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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Backstage Review: ‘Exit, Pursued By A Bear’ at Restless Artist Theater

Make no mistake about it. This is a female revenge play. This genre is as old as Seneca and Euripides in ancient Rome and Greece. Think of the movies The Other Woman, 9 to 5, Fatal Attraction, The First Wives’ Club, Thelma and Louise, and the list goes on. Lauren Gunderson is probably the most widely performed living playwright in America today. She has authored roughly 20 plays in what is still a very young life. She wanted to write a play addressing domestic violence. But–and this is a big but–in writing this play should she do drama or comedy? Should she decry domestic violence or mock it? Here’s her answer:

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Backstage Review: ‘Victor Victoria’ at Bruka Theater

“Victor Victoria” is a Romeo-and-Juliet story. What’s different about this particular Romeo-and-Juliet story is it comes from the zany, inventive, brilliant imagination of Blake Edwards. Edwards is a master of appearances only semi-attached to reality. He does this superbly, and he does it to music. This musical is about two star crossed lovers in Paris in 1934. It was a time of opulence cheek by jowl with grinding poverty. It was a time of booze and rapidly changing morality. It was the Jazz Age.

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