Or, or the Conjuction Play

Before Off The Wall Theatre's production of Or begins, the actors walk out onto the stage and begin organzing their costumes, props, doing vocal warmups, and a bit of light mingling with people they know in the audience. Usually I don't care much for pre-show stage action, and watching actors do vocal warmups is about as exciting as watching actors do vocal warmups. Their point is made crystal clear though: this is a play that doesn't aim for any sort of accuracy. 

Show Title: 
Or
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TPS Overall Rating: 
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A Christmas Star Shines at Pittsburgh Playwrights

The glory of war and courage of our veterans are two topics our country never shies away from speaking about, but when it comes to the repercussions it can have on our soldiers, who are often times extremely young, we tend to be more hesitant. Well Ray Wermer certainly wasn’t scared to project the harsh truth behind cruel war through his thoughtfully written play, Christmas Star, on Saturday at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater.

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Christmas Star
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TPS Overall Rating: 
4
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A Great Place to Pee

When asked to pick a favorite musical my mind would not automatically go to Urinetown. Then I see a production of Urinetown and I think "wow, this is a really perfect show". It has the most misleading title, one that probably suggests to people that it's a show filled with toilet humor and no real heart. While the show is really hilarious, it is also incredibly clever and has a lot of commentary on the classes of society. Needless to say I was immediately excited to see Point Park's current production.

Show Title: 
Urinetown
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TPS Overall Rating: 
5
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Bricolage Lassos the Moon

The Bricolage Production Company opened its premier of It’s a Wonderful Life, part of the Midnight Radio series, to a sold out house on Thursday evening.  Most people are familiar with the story of George Bailey and his guardian angel, second class; before the show, the audience members could be heard talking about their love for the movie, Jimmy Stewart and the memories built around watching the movie with family and friends over the years.  At one point I overheard a woman telling her companion that she had actually never seen the film.

Show Title: 
It's a Wonderful Life
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TPS Overall Rating: 
4
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Everyone loves Santa...right?

I've worked in retail for quite a few holiday seasons and I will attest that it gives you a really jaded view of the holiday season. Nothing titillates me for Christmas anymore. The songs are annoying (and I know every single word), buying presents makes me anxious, and decorations never look as nice as you want them to. But no one understands this feeling more than author David Sedaris, who wrote a fantastic essay years ago called The Santaland Diaries.

Show Title: 
The Santaland Dairies
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TPS Overall Rating: 
4
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"...you're lying Blanche."

I have been fortunate enough in the last few months to see two productions of Tennessee Williams' works. Last month I saw the Pittsburgh Public Theater's The Glass Menagerie and then more recently I saw barebones productions showing of A Streetcar Named Desire. It's been a very dramatic and Southern winter for me so far.

Show Title: 
A Streetcar Named Desire
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TPS Overall Rating: 
5
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L'Hôtel au Purgatoire

The second installment in the Pittsburgh Public Theater's "Season of Legends" is the world premiere of a new play that is chock full of...well, legends. The play is called L'hotel (that's French) and the Pittsburgh audience is the very first to check in.

Show Title: 
L'Hotel
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TPS Overall Rating: 
3
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Andrew Lloyd Webber Classic opens at Stage 62

            Evita follows the life of Eva Perόn (played by Cynthia Daugherty), second wife of Argentine President Juan Perόn (played by Leon Zionts). The story begins with Eva’s young adulthood as an actress and radio star and (according to the story) the bed hopping that eventually led her to meet Juan Perόn. The story chronicles Eva’s involvement in helping Perόn get elected and the hypnotic love the Argentine people had for her.

Show Title: 
Evita
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TPS Overall Rating: 
2
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"It Sucks to Be Me"

There's a difference between seeing Avenue Q when you're in college and seeing Avenue Q almost four years after college. When I saw it in college I was all "HA! Puppets saying fuck and having sex and dealing with adult situations, ha ha ha!".  Seeing it recently at University of Pitt Stages made me think "Oh crap, this is surprisingly real." Watching a puppet go through problems with money, work, and relationships isn't as fun when you realize you're the puppet now.

Show Title: 
Avenue Q
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TPS Overall Rating: 
3
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