Backstage Review—Murder On The Orient Express

Agatha Christie made murder respectable. She took it out of the back alley and put it into the parlor where it belongs. Okay, so in this outstanding whodunit she put it into the parlor car and the sleeping coach. Who indeed killed Samuel Ratchett, a villain most foul, with eight stab wounds? Doesn’t this seem like overkill—literally? Ratchett is really sleazebag Bruno Cassetti who murdered the 5-year-old American heiress Daisy Armstrong. With a trainful of suspects, 8 of them, each with an alibi, only famed detective Hercule Poirot, who appears in 33 of Christie’s novels, has the chops to figure it out.

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Backstage Review: ‘Hearts Like Fists’ at the Restless Artists Theater

Doctor X is a certifiable, industrial-strength nogoodnik making Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi look like Mary Poppins. She sees her face like a squirming bowl of worms. I have no idea what that means. Okay, let’s take it to mean that she does not see herself as a good looking gal. The love of her life (the nurse) has a face like a china plate. Maybe that means she has a face like a beautiful piece of Wedgewood china, like a creamy white cameo against a field of pale, delicate blue. Okay, that makes sense. Let’s go with that one, too.

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‘Son of a Buttcracker’ at Bruka Theater (Photos and Review)

Picture this; the date is 1815 in the Frankenstein Castle on the Rhine River in Germany. The family gathers for a holiday celebration, with all the peculiarities you would expect from a gathering at the Frankenstein’s Castle. Add to this the flavor of ballet and the thread of a classic Christmas tale, and you have this year’s “Son of a Buttcracker.”

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Backstage Review: ‘Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge’

The Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future leads us through a futile attempt to redeem intensely practical Scrooge. Of course, it doesn’t work. She (the Ghost) is a hopeless underachiever. She transports us from time to time and place to place and invariably ends up somewhere other than her intended destination. But Scrooge is irredeemable. He hates Christmas. Durang divides Mrs. Cratchit into two, a nice Mrs. Cratchit married to Bob Cratchit and a nasty Mrs. Cratchit who keeps trying to kill herself by jumping off London Bridge. Scrooge, bah humbugging his way through the play, falls in love with nasty Mrs. Cratchit. Who woulda thunk? But, it seems like a perfect match.

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Saturday’s Live in HD Broadcast to Local Cinemas: Akhnaten by Phillip Glass

This rarely performed modern masterpiece is another spectacular must-see opera from the Met’s 2019-20 live in HD season. Staring one of the world’s greatest living countertenors, Anthony Roth Costanzo, in the title role and featuring J’Nai Bridges as his Queen, Nefertiti, and Dísella Lárusdóttir as his mother, Queen Tye, it will literally knock your socks off. This is the last opera in Glass’ historic “Portrait Trilogy” (the others were about Einstein and Gandhi) and is a mystical examination of events in the life of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV who took the first known steps towards monotheism two centuries before Moses, and then re-named himself Akhnaten after his one God – Aten – a higher manifestation of the Sun God Ra.

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Backstage Review: ‘The Humans’ at Reno Little Theater

This play is an ensemble piece, a fast-paced tragedy and comedy that will leave you touched by the humanity of it all and laughing uproariously at its comedy. But it is different from ordinary plays. Ordinarily, a play lays some groundwork by showing us the characters and the situation. Then the playwright builds some tension and some conflict. In the denouement at the end the conflicts and tensions are resolved, and all the loose ends are tied up. The play has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

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