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Theatre Reviews

MadLab’s Warm, Vibrant Counter/Top

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford MadLab’s Warm, Vibrant Counter/Top

MadLab’s Fall 2017 season dedicated to premieres bursts strong off the blocks with Kirin McCrory’s Counter/Top directed by Megan Mateer. Counter/Top takes place in a diner you think has been right off the highway forever. Miss Betty (Catherine Cryan) presides over the scene, den mother, mediator and magistrate. Adrift Liza (Kayla Theis) hints she’s at the diner more […]

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Bad Taste as Tonic in Red Herring’s Mr. Marmalade

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Bad Taste as Tonic in Red Herring’s Mr. Marmalade

Sometimes bad taste is a vital corrective to sensibilities gone stale. Red Herring’s new production of Noah Haidle’s comedy Mr. Marmalade, directed by Michael Garrett Herring brings a carnival of that refreshing tastelessness. Mr. Marmalade looks at life through the eyes of four-year-old Lucy (Katie Tolerton). Lucy passes back and forth under the less-than-watchful eyes of a […]

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CCT’s Exuberant Spring Awakening

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford CCT’s Exuberant Spring Awakening

Columbus Children’s Theatre’s Advanced Performance Academy Young Adult Ensemble have turned their Park Street theater over to work of bent toward decidedly mature audiences. Broadway smash Spring Awakening by Steven Sater (book and lyrics) and Duncan Sheik (music) based on the 19th-century play by Frank Wedekind gets a charged take from director Greg Hellems. Spring Awakening follows […]

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Evolution’s Boston Marriage Looks at a Hidden Slice of American History

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Evolution’s Boston Marriage Looks at a Hidden Slice of American History

“Light” and “frivolous” probably aren’t in the first hundred words that come to mind when talking about David Mamet. Boston Marriage is something of a departure for the playwright. Evolution Theatre Company presents a production directed by Mark Phillips Schwamberger. The term “Boston marriage” refers to a romantic cohabitation relationship between two women. Henry James popularized […]

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Otterbein’s They’re Playing Our Song is a Charming Throwback

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Otterbein’s They’re Playing Our Song is a Charming Throwback

Otterbein wraps up their 2017 Summer Theatre season with one of their perennial audience favorites, Neil Simon. Melissa Lusher directs a charming production of Simon’s (book) ’70s hit collaboration with Marvin Hamlisch (music) and Carole Bayer Sager (lyrics), They’re Playing Our Song. They’re Playing Our Song is a fictionalized retelling of the relationship between Hamlisch and Sayer. Vernon Gersch (Maxwell Bartel) is an award winning composer with […]

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Heartbreaking Magic and Mystery in Tantrum Theater’s Caroline, Or Change

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Heartbreaking Magic and Mystery in Tantrum Theater’s Caroline, Or Change

Fabulism brings a new perspective on our mutual pain, desire, and joy by disrupting what we think we know. Breaking the rules of the world lets us experience it through new eyes. Caroline, Or Change, the 2003 Broadway musical by Tony Kushner (book and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music) uses anthropomorphism to extend the musical’s natural tendency to turn metaphor into flesh. We can see the dark middle period […]

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See Short North Stage’s Frenetic, Funny Spamalot Through April 15

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford See Short North Stage’s Frenetic, Funny Spamalot Through April 15

The first – to my knowledge – locally created production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, Broadway’s hit adaptation of Monty Python and The Holy Grail by Python troupe member Eric Idle (Book, Lyrics, co-write Music) and John Du Prez (co-write Music) opened Thursday at Short North Stage in a stellar production directed and choreographed by Edward Carignan. Spamalot follows the bones […]

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