Bad Girls: The Stylists Is a Cut Below the Rest

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association; photos by Karl Clifton-Soderstrom There are fine plays set in hair salons. Steel Magnolias comes to mind immediately. And it is certainly possible to write an excellent salon show that combines that iconic location with absurdity and meta-theatre. But, I ashear you, Akvavit Theatre’s Bad Girls: The Stylists […]

“Merchant On Venice” Shakespeare Adaptation Full of Wonderful Parts, But They Don’t Come Together

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Review by Joe De Rosa; photos by Scott Dray What’s in a name? Just a quick warning. This review might be a bit confounding. The issue rests with adaptations of Shakespeare, in general. At first glance, adapting Shakespeare seems like a formula. It’s just a matter of making smart substitutions. Sub in New York for […]

The Rosenkranz Mysteries: Magic Meets Medicine

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Review by Karen Topham, Americsan Theatre Critics Association member; photos by the Rosenkranz Mysteries “How did he do that?” This is the question audiences ask themselves upon seeing any good magician display his art. And viewers at the Royal George Theatre will indeed ask this question over and over during Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz’s one-man show The […]

Raven’s “The Gentleman Caller” Brings Tennessee Williams and William Inge to Life

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Michael Brosilow “One can never be 100% themselves unless they embrace themselves.” Raven Theatre Artistic Director Cody Estle was speaking about his latest play, an homage to two American theatre icons, Tennesse Williams and William Inge, both of whom had deep secrets that they […]

“An Enemy of the People” and “Smart People”: Free Speech Gone Awry

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Watching Writers Theatre’s Smart People and the Goodman’s An Enemy of the People back to back this weekend, I was struck by how much these dissimilar plays have in common. Written over 130 years apart and dealing with very different topics (Lydia Diamond’s Smart People focuses on race and Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy is about the environment and government corruption), there is […]