Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2010

Romeo and Juliet

The Indiana Repertory Theatre's Mainstage is currently home to one of the world's most famous love stories, just in time for Valentine's Day. Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" has been breaking audiences' hearts for centuries and this production is no exception.

To give the old story a new twist, the IRT's version of "Romeo and Juliet" is set in the 1940s. The Capulets are African American and Montagues are Caucasian, but when Romeo and Juliet see each other for the first time their love rises above the racial divide.

The production is the IRT debut for many in the cast. There are a few IRT regulars, but many of the leads, including the title duo, are new to the Indy scene. Though I love seeing familiar faces, it's always a treat when a local theater offers audiences a few new performers with a fresh perspective.

The play hinges on the audience believing that the two teens have fallen so completely in love that they literally can't live…

The Housewives of Mannheim

The Phoenix Theatre's first show of 2010 is "The Housewives of Mannheim." Set in Brooklyn in 1944, the play showcases a very different world than the one that we know. It's a world where women are able to spread their wings and experience a bit of freedom for the first time in their lives. With their husbands away fighting World War II, the women are left to find their footing on their own. This provides a paradox for the characters, as they experiment with their freedom they also know that the change is a temporary one.

The play features four women who live in the same apartment complex. There is the prudish and meddlesome Alice, brassy Billie who has a mouth like a sailor, Sophie, a Jewish woman who is new to the building and fresh from the conflict in Europe and May, a young mother with a thirst for knowledge. Sophie's arrival changes the tenuous balance of the women's friendship.

May's kitchen serves as the delicious set. From the cereal boxes to the …

The Foreigner

This year Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre decided to open its 2010 season with an odd comedy. It takes place in a lodge in Georgia where a British man, Charlie, is staying. The lodge's owner, Betty, and its other guests believe that Charlie can't speak any English. Hilarity ensues when they all share their secrets in front of him.

The show is undeniably packed with laughs, but it breaks from the normal vein of comedies because there is a darker undercurrent that runs throughout the entire play. The plot deals with issues of racism and prejudice rooted in ignorance. Also with exploiting a mentally challenged man. At one point a furious group of Ku Klux Klan members show up at the lodge and threaten the lives of the guests.

That being said, the show is also one of the funniest to hit the Beef & Board's stage. Jeff Stockberger plays the "boring" Charlie to perfection. He tones down his usual antics to play this depressed Brit and it works well. As Charlie begins …