Friday, July 19, 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.

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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.

THEATRE REVIEW: BTG’s smart production of ‘The Petrified Forest’ demonstrates skill, sensitivity

Most acutely sensitive, though, and way ahead of its time, is the second-act speech Sherwood gives Mrs. Chisholm that proclaims a woman’s emancipation decades before the bra-burning ‘60s.

THEATRE REVIEW: ‘The Chinese Lady’ at Barrington Stage a lovely production of noble and current import

'The Chinese Lady' muses about the philosophic nature of history, cultural appropriation and similar serious topics.

THEATRE REVIEW: Shakespeare & Company’s ‘Creditors’ is a perfect piece of dramatic theater

Strindberg was way ahead of his time in probing the psychological recesses of adult relationships.

REVIEW: ‘West Side Story’ at Tanglewood showcases spectacular union of music and dance

Most gratifying was the spontaneous roar from the crowd when the names of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins and Stephen Sondheim appeared in the end credits.

THEATRE REVIEW: Astonishingly original ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ a multi-facted query of mortality

The play appears plotless, but is anchored by the most classical narrative structure—conflict underpins everything that happens.

THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Artney Jackson’ at WTF offers quiet yet powerful social commentary

“Artney Jackson” creates a world where dreams and the workday co-exist.

REVIEW: Alan Cumming’s ‘Legal Immigrant’ at the Mahaiwe bold and smart

The 90-minute show was packed with about a dozen and half songs, thematically grouped in five sets with some rollicking comedy routines and brash, political commentary in between.

THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Hair’ at the Unicorn, not wild enough in an uneven production

Sexual liberation — but in the dark? It just plays silly. Why bother? Act 2, too, has some peculiar directorial choices, especially a cringe-inducing routine involving a poster of Mick Jagger.

ON THEATRE: A sublime ‘Four Quartets’ at Bard Summerscape

The entire performance is mesmerizing. Narration by actor Kathleen Chalfant and original music by Finish composer Kaija Saariaho fit perfectly with the dance.

THEATRE REVIEW: At Bard a hard-edged adaptation of ‘Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan’

A stunning new production that combines a subversive adaptation of Leonard Bernstein’s 1950 version with his nearly forgotten, full original score. Enter a “Peter Pan” for the 21st century.

REVIEW: Chanteuse Lady Rizo’s ‘Red, White and Indigo’ reinterprets patriotism

Lady Rizo works a song portfolio from Nina Simone to Leonard Cohen with a set of pipes that would make both Janis Joplin and Donna Summer be sure she never opened for them — she’d be too good.

THEATRE REVIEW: Kalcheim’s ‘Coming Back Like a Song!’ is pure delight

When it comes to witty and double-entendre rhyming, Sondheim, eat your heart out. Lee Kalcheim’s dialogue is crisp and snappy. 

THEATRE REVIEW: ‘The Closet,’ a hilariously wicked satire at WTF

If Beane weren’t gay, he probably couldn’t get away with this parody, but that kind of thinking is exactly what Beane is lampooning.
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