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.

Read more

Backstage Review: ‘Harvey’ at Reno Little Theater

Elwood P. Dowd is certifiably insane but not by happenstance. He is that way by choice. It’s the only way he can cope with an insane world. Sane people act insane in an insane world. Dowd did that for 40 years but gave it up for a sane world of his own creation. As he tells us, “…I wrestled with reality for forty years, and I am happy to state that I finally won out over it.” And in Dowd’s reality one must be “…so smart…or so pleasant. For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.” He is the most pleasant person imaginable.

Read more

Backstage Review: ‘Sense and Sensibility’ At The Reno Little Theater

A tip of the hat to Jane Austen. She had one foot in one century and another in the subsequent century. She started writing Sense and Sensibility in 1795. The 18th Century was a time of classicism. It was a time of logic and propriety, of formality, structure, and restraint. It was a time when everything made sense. It was a requirement of the time. She finished her novel in 1811. That was in the 19th Century, and it was different. It was a time of romanticism that emphasized individuality and emotions, following your heart more than your head, giving free rein to your sensibilities. It was a time of curiosity, exploration, and innovation. It was a time of empire and individual derring-do. It was the time of the Scottish Enlightenment and the scientific revolution. The Industrial Revolution had just started in Britain changing the world forever and Britain along with it.

Read more