Monday, April 24, 2006

I am a sucker.

Saturday, I took in Leaving Iowa at the Royal George. And I was prepped for a total bland-over. You know, cornpone family vacation/coming to terms with your dead father comedy drama for ages 10 to 110. I didn't think it would hurt, but I was expecting some involuntary eye-rolls.

But you know what? It got me. The stupid show got me, in all of its slickness and calculated heart tugging, and despite the horribly dull central character. The secret, my kittens, is good performers. The cast had two superb comedians (one playing an annoying little sister, the other playing loads of tiny roles), and they kept everything sharp and entertaining. But it was Bradley Armacost, as the dead dad, who brought the meat, and made me feel all... moved. He was so sweet, and earnest, and daddish, and committed... just the most precious old actor ever. Whenever the show was in his hands it vaulted to this whole other level where I couldn't criticize a thing. I was toast. I am a sucker.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


So, I did that irritating thing where I go see a show, and put off blogging about it till after I write the review, and then feel like blogging isn't worth it. Well, not today!

Last week was "The Golden Truffle," which I really enjoyed. I loved the over-the-top dress up quality, the way the consumerism theme played out in all the fun stuff you could buy, the cake shaped set, the truffles, the banquettes. But my plus one for the night, the very smart and talented Andy, hated it. He thought the music sounded bad, the script was awkward, the character development half hearted.

I completely agreed with him. I loved the show anyway. I don't know why I'm sometimes so forgiving... show to show it doesn't make sense. But the "Golden Truffle" swept me off my feet as soon as I walked into the transformed Redmoon Central. From that second, I was full of good will, and willing to sit through any amount of acoustic irritation for another shot of magic. They had me at "Hello, may I show you to your seat?"

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Off-nights in the Loop

Saw the House Theatre's "Ellen Under Glass" (pretty title!) at the Storefront downtown tonight. It was both lyrical and underpopulated. Seriously people, I know it's a weeknight, but live a little! Anyway it had gorgeous music, and fluid, oh-god-we're-slipping-into-the-dreamworld again transitions from the magical to the mundane. It also starred Carolyn Defrin, about whom I've written my first ever Two-Sentence Performer Review:

Carolyn Defrin never blinks. Carolyn Defrin only closes her eyes on purpose.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

They just have someone back there with a curling iron.

Earlier today I took my mom to see "Cradle of Man" at Victory Gardens. We both agreed that the acting was top notch, and the script only good in Act Two. My mother was also impressed with the lovely hair on the entire female cast, and posited the existence of a backstage person dedicated entirely to touching it up between scenes.

My mom is so cute!

Friday was "Emma" at the Breadline. Smidge disappointed, I'm afraid. The first Reverie show I saw was enthralling- a French farce that should have been too wordy and too plotty and too silly to work at all, but was ceaselessly delightful and hilarious. This one was too long, and just couldn't keep things moving at a high froth. "Emma" used, I think, pretty much exclusively the original words from the book, and used multiple-character narration, which I like, but instead of just using the most delightful Austen passages, it relied on narration to move the plot along. Someone once said that narration should only be used if you don't need it. Still, there were some great funny moments before it overstayed its welcome, and Emma herself was all that you could have wanted. Looked a bit like Emma Thompson too, which is a plus.

Last week I also took in "Fighting Words" at the Viaduct. Go check out centerstage to see what I thought!