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items tagged with Bryan Woods

This Way Madness Lies: "King Lear," at Lincoln Park through July 24
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-07-18 12:03:00

James Alt and Pat Flaherty in King LearThere may be some of you who hear the title King Lear and, knowing only of the play’s reputation as the mack daddy of all Shakespeare tragedies, immediately presume that any evening production of the piece will last well into the next morning. Allow me, then, to quell your fears: Saturday’s Genesius Guild staging of the Bard’s opus began promptly at eight o’clock, and after the night’s presentation had concluded, I was back in my car by 10:55.


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Honor Role: "Ajax," at Lincoln Park through July 10
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-07-05 12:00:00

Bob Hanske and Patti Flaherty in AjaxI make a conscious effort to suppress expectations prior to seeing a production, for fear they’ll rise to the unattainable. With Genesius Guild’s Ajax, however, I couldn’t help it. I was so taken with last year’s Andromache, performed in traditional period masks, that I was giddy with anticipation to see this summer’s Greek-tragedy offering. And despite a few apparent stumbles over lines and one glaringly missed cue, director Don Wooten’s effort did not disappoint. Saturday night’s performance of Sophocles’ piece captivated me with its creative execution.


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Fun with Dick and Dave: "Frost/Nixon," at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre through April 2
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-03-14 12:00:00

Kevin Grastorf and Paul Workman in Frost/NixonSitting down for Thursday’s performance of Frost/Nixon, the set for the Harrison Hilltop Theatre’s production heightened my concerns that I would likely be bored during the show. Even before arriving at the theatre, I anticipated struggling to concentrate, knowing I’m not much interested in history. But adding the minimalist approach to the set, with three platforms embellished by a strip of black rising up their centers, my hopes that the visuals, at least, would offer some interest dwindled. (While the look of the set is creative, I’m just not into minimalism.) It didn’t take long, though, for director Tristan Layne Tapscott’s efforts to prove my worries unwarranted, and by the end of the play, I was actually thankful for the simple set, as it didn’t at all distract from the players’ performances.


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Vagabonding: "Waiting for Godot," at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre through December 18
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-12-06 12:00:00

Matt Mercer and David Turley in Waiting for GodotWith its themes of loneliness, reality, death, the meaning (and absurdity) of life, and the search for self, playwright Samuel Beckett’s tragicomedy Waiting for Godot is considered, by some, to be the most significant English-language play of the 20th Century. Frankly, though, I didn’t search for meaning in the script during Thursday night’s Godot performance at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre, as I was too busy being entertained, to the point of loud laughter, by the captivating oddity of the dialogue and performances.


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Digging Deeper: “August: Osage County,” Through October 24 at the Village Theatre
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-10-18 18:34:43

Jessica Flood and Patti Flaherty (foreground) and Leah Otting, Jason Platt, and Kassy Caldwell (background)The language of playwright Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County is loaded with layers of emotion underneath its dialogue. During New Ground Theatre’s opening performance on Friday, a few actors neglected the dark undertones, reciting their lines as if Letts’ words held nothing below the surface. Most, however, got to the heart of the script, impressively revealing the richness of the work through performances that ranged from subtle to over-the-top. While not perfect, the show deserved the standing ovation it got from the audience.


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