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The Sunday Critic

Marie Antoinette: Let Them Eat Revisionism



With Marie Antoinette, the NOLA Project twerks across the line separating hip from hipper-than-thou…then, thanks to the subtlety of its director and leading lady, pivots back to credibility again.


The Sunday Critic

Flowers in the Attic Reviewed



Do you know someone suffering an idée fixe? Someone staring, who returns obsessively, in a low drone of helpless servility, to a single topic, usually sexual in nature? If that someone was fixated on adolescent sibling incest, with hefty helpings of related fetishes – idealized dead fathers, libidinous unreliable mothers, children as pretty dolls, Biblical invocations of damnation, and of course sadomasochism – she or he could have written Flowers in the Attic.


State of Play: 8.13-8.19


Compiled by Michael Martin

NOLA theatre is almost as hot as the mercury this week. Four new productions are opening including the highly anticipated Flowers in the Attic. Holdovers usch as the much ballyhooed Book of Liz and The Cradle will Rock are continuing their runs. Click on through for full listings.


The Sunday Critic

Passion Playacting at Kingdom of Earth



I’d like to pay the Tennessee Williams Theatre Company’s premiere, Kingdom of Earth, the compliment of extended consideration. Play and production both are unforgettable in odd and contradictory ways.


Incarnate Reviewed


By Michael Martin

Although I didn’t cover the Tulane Shakespeare Festival’s Incarnate before its brief run ended, I don’t want to let it pass without comment. This second collaboration between the festival and the performance art collective Compleat Stage was far and away the loveliest pastiche – whoever coined the phrase “devised theatre” should be weighted down with thesauri and tossed into a river – which I’ve seen in town. I hope it returns next season.


The Sunday Critic

FEEEELings: Once More With Dr Horrible Reviewed



Nothing is more pleasing to review than a show that changes my mind. So far my response to on-script ‘concert readings’ of pop-culture material, whether parodied or presented straight, has been a big ole “meh.” Along comes Four Sweater Vests with a double bill of material borrowed from adored television & film writer/producer Joss Whedon – most of the award-winning web series Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, followed by an abridged version of his famous musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Once More With Feeling” – to make an irresistible argument that, for some tribute shows, concert readings are not just adequate but preferred. Full production of either of these charmers would only invite unpleasant comparisons to the big-budget originals and, given the lessened rehearsal commitment, the format allows high-octane talent to say yes.


State of Play: Theatre Listings 7.01-7.15


Compiled by Michael Martin

Save for the fifth anniversary of Debauchery, Pat Bourgeois’ much-loved monthly soap opera parody, July is filled with all-new productions. The Princess and the Pea and Pinochio will entertain audiences of all ages. Shakespeare is well represented Uptown and a "sidewalk sale" at the Old marquer celebrates smaller works. Click through for complete listings.


The Sunday Critic

All the Way Home: 
The Color Purple at ABCT



I doubt there’s another show on a New Orleans stage that better proves the primacy of the performer over the performed than The Color Purple, now in its closing weekend at the Anthony Bean Community Theater. Almost none of the songs (by the non-legendary team of Brenda Russell, Alice Willis, and Stephen Bray) rise above rudimentary. The beyond-complicated script is a hot mess, adapted (more from the beloved Spielberg film than from Alice Walker’s novel) by Marsha Norman, who must have set herself the task of offering a Cook’s tour through every trope of African-American theatre she could think of. There are scenes on the cotton fields, in the gospel church, at the juke joint, in Africa… everywhere but Harlem, I think. 


Sunday Critic: The Miracle Worker


By Michael Martin

The Sunday Critic spends so much time in over his head in storefronts, parsing new work and non-traditional stagings that it’s easy to forget, or under-rate, the satisfactions to be had from the traditional American well-made play. William Gibson’s evergreen The Miracle Worker is enjoying a near-perfect revival at the Bayou Playhouse under the loving guidance of Bayou artistic director Perry Martin, who began his career with a production of the classic showdown between teacher Annie Sullivan and blind-and-deaf “wild child” Helen Keller almost three decades ago. With a couple of audience-demand performances added to this closing weekend, you can just make it to Lockport if you jump in the car.


The Sunday Critic

Lesson Found: Generation INK's Strays Reviewed



Kate Bailey’s well-crafted new barroom drama, Strays, is a tricky piece of business, both for its actors and its audience. To describe it reductively, let’s call it The Big Chill meets Betrayal for the millennial generation. A tight group of college friends, united especially by the mysterious death of Victor, one of their own, reveal what happened to fray their ideals and the bonds that held them together in scenes that unfold in reverse chronological order. The work begins on a night when only two of the gang show up at their hang-out bar for the annual drinkathon in Victor’s honor and ends, four scenes later and four years earlier, on the night of his death.


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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt


B. E. Mintz


Stephen Babcock

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