If you're a fan of the early days of Rock & Roll, you'll be in heaven if you go to see the touring production of Million Dollar Quartet. It's really more of a concert
with dead-on impersonations of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny
Cash and Elvis Presley than a traditional Broadway show.
Playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer has found a vein of universality in her new play, Leveling Up,
using the world of online gaming in which players vie for higher levels
of power and accomplishment, as a metaphor for growing up.
In Hampton’s 1985 play, the Marquise de Merteuil and the
Vicomte de Valmont are manipulative aristocrats in 18th-century France
who spend their time seducing scores of people and plotting to destroy
anyone who embarrasses or rejects them.
This dense, provocative script is a challenging work, but director
Brian Isaac Phillips has staged it beautifully with nine excellent actors who are
breathtakingly powerful in a complex tale that spans 80 years and four generations of two intricately interwoven families.
Playwright Deborah Laufer loves to tell stories. “I think what theater does,” she told CityBeat
recently, “is bring people together to contemplate what it means to be
human at this point in time. It’s a place to ask all the big questions..."
In 1960, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe followed their 1956 megahit My Fair Lady with the musical Camelot.
Its arrival on Broadway coincided with the election of John Kennedy,
and many people extended the vision of a “magical kingdom” to his
ascendance as America’s charismatic 35th president.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s world premiere play, Abigail/1702, is the Mount Adams theater’s 66th premiere, and a
positive sign that new artistic director Blake Robison will continue the
company’s long tradition of fostering new theatrical works and emerging writers.
Memphis, the 2010 Tony Award winner for best musical, is loosely based
on the story of a white disc jockey who crossed the color line and
played black music on the radio in the racially divided Tennessee city, and it’s a story worth witnessing.
Playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was in
Chicago early in 2008, rehearsing the world premiere of a new play he
had just written for Steppenwolf Theatre. The company was staging Arthur
Miller’s legendary 1953 Tony Award winner, The Crucible, on its mainstage.
Audiences seeing Richard II will wonder why it’s not presented more often because this production works so well. The common wisdom is that Richard II is
more about head than heart. Shakespeare’s other histories are full of
glory and combat, whereas this play focuses on a king whose weakness
leads to his downfall.
Starting in 2006, Cincy Shakes offered this raucous
run-down of holiday tales, movies, TV specials and tunes at the
courtyard at Arnold’s Bar & Grill downtown. This year it’s moved to CSC’s mainstage at 719 Race St., and tickets
have been selling like candy canes.
It might not have occurred to you that Cinderella
is a fairytale for the holidays, but at the Covedale Center they’ve made
it into a cheerful family-friendly extravaganza, decked out with
tinsel, glitter, snow, a midwinter ball and Christmas caroling.