"The Nerd" is a delightful, if somewhat insubstantial, bit of theater mischief teeming with wry references and affected mannerisms from the "golden age of Hollywood." Filled with engaging performances built around snappy remarks, witty comebacks, comic expressions, and a dash of pure silliness, the show is a bit romantic comedy, a bit slapstick, and a bit of a mystery.
Plays, movies and books about men's "midlife crises" are a dime-a-dozen; it's much less common to see a show that delves, artfully and thoughtfully, into the secret desires of a middle-aged, married woman. Luckily, Dramatic License Productions' humorous, yet realistic, one-woman show, "Shirley Valentine," is here to fill that gap.
It is easy to understand why "Boeing Boeing" became such a popular piece of French theater in the 1960's, with productions spanning fifty-five nations around the globe. Written by Marc Camoletti and translated by Beverly Cross, "Boeing Boeing" has crossed cultural boundaries to reveal and poke fun at universal truths of relationships and romantic behavior.
If ever a show were more elevated by its direction/choreography and performances, I haven’t seen it.
The lights were dimmed to black at the end of The Glass Menagerie, and I sat there choked up and unable to process or describe what I had just seen. The power of the performance blew me away.
Yes, she could “say that,” and she made crafting double entendres into a fine art. A veritable bouquet of her most famous zingers wraps up Dramatic License’s production of Dirty Blonde with Artistic Director Kim Furlow as the extremely imitable West and John Reidy and B. Weller in various roles representing the many men in her life. Carolyn Hood directs with as much grace as Claudia Shear’s hybrid script (part play, part musical) allows.
It’s unusual to find a topical play to become more relevant as time passes rather than less. I was surprised to find that Mass Appeal, first produced in 1980, is one of those rarities. Of course it helps that it has a first class team behind it including Deanna Jent as director and Alan Knoll and Dylan Duke playing the two characters onstage, Father Tim Farley and seminarian Mark Dolson, respectively. These pros bring out every nuance of Bill C. Davis’ trenchant examination of institutional Christianity versus what it means to truly live a Christian life. This disconnect remains today and, if anything, is more of an issue as the Catholic church continues to lose members for various reasons.
In 1972, actor/playwright Jason Miller opened his off-Broadway production of That Championship Season. Heralded as one of the year's best, Miller's play went on to receive a Tony Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1973. What made That Champion Season so widely celebrated was the raw humor and emotion expressed by the play's middle-aged male characters, all lacking a sense of self and direction. Former teammates, the men gather at their former coaches home to celebrate the 20thanniversary of their victory as state basketball champions. As the evening progresses, the occasion becomes less about reliving their victorious past and more about fearing their uncertain future.