Nutcracker by the Numbers
Ooops! Must be an oversight to not include Moscow Ballet's company of 40 performing "Great Russian Nutcracker" in the "professional" category....if they are not professionals (dance as a full-time career and are paid for it) then who is? Go to www.nutcracker.com for all about the tour and company
I am a distant cousin of Terry Howell and would like to email Cindy. Her husband and I found each other online back in 2003. He wanted to exchange Dalton genealogy at the time.
Jackie in ID
I wonder: the reviewer is a woman. The "actress" is a woman playing a female fighter pilot. View points expressed 360 degrees are all feminine. I wonder if all of this is circumspect to the female sex: men would feel differently about the whole process because we are cultured differently. Dr. Laura Schlessinger once commented on her radio show about the film Air Force One, one fighter pilot put his plane between AF1 and a rocket and exploded protecting the president. " A natural instinct for a man," she explained. She did not think so for a woman. I ran into a female fighter pilot from D/M at the landromat off-base one Saturday who was a bit prickly about the same subject. The major said to me, " it's all the same - men/women, we're all fighter pilots." Yeah? Well....maybe. Maybe not.
In my opinion, this production was fabulous. I fell in love with the directing choices made by Stephen Wrentmore and for the most part agreed with the way the characters were played. Stephen's additions to the already-fun play such as the addition of the Beastie Boys and Guns N' Roses only enhanced my enjoyment of the play. The "modern" additions accurately underscored the most fun elements of the play and perfectly complemented the overall theme and mood. Placed where they were, they also could not help but re-invigorate the audience for the exciting conclusion of the play. In her review on the Arizona Daily Star, Kathy Allen calls the modifications "gratuitous and anachronistic," saying that they "seemed to be there for no other reason than to attempt to put a contemporary spin on the play ." She then goes on to say that "the thing about “Earnest” is, it doesn't need spin." I heartily disagree with Ms. Allen. I believe that theater was not meant to be taken strictly by the script-if that was so, why would we as theater goers go to see a play more than once, whether put on by the same company or a different one? It would be the exact same performance. I believe that scripts can and should be played with, especially with so playful a playwright such as Oscar Wilde. I do not think that the additions distracted from my enjoyment of the performance; rather, they added to it. Sherilyn Forrester of Tucson Weekly added that "whatever the new spin, it's important that it be true to Earnest" which I believe Stephen was, in keeping with the fun spirit of Oscar Wilde. In addition, I very much enjoyed the characters in Earnest and thought that for the most part, they were wonderfully portrayed. Algernon, Jack, Cecily, and Gwendolyn had all found that character spark that manifests itself internally as well as externally that really determines whether the actor is the character or whether they are playing the character. However, I did not enjoy Lady Bracknell's performance nearly as much. The character to me felt flat and unexciting-the lines were delivered painfully slowly, the cues were a beat behind, the accent was not enjoyable, and the characteristic spark was lacking. I very much agree with Ms. Forrester when she reports that "this attempt falls flat" because "when [Bracknell]...enters, all the energy flees the room." I think this is an accurate description because I found Lady Bracknell's portrayal to be just flat.
The technical aspects of this play were glorious. The set, lights, sound, and costumes were so cleverly done and gorgeously rendered that it was hard not to just stare at them. The costumes were beautiful examples of nineteenth century Victorian wear, and the set took a creative spin on the classical Victorian decorations while still staying true to the Victorian spirit and perfectly exemplifying the overarching themes of the show. One of the most creative aspects of the set was the rotating fan that was hand-painted like a peacock feather that sunk into the stage at the end of Act I. It reflected the aristocratic peacock theme of the script and the production while being a marvelously clever work of set design. I agree with Ms. Allen when she says that the production "looks beautiful." It definitely does.
In conclusion, I would wholeheartedly recommend this play to a friend. I believe that this production does a great job and retaining the original fun, jovial spirit of Oscar Wilde while incorporating even more fun aspects in order to increase the audience's enjoyment of the play. The technical aspects are gorgeous, creating a production that is pleasurable to look at, and the acting and directing choices are almost all spot on. I would most definitely say to go see The Importance of Being Earnest!
it is interesting how the people in the press, especially bush league press that nobody gives a ---- about, can come up with these amazing reviews, critical thinking, and profound judgements. but then again, all of these bush league journalist didn't make in the field they are writing about, did they.
