Review: Skeleton Crew

If you’ve worked in the corporate world for any amount of time, you’ve likely been a part of layoffs or downsizing. The opening show of the Alley Theatre’s new season, SKELETON CREW, explores what it’s like to be a part of that world — from several different points of view.

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Review: Oklahoma!

In 1968, a single performance of BELLS ARE RINGING was presented at the new Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. The man who made this free production happen was a college student named Frank Young. He went on to found THEATRE UNDER THE STARS, which begins its 50th Anniversary season with the groundbreaking OKLAHOMA! Certainly a safe choice, but with practically every theatre company from schools to professionals presenting this show at one time or another, is there a reason to bring back  a musical that was 25 years old when TUTS was born?

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How to NOT Answer a Simple Question

You’d think Facebook would make it easy for businesses to answer seemingly simple questions and communicate with their customers. But you’d be wrong. And here is a great example of how NOT to handle a customer’s simple question.

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Review: The Mousetrap

Each night following their bows, one actor from the company finishes the performance with a direct address to the audience: “Now you have seen THE MOUSETRAP you are our partners in crime, and we ask you to preserve the tradition by keeping the secret of whodunit locked in your hearts.” This review will certainly honor that request. You may read it in its entirety without fear of spoilers or the revelation of major plot points.

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Review: Love Never Dies

Taking familiar characters and showing you a different, unexpected side of their stories and personalities is what made WICKED a phenomenon. As successful as that journey back to Oz has been, nothing can rival the success of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Broadway’s longest-running musical. Within three years of its New York debut, Andrew Lloyd Webber was working on the sequel. That was 1990. Twenty-eight years should be enough time to write another masterpiece, no?

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Long-term vs. Short-term Thinking – A Cautionary Tale

In this world of smart phones, 24/7 cable news, on-demand entertainment and the internet, we tend to live in the “now” with instant gratification and immediate feedback. While these tools and the ability to access and disseminate information instantly can be a powerful thing, we have almost made long-term thinking counterintuitive…and in many ways are paying the price for this shortsightedness.

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Review: Holmes & Watson

Those familiar with the Sherlock Holmes stories or even the British television series will know the significance of Reichenbach Falls. It is at this location that the famous detective and his arch nemesis Professor James Moriarty fall to their deaths. Or did they? FYI this review is spoiler-free, so it can be read prior to seeing this show.

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Review: The Cake

There’s a three line exchange about mid-way through the Alley Theatre’s production of THE CAKE that sums up the show perfectly:

DELLA: “I told her the truth.”

MACY: “Which truth is that?”

DELLA: “The only one I know.”

What is the truth? These days, it can be hard to discern. And perhaps, we’re all a little bit wrong in what we perceive to be true.

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Review: Guys & Dolls

It is a dangerous decision when a creative team decides to “re-imagine” a musical, especially a well-known classic. Certainly CHICAGO and CABARET stand out as recent revivals that were both re-conceived and met with high praise. But it is a risky move and doesn’t always work. When TUTS announced that they would be giving their GUYS & DOLLS revival a Latin flair, I must admit I was a bit concerned. How would this change an already great musical and its story? Would it work? Last night, I got my answer.

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