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Theatre Review: MadLab’s Clowntime is Over is an Uproarious Comedy About Loneliness and Pain

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Theatre Review: MadLab’s Clowntime is Over is an Uproarious Comedy About Loneliness and Pain

Joseph E. Green’s Clowntime is Over is named for an Elvis Costello song and shares with the Costello an encroaching sense of paranoia and desperation. We open with Max P. Twinkle (Andy Batt), a clown, hungover, at the end of his rope. This degraded Pagliacci is doing the only thing he can picture himself doing: making what […]

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Actors’ Theatre’s The Miser is Fast, Funny, and Warm

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Actors’ Theatre’s The Miser is Fast, Funny, and Warm

Molière’s classic comedy The Miser (first produced in 1668) has enraptured the imaginations of writers and adapters in many languages. In English alone, it’s been given the red carpet treatment going back to Henry Fielding in 1766. Actors’ Theatre are currently staging the Miles Malleson adaptation which gives the play a very English drawing-room spin with charm […]

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Short North Stage’s Last Night of Disco is a Fizzy Delight for Nostalgia Lovers

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Short North Stage’s Last Night of Disco is a Fizzy Delight for Nostalgia Lovers

Short North Stage’s The Last Night of Disco is an odd bird in a few ways. Jointly devised by Edward Carignan, Rick Gore, Peter Yockel and the cast, it’s a rare attempt for the company at a completely in-house creation. It’s also the first time I’m aware this company has worked with immersive theatre, trying to create an […]

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Theatre Preview: Nanette Marie’s Mamas’ Drama Returns to the Columbus Performing Arts Center

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Theatre Preview: Nanette Marie’s Mamas’ Drama Returns to the Columbus Performing Arts Center

Local playwright and novelist Nanette Marie’s Mamas’ Drama has racked up an astonishing amount of buzz since premiering locally in 2011 through Nia Performing Arts. In the intervening years, Marie’s work has seen readings and performances at some of the most prestigious festivals in the country including the world-renowned National Black Theatre Festival based in Winston-Salem, NC, […]

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Theatre Review: Actors’ Theatre’s Richard III Sets its Winter of Discontent in the early 1960s

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Theatre Review: Actors’ Theatre’s Richard III Sets its Winter of Discontent in the early 1960s

Lots of what we take for granted in drama is solidified in William Shakespeare’s Richard III, most prominently a self-consciousness about being a fictional character, including addressing the audience directly in a way that clearly foreshadows our modern “breaking the fourth wall” more than an internal soliloquy. This early dissection of the banality of evil, the weakness […]

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Theatre Review: Shots in the Dark’s Reasons to Be Pretty Strikes a Beguiling Balance Between Sharpness and Sentiment

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Theatre Review: Shots in the Dark’s Reasons to Be Pretty Strikes a Beguiling Balance Between Sharpness and Sentiment

Neil Labute’s reasons to be pretty brought a strain of sentimentality and affection to the fore that had previously been buried in Labute’s more hectoring, rumbling work. That sentiment was still couched in the horrific meanness with which people can (and do) treat one another, so the sharp laughs and poignancy come tattooed with violent outbursts that […]

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Theatre Review: Evolution’s The Temperamentals Shines Light on a Neglected Piece of History

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Theatre Review: Evolution’s The Temperamentals Shines Light on a Neglected Piece of History

Jon Maranis’ Off-Broadway hit The Temperamentals is clearly a labor of love. It aims to shine light on a piece of history often swept under the rug even by people who should know better: the battle for gay equality before the galvanizing of Stonewall. Over a decade previous, Harry Hay (Brent Alan Burlington) and Rudi Gernreich […]

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