Tag Archives: Rita Joe
In the current production of The M Ensemble Company, August Wilson’s legendary Seven Guitars almost plays like a musical or a folk opera akin to Porgy and Bess or Floyd Collins.
Main Street Players challenges itself and its audiences in This Random World, this 90-minute think piece that will make you question some of your own connections to the people in your life. But the complex story has trouble flowing because of necessary scenery changes.
You can’t really blame the playwright Erika Soerenson or artistic directors for thinking that a distaff reinterpretation of the Quentin Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs might make an intriguing, funny and even socially revealing stage adaptation, Reservoir Dolls. But the Outré Theatre Company’s production iunderscores what a misbegotten idea this was because either the playwright did not know what she wanted in the end or Outré never communicated it.
Over 21 years, City Theatre’s ever-expanding enterprises have developed and maintained a brand-level reputation for entertaining theater; its return to cool weather programming with the current edition of Winter Shorts is just as diverting.
The Mighty Gents is a poignant moving tale worthy of a Greek tragedy except that the protagonists are members of a street gang from the mid-1960s, emotionally, economically and sociologically lost in a Newark ghetto in 1978.
Shorts Gone Wild 5, co-produced by City Theatre with Island City Stage, follows the same entertaining pattern eliciting guffaws, chuckles and a few choked back sniffles with risque and luight blue material. The acting and direction keeps improving year after year and those elements rescue scripts less deftly written. But this edition feels different for an intriguing reason.
Blood may be thicker than water, but Brothers of the Dust at M Ensemble asks whether it’s thicker than land or greed or, crucially, dreams. M Ensemble presented this family drama three years ago with the same director and lead, but that familiarity has paid off with a deeper, more assured and more affecting experience for the audience than the first rendition
Political satire is like the finest champagne – delectable at the time but going flat with age. But in the meantime, as Shorts Gone Wild 4 (subtitled Decision 2016: It’s Gonna Be Yuuuuuge!) underscores, what a terrific way to blow off angst over today’s polarized landscape.
Jeff Talbott’s The Submission, enjoying its regional premiere from Island City Stage, is predicated on the realization that “Everyone’s a little bit racist.” It charts the ignition of a racial flashpoint in the theater world over the span of a year, as liberal creative types are forced to confront long-dormant prejudices.