Reviews for City Theatre Company Performances

Review: Crimes of the Heart by City Theatre Company

Review: Crimes of the Heart by City Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 30, 2017

Beth Henley's gentle comedy is at heart a celebration that provides gifts to each of the sisters, along with the day-late birthday cake for Lenny that probably marks an end to her spinsterhood.

I generally resist comparing stage productions to film versions. That's on principle, since a theatre piece must stand on its own concerning casting, directing, acting, technical support and -- not least -- the charisma of folks on and off stage. For City Theatre's Crimes of the Heart I was comfortably placed to follow my convictions, since not only had I not seen the 1984 film but I had never before seen the play.

 

All ...

Read more »

Review: The Glass Menagerie by City Theatre Company

Review: The Glass Menagerie by City Theatre Company

by David Glen Robinson
Published on July 24, 2016

Ben McLemore's delivery of Tom’s final soliloquy, full of street wanderings and everlasting love for his sister, evokes the later concerns and sensibilities of the Beat poets.

 

The Glass Menagerie is a study in pressure cookers, a modernist work, and a snow globe of the 20th century age of alienation. Much has been written about the play and its author Tennessee Williams, including how the play very likely models significant features of Williams’ family as he was growing up.  Many call it a memory play. 

 

None of that matters.  The Glass Menagerie generalizes brilliantly the squirming ...

Read more »

Review: Pageant, the musical by City Theatre Company

Review: Pageant, the musical by City Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on June 10, 2016

The contestants of the Glamouresse Pageant are headed into their fourth and final weekend with reports of full houses. They deserve them.

Pageant is pure fun, a lively evening with the silly sparkle of a twirling disco ball. Robert Longbottom's concept is simple. Take the loony artificiality of a beauty pageant and stage it with male actors to emphasize the absurdity of the activity. Beauty is big business, folks, and the promoters know it. The history of American beauty pageants is long and strange, complete with grinning M.C.s, swimsuit struts, talent competitions and interviews ...

Read more »

Review: Arden of Faversham by anonymous, City Theatre Company

Review: Arden of Faversham by anonymous, City Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on May 17, 2016

This contemporary 'noir' staging of ARDEN OF FAVERSHAM offers a banquet of guilty pleasures and the dessert of justice delivered.

Wicked wives, stupid husbands, thugs and murder; what's not to like? Director Kevin Gates gives the 1592 drama Arden of Faversham a canny spin by setting it as a contemporary noir tale, accenting the timelessness of the theme. It was pulp fiction when printed in Elizabethan England, and it's even more pulpy now. The company plays it straight, giving it a wicked edge, keeping the comedy quiet but in plain sight as Black ...

Read more »

Review: Bus Stop by City Theatre Company

Review: Bus Stop by City Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on March 31, 2016

You've seen this kind of setup hundreds of times: the playwright collects characters and sets them spinning and bouncing off one another.

William Inge's Bus Stop sets for its audience the classic 'closed room' story, except that it's not an Agatha-Christie style mystery. The mystery being pursued here is the quest for love.

 

It's 1 a.m. in the morning at a crossroads cafe somewhere west of Kansas City, well before the age of the Interstates. Cafe proprietor Grace and her young teen waitress are waiting for the arrival of the night bus ...

Read more »

Review: A Man for All Seasons by City Theatre Company

Review: A Man for All Seasons by City Theatre Company

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on March 05, 2016

When Norfolk tries to understand Thomas More's stance, he's thwarted by the simple line, "I trust I have made myself obscure." Yet the truth couldn't be farther from this gibe.

A Season for a Fall

 

It’s good to be king, as the saying goes, you have absolute power and most of your desires are readily fulfilled.  Everyone loves you, or at least they pretend to. . . ahhh, there's the rub. The pandering sycophants and your truest friends are forced by fear of the executioner’s axe to be pretty much one and the same.  An honest opinion is hard to find. This is ...

Read more »