This week begins the second of a three week run for Little Lake Theater’s production of the 2004 play by John Patrick Shanley, Doubt: A Parable. The show, turned movie in 2008, illustrates the struggles of a Bronx parish priest and his effort to bring the Catholic Church to a more modern era with the opposition from the school’s principal. As one could imagine, uncertainty (aka doubt) is the main theme that binds these characters together,
I grew up on a small farm. It wasn't an "up at the crack of dawn to milk the cows" situation, but I've loaded my share of hay bales into the barn. I was not a true farmer in any definition of the word, but it was hard work. While I moved away and left farming life behind, I can still look back and remember all the sweaty July evenings where I thought we'd never finish loading all those heavy hay bales.
What's my point in this bit of nostalgia? Just that I find actors playing farm people incredibly weird.
Bus stops, those dreadful asylums for awkward stares and weather talk, are not a place of insight, a place of harbor, nor a place for incredibly meaningful conversation. Odd, then, that everybody seems to know everything about each other and yet nothing about life in “Bus Stop,” by William Inge. The play, presented by The Summer Company and directed by Justin Sines, runs on August 28-30 and may be worth your time.
Sitting down to write this review of Parade, the one word I can’t get out of my head is “injustice”. As I watched this fabulous production about a man arrested and charged for a crime he did not commit in 1913, my mind couldn’t help but think about the similar events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri. Now the cases of Leo Frank and Michael Brown aren’t exactly the same, but the general themes are there: a man is unjustly killed for committing no crime, but rather is a victim of prejudice and racism.
Every time I see a show presented by the Quantum Theatre I am full of compliments about how creatively they use unique spaces to set the feel for their productions. Well their current production of Tamara has taken that factor to a whole new level. Set in the Rodef Shalom Congregation (shalom), Tamara is an interactive experience that has its audiences choosing their own stories to watch.
“Fixing King John,” running July 18 – August 2 at Off the Wall Theater, by Kirk Lynn is a triumph in both parody and irony. This contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s “King John” capitalizes on vulgarity and juxtaposition in order to create a beautiful trashy train wreck that works in every respect. On top of the fantastic script, Steven Wilson’s directing and the acting of No Name Players highlights every nuance needed to carry this splendid and hilarious piece of writing into the realm of healthy endearment for Shakespeare.
Pittsburgh music-lovers were out in full force at the Twentieth Century Club on Friday evening, July 18, when “SummerFest” gave them a taste of grand opera by a German composer – a treat they get only a couple of times each decade. Richard Strauss’s music was more than welcomed by a good-sized throng, who gave the piece one of the most demonstrative receptions the writer has heard a Pittsburgh audience bestow on an operatic performance in quite some time.
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