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Theatre

Reviews, previews, and more of the city’s theatre troupes.

MadLab’s Kitezh: A Glowing, Dystopian Allegory

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford MadLab’s Kitezh: A Glowing, Dystopian Allegory

MadLab caps 2017 with the world premiere of Jennifer Feather Youngblood’s Kitezh opening last weekend. This rich production, directed by Amy Drake with assistance from Roxy Knepp, makes up for its unevenness with characters that wriggle out of the straitjacket of our expectations and a world that subverts cliche. Maestra (Colleen Dunne) leads her troupe of […]

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CATCO and Deaf West’s Riveting ‘American Buffalo’

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford CATCO and Deaf West’s Riveting ‘American Buffalo’

CATCO closes a strong 2017 bringing Columbus the LA-based company Deaf West’s riveting production of Mamet’s groundbreaking American Buffalo directed by Stephen Rothman. American Buffalo is a flaming torrent of profanity featuring three men on the fringes of society. Their world shrinks to a Chicago pawn shop (the remarkable, lived in set is courtesy of Ken […]

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Bebe Miller’s Gripping, Evocative In a Rhythm at the Wexner Center

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Bebe Miller’s Gripping, Evocative In a Rhythm at the Wexner Center

Modern dance can be the most intimidating strain of contemporary art for the uninitiated. Bebe Miller’s masterful In a Rhythm serves as a perfect introduction for anyone who has yet to crack that language. More, this tight 75-minute piece does that without pandering, watering itself down, or neglecting the experienced eyes in the room. Every […]

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Eclipse’s Glass Shines When It Cuts Deep

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Eclipse’s Glass Shines When It Cuts Deep

Eclipse Theatre opened a world premiere of Michael Aman’s Glass, directed by Greg Smith,  this weekend. Glass is a fictional look at Tennessee Williams (Benjamin Turner) as he appears in Laurette Taylor’s (Kathy Strum) dressing room on the frigid Chicago opening night of his first success: The Glass Menagerie. This two-hander orbits – and sometimes crashes violently […]

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PAST Productions’ Heartfelt and Charming ‘Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking’

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford PAST Productions’ Heartfelt and Charming ‘Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking’

PAST Productions closes their 2017 with a fantastic revival of Gus Edwards’ Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking directed by Patricia Wallace-Winbush. The eponymous “guys” are long-term friends, rivals, and sometimes enemies Henry (Tony Roseboro) and Abe (Truman Winbush, Jr). When we meet them on a park bench, Henry’s first words are about a woman […]

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Preview: Available Light’s ‘How We Got On’ Returns to the Columbus Stage

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Preview: Available Light’s ‘How We Got On’ Returns to the Columbus Stage

Idris Goodwin’s How We Got On might be my favorite production from all my years watching Available Light. Writing for my old personal blog, it was my #1 show of 2014. In my review, I called it, “One of the most perfect examples of how richly satisfying that kind of play [about making art and discovery, Available […]

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Broadway Across America’s Waitress November 7-12

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Broadway Across America’s Waitress November 7-12

Writer-director Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 film Waitress is beloved for its tone. It fused comic absurdity and archetype to sharply-observed characters the audience rooted for in all their heartbreak and messiness. Unfortunately, the hit Broadway musical adapted by Jessie Nelson (book) and Sara Bareilles (music and lyrics) loses the thread and the touring production in Columbus this week […]

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