Stellar cast and inventive direction make CST’s “Hamlet” one for the ages.

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Liz Lauren. It’s generally acknowledged that there is no greater play in the English language than Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and most of us have seen multiple productions of the play both on the stage and in the movies. There have been numerous well-regarded productions in […]

“I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard” tries for real emotion but settles for bluster

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by WHO IS SHE. The idea of the child becoming the parent is a well-worn trope of theatre. One need look no further than Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, name-checked in Halley Feiffer’s I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard, now playing at the […]

Exuberant cast makes for an entertaining “Two Days in Court”

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Steve Graue. Two Days in Court, City Lit Theater’s final production of the 2018-2019 season, consists of two classic short pieces about trials: “The Devil and Daniel Webster” by Stephen Vincent Benet and “Trial By Jury,” a very silly operetta from Gilbert and Sullivan. […]

“A Chorus Line” is an ebullient celebration of the love of dance

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Michael Courier. Recipe for success putting on A Chorus Line: stellar, buoyant cast of great dancers; great costumes; strong musicians; revolving mirror panels on the upstage wall; a Cassie capable of delivering a super dance sequence; a Paul capable of making us cry; a […]

Footloose may not be a great show, but in Marriott’s production it is highly entertaining

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Liz Lauren. Even when the original movie came out in 1984, Footloose’s central plot premise of a small Midwestern town that bans all dancing as being a pathway to drinking and illegal drugs, etc. seemed antiquated and, almost, quaint. Thirty-five years later, it hasn’t […]

Cambodian Rock Band is a highly entertaining history lesson, among other things

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Liz Lauren. It isn’t often that you find a play that, while being thoroughly entertaining, also opens your eyes to something important that you never knew about before. Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band is one such play for me: an amazing pastiche of rock […]

Theater Wit’s “Admissions” is a perfectly timed piece of scathing satire

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Charles Osgood. No, Jeremy Wechsler is not clairvoyant. The artistic director of Theater Wit obviously had no idea of the impending college admissions scandal when he chose Joshua Harmon’s scathing satire Admissions for his spring slot. But the scandal involving celebrities Felicity Huffman and […]