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  • 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, ...

  • Copenhagen Works Against Clarence Brown Theatre Published 4/1/2009 at 3:10 p.m. 0 comments

    I recall attending a play years ago when, just as the performance was about to start, the theater manager stormed in and accused a few innocent audience members of not having paid for their tickets. He may as well have ...

  • Clarence Brown Production a Master Work Published 3/4/2009 at 3:03 p.m. 0 comments

    A bad night at the cinema is 10 times better than a bad night at the theater, but a great night at the theater is 10 times better than a great night at the cinema. Why? Theater is risky. At ...

  • Triumph of Love nearly nails it Published 2/3/2009 at 10:27 a.m. 1 comment

    Director David Kennedy’s straightforward, plush realization of Marivaux’s The Triumph of Love is a commendable production, easier to admire than enjoy but offering nevertheless a worthwhile opportunity to see a significant play.

  • Dancing About Architecture Published 11/12/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    One of the lessons to be learned from the example of Pilobolus, the esteemed Connecticut-based dance company, might be to think long and hard about the possible consequences of your youthful larks and distractions. Four decades later you might find ...

  • Heaven on Stage Published 11/5/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    I often fantasize about a Knoxville in which theater and football have switched places. Leading up to game days we would see Phillip Fulmer—or whoever the head coach will be—frantically pleading with small businesses for a few dollars in sponsorship, ...

  • Dramatic Misbehavior Published 9/10/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 1 comment

    The Clarence Brown Theatre opens its new season with an odd choice, Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical Show. The final word in the subtitle was presumably inserted by the lawyers, since while the production is certainly a show—and unquestionably ...

  • Into Thin Air Published 7/23/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    Shakespeare on the Square dares to bring the Bard’s English into the humid arena of Market Square. Stratford-upon-Avon’s own Kieron Barry is there to catch all the action.

  • Theater of Cruelty Published 5/14/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    I have a recurring fear when at the cinema. On screen, the hero gives his “hoo-hah” turnaround speech in Act Three and the assembled athletes, factory workers, or grateful villagers that have thronged about him break into a riot of ...