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Weill, I suspect, would surely be impressed. The creative folks at Second City Hollywood somehow managed to make Dotard Donnie look almost as ridiculous as he does in real life with their musical Trump in Space, which initially won the Encore Award in its debut at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in and continued playing continuously with numerous extensions at their Hollywood Boulevard facility through the summer of Bellinger appears as the stone-faced starship captain Natasha Trump, a reluctant descendent of our own current presidential Voldemort, while Kirksey makes a few judiciously planned cameos as The Executive, a faceless, gravel-voiced Darth Vader clone with a patch of blond hair sticking out of his hood and sporting a long red tie nearly reaching the knee area of his mysterious black robe.

Joy while Warner, dressed in an homage to Sgt. Dangle on Reno ! Like our own Teflon Traitor Tot, it seems to be hard to stop—although of the two entities, this is the one whose indestructibility is to be celebrated. Usually, that difficulty involves having less-than glowing things to say about people I absolutely admire and love.

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Maya told me I must write about it, if only for the cathartic aspect of doing the deed and, when it was done, she reasoned, I could decide whether to publish it or not. As I write this, that conclusion is still quite up in the air for me; you, the reader, now know better than I do what my final decision to share or not to share turned out to be. To say the storyline is agonizingly close to home for me would be a major, major understatement. Having shared my life with my Victor for 50 years next November, the difference for us was that neither of us wanted to make our union official despite the acceptance and legalization of same-sex marriage, both feeling as Mitchell does that marriage is just a piece of paper that tells our greedy government and equally greedy vendors of goods who we are and gives them the freedom to know how to tax and to market to us.

Calandra, Denis

I remember, at a very young age, my mother half-joking to me that she knew I would be a lifelong rebel because I was only attracted to black girls and white boys—and she was right. Although his dialogue is quick and hilariously clever, his play at first appeared to me to be a modern amalgam of Neil Simon crossed with Mart Crowley—that is until things suddenly turned serious.

Martin cradle-robbed new love interest Trip Jose Fernando the reasons he does not believe in gay marriage. It is simply the performance of a lifetime from an actor who, despite my once bashing him quite ruthlessly in a review at this same theatre, has given us a plethora of brilliant performances over the ensuing years. This always made the idea of us being married rather a moot point even if we were both philosophically opposed to the idea for many, many years—especially since I have been involved in my own whirlwind life-changing May-December love affair with someone 42 years my junior for as long as Daniel and Mitchell have been together.

For us. As I battled my own fifth bout with the dreaded Big C and one subsequent false alarm, I knew it was time.

Despite my love for Hugh, who by the way helps me immensely in my daily quest to care for and keep Victor at home for as long as possible, I knew the idea of marriage was no longer governed by our political and religious rebellions but had to be about our commitment to one another. For me, it was about making decisions about his care and for him, it was essential to be sure he was covered if anything took me away from continuing to hang on for dear life as this risky planet revolves around the sun at breakneck speed.

CliffsNotes on Miller's The Crucible

Instead of a massive line of synchronized tapdancing chorusgirls in the original production, for instance, at the Lex there are four—yet they dance with a spirit and energy that could conjure an army. With a total of seven ensemble members cast to play all the various assorted supporting roles throughout the show, something that makes them often have to leave the stage from behind and race around the Lex to quickly reenter from the lobby in a completely new costume, what has been accomplished here is simply amazing.

Not much is lost or compromised. Shepperd and Andrew Diego. The ensemble, the quartet of chorines mentioned above and three guys willing to occasionally double as chorines, is gamely on-the-money throughout. Diego is hysterical as the constantly posing Carmen, particularly in one overdramatic exit which lasts forever and ends with only his arm and hand visible as he scratches his nails down the wall leading offstage.

Welshans is a delight as Ulla, though hardly traditionally cast since the original, Tony winner Cady Huffman, was about six-foot with breasts the size of Stockholm. Still, Welshans manages to make her lack of stature work beautifully, as perfectly empty-headed and English-challenged as Ulla needs to be.

The towering Shepperd as Roger, from his first appearance in costumer-goddess E. The only real conspicuous downside of all this is the casting of the two terminally goyish leading performers. This does not mean either of these performers is anything but a potentially dynamic musical theatre performer, only that both are badly miscast. Valentin is incredibly slick playing a nerd, his face possessed of all the endearingly silly mobility of Joe E.

Brown as he defies his awkward physicality to impressively keep up as a dancer, but he is simply too young for the role and vocally not yet up for the task, although I suspect in about 15 years he could ace this role superbly. All eight of them. The set is the heart and soul of this production, but not without a troupe of eight performers willing and physically able to make it work.

Olympics gymnastic team. Bean-y humor, everyone cast must be able to perform pratfalls ala Buster Keaton from the second level of the crumbling manor house set or tumble backwards out of missing windows without a glitch. Yaegel T. A good friend commented after the show that this purposefully over-the-top inanity could do well in the future performed by community and dinner theatres.

