Tuesday, June 25, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Dan Dwyer

Dan Dwyer is an independent theatre reviewer and radio interview host. His radio show, "Off Script," is broadcast on NPR affiliate WHDD Robin Hood Radio. Podcasts of his interviews, along with his reviews, are posted on www.offscriptdandwyer.com. Dan’s reviews of Broadway musicals appear translated in "Blickpunkt Musical," the German magazine of international musical theater. Dan completed a workshop in directing at Yale University in the summer of 2015, and has directed rehearsed readings at the Berkshire Theatre Group. Dan is proprietor of Johnnycake Books, specializing in rare and collectible books, in Salisbury, Connecticut.

written articles

THEATRE REVIEW: Barrington Stage’s 10×10 New Play Festival an oasis in a bleak, wet Berkshire winter

The 10 10-minute plays, divided by one intermission, feature 10 playwrights who, each with remarkable economy, illuminate some aspect of life—in the everyday, in the home or in the news—as we are living it, like it or not, in this 2019 winter of discontent.

THEATRE REVIEW: Fiasco Theater’s ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ moves fast, transitions smoothly

If you don’t get a lump in your throat in the final scene when the youthful Frank, Charley and Mary sing “Our Time” looking skyward with wonder and wide-eyed innocence at Sputnik in 1957 nighttime sky from a Brooklyn rooftop, you have no heart.

THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Chasing the New White Whale’ at La MaMa uses ‘Moby Dick’ as a metaphor for opioid addiction

The playwright wrote the play in response to the heroin overdose of his brother, who was a fisherman out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, capital of the 19th century’s booming whaling industry.

REVIEW: Range of jazz selections brought new definition to Fisher Center’s ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’

The film’s Expressionistic visual style of odd angular forms and dark shadows fits perfectly with the unexpected, sometimes jarring, contours of jazz, and vice versa.

REVIEW: ‘Torch Song’ on Broadway reminds that struggle for individual rights and dignity isn’t over

The adapted play has been reduced four to two hours and 45 minutes, but its narrative weaknesses get exposed and its shortened length seems endless.

THEATRE REVIEW: Solid productions of ‘The Glass Menagerie’ and ‘Naked’ conclude a versatile summer theater season

The conclusion of “Naked” is riveting, all the more so for its prescient reverberations to the temper of our times.

REVIEW: All strings, all Hermann, all Hitchcock at Fisher Center’s ‘Psycho’ with live score

Hitchcock, believing the murder scene would be most dramatic with no music, instructed Hermann not to score it, but Hermann did anyway. When he insisted Hitchcock listen, after just a few notes, Hitchcock changed his mind (and increased Hermann’s fee).

THEATRE REVIEW: In Shakespeare & Co.’s outstanding production of ‘Mothers and Sons’ Annette Miller’s performance is riveting

With impeccable timing, nuanced vocal shifts and calibrated movement—the adjusting of the skirt, the nervous twitching of hands, the folding of the arms in self defense—Ms. Miller creates an indelible, psychologically credible, pathetic character.

THEATRE REVIEW: Barrington Stage’s ‘Well Intentioned White People’ lacks character development despite a powerful message

The real drama lost somewhere in Lynett’s confused work is the tragedy of a person who, by fateful combination of shortcomings in her own judgment and events foisted upon her for which she has no control, sees her life goal at risk.

THEATRE REVIEW: BTG’s ‘Sister Mary Ignatius’ ingeniously mixes humor and anger

If “The Actor’s Nightmare” ranks among the blackest of farcical comedy, then “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You” is among the blackest of black comedy.

REVIEW: Tanglewood’s Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert a fitting tribute to both Bernstein and Tanglewood

Most impressive was how conductor Andris Nelsons held the orchestra still long after it at had ceased playing for what the audience perceived as an odd, even uncomfortable, period — silence is a sound, too.

THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Always … Patsy Cline’ at Sharon Playhouse a glorious, nonstop songfest

Like the trooper Patsy was — and in keeping with the school of hard knocks her songs celebrated — the show moves swiftly into a double encore.

THEATRE REVIEW: Chester Theatre Company’s ‘The Aliens’ is pitch-perfect, impeccably rhythmed production

The play progresses on subtly revealed aspects about each character as well as carefully calibrated pacing and movement.

THEATRE REVIEW: WTF’s ‘Dangerous House’ is tautly written, skilled storytelling

Everything about “Dangerous House” is clean, straightforward and uncluttered. Playwright Silverman neither preaches nor condescends.

THEATRE REVIEW: ‘The Member of the Wedding’ at WTF compelling, disquieting, uplifting, timeless

In a quietly elegant revival at Williamstown Theatre Festival, director Gaye Taylor Upchurch and a phenomenal leading cast reveal how deep in its recesses the timelessness of the 1950 drama lies. 

THEATRE REVIEW: ‘West Side Story’ at Barrington Stage is one of the most rapturous, thrilling evenings of musical theater anywhere

Many theater companies aspire to recreate faithfully AND freshly great American musicals but few achieve the drama and vitality that’s currently on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage.
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