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Showing posts from January, 2017

How to Use a Knife

I've always been fascinated by the world of restaurant kitchens. The Phoenix Theatre's latest show, How to Use a Knife, takes you behind the scenes and into that frantic world. During open hours things move fast for the chef and his crew. After the restaurant is closed we're able to learn a bit more about the broken man running his employees so hard.
Chef George, played by Ryan Artzberger, is an addict who has fallen from his former glory. The performance reminded me a bit of Artzberger's turn as the cynic Simon Stimson in Our Town at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. The character has the same tone of disillusion and disgust. Ansley Valentine plays Steve, a quiet dishwasher with a mysterious past. He is a tireless workers who isn't interested in small talk.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

The heartbreaking thing about the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s current show, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, is that it’s still incredibly relevant. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it feels timely in a way that is surprising since it’s set 50 years in the past.
The story revolves around a married couple whose adult daughter, Joanna (Annie Munch), comes home from a trip and announces she’s getting married. The joyous news is met with consternation when her parents discover her betrothed is a black man. Despite the fact that he’s a brilliant doctor and complete gentleman, they are concerned that their daughter doesn’t know how difficult her interracial marriage will be. In a world where Black Lives Matter and racially-driven shootings by police are daily items on the news, it’s a good time to see this play. It creates some awkward conversations; important ones that folks shouldn’t shy away from.
I think one of the most powerful aspects of the plot is that Joanna’s father is not a man you …