I was unsure if the comment was meant seriously or with a touch of subtle sarcasm but either way, I do agree such venues could definitely use a break from Lovers and Other Strangers and life in Neil Simonland. One thing that has emerged clearly for me in my many moons circling around on this silly planet is the undeniable fact that all art is imitation.

However, there is one major source of innovation in this brilliantly mounted little diamond-in-the-rough of a play and that's the lyrical, gossamer writing of Lewis, vividly bringing to life the claustrophobic lifestyle of these usually close-mouthed inhabitants of presentday rural Oregon, a place where, as she mentions in her script, time touches this part of the world gently. And why the fourth grade specifically? Lewis has written the quintessential line to describe her own little gem of a play—especially the astoundingly sweet part.

It was August of when BBC aired a remarkably shocking radio play written the previous year by a basically unknown new badboy upstart named Joe Orton. The groundbreaking Entertaining Mr.

A Man for All Seasons

Still, having such an otherwise quintessential representation of the outrageous people and situations Joe Orton celebrated as he cleverly called out the societal and political corkscrewing we still endure a half-century later is indeed a treat, especially as The Ruffian on the Stair is brought to life by this trio of slickly harmonious actors, any of whom I suspect Joe Orton would have been thrilled to encounter by chance in the loo at Islington Station.

It was 25 years ago when Felder took to the intimate stage of the still sorely-missed Tiffany Theatre in West Hollywood to first bring his George Gershwin Alone to life, playing the great American composer as he told the story of his own life interspersed with details of how he created his ethereal music. Where the signature wonder came in then, and continues to come in to this day, is that Felder is not only a master storyteller and gifted actor but also a virtuoso pianist.

Since then, over the past quarter-century he has toured in eight subsequent solo creations, playing and playing Fryderyc Chopin, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and even one surprising departure as Abraham Lincoln, in some 6, performances in more than a dozen countries. Of course, there would have been no Gershwin if it had not been for the impressionistic musical innovations pioneered by Debussy, whom Felder in his traditional post-show question and answer session on opening night identified as the father of jazz—something he then clarified by returning to his Steinway to play interludes that indeed recalled the later work of Gershwin, not to mention Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, and many others who owe the man an enormous debt of gratitude.

Felder recalls sharing his blossoming devotion for Debussy with his ailing mother, a bond that solidified a difficult relationship since she was to spend her years from when he was age 7 until she died when he was 13 basically in bed and usually in great pain. Along the way he interweaves memories of his relationship with and early loss of his mother, one aspect of which, as I thanked him profusely for mentioning after his show, kindled in me an answer to a lingering doubt I've had for several years about my relationship with my own mother, who passed away 54 years ago when I was also still a teen.

When art can put parts of a difficult and complicated puzzle back together again so suddenly, it thrills me to again realize how gently art is able to heal us so completely. Was it murder? Was it suicide? Clearly, it was a most puzzling whodunit perhaps only that famous make-believe resident of B Baker Street a century earlier could possibly unravel—and indeed, the actual cause is still listed as unsolved.

Professor Raymond Williams on 'The Caucasian Chalk Circle'

Fast forward 15 years and, thanks to the adventurous artistic spirit of Shakman, the mysterious circumstances surrounding the poor Mr. The result is the astounding debut of Mysterious Circumstances, truly a feather in the cap of the Geffen and honoring the entire oft-maligned creative innovation originating in the Los Angeles theatrical community. Brilliantly directed by Shakman with invaluable help from set designer Brett J.

Banakis and projection designers Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Joining Ramiz Monsef as Dr. Donors have never before been acknowledged in any of my reviews but simply, without the precision hydraulics and lavish production amenities afforded this production, including E.

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And without a doubt, the advent of Matt Shakman as artistic director was just what was needed to elevate the Geffen Playhouse from where it had descended, into a safety and conservatism that was slowly making it less dynamic than it had always been in the past. The U. Yet it is Brownstein as her gentle and long-suffering father, who in life would become the only Frank family survivor of the Holocaust, and Mary Gordon Murray in the dual roles of Mrs.

This was especially apparent on opening night when most of the audience was seated seven or eight rows from the front of the house.

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In a more intimate space, there is no doubt Anne would be infinitely more effective. Appearing in London in Hello, Dolly! Soon, however, the West End was abuzz with talk about a shocking newcomer transferred to the Criterion Theatre after playing and bombing bigtime in several continuously rewritten provincial productions.

At the encouragement and mentorship of his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who had given his then-rough-around-the-edges workingclass RADA classmate his first typewriter in and encouraged him to put his outrageously crude sense of humor into essays and, eventually, playwrighting, Orton took on the conservatism of s British society with a vengeance. As one Mr.