Growing up is hard to do. It is rare that the transition from youth to young adult occurs without some pain. It is, in fact, all too common that the pain is almost unbearable. The Washington University Performing Arts Department delves deeply into this subject and delivers a moving, bittersweet production.
"In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)" follows the structure of a farce and, as such, multiple characters' lives become crisscrossed, and star-crossed, in order to bring to light the primary themes of the play. Interestingly, these themes are relevant not only to Victorian times, but, in many ways, the present.
There’s nothing I love more than seeing young people participate in live theater, and I have a real soft spot for the works of Shakespeare. So I looked forward to experiencing Washington University’s production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
If you don’t live under a rock, you probably know the name “Tracy Turnblad,” or at least recognize Hairspray as more than a product to set your coiffure. Born in the twisted mind of John Waters with the divine Divine as Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s zaftig mama, the 1988 movie became a cult film. In 1998, work began to re-imagine it as a big, splashy Broadway musical. Speaking as a fan of the original, I wish that hadn’t been done, but the result is surprisingly fun. The show’s finale is a big, bold number called “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” and apparently no one can. Since 2002, Hairspray has played around the world. The current production at Washington University’s Edison Theatre is highly entertaining and mostly capably rendered.
At Washington University's Performing Arts Department, Director Henry Schvey, his designers, and his cast have mounted a very clear, well-spoken and attractive production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a comedy and fantasy that is one of Shakespeare's perennially most popular plays.