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Theatre Reviews

Dickens’ last becomes a whodunnit

            Charles Dickens’ commentaries showed the often dark and ­dreary reality of life in Victorian England. So why is a group of teenage actors of The Talent Machine Company dancing and singing a Dickens’ story at St. John’s College?             The author’s death in 1870 left The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished, opening the door to creative interpretations. The first modern major theatrical adaptation was a musical comedy.

Bringing the Book of Matthew to Life

Godspell was originally a college project by the show’s author, John-Michael Tebalak, then a student at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh. Another student, Steven Schwartz, was brought in later to add a score, which of course includes such musical staples as Day By Day and Light of the World. Debuting off-Broadway in 1971, Godspell was a smash. It still is all these years later because of its simple staging, relatively uncomplicated music and the universal and timeless message of the Book of Matthew.

Be sure to see this lovely ­production of an American classic

Love is a flower that grows in any soil, works its sweet miracles undaunted by autumn frost or winter snow, blooming fair and fragrant all the year, and blessing those who give and those who receive.             —Louisa May Alcott  

Practically Perfect in every way

It’s always dangerous to take on a classic; the chances of disappointment are so great. Who could ever compete with Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews as Bert the Chimney Sweep and Mary Poppins? Popular brother-and-sister team Nathan Bowen and Emily Mudd, that’s who.

Rocking with televangelical energy

Surely you remember Whoopi Goldberg in the hit film Sister Act? How outsized she was as nightclub chanteuse Deloris Van Cartier, how woefully entangled with her married mobster boyfriend, how terrified when she saw him shoot a man in cold blood and how hilarious she was masquerading as a nun? Hold that thought …

A moviemaker without a script meets all the loves of his life in this seductive musical

Nine, like Colonial Players’ last show, is destined to sell out.

Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy yields a full house of fun

It takes chutzpah to put on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, but Twin Beach Players thrives on challenge.

Boys will be boys, but their parents can be hell

"My whole life is in there!" That’s the quote of the night as Alan becomes tragically detached from a part of his body — his cell phone — in Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award-winning God of Carnage, playing through March at Compass Rose Theater. In his playbill notes, director Steven Carpenter quotes playwright Reza as saying of her plays: “They are funny tragedy, but they are tragedy.” Indeed.

Peter Pan’s fantastical origins — with crackling one-liners, slapstick staging, flatulence and actors in drag

“If you like your Peter Pan with crackling one-liners, slapstick staging, actors in drag and flatulence, then Peter and the Starcatcher is for you. The one-liners are no surprise, since the children’s book on which this 2012 Broadway Tony-winner was based was co-written by humor columnist Dave Barry. What is a surprise is that the broad humor of this production works well, even though the story is a prequel to the angst-filled Peter Pan we all know and grew up with.

Taking on the rise and fall of your political ideals

It’s always good to make an audience think. In The City of Conversation, Colonial Players makes us do just that with a story that is well told, emotional and often laugh-out-loud funny — as well as relevant, with its look at how politics can split families.