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Friday, August 26, 2016

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Theater reviews

By Ben Siegel » Saturday, August 13, 2016

Director Eda Holmes pulls a wicked doubleheader this season at the Shaw Festival, taking on two of the strongest female protagonists in the theatrical canon: the title character in George Bernard Shaw’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” and Mrs. Arbuthnot in Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance.” These women... Read More

By Ben Siegel » Friday, August 12, 2016

Thank goodness for Lisa Codrington. Her gutsy new play, “The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God,” does an impressive thing at the Shaw Festival’s Court House Theatre. Her one-act play, which runs as part of the festival’s Lunchtime series, uses a George Bernard Shaw novella to lovingly criticize... Read More

By Colin Dabkowski » Friday, August 5, 2016

Taken individually, August Strindberg and Conor McPherson are two of the darkest playwrights who ever set pen to paper. Put them on the same bill, and they're almost too gloomy to bear. Such is the crushing mood of Martha Henry's production of Strindberg's 1901 play "The Dance of Death" in a dank new adaptation by... Read More

By Colin Dabkowski » Thursday, August 4, 2016

In her final season as artistic director of the Shaw Festival, Jackie Maxwell was determined to produce a play by the South African writer Athol Fugard. After watching Philip Akin's clean and crushing production of Fugard's "'Master Harold'... And the Boys," running through Sept. 10 in the Court House Theatre, it's... Read More

By Colin Dabkowski » Friday, July 29, 2016

When it comes to taming shrews, few do it with more flair or panache than Spanish pirates. This seems to be the paper-thin motivation behind Steve Vaughan's clever but ultimately unsatisfying take on Shakespeare's comedy "The Taming of the Shrew" that opened July 28 in Delaware Park. Like Coldplay, cilantro... Read More

By Colin Dabkowski » Friday, July 29, 2016

When it comes to putting a new sheen on a forgotten comedy, you can't go wrong with camp. That's the wise approach director Morris Panych took with his outlandish production of "Engaged," a little-known piece by W.S. Gilbert about the rampant hypocrisies of young social climbers. The production is the latest in a... Read More

By Melinda Miller » Monday, July 25, 2016

Terrence McNally must have had a blast writing “It’s Only a Play,” his dishy send-up of the theater, and the cast of BUA’s current production of the play has at least as much fun being in it.So imagine what a treat it is for the audience, sitting back in the cool comfort of the Alleyway Theatre to watch the fur and... Read More

By Ted Hadley » Saturday, July 23, 2016

Antonin Cimolino, the Stratford (Ontario) Festival artistic director, describing his 2016 play choices, has said this about his themes: “No defeat can be more devastating than the vanquishing of the spirit; no victory more exhilarating than the triumph of the heart.” Succinctly, that is the 2016 Stratford season in a... Read More

By Colin Dabkowski » Friday, July 8, 2016

You must love “Evita.” This is the aching imperative made clear in the first dissonant notes of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most inventive musical, a flawed story about a flawed figure flecked with moments of transcendent beauty. And try as you may to avoid her charms, she’s liable to win you over in the end. Local... Read More

By Ben Siegel » Saturday, June 25, 2016

Opening nights on Shakespeare Hill are becoming a real treat. Last season saw the commemoration of Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s fortieth season of free outdoor theater. On Thursday, the 41st season kicked off with a ribbon cutting on the company’s brand-new stage, paid for by an aggressive community-supported... Read More

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