Year in Review–2022’s Best Non-musicals

Here are my choices for the top 10 non-musical productions of the year.

#1 Good Night, Oscar (Goodman)

Ben Rappaport & Sean Hayes

Sean Hayes brought in sell-out audiences for his portrayal of Oscar Levant – a man that manages to earn a laugh with every sardonic, controversial, self-deprecating statement that escapes his mouth. Doug Wright’s script, which focuses on a night when Levant took temporary leave from a mental asylum to appear on Jack Paar’s The Tonight Show, climaxes with Hayes’ jaw-dropping performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Hayes won the Jeff Award for his performance, and I suspect he will be a frontrunner for the Tony Award when Good Night, Oscar premiers on Broadway in April.

Continue reading “Year in Review–2022’s Best Non-musicals”
Year in Review–2022’s Best Non-musicals

Year in Review—2019’s Best Non-musicals

#1. All Quiet on the Western Front (Red Tape)

All Quiet on the Western Front_2
The gender-blind cast of All Quiet on the Western Front

The script by Matt Foss is a tribute to Erich Maria Remargue’s novel—a no-holds-barred criticism of war as seen through the eyes of WW1 soldiers, who have accepted that their survival means nothing to the unseen figures calling the shots. Elena Victoria Feliz as Paul moves through the most inventive staging of the year—war is played out on top of old pianos, and colored powders communicate the impact of bombs and bullets.

Continue reading “Year in Review—2019’s Best Non-musicals”

Year in Review—2019’s Best Non-musicals

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—Lookingglass (6/12/19) & Bloomsday—Remy Bumppo (6/20/19)

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bloomsday are two literary adaptions which might seem diametrically opposed in subject matter, yet their prominent similarity is they both prove the importance of capturing the respective tones of their source material.

Frankenstein 1
Walter Briggs (Percy Shelley and Dr. Frankenstein), Cordelia Dewdney (Mary Shelley and Elizabeth) & Debo Balogun (Dr. John Polidori)

Frankenstein, produced at Lookingglass with the company’s usual emphasis on staging, plays with the conceit that the non-fiction behind the novel could induce more chills than the ubiquitous story of a mad scientist and the life he creates. The origins of Mary Shelley’s novel are well known, and the play begins in a cramped but lush sitting room with five affluent pre-Victorians killing boredom with a contest to see who could tell the best ghost story.  Using the same theatrical technique as the musical Man of La Mancha, Mary Shelley (Cordelia Dewdney) and her four listeners begin to perform her tale. Bits of the “actors ” egos and insecurities add depth to their play within the play.

Continue reading “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—Lookingglass (6/12/19) & Bloomsday—Remy Bumppo (6/20/19)”
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—Lookingglass (6/12/19) & Bloomsday—Remy Bumppo (6/20/19)