Month: May 2018

Maple and Vine

In 2015, Harrison gave us one of the eeriest, most fast-forwarding plays of that season, the Pulitzer nominated Marjorie Prime. This 2011 work shares some of Marjorie’s warnings about technology and concerns over the survival of the nuclear family, but it often seems to be in rewind mode, establishing themes and plot points only to reestablish them later on. Meanwhile, on a whole other level, this particular production is also about how we communicate and how we stay silent, for it is staged by the New York Deaf Theatre, a nearly 40 year old company of deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing actors who perform works in American Sign Language.

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Turning Off the Morning News

Christopher Durang’s new play, Turning Off the Morning News, is a comedy of ill manners with one foot firmly planted in traditions of absurdist theater. It draws deep from the well of current societal and interpersonal malaise, with an ultimate message about the importance of connection.

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Paradise Blue

Paradise is in the eye of the beholder in Dominique Morisseau’s Paradise Blue.  It is the second play in her 3-play cycle “The Detroit Projects,” and the first offering in her 5-year residency at Signature Theatre.  The Paradise Club is a kind of living hell for its owner Blue (J. Alphonse Nicholson). For Pumpkin (Kristolyn Lloyd), his girlfriend and the club’s cook, waitress, bartender & laundress, it’s heavenly.

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Me And My Girl

Going to a show resurrected for a week at Encores! is like visiting a museum with a special exhibit held for a limited time. It’s often an adequately diverting but distanced glimpse into the past, at best invoking nostalgia for the material and refurbishing its memory. Encores! has that mission: To bring about the older, more obscure of American musicals and present them to today’s audiences with “concert productions that remain true to each show’s era and style.”

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