Theater Review

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Theater review: Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

An early Charles Busch farce lacks bite, despite an enthusiastic cast.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

LIKE A VIRGIN: Zachary Hines plays the victim-turned-vampire Astarte. - CRAWFORD LONG
  • CRAWFORD LONG
  • LIKE A VIRGIN: Zachary Hines plays the victim-turned-vampire Astarte.

If you saw Charles Busch’s The Divine Sister at Stageworks nine months ago, you’re to be excused for assuming that the same author’s Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, currently at Jobsite Theater, must be equally entertaining. After all, Sister had an inventive plot, lots of clever allusions to film, theater and fiction, several delightfully off-center characters, and more good laughs than anyone could count. So why shouldn’t Sodom — with its very title suggesting a canny assault on fundamentalist homophobes — be just as successful? Wouldn’t that be logical?

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Theater review: Two very different creators meet in Nureyev's Eyes

David Rush's revealing play runs through this Sunday at American Stage.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 4:12 PM

***1/2
One of Wyeth's real-life evocations of Nureyev, from the current Museum of Fine Arts exhibit.
  • One of Wyeth's real-life evocations of Nureyev, from the current Museum of Fine Arts exhibit.

Through much of the 1960s and 1970s, Rudolph Nureyev was the most famous male ballet dancer in the world. At the same time, Jamie Wyeth was a well-known, if not always well-considered realist artist, whose proclivities as a painter were more in line with those of his father Andrew and grandfather N.C. than with the late modernist and postmodernist approaches that dominated the art world of the time. David Rush’s Nureyev’s Eyes is a play about the several encounters of these two very different artists in the late 1970s, when Nureyev agreed, reluctantly it would seem, to be painted by Wyeth. In conjunction with the drama, an exhibit of Wyeth’s Nureyev paintings and sketches is currently taking place at St. Pete’s Museum of Fine Arts (through January 18). Theoretically, contact with the one show should lead us to the other, if for no other reason than to let us determine whether Rush imaginatively “got it right.”


Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Theater Review: Into the Woods

Venture Into the Woods with an enchanting cast and production.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 2:56 AM

FAIREST OF THEM ALL: Into the Woods cast features Katie Berger as Little Red, Kelly Pekar as Cinderella, Taylor Simmons as Jack and Ann Morrison as the Witch. - KEVIN TIGHE
  • KEVIN TIGHE
  • FAIREST OF THEM ALL: Into the Woods cast features Katie Berger as Little Red, Kelly Pekar as Cinderella, Taylor Simmons as Jack and Ann Morrison as the Witch.
Into The Woods
Runs through Nov. 9 at freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; 7 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri. and Sat., 2 p.m. Sat. and Sun. $23-$50, students, teachers, seniors, military pay $20-$47; 727-498-5205, freefalltheatre.com.



Continue reading »

Tags: , ,

Sunday, October 19, 2014

One last chance to see Ned Averill-Snell as Teddy Roosevelt — a must see

Posted By on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM

TEDDY BEAR: Ned Averill-Snell as Theodore Roosevelt. - DESIREE FANTAL
  • Desiree Fantal
  • TEDDY BEAR: Ned Averill-Snell as Theodore Roosevelt.

“What am I getting myself into,” I ask myself as I am getting ready to go see The Apocrypha of Theodore Roosevelt play at Tampa Prep.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Theater review: Hamlet

New Stage’s abbreviated production of Hamlet is solid but not revelatory.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 7:57 PM

***
FAMILY TIES: The agonized confrontation between Hamlet (Chris Jackson) and his mother, Gertrude (Antonia Krueger). - RYAN FINZELBER
  • Ryan Finzelber
  • FAMILY TIES: The agonized confrontation between Hamlet (Chris Jackson) and his mother, Gertrude (Antonia Krueger).


Hamlet Runs through Nov. 2 at New Stage Theatre and Conservatory, 11650 131st St. N., Largo; 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; $30. 727-301-3001; newstagelargo.org.

