Tag Archives: Terry Hardcastle
Do not go to Actors’ Playhouse’s Murder on the Orient Express expecting the grim locked-room mystery at the heart of the films or the novel. This 2017 edition is penned by the playwright of Lend Me A Tenor. If you can wipe the tone of those earlier efforts from your mind, you will likely find yourself chuckling much of the night at these theater veterans turn the Christie classic into a cute, often quite funny two-hour comedy sketch.
It’s an obvious truism that most theater art – from dialogue to the lighting design – is partly a product of the artists’ past experience. But playwright-director Amy London’s Story of a Life, a harrowing examination of generations caring for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, is ripped directly from the marrow of her own painful past.
MNM Theatre Company’s delightfully silly production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum is a musical that prides itself on broad low and often ribald humor, pratfalls, double takes and half the encyclopedia of vaudevillian comedy.
Actors’ Playhouse’s Doubt is not about guilt or innocence. It’s about doubt. The nature of doubt. The fallout of doubt. Living with doubt. Deciding whether to act when you have doubt. In these extreme days when some people believe truth is fungible or fear that it is can never be divined, John Patrick Shanley’s 2004 play is excruciatingly resonant.
One definition of classic theater is a piece that not only remains popular or relevant through time, but which can be endlessly reinterpreted or restaged without losing any of its brilliance, Shakespeare’s work being the most obvious example. Zoetic Stage’s latest entry working its way through the Stephen Sondheim canon underscores how Sweeney Todd qualifies.
Noises Off is one of the funniest farces written in the English language and a solid match for Actors Playouse talents. The laughs are plentiful, but this production didn’t wring everything out of this piece that you’ve seen done elsewhere.
Homicidal rage against a corrupt world spews into the audience in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ Sweeney Todd. But its singular spin is that the serial throat-slitting barber does not start as a vengeance-obsessed fiend. It it adds a dimension of, not forgiveness, but compassion to this cross between gleeful Grand Guignol and merciless condemnation of socio-economic inequity.