It's been two-and-a-half years since Deanna Jent's remarkable play, "Falling", premiered at the Mustard Seed Theatre. This has been a busy time for Ms. Jent and her play. An off-Broadway production in 2012 was met with glowing reviews (and a nomination for a Drama Desk Award for "Outstanding Play"). "Falling" was produced in Los Angeles in 2013 and is appearing all over the country this year. Next year Brazil!
When I went to grad school at the University of Leeds in England—way back in 1960—some of the theatre folks there still told tales of a "crazy Nigerian" student who used to hang by his heels at cast parties. Well, that crazy Nigerian was Wole Soyinka and he went on to become one of Africa's greatest playwrights and novelists. In 1986 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Storm Large (yes, that's her real name) seems to be a one-woman entertainment conglomerate: rock star, author, actor, songwriter, and creator of the much-praised one-woman show "Crazy Enough" (based on her memoir of the same name).
The title of actor/singer Taylor Pietz's show "If I Only Had a Brain" is somewhat deceptive. She not only clearly has a brain, she has put it to good use concocting a fresh, funny, and polished cabaret evening that gave the old "this is my life" school of cabaret a quirky, self-effacing spin.
Kimber Lee's "brownsville song (b-side for tray)" opens on a bare, harshly illuminated stage. Lena (Cherene Snow), a middle-aged African-American woman, is in pain. A resident of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Lena has been working two jobs and doing everything she can to raise her two grandchildren properly. Now the older, Tray (John Clarence Stewart), has been gunned down stupidly and senselessly simply because he was standing too close to his gangbanger friend Junior (Joshua Boone).
When the lights come up on Lucas Hnath’s compelling idea-rich drama “The Christians,” the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Pamela Brown auditorium is instantly transformed into the sanctuary of a typical Christian mega-church, complete with video screens, an organ, and a choir.
Devised theatre can be many things, created in many ways. Unpredictability is its most predictable quality. You simply have to go to find out and the quality of what you find can vary widely, from the banal and boring to the brilliant.
Webster University’s Conservatory program, “A Reconsolidated Life: A Devised Piece” deserves a full two-week run of its own – it is just that good.
Clare (Annie Purcell) is an aspiring chef married to Paul (David Ross), an IT manager for a New York City law firm. She loves trying out new recipes on her best friend Ezra (Kasey Mahaffy) and his boyfriend Brady (LeRoy McClain), who teaches "at risk" kids. Ezra wants to start a Tex-Mex food truck business with Clare. She, in turn, wants him to marry Brady. When Clare gets an unexpected financial windfall as a result of a long-forgotten class-action lawsuit, She, Paul, and Ezra find themselves faced with some tricky choices.
A lot of talent went into the Actors Theatre of Louisville and SITI Company’s co-production of "Steel Hammer"—and I'm not just talking about the gifted, versatile, and physically robust six-person cast.