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  • Article

    Driver's Miseducation - How I Learned to Drive

    The road signs are blurry but the way is clear in the New Theatre's intimate production of How I Learned to Drive, Paula Vogel's 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama that's wrapped up in automobile metaphors. Set in rural Maryland and unfolding over thr...

    by Robin Dougherty on October 7, 1999
  • Article

    Humor on Demand - Laughing Gas Improv Group

    Any actor will admit that the audience can become a character in a live performance, in part because of the chemistry that wafts back and forth across the proverbial fourth wall. That's never more true than with improv comedy, in which actors are for...

    by Robin Dougherty on September 30, 1999
  • Article

    Hollywood Square - The Life of Reilly

    In his hilarious stage memoir, Charles Nelson Reilly talks about his days as a Broadway understudy, his death-obsessed uncle, and his memories of Ruth Draper, "the best actor who ever lived." But the story that captures the comedy-spiked bathos at th...

    by Robin Dougherty on September 23, 1999
  • Article

    Season Sleeper - Pvt. Wars

    James McLure's one-act Pvt. Wars made a neat splash back in 1979 when it appeared at the celebrated New Playwrights Festival at the Actors Theatre in Louisville. But between that time and now the work has run aground, having hit many of the metaphori...

    by Robin Dougherty on September 16, 1999
  • Article

    Send in the Songs - Side by Side by Sondheim

    Somewhere between writing dialogue for the Jets and the Sharks in West Side Story and creating Sunday in the Park with George, the only Broadway show to date based on an Impressionist painting, Stephen Sondheim revolutionized American musical theater...

    by Robin Dougherty on September 9, 1999
  • Article

    Falling to Pieces - A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline

    Like her contemporary, the movie star James Dean, Patsy Cline arrived in pop-culture heaven prematurely, the result of a tragedy. She died in a plane crash in 1963 at the age of 30, leaving behind two small children and the work that resulted from tw...

    by Robin Dougherty on September 2, 1999
  • Article

    Swedish Passion Under a Cuban Sun - Miss Julie and The Stronger

    The names have been changed and so has the setting, but no one will fail to recognize August Strindberg's neurotic heroine and her boy toy in New Theatre's unrelenting and compassionate production of Miss Julie. By transferring it to colonial Latin A...

    by Robin Dougherty on August 26, 1999
  • Article

    Wild About Harry - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    Actress Elizabeth Dimon was so delightfully adroit this past spring in the Caldwell Theatre Company's production of The King's Mare and the Florida Stage's Quills that it should surprise no one that she walks away with the part of Cissy, the female h...

    by Robin Dougherty on August 19, 1999
  • Article

    Touched by an Impresario - Mister Abbott -- A Broadway Legacy

    When he was 107 years old, the story goes, Broadway legend George Abbott was asked what he thought was the most important development in the theater to have taken place in his lifetime. His answer: "Electricity." Although his active career as an acto...

    by Robin Dougherty on August 12, 1999
  • Truth Is More Lucrative Than Fiction - Collected Stories

    Article

    Truth Is More Lucrative Than Fiction - Collected Stories

    Socrates and Plato, Emerson and Thoreau, Mr. Kotter and Vinnie Barbarino -- the history of Western civilization is cluttered with memorable teacher-student pairs, each bringing its unique dynamic to one of the most powerful relationships in humanki...

    by Robin Dougherty on August 5, 1999
  • Article

    In the Nude for Love - Naked Boys Singing!

    If nothing else, Naked Boys Singing! lives up to the hype of its title. The cast members are naked, they are male, and they sing. In fact they sing rather well. That's a good thing, since the revue, already a hit at the Celebration Theatre in Los Ang...

    by Robin Dougherty on July 29, 1999
  • Jefferson in Virginia - Twilight at Monticello:  An Evening with Thomas Jefferson

    Article

    Jefferson in Virginia - Twilight at Monticello: An Evening with Thomas Jefferson

    The fascinating part of Twilight at Monticello: An Evening with Thomas Jefferson is not the hour-and-45-minute monologue that serves as the main attraction but rather the short question-and-answer period that follows in which actor-creator J.D. Sutto...

    by Robin Dougherty on July 22, 1999
  • Article

    A Plague on Your Upper Houses

    What's a nice socialist playwright like Naomi Wallace doing in Coral Gables? Getting a crackerjack production of her play at the New Theatre, that's what. Wallace's 1996-97 Obie-winning play One Flea Spare, is about class struggle, bubonic plague, an...

    by Robin Dougherty on July 15, 1999
  • Article

    Pair of Witless Queens

    It's almost always funnier when men dress up as women than the other way around. Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli are drag standbys in theaters and cabarets around the world. Elizabeth Dole and Hillary Clinton are routinely skewered on Saturday Night L...

    by Robin Dougherty on July 8, 1999
  • Article

    This Analysis Is a Quackup

    Playwright John Patrick Shanley once told the New York Times that he bought a copy of Krafft-Ebing's nineteenth-century textbook Psychopathia Sexualis because "I have an unhealthy interest in sex and eccentric German people." (Well, who doesn't?) It ...

    by Robin Dougherty on July 1, 1999
  • Article

    Sex for Seniors

    Mixed Emotions! is the name of Richard Baer's astoundingly popular comedy about two golden agers who fall in love. Since its February opening, the show has been a hit for the Broward Stage Door Theatre, which has extended it through late July. Mixed ...

    by Robin Dougherty on June 24, 1999
  • Article

    Best Be Getting Home

    Like the old adage about good campers who can start a fire with only three matchsticks, the M Ensemble Company, Inc., has struck a full blaze with Home, a production crackling with inventiveness that defies its low-budget parameters with combustible ...

    by Robin Dougherty on June 17, 1999
  • Article

    Much Ado About Sonnets

    Info: Much Ado About Sonnets By Robin Dougherty The two-year-old Actors' Project Theatre Company is the first to admit that with Love's Fire, it's shamelessly cashing in on the current cachet of William Shakespeare. "He's hip and young, but older ...

    by Robin Dougherty on June 10, 1999
  • Article

    Musically In-Clined

    If memory serves, Archie Bunker never ranted about brilliant country and western stars who experienced rapid career trajectories and died tragic deaths, possibly because none ever crossed his path. So it's difficult to imagine what he'd think of daug...

    by Robin Dougherty on June 3, 1999
  • Article

    Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

    Suicide, abortion, death by torture, and plagiarism of an obscure British novelist are an awful lot to cram into a single play. In fact just one of these topics would be a challenge for the best of playwrights. Shakespeare's potboiler, Titus Androni...

    by Robin Dougherty on May 27, 1999
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