“Cheers-Live on Stage”

If you were a fan of “Cheers” the TV show that ran from 1982 to 1993, then you are in for a treat. Explore the more simple times of the 80’s and take a trip down memory lane with Diane, Sam and crew. Now, if you have not seen the TV show you may just enjoy this show to see what it was like in the 1980’s and early 1990’s when your Mom and Dad were younger. You may even get some fashion ideas from the iconic Michael McDonald. I think I recognized one of those mid-length silk skirts that used to be in my wardrobe. Read more

Man in the Ring

Anchored by old Emile, (fabulous work from Allen Gilmore) who is going into and out from past memories as he battles dementia. He sees his young self (the boxer-built Kamal Angelo Bolden) as he arrives in NYC from St. Thomas to reunite with his estranged mother Emelda (Jacqueline Williams). As Emile and Emelda look for work in NYC, Emile's ability to make lady's hats leads him to Howie (Thomas J. Cox), a small hat manufacturer. Once Howie sees how well built Emile is he gets him to become a boxer. Read more

The City of Conversation

Set in 1979 Washington, D.C. at a mansion in Georgetown (impressive set design by Tom Burch), we are at the place where through the years, Hester Ferris (Lia D. Mortensen), a Kennedy-liberal from the 60's, held posh dinner parties. These events definitely help liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans come to agreements and compromises on government policy, political appointments and new legislation. These private parties allowed political adversaries the opportunity to relax, have a drink and civilly reach a consensus. After all, most politicians in that era where to some degree or another friends. Hester hosted many of these parties in the 60's and 70's. Read more

The Happiest Place On Earth

The family used their almost yearly visits to Disneyland as a place of solace and escape as they recover and move on with life. Dawkins deftly plays each of the four sisters and their mother. His rendition of the seven year old was precious. The Happiest Place On Earth is about more than just a retelling one one family's story. It is a testimony to the resilience of American families, particularly those whose matriarchs keep the family functioning. Read more

Wonderful Town

Mary Zimmerman's genius for staging and set design use grabs audiences from the start catapulting them back to New York's Greenwich Village in the 1950's that was an enclave of artists, poets and composers and writers. Using Todd Rosenthals colorfully stunning set design inspired by a graphic illustration by Steven Duncan, Zimmerman ekes all the comedy from Joseph A. Fields and Jerome Chodorov's book and from Betty Comden and Adolph Green hysterical lyrics with many of those precious little Zimmerman additions that garner laughs. Her staging is manic, fun, and breathtaking!. From the opening ensemble number, we get the feel that Wonderful Town will be funny, heartfelt and hopeful as we experience NYC in the 1950's. I can't remember a finer musical comedy opening that sets the audience's expectations better! Read more

Miss Holmes

For Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes forged a bond of trust out of both necessity and a mutual curiosity about events. Playwright Walsh weaves all the smart observations by Holmes with the unique observations by Watson that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would appreciate to establish a fine mystery. Add a Holmes style plot and this new work appeals to mystery lovers. Mush humor emerges as we view all Holmes and Watson's foibles, Katie McLean Hainsworth's performance is a winner as she delivers the cleverness and rich humor of the quirky Holmes. Read more

In The Heights Porchlight Theatre

Before all the Hamilton hype. Lin-Manuel Miranda created a four Tony winner, including Best Musical with In The Heights. I have seen the show three times now and I enjoyed and appreciated this musical on its own terms. Filled with a manic pace, toe-tapping rhythms and richly powerful vocals, Directer Brenda Didier and co-choreography Christopher Carter created wonderful dances including salsa, hip-hop and natural Latino beats. The energy keeps us engaged throughout. Read more

Life Sucks

We hear old friends, ex-lovers, estranged in-laws and sworn enemies grapple and whine about how life, indeed, sucks.. The seven souls talk, debate and grumble about their life as loneliness, regrets, and lack of personal ambition has rendered them unhappy. This play has many fine moments and several strong performances by Chaon Cross (Ella), Phillip R. Smith (Dr. Aster0 and Barbara E. Robertson (Babs). Read more

Parachute Men

All these weird dysfunctional traits lead to some funny moments but mostly become 'head-scratching' actions beyond belief. Andrew is an enabler unable to accept his soulmate is a lesbian; Eric is a weak person who has strange sexual practices; while Angel has substance abuse problems due to low self esteem. Eli, thought of as needing constant supervision, is the most 'normal' one of the brothers. The mother's suicide five years earlier had profound effects on all but Eli. Read more

Julius Caesar

The plot thickens as Cassius sways Brutus, Caius Ligarius (Matt Hawkins) and Caska (Julian Parker) to take the ultimate resolution to stop Caesar from becoming king. The assassination was vividly presented with red lighting and haunting sounds (lighting by Jesse Klug and sound by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen). This has been buildup by the discourse between Cassius and Brutus. We do hear the obligatory Et tu, Brute? uttered by a dying Caesar. Read more