Making a musical Garden grow

Dec 13

Making a musical <i>Garden</i> grow

The Secret Garden will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first show I ever saw on Broadway. And because I was there with friends who had friends in high places, we got to go backstage afterward. On my first day in New York, just after my first Broadway show, I got to stand center stage of the St. James Theatre and stare out into the empty theater. Amazing experience.

We got to go backstage, where I met Alison Fraser and, almost by accident, Rebecca Luker. Also go to see Mandy Patinkin pitch a fit because he didn't want to meet people, dammit, between shows. That was interesting.

I'm thinking about The Secret Garden because I just saw TheatreWorks' second production of the show.

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Singing the blues in TheatreWorks’ bumpy Clementine

Oct 14

Singing the blues in TheatreWorks’ bumpy <i>Clementine</i>

In this week's edition of the Palo Alto Weekly I reviewed the world premiere of Clementine in the Lower 9 at TheatreWorks. You can read the review here.

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TheatreWorks’ slam-dunkin’ Donuts

Oct 11

TheatreWorks’ slam-dunkin’ <i>Donuts</i>

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Leslie Martinson, director of Superior Donuts, should bring together such good actors. Martinson is also the company's casting director and has been with TheatreWorks for 26 years. Some directors say that casting is more than 50 percent of directing, and that's probably true for Martinson, though she's clearly a solid director (I loved her Theophilus North three years ago).

Howard Swain stars as donut shop owner Arthur Przybyszewski, an aging hippie who can't really be bothered by life, which he describes as "a derailment." He runs his shabby donut shop and doesn't much care that the new Starbucks across the street is killing his business. For him, the business has been dead for years. Swain conveys Arthur's detachment while making us care about him. Arthur has made some rough decisions in his life, and his troubled relationship with his now-dead father complicate his emotional life as well as his relationships with his own fractured family.

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A night at the opera with funny Freischütz

Feb 28

Opera’s not really my bag, but I had a fantastic time reviewing West Bay Opera’s Der Freischütz for the Palo Alto Weekly. The short run ended today (Sunday, Feb. 28), but the review lives on forever. Read it here and please enjoy this photo from the production. Eric Coyne is Kuno, the head forester, and those are the masked townspeople behind him....

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Heading into an extraordinary Rabbit Hole

Jan 29

In the Palo Alto Players production of Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire, Becca (Shannon Warrick) and Howie (Earle Carlson) look for comfort after the unimaginable. Photo courtesy of Palo Alto Players Last weekend I made like Alice in Wonderland and headed into a rabbit hole. While Alice ended up traumatized by a heartless queen, a funky tea party and a disturbing...

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Palo Alto Weekly reviews

Aug 18

Leo Bloom (Tim Reynolds) and Ulla (Brittany Ogle) in Foothill Music Theatre’s The Producers. Photo by David Allen These aren’t appearing here in a timely fashion, but they’re here, just for the record. This summer I did a couple of reviews for the Palo Alto Weekly. I saw Foothill Music Theatre’s production of The Producers, which was exciting...

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