Thornton Wilder. He just gets better with the years. Wilder was the author of “Our Town” (which everyone from here to Mars has seen) and of “The Matchmaker,” which became “Hello Dolly!” (and everyone from here to Pluto has seen that). But he also wrote a wonderfully playful tragic heroic comic allegory called “The Skin of Our Teeth.” And everyone everywhere should certainly see that.
In “The Lion in Winter,” James Goldman has written something of a medieval version of “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.” Given that in Goldman's piece royalty are fighting for provinces and thrones and even lives, the stakes may seem higher than in Albee, but the bruising of egos is very similar. And Goldman's dialogue can be almost as witty as Albee's.
Clayton Community Theatre takes a humorous look at the general reverence for and study of all things Shakespeare with Ann-Marie MacDonald's sprightly comedy "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)." A near-farcical look at two well-known Shakespearean plays, "Othello" and "Romeo and Juliet," the show succeeds in spirit while it lacks in substance.
First produced and well-received by critics and audiences in 1954, “The Bad Seed” holds up remarkably well for a nearly 60 year old play. It was adapted by Maxwell Anderson from William March’s novel of the same title, and it became a popular film also.
In the 1950s, William Inge could be named with Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams as a leading American playwright. He seemed to be dealing boldly with ordinary Midwestern Americans and their struggles with a society that repressed sex and celebrated material wealth.
You gotta hand it to a small company that takes on Lysistrata—that classic bawdy anti-war comedy that Aristophanes wrote two thousand four hundred twenty-three years ago. So Clayton Community Theatre and its large ensemble of actors deserve a big hand—if only for sheer guts. We need to see the classics once in a while.
WC Fields once cautioned performers against working with kids and dogs meaning they would easily steal the show. Director Sheri Hogan wisely ignored this advice and presents us with a charming piece, The Little Prince.
I am an Agatha Christie "newbie." I have never read one book, nor seen any staged production written by the mystery author. I was not familiar with the quick-witted, dust-loathing detective, M. Hercule Poirot, who has appeared in more than 30 of Christie's novels and short stories. The sleuth also appears in Black Coffee, Christie's first and only mystery that was originally written as a play.
In these reviews, we don't usually cover high school theatre. We do cover community theatre, including the Clayton Community Theatre. Some community theatres during summer vacation hold workshops or camps for young people, and they put on plays. We don't review those.
The Clayton Community Theatre has revived Craig Lucas' fantastical little comedy, Reckless, from 1983. We find Rachel, a pretty young wife and mother, experiencing an attack of euphoria on Christmas Eve. Rachel (as more than one critic has said) is something of a Candide in her irrepressibly optimistic attitude toward life. But she's blended with a large dose of June Cleaver (for those of you old enough to remember "Leave it to Beaver"). She's blissful in her conventional domestic role. But when her bliss is interrupted by a warning from her husband that (for reasons never to be explained) he has put out a contract on her life, Rachel flees into the night. And then begins a bizarre and surrealistic adventure.