CBT Refreshes Shakespeare's Classic Comedy 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'
Published 3/2/2011 at 11:57 a.m. 1 comment
Last month PBS ran a solemn documentary about TV comedies, and the announcer gravely intoned that Jackie Gleason “invented a new art form: the situation comedy.” That claim is most credible, of course, when you find some way to discredit ...
Clarence Brown Stages a Live Performance of a Fictional Radio Broadcast of 'It's a Wonderful Life'
Published 12/8/2010 at 10:43 a.m. 0 comments
Maybe the most-watched black-and-white movie today, It’s a Wonderful Life was the first movie ever available on home video, and still gets shown on network TV. If you don’t get enough of it at home, the original movie was shown ...
At Clarence Brown, an Unnerving 'Woyzeck'
Published 10/13/2010 at 9:38 a.m. 0 comments
"Woyzeck" arrives at the University of Tennessee’s Carousel Theatre with a strange pedigree. Georg Buchner, a political writer and ineffectual revolutionary in 1830s Germany, died of typhus at age 23, leaving unfinished this peculiar drama about a paranoid wife-killer. Something ...
Two Local Productions Explore Sisterhood and Solidarity
Published 9/21/2010 at 4:47 p.m. 0 comments
The Woman-Power play in America dates from the 1980s, when Crimes of the Heart and Steel Magnolias were being performed in every little theater across the country. The Hallelujah Girls is definitely in the same gene pool.
CBT Cast Breathes Life Into Uninspired Material in "Amadeus"
Published 9/13/2010 at 5:21 p.m. 0 comments
With a central premise recycled from his earlier hit Equus, Amadeus has always felt to me like second-hand goods. With so little dramatic material to work from, most of the artistic heavy lifting falls to the actor playing Salieri, and ...
'Sherlock’s Last Case' Fulfills All the Requirements of Summer Theater
Published 8/11/2010 at 8:52 a.m. 0 comments
Theater companies reserve the summer for their frothiest, most lightweight entertainments. Theatre Knoxville Downtown opens its sixth season with Sherlock’s Last Case, a play so unencumbered by meaning that it practically evaporates before your eyes. And if the company puts ...
Oak Ridge Playhouse Dusts Off Rice/Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Published 5/12/2010 at 11:23 a.m. 0 comments
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, that staple of middle schools and church groups (and Donny Osmond’s personal cash cow for a decade), closes the 67th season at the Oak Ridge Playhouse this weekend. People feel passionately about Tim Rice ...
Clarence Brown Theatre Takes on '60s Icon Man of La Mancha
Published 4/21/2010 at 9:17 a.m. 0 comments
The story has some existential heft, and quips worthy of Oscar Wilde—“I don’t have the courage to believe in nothing,” says the main character, as he bemoans “the melancholy burden of sanity.” And it opens with a twist.
Two Romantic Comedies, Written a Century Apart, Share a Single Truth
Published 2/24/2010 at 9:35 a.m. 0 comments
Regardless of the play’s strengths or weaknesses, Frankie and Johnny will be spoken of for the rest of this year, and maybe for years to come, as the nude play. Stage nudity is not a regular thing hereabouts.
Clarence Brown’s "Oedipus the King" Leaves the Audience Out of the Action
Published 2/10/2010 at 9:22 a.m. 0 comments
What is theater? That’s a big question, possibly better suited for a graduate seminar than a newspaper review, but one brought up by Cal MacLean, the producing artistic director of the Clarence Brown Theatre, on the opening night of Oedipus ...
Theatre Knoxville's "Forbidden Knoxville" Leaves Nothing Sacred
Published 1/19/2010 at 5:54 p.m. 0 comments
In its second rendition, Forbidden Knoxville is a two-act roasting of everything K-town, cooked to perfection. With its original libretto sharply written by its director, Jayne Morgan, and its musical score set wonderfully to familiar Broadway tunes by its musical ...
Tennessee Stage Company Rescues a Bad Script with Care and Focus in New Production of "I Hate Hamlet"
Published 12/2/2009 at 8:34 a.m. 2 comments
There are rumors of a curse when it comes to Paul Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet. As with all rumors and curses, truths tend to be overwhelmed by myth, but in previous productions of the play, I have seen where such ...
Actors Co-op Presents Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love
Published 11/11/2009 at 3:34 p.m. 0 comments
The challenge for a company attempting this precarious piece is that Shepard ruthlessly plops his hapless characters into a world that has no true history. Or if the truth ever did exist, it now hides in the folds of the ...
Hometown actress Dale Dickey skillfully inhabits Tennessee Williams’ Tortured Blanche
Published 9/9/2009 at 1:07 p.m. 1 comment
As Blanche descends into frailty and fantasy, the demands of the part escalate, and the final act is a responsibility harrowing enough to make even an exceptionally strong actor uneasy. Director Calvin MacLean’s wonderful production is lucky indeed to boast ...
Clarence Brown Ends on High Note with Tommy
Published 4/22/2009 at 4:15 p.m. 0 comments
Like all vital arts organizations, the Clarence Brown Theatre is, in equal parts, exhilarating and infuriating. This is as it should be; if a theater is to take risks then by definition it must occasionally misjudge, offend, and even fail, ...