Tag Archives: Jeni Hacker
By Oline H. Cogdill Years ago, one of my sisters-in-law said that Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday because it was not connected to any religion and had no political nor controversy connotations. Well, those days have certainly passed as Thanksgiving …
This Zoetic production of Next To Normal – easily one of the finest in its history — blesses the audience with a deeply affecting meld of fluid staging, glorious music and five superb performances clustered around an incandescent one by Jeni Hacker as Diana that exceeds superlatives.
There is a delightful irony to Heisenberg, GableStage’s enthralling play about uncertainty: When you leave it, you’re not quite sure what it was really about. The reward is you can debate it in the car ride home and theorize about it the next morning. About the only thing you can be really sure of is, if were willing to open yourself, you have had an engrossing night of thought-provoking, challenging theater.
Savor an unqualified success with playwright-actor Ronnie Larsen’s The Actors. Copious laughs dominate a seemingly silly sit-com situation, but they recede (though never disappear) as the human angst underneath keeps poking toward the surface until it becomes the reason for the evening.
Some of the most skilled theater artists in the region deliver a gloriously funny and moving celebration of the work of the finest musical theater genius of the 20th and 21st Century in Zoetic Stage’s do-not-miss-this production of Side by Side by Sondheim with more emotional depth and directorial touches than in any of the many other revues.
As live arts and entertainment return in fits and starts, and our culture continues its tortoise crawl toward normal, one thing has become apparent: Face masks may be vital in impeding the spread of COVID-19, but they equally hamper the spread of comedy. The debut of Zoetic Schmoetic showed the more physical the show becomes—the more the actors’ bodies, not their voices, drive the storytelling—the better it gets.
The 44th Carbonell Awards celebration was unique, not simply because it was online, but because of its acknowledgement of the diversity of the theater community. Honoring excellence for 2019, the awards, which have been quietly accused of not reflecting diversity, pointedly went out of its way to be inclusive in its annual celebration.
As we get older, the reality of loss becomes an inescapable fact of life. How we deal with that is the core of Stephen Brown’s Everything is Super Great at Theatre Lab (subtitled “a comedy about what’s missing”). Brown’s look at four troubled lonely people struggling to cope is quietly mordantly funny, but the humor is infused into underlying poignancy and compassion.
Crucial to know about Grindr Mom is that while the heroine is a middle-class pearl-wearing politically conservative Mormon who volunteers once a week at the local school, “The Wife” as she is called in Ronnie Larsen’s script is decidedly engaging, likable and genuinely charming — certainly not a monstrous homophobic bigot.
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.