Archive for January 2012

Just the Songs (and Dance), Ma’am: SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE at Toby’s

The songbook of Jerry Leiber (1933-2011) and Mike Stoller (1933- ) is a natural for jukebox musical treatment, because it encompasses such variety that it requires little by way of setting to stay interesting. You don’t need a plot, you don’t need performers to talk or act, all you need is a band, some choreography and costumes, and some great singer/dancers, and you’re there.

The Joint is Jumpin’ at Spotlighters with AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’

A youthful cast, showcasing a number of talents from Morgan State University, brings out Waller’s exuberance and his ambivalence.

Shall We Dance and Think About Privilege and Race? THE KING AND I at Toby’s

Rodgers and Hammerstein designed the ending to reduce you to tears, and they knew what they were doing. Resist, even at this excellent revival,and think about the conundrums of race, class and gender that that lie just beneath the surface.

Whether to Re-Up on Marriage – FIFTY WORDS at Everyman

As playwright Michael Weller intelligently conveys, except in the most empty marriages, no matter what the parties may have done to each other, there are still ties of love holding them together. In living through these crises, then, both forces, the centripetal and the centrifugal, must have a part. To the observer, it might seem laughably incoherent, but actually it is just the way things are at such moments.

Finding the Main Line

If that day taught me a lesson, it concerned the occasional moments of grace that drop into our lives, days where downtime unexpectedly becomes time out from one’s cares. For one gorgeous, sunny day I was forced to stare out the window of a cozy two-car train at some of the prettiest creation Pennsylvania has to offer.