Eurydice

Director Hand’s vision of Eurydice’s world comes across as only half concocted. In effect a two-tiered set with a dilapidated brick façade half-obscured by a white, translucent tarp, the “place” of this world is highly ambiguous and suggests virtually no atmosphere to either the realm of the living or of the dead. The nicest touch is an elevator and sliding door, through which the newly deceased enter and in which they are sprinkled with the waters of Lethe (thereby losing their memories). But neither this embellishment nor even the stony inhabitants of Hades, each of whom are dressed like figures from the past—a half-cocked nod toward some theme of “nostalgia”—can redeem this set’s production value in some coherence of “world.” Read more

Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno

The opening night audience loved this cast as they garner our diverse identify into terrific bits, Immigration, ethic and racial identify difference are celebrated especially by Tien Tran (Vietnamese0 and Jasbir Singh Vazquez (Latino) expert scene. Among other immigration bits satirize the Immigration Dept. questioning folks at a food court in a mall. The light sweet social commentary contuses to garner laughter as long as we are willing to listen and speak to our differences. Read more

The Tall Girls: A Play About Playing Basketball

This well-stage fable explores class, gender, and the history of women in sports, and asks just who can afford the luxury of playing basketball? The Tall Girls is a most entertaining stage play about the early days of women playing sports. I must confess that I was a high school and college basketball referee for over twenty years in Chicago and South Florida and I worked hundreds of women's college games yet I was not familiar with the early days and rules of women's basketball. Director Louis Contey has his cast delivering fine renditions of the skill level of those pioneering players. Read more

Phèdre

Not only for those who appreciate steeping in the viscous bath of lustful tremors, Phèdre also offers much fodder for post-production discussion for those who appreciate thinking. For one, the interplay of the gods, the emasculated Mars and the vindictive Venus, analogues perhaps for their respective passions—or, if psychology is more your bent, the animus and anima—is worth contemplating: specifically, what role does Euripides/Racine/Schmidt/Wiesner see these gods playing in affecting the characters and their actions; and what role does the ruler/patriarch Theseus (Carl Wisniewski) play in attempting to set right his kingdom overrun by passion? Read more

The Dining Room

This is the story of WASPs, who lived throughout the 19th Century, with serious cultural norms of how life should be and the stability this lifestyle offered in the well-to-do households. About this dining room- A real-estate agent and his client discuss the possible uses of the dining room in a house that is for sale. Brother and sister argue over which one will get the dining room table left behind. A daily breakfast, a birthday party, a Thanksgiving dinner with a mother who does not recognize her family, there are many moments that make memories around this table. Read more

What of the Night?

I had mixed response to this work. At nearly three hours, the work is a test for audiences as well as the disjointed action and the strange dialogue. Despite movingly dedicated performances by the cast of 13 and a dark atmosphere of raw sex and violence, What of the Night? will captive some, bore others while impressing others. This show is not for those who demand clarity or coherence. Poverty, man's cruelty and sexual deviations together with avant garde motifs render this epic an ode to human survival. The craft and dedication of the actors and the "what will happen next" structure will keep audiences involved. Read more

Her America

Fueled by playwright Brett Neveu's brilliant writing and Kate Buddeke's riveting performance, this solo show tells a horrible story about an unremarkable woman forced to deal with the powerful forces that have shaped her destiny. Her secret from the time she placed something in the steamer trunk she finds in the basement. This heart-braking story speaks to the events that changed her identify and controlled her choices. Read more