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items tagged with Christopher Durang

Parent Trapped: "Baby with the Bathwater," at Scott Community College through April 29
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2016-04-25 12:00:00

Melanie Hanson in Baby with the BathwaterChristopher Durang’s irreverent Baby with the Bathwater is the current production at Scott Community College, and upon my arrival about 25 minutes prior to showtime, I enjoyed a few moments of the sweet music-box soundtrack, thinking it a clever juxtaposition to the darkly comedic farce that was to follow. However, a few minutes of it were enough for me to get the idea, and because those sounds were all that was in the offing regarding pre-show music, the next 22 minutes of waiting seemed, well, a bit long. Perhaps the music box also ignited my inner grump, because, with only a few exceptions, I did not find much comedic respite in the words and actions that followed.
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Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy at New Ground Theatre, April 29 through May 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2016-04-21 12:00:00

Jordan Smith, Bill Peiffer, Jake Walker and Maggie Woolley in UncleAt the very end of Anton Chekhov’s 1897 tragicomedy Uncle Vanya, two of the play’s principal characters – Vanya and his niece Sonya – sit quietly at a table at their Russian estate, each lamenting the departure of their recent house guests. They’ve endured all manner of emotional hardships over the stage hours prior, and as they prepare to face more in the lonely years ahead, Sonya delivers one of theatre’s most famous closing monologues, climaxing her speech by telling Vanya not to fear – God will show pity on them. “We shall rest,” she says, gently, just before the curtain falls. “We shall rest.”

Hopefully, for Vanya and Sonya, 119 years constitutes a long-enough rest. Because thanks to a playwright’s imagination and a rather inconvenient (and fictitious) wormhole, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya characters are continuing their sagas in author Lee Blessing’s debuting comedy Uncle, a world-premiere production by Davenport’s New Ground Theatre running at the Village Theatre from April 29 through May 8.

“Sometimes you just don’t know where things come from,” says Blessing, with a laugh, regarding his sci-fi-comedy continuation of Chekhov’s masterpiece. “I’d seen a modern update of Vanya not that long ago in Los Angeles, and around the same time I said to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting to write a play about a guy who suddenly has a cosmic wormhole open up in his backyard, but doesn’t want it? Doesn’t want the things that come out of it?’ And so, for some odd reason, I put those things together."
Read More About Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy At New Ground Theatre, April 29 Through May 8...


Critical Mass: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2012
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2012-12-31 12:00:00

Mitch Donahue, Alexander Robin Kass, Samantha Pauly, Kristin Gilbert, and Tristan Layne Tapscott in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Legally Blonde: The MusicalFor our third-annual conversation on the Year in Theatre, Thom White – the Reader’s chief theatre reviewer – and I thought we’d shake things up a bit. So instead of meeting for an hours-long breakfast to discuss the area stage scene, we met for an hours-long dinner to discuss the area stage scene.

And while I managed to keep things lively by spilling a completely full glass of water not 10 minutes after sitting down, we also managed to touch on many of the varied experiences that Thom (occasionally accompanied by his partner’s daughter Madison) and/or I had during another eventful year for fans of the theatre. Pack a lunch, sit back, and dive in ... .


Read More About Critical Mass: Mike Schulz And Thom White Discuss Area Theatre In 2012...


Performance Anxiety: "The Actor's Nightmare," at Scott Community College through November 10
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-11-05 12:00:00

Scott Community College presents The Actor's NightmareDuring Thursday's presentation, actor James Thames seemed out of place in Scott Community College's The Actor’s Nightmare, acting like he was acting, offering a limited range of emotions and inflections, and speaking with a note of desperation in his tone. However, his amateurish performance, whether by design or not, actually proved spot-on for this comedy in which a non-actor finds himself forced to perform roles in four plays with no prior rehearsals.


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