Reviews for City Theatre Company Performances

Review #2 of 2: Uncle Vanya by City Theatre Company

Review #2 of 2: Uncle Vanya by City Theatre Company

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on January 18, 2018

The brilliance of director Rod Mechem's production is that even when the characters believe they have nothing to live for, the actors' performances show us they're lying to themselves.

 

There are many things you can say about Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya that would be an understatement. For example:

 

  • It is about characters going through their own and very different mid-life crises. 
  • It is an existential commentary on social classes in mid-19th century Russia.
  • It explores the exploitive relationship between people and the environment.
  • It illustrates the dangerous self-delusions created variously by academia, alcohol abuse and religion.

 

The timelessness of ...

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Review: Uncle Vanya by City Theatre Company

Review: Uncle Vanya by City Theatre Company

by David Glen Robinson
Published on January 15, 2018

UNCLE VANYA plays out in drinking, multidirectional lust, and Vanya’s unending suffering. Vanya, with his considerable but totally unacknowledged talents, is faithfully conveyed by Beau Paul .

 

Anton Chekhov’s great play Uncle Vanya has just opened at City Theatre on the east side.  City has made a worthy production of it, without frills, updatings, or Russian accents.  The production is a straight, dialogue-heavy play that emphasizes the hopes, fears, and joys of its characters. 

 

The four-act play dwells on Russian landed gentry and lower classes living on a family hereditary estate in agricultural southern Russia.  As ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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