Recent Reviews

Review: Jesus Christ Superstar by touring company

Review: Jesus Christ Superstar by touring company

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on October 11, 2019

The 50th anniversary tour isn't the story of a man and his betrayer, it's the tale of a superstar. Jesus is who people make him. The obliquely abstract design did nothing to harm the electric energy of the production.

 

 

Before Jesus Christ Superstar was an international musical phenomeon, it was a rock opera concept album written by Emmy-, Gramm-y, Oscar- and Tony- award winners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice Though it went on to sell over 7 million copies it was originally banned by the BBC as sacrilegious. Both the album and subsequent musical were condemned by various religious groups.

 

It didn’t help that lyricist Rice included text that suggested ...

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Review: Shadowlands by Lighthouse Theatre

Review: Shadowlands by Lighthouse Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on October 09, 2019

In this moving story director Chase Wooldridge balances English reserve against American emotiveness, and his cast solidly grips the emotions of the audience. It's an artful telling of a story that resounds still today in our all too secular world.

 

Of the deep delights of editing this website and reviewing live narrative theatre, the chief are the unexpected, the new, and sheer serendipity. This week I found myself panning one dazzling production and praising another by a playwright essentially unknown in the United States. Those checked the first two boxes. Shadowlands by William Nicholson, done by the relatively young Lighthouse Theatre in Georgetown, put a great big checkmark and exclamation point in the box ...

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Review: Hang by Horizon Line Theatre

Review: Hang by Horizon Line Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on October 08, 2019

HANG is a three-character, slow-motion, high-resolution view of naive good intentions smashing into the messy business of collateral damage and revenge. You just can't look away. Nor should you.

 

It's devilishly difficult to craft a review of debbie tucker green's Hang without flinging spoilers. This is because the playwright's structural approach to this story is based on withholding information. We don't know these three persons' names; they're identified only as One, Two and Three. More to the point, we don't know why Nadine Mozon as Three, a married woman who underwent some terrible trauma (what?) inflicted by ...

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Review #2 of 2:  Dracula: Mina's Quest (adapted by Dietz) by Zach Theatre

Review #2 of 2: Dracula: Mina's Quest (adapted by Dietz) by Zach Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on October 07, 2019

Steven Dietz's reworked Dracula at the Zach Theatre is a loud, over-the-top version played out on a set that looks more appropriate for Cartoon Network or THE ADDAMS FAMILY. And to tell the truth, we found it really boring.

 

We looked at one another at the intermission and had to decide if we were just going to walk out on this one. Steven Dietz's reworked Dracula at the Zach Theatre is a  loud, over-the-top version played out on a set that looks more appropriate for Cartoon Network or The Addams Family. And to tell the truth, we found it really boring.

 

Dietz, brought to UT some years ago from Seattle ...

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Review #2 of 2: The Duchess of Malfi by Hidden Room Theatre

Review #2 of 2: The Duchess of Malfi by Hidden Room Theatre

by David Glen Robinson
Published on October 06, 2019

Nothing illuminates an involved story like excellent performances, and The Duchess of Malfi is full of them. The heart, soul, and agony of the play reside in Judd Farris’s character of Bosola, the murderer and spy.

 

The Hidden Room and Artistic Director Beth Burns have scored another spectacular success with their production of The Duchess of Malfi. The tragedy is a Jacobean drama written by Englishman John Webster in 1612 and 1613. As with many Jacobean (English Renaissance) dramas, the play is based on actual events in the lives of historical figures. The Duchess of Malfi, real name Giovanna d’Aragona, Duchess of Amalfi, was a tragic figure caught up in ...

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Review #1 of 2: The Duchess of Malfi by Hidden Room Theatre

Review #1 of 2: The Duchess of Malfi by Hidden Room Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on October 04, 2019

Judd Farris is a standout among standouts as grim, swift murderer Bosola; Robert Matney as the cardinal is Orsonian (as in Welles); and Ryan Crowder as the duchess's wicked brother goes mad with wild élan.

 

The Hidden Room  is a tight little Early Modern Drama gang grouped under the sheltering, nourishing genius of Beth Burns, and they've periodically been transporting a narrow, sophisticated slice of the city's theatre-going public back 400 years or so for what seems like forever. If that sounds like a convoluted timeline, consider this: CTXLT catalogs show 22 productions since April, 2010 by these gifted zealots. Most were of dusty dramas that only ...

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