review

Arts and Humanities
6:44 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

REVIEW | Gallows Humor Satisfies in 'Things We Want'

The Bard’s Town Theatre continues its season of notable newer work with Jonathan Marc Sherman’s 2007 “Things We Want,” a satisfying dark comedy about three emotionally-stunted adult brothers still living in their childhood home while attempting to figure out how to overcome their various fragilities before they kill themselves or each other. That sounds heavier than the play actually is—tonally, it’s a gallows humor-charged fight between the id and the super-ego with flashes of brilliance that resists taking its characters seriously enough to let them fall apart in any kind of realistic disintegration.

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Arts and Humanities
8:08 am
Wed March 20, 2013

REVIEW | Family Secrets Fester in 'Appropriate'

Larry Bull as Bo and Jordan Baker as Toni in "Appropriate."
Alan Simons Actors Theatre of Louisville

As the curtain rises on Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' "Appropriate," a rattling chorus of 13-year cicadas fills the Pamela Brown Auditorium. Far from a gentle nocturne, the sound swells with the pregnant heat of a southern summer night, conjuring images of rattling bones. Low lights reveal a man and a younger woman slipping through an open window into the living room of a plantation house that had, to be kind, seen better days.

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Arts and Humanities
1:37 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

REVIEW | Smart, Funny, Tough to Love: Will Eno's 'Gnit'

Dan Waller as Peter and Kate Eastwood Norris in one of her many roles in Will Eno's "Gnit."
Kathy R. Preher Actors Theatre of Louisville

Billed as a willfully unfaithful adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic picaresque tale “Peer Gynt,” Will Eno’s “Gnit” up-ends the classic man’s-search-for-meaning quest with an ambitiously absurdist self-discovery journey that stubbornly chafes against the conventions of the genre.

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Arts and Humanities
2:22 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

REVIEW | 'Chasing Ophelia' Is More than a Romantic Comedy

Beth Tantanella and Ryan Watson in "Chasing Ophelia" at The Bard's Town.
The Bard's Town Theatre

Neurotic writers manipulating their self-aware fictional characters isn’t a new device, but unlike similar stories, The Bard’s Town’s funny and engaging “Chasing Ophelia” isn’t concerned with picking the navel of the writer’s creative processes or artistic tensions. For a romantic comedy, this play’s concerns are remarkably, well, theological: is an unseen, omniscient being really in charge of us, and how do we deal with feeling abandoned by him?

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Arts and Humanities
1:01 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

REVIEW | 'Girlfriend': Fine, Fizzy Romance with Killer Soundtrack

Curt Hansen as Mike and Ryder Bach as Will in "Girlfriend" at Actors Theatre.
Alan Simons Actors Theatre of Louisville

Let’s flash back to 1993, to the days before texting and ready Internet access, when living in a small town really could feel like living on the moon. We are in Nebraska, but it might as well be any small town in Kentucky, Indiana, England. Let us say we are dorks, friendless and stilted, moving through high school like occasionally kicked stray dogs. Or. We are wearing someone else’s life, someone popular and ambitious and accomplished and right, holding our breath until we can leave this town and shed the fake skin like a bad sweater.

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Arts and Humanities
1:24 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

REVIEW | "Flashdance-The Musical" Dances for Its Life

Emily Padgett as Alex and Matthew Hydzik as Nick in the national tour of "Flashdance - The Musical."
Kyle Froman Broadway Across America

Broadway has seen no shortage of iconic, music-fueled films adapted for the stage in recent years, to varying degrees of success. “Sister Act” and “Footloose” met with mixed critical responses, but “Hairspray” knocked the ball out of the park, winning eight Tony Awards.  “Flashdance” is the latest Eighties film to get the Broadway musical treatment, and the musical is previewing with a national tour before it makes its way to New York later this year.

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Arts and Humanities
2:10 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

REVIEW | Actors Shine in 'Topdog/Underdog'

Brian Lee West and Keith McGill rehearse "Topdog/Underdog."
Actors Choice

Actor's Choice opened Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Topdog/Underdog" Thursday in the Henry Clay Theatre. Directed by Kathi E.B. Ellis, this tense, finely-acted two-hander explores the relationship between two adult brothers, Lincoln and Booth, as they struggle with a legacy of abandonment by their parents, masculine identity, racism and the lure of a life of crime. 

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Arts and Humanities
1:31 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

REVIEW | Raw Truths, Compelling Performances in 'The Whipping Man'

Frankie Alvarez (Caleb), Michael Genet (Simon) and Biko Eisen-Martin (John) in "The Whipping Man" at Actors Theatre of Louisville
Alan Simons Actors Theatre of Louisville

Meredith McDonough makes her directorial debut in her new role as associate artistic director at Actors Theatre of Louisville with a powerful production of Matthew Lopez's heartbreaking Civil War drama "The Whipping Man." Set against the backdrop of the days between General Lee's surrender at Appomattox and President Abraham Lincoln's assassination, "The Whipping Man" is the riveting emotional story of thre

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Arts and Humanities
12:59 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

REVIEW | 'The Kings of Christmas' Tells Familiar Story Slant

Christmas stories take the larger Nativity narrative—the arrival of an ambassador of peace, goodwill and redemption—and put the metaphor to work on individual transformations, those personal moments when generosity of spirit triumphs over our meaner, selfish natures. The best results are both heartwarming and as unique as the transformed individuals themselves.

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Arts and Humanities
12:08 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

REVIEW | 'A Christmas Carol' Offers Consistent Message With Humor and Heart

Geoff Rice as Bob Cratchit and Brad DeLaney as Tiny Tim.
Alan Simons Actors Theatre of Louisville

Actors Theatre of Louisville opened its 37th production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" last night. Actors Theatre's show is the second longest-running production in the country (the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis has them beat by a year), and while small changes happen from year to year, Actors doesn't mess with what works—solid acting paired with lovely music, a liberal dose of humor and the cozy familiarity of a timeless redemption story well-told. 

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