Reviews for Texas State University Performances

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire, Texas State

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire, Texas State

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 23, 2015

Regan Goins captured Blanche DuBois's loony desperation and mute appeal. And Tennessee Williams does give her a lot of loony to deal with.

Musical theatre can fill up a space like the theatre of the new Patti Strickel Harrison Performing Arts Center with bounce, noise and spectacle, but I was concerned that the venue would be too cavernous for drama. Especially for drama as challenging as that of Tennessee Williams, that wicked old trafficker in souls in pain and search of redemption.  And there was also the simple question of age: in the glitter world of musical comedy, …

Read more »

Review: A Midsummer Night's Dream by Texas State University

Review: A Midsummer Night's Dream by Texas State University

by Michael Meigs
Published on November 20, 2014

Opened just a year ago, the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre at Texas State is a first-class facility, ample both inside and in its exterior spaces, spacious but at the same time snug. But you may find yourself disconcerted, even disoriented as you wait for the beginning of A Midsummer Night's Dream, for the stage is bare. You can see all the way to the cinderblock stark walls in the depths of the performing space. At …

Read more »

Review: Anything Goes by Texas State University

Review: Anything Goes by Texas State University

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 12, 2014

Kaitlyn Hopkins' staging of the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes is as big, bright and shining as the 1930's trans-Atlantic cruise ship that's the setting for this carefree romp.  The large talented cast of Texas State students and that 13-piece orchestra in the pit of the brand spanking new Performing Arts Center fill the stage and hall with joyful energy. Cassie Abate's choreography ranges from clever duets (think Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) to happy tapping, …

Read more »

Review: Richard III by Texas State University

Review: Richard III by Texas State University

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 16, 2013

Veteran actor Eugene Lee swaggers, glowers and rebukes -- but by addressing us from the first, he turns us into his unwilling confederates. At his most duplicitous moments he gives us a canny glance to reassure us that he's not abandoning his embrace of evil.

Richard III is a portrait of a monster.  He's a killer, more forthright than Iago and without a shred of the scruples of Macbeth.  This is the protagonist who tells us he's going to court a grieving royal widow as she stands over her husband's body "though I kill'd her husband and her father," and achieves that impossibility. She agrees to marry him.   Richard III was the portrait of a sociopath before the diagnosis was invented, …

Read more »

Review: As You Like It by Texas State University

Review: As You Like It by Texas State University

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 19, 2011

Chuck Ney's As You Like It served both as showcase and a satisfying entertainment. We left the theatre cheered and refreshed, exiting the cool blue ot that imaginary birch forest back out into the warm Texas night.

Marketa Fantova's designs for As You Like It at Texas State University establish at a glance the intentions of director Chuck Ney.  The action opens at Duke Frederick's court, a bare space at the front of the wide thrust stage, bounded to the rear by a high, chill wall with a blue metallic sheen.  That wall initially appears featureless, except for the edifice of steel tubing and dark metal treads parked against it -- the sort of …

Read more »

Review: Lady M by Texas State University

Review: Lady M by Texas State University

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 26, 2010

Smith-Rodriguez's Lady M is a serious and respectful piece, providing a credible back story. Recorded Scottish history was no great help, as the playwright notes in the program.

With the imagining of her piece Lady M Melissa Smith-Rodriguez explores the darkness of pre-history, of feudal Scots customs and of the perceived enigma of character of the leading woman in Shakespeare's Macbeth. This play is not an exculpation of Macbeth's unnamed lady but rather the creation of a fictional history explaining the woman's cold, fierce and ambitious nature.As a mantra and foreshadowing the playwright evokes the dark night of Act II, Scene 2 with Lady Macbeth's feverish comment," …

Read more »