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  • Article

    Guerrilla War Between the Sexes - Closer

    I dare anyone who thinks movies and television come near to providing the thrill of top-drawer live theater to go see Closer, and not just because actress Jen Ryan spends part of Act Two wearing little more than a see-through mesh top. You can observ...

    by Robin Dougherty on December 2, 1999
  • Article

    Dusty Chalk - The Chalk Garden,

    Tim Bennett's set -- a sitting room in an English manor, dappled with gorgeous pink light and a dozen vases of cut flowers, opening out on to a rose-strewn garden -- is so inviting that I wanted to walk up onstage and move in. That's the only pos...

    by Robin Dougherty on November 25, 1999
  • Article

    Strong Star, Tired Message - Out of the Box

    Karen Stephens is such an appealing performer that I wish her one-person show were as compelling as she is. Called Out of the Box, the show is billed as a multimedia event that looks at "societal and racial parameters through the life experiences of ...

    by Robin Dougherty on November 18, 1999
  • Article

    Picture Memory City - "Habana, Mayo 1997"

    Havana. A magical place built by the Spanish, coveted by the English, worshiped by the Americans, and nearly destroyed by the Cubans, the city has become a de rigueur stop for sex-hungry Europeans and cheap Latin-American tourists. Lately one finds t...

    by Alfredo Triff on November 18, 1999
  • Article

    Two Colors of the Rainbow - Finian's Rainbow

    In these post-Sondheim, pro-revival days, it's sometimes difficult to find the why and wherefore of the Broadway musical. On the one hand, Times Square overflows with new productions of Grease and Saturday Night Fever and the self-perpetuating Cats, ...

    by Robin Dougherty on November 11, 1999
  • Article

    Scientists Overboard - Great Men of Science, Nos. 21 & 22

    Glen Berger's new play, Great Men of Science, Nos. 21 & 22, is a disaster of such epic proportions it practically begs comparison to the Titanic and the Hindenberg. Indeed, ten minutes after it leaves port, so to speak, this world premiere by the aut...

    by Robin Dougherty on November 4, 1999
  • Article

    Violence in the Art Projects - Elizabeth Withstandley's "Candy Coated"

    Locust Projects is located between the Design District and the so-called Media-Production-Entertainment District. It's a project to house creativity, not people. A trio of young local artists formed LP, as they refer to it, and turned a crackhouse in...

    by Alfredo Triff on November 4, 1999
  • Article

    Women on the Verge - Sophie, Totie, & Belle

    Sophie, Totie, and Belle are no longer household names, but you can still draw straight lines from the blues singer Sophie Tucker, the '60s comedienne Totie Fields, and the borscht belt star Belle Barth to Bette Midler, Roseanne, and Joan Rivers, not...

    by Robin Dougherty on October 28, 1999
  • Article

    Travelin' Two-Act - Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know

    Are you going to Europe? South America? Do you need to know how to ask "Where is St. Sophia's?" in Italian? How about "Where is Sophia Loren?" Both phrases are translated in the snappy musical travel guide, Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know. N...

    by Robin Dougherty on October 21, 1999
  • Article

    The Art of Digging It - Paintings by Lynne Golob Gelfman

    As you enter the Fredric Snitzer Gallery and begin looking at the pieces counterclockwise from the door, colors seem to drift past, from moss green to sanded-wood, from red to black. The abstract paintings of Lynne Golob Gelfman have an unusual expre...

    by Alfredo Triff on October 21, 1999
  • Article

    Dixie Chick - Pretty Fire

    "Pretty fire" is the shockingly inappropriate term the young Charlayne Woodard gave to the sight of a cross burning in her grandparents' front yard. It's also the name of her autobiographical one-woman show, which tells the story of how as a child sh...

    by Robin Dougherty on October 14, 1999
  • 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
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