklahoma, Guthrie, Oklahoma. Continue reading
Elizabeth Hurd Published: March 12th, 2011
The whole joint’s a jumpin’ at Poteet Theatre in Oklahoma City through March 20, 2011. Nobody’s not being good exactly – they just “Ain’t Misbehavin’”! While not every one in the world is necessarily a jazz fan, every soul has just got to love Fats Waller. Thomas (Fats) Waller was born in 1904 and was already the organist at his father’s church by age 10. By 18 he was a recording artist making the ‘big time’. He died of pneumonia in 1943 (far too young) while touring across country. But in those years between he made a lot of great music, and those who loved his music loved his laughing life. He is known as a great symbol of Harlem and an inspiration to the civil rights movement. In 1978 the show “Ain’t Misbehavin’” co-written by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr. became a Broadway sensation as well as a tribute to his music. Continue reading
Elizabeth Hurd Published: March 11th, 2011
Sit back and close your eyes surrendering to the sweet bliss, not of sleep, but of imagination. Such are the days of the old time radio mystery plays. Let the mind fill in the blanks with wild flights of fancy as actors read fascinating scripts over the magic airways. The Jewel Box Theatre brings us back to our imagination with “Mystery Radio Plays.”
Artistic Director Chuck Tweed in collaboration with Director Linda McDonald visits cyber-space for several pre-television radio plays and presents them along with a few commercials as “Mystery Radio Plays”. Continue reading