Being reasonably familiar with the TV series will certainly let a viewer pick up nuances that went over my head, and I'm sure over many others, but you don't have to be a Simpsons addict to appreciate the delights of Mr. Burns. It sizzles.
They walk among us -- those agents of change. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded of who they are. Take note of five stand-outs creating significant sea changes.
I pulled her into an empty rehearsal room and wracked my brain. When in my life had I been truly scared? And what had people said to ease my fears?
The truth of existence, its pain and sorrow, and its occasional glimmer of hope, are Odets' specialties. While Rocket doesn't have the soaring power of his best works, The Peccadillo Theater Company solid revival is worth seeing.
Fret not for the Broadway season of new musicals, dear friends. Even if, as rumors have it, a summer (post-Tony) opening is announced for Hamilton, all is not lost for this season of Broadway musicals.
The best distraction of all is to enjoy your senior year. You will never get this time back, so savor it. Get involved at your high school with activities and senior celebrations. Don't be distracted when non-performer friends start announcing their acceptances.
A Noise Within, one of the nation's premier classical repertory companies, has mounted an ambitious, if somewhat tame, revival of the Brecht/Weill classic. With a solid ensemble cast, the company mounts a faithful and spirited rendition of the timeless Threepenny Opera.
Western Society, like its namesake, actually requires your participation in the system to make meaning. Western Society has four performers -- like the four original viewers of the video -- who have now brought this slice of life reality to a broader audience.
At the end of the show, the cast sings "Say Goodbye to the Scottsboro Boys." It is an entertaining, show biz, but powerfully complex number, infused with anger. It grabs the audience. The actors have done what they have set out to do. They have told their story their way.
Sun and Room is an affectionate and painfully honest look into those college years you might want to forget. It explores transitional friendships and nights that come with freshman year and often go without reflection.
The producers of the musical Heathers have a theme: teen angst. And they are trumpeting the anthem of adolescent trauma again -- this time as a revamped version of the 1999 cult musical Inappropriate.
This film is a beautiful legacy. It sheds light on a very gifted man who, like many creative people, was raised under difficult circumstances in an underserved area of Pittsburgh. All of his plays were "doors" into the black experience, and from many eras of the American story.
Sendups are always tricky -- but the film noir parody Kill Me Like You Mean It, now off-Broadway at the Fourth Street Theatre, riffs on the genre with existential glee.
The team behind the Off-Broadway musical Disenchanted! seems to be having the time of their lives. I was lucky to sit down with Dennis T. Giacino (Book, Music, Lyrics) and Fiely A. Matias (Director) to talk about the ride.
What IS more prominent these days, is the one person show, which is akin to writing -- and for the audience reading -- a memoir. In these "it's about me" times...well, it seems everyone with a microphone thinks they have a dramatic story to tell.
"There's something bizarrely liberating about being able to stand up on stage, as a character, and say 'I was raped.'"