Well, that was an annoying review. First the author complains about this huge misstep by the director that dooms this production and then say nothing about that misstep. I guess you're trying to drum up business with reverse psychology--Come see this play, not for the terrific performance outlined but, for the one really misguided terrible interpretation of the most dominant character.
METHINKS U DOEST PROTEST WAY TOO MUCH
Great review, nice to see M Scot Skinner's insightful writing again....
Saw the 9/8 evening performance. Press-Coffman was reciting her lines; the acting was not effective. Didion's writing, which is terrific, carried the performance but barely. I was very disappointed. What's the point of memorizing such a beautiful script if you can't emote except, as Dorothy Parker might say, to run the gamut from A to B?
Fantastic. Otherwise mundane scapes come alive. You really have to see these prints in person. The power of old film is the print. And the printer. I hope she did them all on her own.
Margaret, I really like your approach with this review: identifying and summarizing a common theme with much of the artwork (i.e. birds), and then then sorting it all out with an ad hoc "awards ceremony". You should take it a step further, and create a "Regan" award for each of those categories. "And the winner of the Regan for 'Best Vacation' goes to....!" And then email the winner a little jpg file of the award graphic. ;)
The headline is disappointing; I was expecting some reference to the book by our local author, Barbara Kingsolver. Her book entitiled High Tide in Tucson: Essays From Now or Never is one of my favorites.
I saw the show opening night and was more than pleased that I chose to go! Hilarious, inventive and full of feminism, Lysistrata offers more than a quirky joke or two. A must see!
I worked at Old Tucson when Jim was in 'Diamond Studs' he was very funny - I am trying to find any photos of that stage musical to post on the Old Tucson Alumni Facebook page - if anyone has any I would love to see them. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for the nice review of the show! Also if your in the Phoenix area Chris Pappan will have works at the Heard Museum Indian Market on March 2nd and 3rd, and also at the "Outside The Lines" exhibit at the Heard museum north in Scottsdale. Ryan Singer will also be showing more of his work at the 1205 Space, (1205 W. Pierce St Phoenix) opening Friday, March 1st . I would also just like to point out that the above image is by Ryan Singer and not Chris Pappaus.
Went and saw this. Absolutely amazing. Robert Beltran was a perfect mix of Nathan Lane, Al Pacino (alla Carlito's Way) and Edward James Olmos in his theatrical narration.
Enjoyed the movie but LOVE this show. A lot of heart and so much fun. Not to be missed!
I saw this play last night, Jan. 31, and was very impressed with the production. I recommend "Freud's Last Session" to anyone interested in thoughtful, forceful and evocative theater. Outstanding, in my book.
What a great review! It really shed some light on Rancho Linda Vista and its artists showing at The Drawing Studio.
It's perhaps niggling to pick on this mostly positive review, but I feel that in at least one way the reviewer doesn't "get" Brecht, and that leads her to say the Rogue's is a "very respectable production," instead of the truly rich and revealing production I think it is. Her primary complaint is the lack of storytelling momentum, but in fact it is Brecht who breaks up his play as he does, specifically so that the audience does not become engrossed in it. Brecht likes the audience to never lose themselves in the play, but to always be aware of themselves, alienated, consumers. By problematizing every aspect of the play, including Mother Courage's love for her children, the Rogue accentuates the audience's role as independent thinkers, critical of the play and its characters, and of the ideas presented. The audience could not possibly be that if they were too caught up in the story. So, while I applaud the Rogue for the lack of "storytelling momentum," the person I really applaud for this is Brecht himself, and I am surprised the reviewer does not understand this basic tenet of Brechtian theater.
Despite such aversion to the audience giving itself up to the story or to the characters, Brecht is an entertainer, through music, and through social situations that reach us where we live. The Rogue's presentation is terrifically entertaining, from their lively acting, to the terrific original music, to the presentation of each scene's beginning as ensemble choral performance.
This is quite possibly the best theater I have ever seen in Tucson.
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