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Showing posts from January, 2018

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

I think we all felt the earth move a little bit at Clowes Hall this week. Beautiful, the musical of Carol King‘s life, is on stage now. The singer/composer famous for hits like "It's Too Late" and "You've Got a Friend" had a incredible career and the musical chronicles her rise to stardom in the 1960s.

I went into the show thinking I knew only two of King's songs, instead I was blown away by her body of work. Whether she sang the song originally or created it for another band like The Drifters or The Shirelles there were so many familiar oldies. I intentionally ignored the set list in the program until after the show because each new numbers provides a surprise as you hear her compose it with her lyricist husband. Those big reveals are half the fun of the show. In that way, the show is reminiscent of Jersey Boys. At times you hear a song in the early stages of creation and you get to watch its evolution as it moves from the songwriter'…

A Raisin in the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun, the seminal work of playwright Lorraine Hansberry, tells the story of Walter Lee Younger and his family. Their dreams and plans have been thwarted and yet a ray of hope remains in the form of a life insurance check which could provide a new future for all of them. The Indiana Repertory Theatre is producing the play just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History month. 

Tony Cisek’s incredible set design transports the audience into Chicago tenements. There are worn rugs on the floor, holes in the ceiling, and every rustic detail pulls us back into the 1950s. It takes a moment to notice the second layer of the set. Three stories of staircases rise up behind the apartment walls, simultaneously demonstrating the oppressive nature of their situation and the hope of rising to a better future. Kim Staunton is perfectly cast as the matriarch Lena. Her performance gives the entire show an earnest and raw sense of urgency. She seems the cracks in the relation…

NoExit Performance Announces 2018 Season

NoExit Performance is thrilled to announce its 2018 season.

Dinner: A Romance in Four Courses

Created by Lukas Schooler Choreography by Lauren Curry Mesh on Mass Ave., February Make reservations with NoExit Performance and Mesh to witness a collaboration between performance and fine dining. This alternative Valentine's Day event takes inspiration from the diverse menu at Mesh and the interpersonal connections forged while dining.
Nickel & Dimed Adapted by Joan Holden Directed by Callie Burk Location TBA, May  Based on Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, journey into the world of the working poor, with its exhausted fast-food cooks, waitresses, house cleaners, big-box-store saleswomen, and their striving managers. Can one survive on America’s minimum wage?
Drosselmeyer's All-American Cabaret Created by Ryan Mullins Location TBA, July Proud American (????) Wolfgang Drosselmeyer pulls out all the stops for a Christmas in July celebration…

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

A rock musical, excellent vocals, intimate venue, what more can you ask for? Zach and Zack Productions newest offering, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, premiers at the Epilogue Playhouse tonight. The show hits all the right notes with a powerful lead performer, a perfect space, and audio and lighting that makes you truly believe you're in a punk rock bar.
Tim Hunt plays the titular character and his sheer charisma and talent carries the show. He portrays passion, humor, sex appeal, and vulnerability in every scene. Under a thin veneer of self-deprecating humor and a blustering diva attitude lies a sensitive soul trying to find their place in the world. Hedwig performs songs, but in true cabaret style she also tells stories of her life in East Berlin. She grew up as a young boy named Hansel, before a botched sex change left her with an "angry inch".
The rock musical has a dark premise and is clearly for mature audiences, but it's also filled with playful humo…

Greater Tuna

Beef & Boards Dinner Theater kicks off its 45th season with “Greater Tuna”. The show is set in a small Texas town in the 1980s where a bevy of local rednecks live. Playing more than a dozen characters, Eddie Curry and Jeff Stockberger perform the entire show.

The comedy relies heavily on the two actors donning dresses and wigs, rapid costume changes, and over-the-top accents. The problem is, nowadays there’s not much to laugh that when the joke is about censorship or a local gun salesperson touting the incredible killing properties of her wares. Instead of accentuating these stereotypes, it might help to start 2018 off highlighting our similarities with people who come from a different point of view.
The stage is simple; diner tables with a backdrop of cornfields and telephone poles. Audience members must use their imagination as Curry and Stockberger mime drinking a cup of coffee or answering an invisible telephone. The two actors are long-standing regulars at Beef & Boards an…