“My first show at Four County Players was Man of La Mancha in 2002. I was 16,” said Gary White of the Barboursville-based theater company, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary season. White, by day a paralegal at an area law firm, serves on the group’s programming committee and is also one of its most vocal advocates.
Mr. Zero (played by Jon Cobb, right) counts on redemption in the afterlife in Live Arts’ production of Adding Machine, directed by Bree Luck. (Publicity photo) Recognizing that the gift of history clouds the past, I’ve often wondered why Elmer Rice’s allegorical play, The Adding Machine, is considered such a classic of modern theater. I [...]
(Photo by Jack Looney) Nothing says quaint quite like the Charlottesville Dogwood Festival, which marks its sixty-third annual resurrection this year. Comprised of nearly a month of disparate events and activities, the Dogwood Festival has a little something for everyone, as long as everyone likes BBQs, fireworks, beauty pageants, war memorials, carnivals, or fundraising [...]
Aren’t we fascinated when real people live up to well-worn stereotypes?â The characters in Superior Donuts seem like stereotypes, but they embody realistic contradictions, which makes them endearingly plumb. Isaih Anderson (left) and Tim McNamara bring nuance and heart to thinly scripted roles in the Live Arts production of Superior Donuts. When I say that protagonist Arthur Przybyszewski (Robert McNamara) is [...]
When Paul first shows up at Flan and Ouisa Kittredge’s posh Central Park apartment, he says that he’s been stabbed, and that the only copy of his Harvard thesis has been stolen.
Astronomers recently discovered a small solar system that could support life some 20 light years away from earth. I wonder if, in the glare of their own sun, some distant, sentient creatures are also flummoxed by loneliness and failure. In UVA’s impressive production of The Glass Menagerie, these possibilities come to mind. Below a dusky [...]
What a shame that phrases like, “It’s the sleeper hit of the season,” are total bullshit because Adelind Horan’s Cry of the Mountain is an appropriate candidate for such a statement.
Afton’s Hamner Theatre continues the local Bard-a-thon by presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream squarely on the heels of Live Arts’ Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2, which arrived soon after Four County Players’ Othello; not to mention the ongoing work of Staunton’s American Shakespeare Center. A Midsummer Night’s Dream might be an overrated script, even [...]
Bard lovers often want to disassemble Shakespeare’s histories and stitch them back together in new ways. Orson Welles did so in his brilliant, but obscure, Chimes at Midnight. Now Sara Holdren, our local Shakespearean cotter pin, brings a fresh take on Henry IV with Live Arts’ new production. It’s not often that Live Arts delves [...]
Musicals are often brushed off as fluffy escapism, and yet the most-enduring ones—from Puccini’s popular operas to Sondheim’s Into The Woods—are about celebrating the frivolity and freedom of youth. That is, until the dread sets in. Cabaret is within this canon and the script is as germane with its politics and rhetoric as it was [...]
Russell Lees’ Nixon’s Nixon is an animalistic powerplay in the manner of McClure’s The Beard and Mamet’s Oleanna; two hungry beings in a single room, both jockeying for the upper hand. Here, it’s Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, alone on the eve of Nixon’s resignation. To say the situation is timely is an understatement: A [...]
Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia is an unusual choice for Play On! While the play may be far from agit-prop or avant garde, it ain’t Moss Hart. It’s a challenge. Stoppard has always written as if to show how clever he is, and damn if he doesn’t succeed at every turn, decade after decade. Play On! risks [...]
It takes a gifted writer to charm centuries of academics and audiences alike with what are essentially dung jokes aimed at con artists.
Holiday crowdpleasers are a necessary evil in the industry of community theatre.
Kids these days sure do like their metatheater. It’s no surprise, then, that PVCC chose two modern classics of the genre—Eugène Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano and Christopher Durang’s The Actor’s Nightmare, as a back-to-back crash course in Absurdism. You’ll never find a heartbreaking production of The Bald Soprano, a projected spoof of nonsensical domestic small [...]