Dracula

I don’t know much about dance, and so sometimes I shy away from reviewing dance shows, because I feel that I don’t have the expertise to critique it. When I heard about COLLIDE’s new production of Dracula, my instinct was not to go, because how could I talk about jazz dance when I couldn’t remember which…

Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days

As the curtain lowers (yes, lowers) at the beginning of Open Eye Figure Theatre‘s production of Happy Days, even those audience members who are familiar with the play are somewhat surprised. There is just no way to see a play that features a woman buried up to her waist in sand and her mostly-monosyllabic partner without feeling…

Romeo and Juliet

By ELLEN FERRY. I took my seat before the Andy Boss Thrust Stage fearful that what I was about to witness—a 90-minute rendition of one of the finest plays ever written—would feel severely truncated. Romeo and Juliet’s star-crossed love is archetypal. The tale need not be explained, but would such a short run-time leave me…

The 2 Gentlemen of Verona

Seeing Shakespeare always makes me a little nervous. I do not fear the language or the twisty-turny plots; rather, my reaction is based on years of experience of seeing all sorts of wacky “new” twists on the Bard’s plays. I’ve seen a steampunk Macbeth and a post-apocalyptic The Tempest, a reverse-gender cast of Romeo and…

The Amish Project

Jessica Dickey wrote and performed her one-woman show The Amish Project in response to the 2006 school shooting in the Amish community of Nickel Mines, PA. She is very careful, however, to point out that the play, although based on real events, is entirely fictional; no real people’s names are used, and she deliberately did not research…

The Best Brothers

When producing artistic director Natalie Novacek referred to her “stupidly talented cast” during a toast on the preview night for The Best Brothers, I smiled and raised my glass, but I’ll admit that I was thinking, ‘Sure, you’re the director, you’d have to say that, wouldn’t you?’ But as I sat in the Open Eye Figure Theater and watched the…

The Sound of Music

By ELLEN FERRY. Anyone in search of the perfect evening out this holiday season should certainly consider a stroll under the glittering lights of St. Paul’s Rice Park, followed by a visit to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. For a production as iconic as Rodger and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” I can…

Between the Worlds

If I could review the entire experience of seeing Between the Worlds in one word, it would be “beautiful” and if I could do it in only two words, they would be “exceptionally beautiful”. However, I feel that even those two words are insufficient. Through song, dance, puppets, storytelling, music, and movement, the show celebrates the…

Christmas in the Airwaves

Much like Christmas carols, Christmas plays already exist in such numbers that creating a new one that puts a fresh new spin on things is quite the challenge. Kudos to Lyric Arts, then, for accepting that challenge by commissioning and mounting Christmas in the Airwaves by playwright John Patrick Bray. Set in 1944, Christmas in the Airwaves follows the adventures of a…

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

In only their second ever production, Casting Spells Productions takes on Terrence McNally‘s late-80s play, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. It’s a bold choice, given that it’s a two-hour production with a very intimate setting and features only two characters; with a weak performance by either actor or mismatched chemistry, the whole thing would fall apart. Luckily,…