Backstage Review: ‘Noises Off’ at At Good Luck Macbeth

To understand Noises Off it helps to know Murphy’s Law and O’Toole’s Commentary on Murphy’s Law aka O’Toole’s Corollary. Murphy’s Law says if anything can go wrong, it will. O’Toole’s Corollary says Murphy was an optimist. And if the purpose of theater is to hold a mirror up to ourselves so we can see clearly who and what we are then Noises Off tells us we are all doomed.

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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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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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Backstage Review: Restless Artists Theater Opens Their New Season with ‘Election Day’

That’s what the Restless Artists Theater is doing, and a tip of the hat to them for it. They have announced their 2019/20 season chock-full of new plays by young writers. These are fresh faces with fresh voices. They are the writers of our new century. When we look back at the 21st Century and ask who its great playwrights were, the names will be drawn from this group. Our playwright Josh Tobiessen could very well be one of them.

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Backstage Review: “Monessen Falls” At Good Luck Macbeth

We all go through stages in life. Shakespeare knew it. So does our author Greg Burdick. We are born, go through youth, our teen years, young adulthood, and finally maturity. Hopefully, at that time, we have learned to exercise good judgment. That good judgment comes from wisdom, but wisdom comes from bad judgment. We make mistakes on the road to maturity and wisdom. Society forgives us our feckless years because we all go through them. It is natural just as it is to forgive the errors of youth.

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Backstage Review: ‘Guys and Dolls’, A Magnificent Romp Through The 1930s

Do you want a frolic through New York’s demi-monde of the 1930s? Do you want an evening that is just plain fun, one that is breezy and carefree? If so, Guys and Dolls is for you. The Sierra School of Performing Arts is currently performing this gem of a musical at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch. Do not let the school name fool you. This big, splashy production is as professionally done as you will get this side of Broadway.

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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.

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