It’s not often that I begin a review by talking about a play’s set and costumes, but in the case of New Stage Theatre’s Hamlet, I’ll have to make an exception. This very interesting production takes place on a black stage, on and around a mostly black set, and with characters mostly dressed in contemporary black clothes. I suppose the point was to suggest the spooky, ever-present existentialism of Shakespeare’s classic, but the real effect is otherwise: the stage seems too small, the set feels incomplete, and the costumes look like they came from the actors’ closets. So even at its best, this Hamlet reads like a last dress rehearsal, the one just before the transfer of all the performers (who tomorrow will be issued costumes) to the more attractive real stage, where the famous tragedy, in all its colors, will triumphantly unfold. Note that I’m not (yet) commenting on the acting or directing; I’m just saying that this production is constantly undercut by its look. That’s not a minor criticism.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Theater review: Superior Donuts

Stageworks serves up a tasty production of a Tracy Letts comedy.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 10:43 AM

***1/2
SUPERIOR CAST: Michael Mekus, Richard Coppinger, Dawn Truax, Roxanne Fay, Jim Wicker, Travis Brown, Josh Goff, Tim Guerrieri and Peter Konowicz of Superior Donuts. -  - DESIREE FANTAL
  • DESIREE FANTAL
  • SUPERIOR CAST: Michael Mekus, Richard Coppinger, Dawn Truax, Roxanne Fay, Jim Wicker, Travis Brown, Josh Goff, Tim Guerrieri and Peter Konowicz of Superior Donuts.


Runs through Oct. 26 at Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd., Channel District, Tampa; show times Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. $30. 813-374-2416, stageworkstheatre.org

Langston Hughes’s defiant vow — “America will be!” — is a clarion call for Franco Wicks. The aspiring young writer, a key character in Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, has borrowed it for the title of his own novel, a bundle of manuscripts tied together with string that he hopes will be his ticket out of inner-city poverty in Chicago. His boss at the donut shop where he works, a morose 60-year-old Polish-American named Arthur Przybyszewski (Arthur P for short), recognizes his writing talent but discourages him from trying to do anything with it — because, in Arthur’s lifetime of missed opportunities and failed connections, hope is not to be trusted. “The core of the Polish character,” he says at one point,
“is hopelessness.”

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Theater Review — Jobsite's The Last Night of Ballyhoo

Identity struggles permeate from story to script, but Jobsite makes the most of it.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 6:23 PM

***1/2
HEADS OF THE HOUSEHOLD: Ned Averill-Snell and Ami Sallee portray Jewish parents in the Deep South. - CRAWFORD LONG
  • CRAWFORD LONG
  • HEADS OF THE HOUSEHOLD: Ned Averill-Snell and Ami Sallee portray Jewish parents in the Deep South.

The Last Night of Ballyhoo
Runs through Sept. 28, 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun. Regularly priced tickets start at $28. Straz Center’s Shimberg Playhouse, Tampa, 813-229-STAR, jobsitetheater.org.

Jobsite Theater’s current production wants to be two plays, one a shallow crowd-pleaser about an endearing Jewish family in 1939 Atlanta, the other a stunningly honest analysis of self-hating American Jews who have internalized the anti-Semitism of their milieu and who have even found other Jews to despise and discriminate against. It would be convenient if I could say that one or the other play ultimately predominates, but the fact is that author Alfred Uhry insists on having it both ways with The Last Night of Ballyhoo: Just when you think you’ve wandered into a theatrical sitcom, he floors you with his raw authenticity; and once you’ve convinced yourself of Ballyhoo’s range and importance, he throws in a few cheap yuks and begs to be your lapdog.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Relatably endearing comedy — Gypsy Rep's The Year of Independent Living

Posted By on Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 11:46 AM

***
LOVE AND MARRIAGE? Dennis Johnson and Crystal Farina.  - GYPSY REPERTORY THEATRE
  • gypsy repertory theatre
  • LOVE AND MARRIAGE? Dennis Johnson and Crystal Farina.

Local director and Gypsy Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Lil Barcaski penned The Year of Independent Living, selected recently as a Main Stage play at the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival. The play is a pleasant jaunt overall.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Theater review: The Chosen at American Stage

American Stage’s production will move more than a select few.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM

****
FATHERS AND SONS: The Chosen stars, from left, David Sitler, David Friedman, Dan Matisa, Justin LeVine and Joseph Parra. - CHAD JACOBS
  • CHAD JACOBS
  • FATHERS AND SONS: The Chosen stars, from left, David Sitler, David Friedman, Dan Matisa, Justin LeVine and Joseph Parra.


The Chosen
Runs through Sept. 28 at American Stage, 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 163 Third St. N.
St. Petersburg, $39-$49, $20 student, $10 student rush, americanstage.org

What’s really remarkable about Chaim Potok/Aaron Posner’s The Chosen is just how much ground it covers in only two acts.


Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Search Events

Art Breaker Top Topics

Events (76)


Visual Arts (43)


Comedy (31)


Theater (31)


Local Culture (28)


Books (24)


Movies: Review (18)


Movies: News (13)


TV: News (12)


Theater Review (10)


© 2014 SouthComm, Inc.
Powered by Foundation

Web Analytics