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Theatre Review: The Rocky Horror Show at the AllWays Lounge



The highest compliment New Yorker theatre critic John Lahr ever delivers from his arsenal of accolades is to proclaim that a performer or a production “corrupts us with pleasure.” For 90% of its running time, the AllWays Lounge revival of The Rocky Horror Show had me weaker with ecstasy than anything since the opening scenes of Tulane Summer Lyric’s A Chorus Line


State of Play: NOLA Theatre 10.13-10.21


Compiled by Micahel Martin

It's a song and dance week in theatre. Five new shows open this week, four of them are musicals. The innovative Broomstick continues its run and the NOLA Project's grunge inspired Shiner continues to draw crowds. For somehting, a little lighter, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is at AllWays Lounge. Full listings follow.


Theatre Review: Broomstick


By Michael Martin

How do you make a hit? Give your audience something familiar, yes, but with enough of a spin to make them feel that leaving the house, finding a sitter and a place to park, is worth all the trouble. Two shows now running excel at crowd-pleasing craftsmanship.


Second City Staged at Saenger

Chicago Reviewed



The Broadway in America touring production of Chicago is bringing one of the America's most popular stage shows to NOLA. The Jazz Age musicalization of a 1920s drama occupies a unique place in American culture, having become to we’re-smarter-than-all-those-chumps cynicism (the chumps being, I guess, everybody outside the theatre) what Annie is to teeth-grinding optimism. The work centers on incarcerated murderesses, the diva Velma Kelly and the ingénue Roxie Hart. The duo are rivals for sympathetic press coverage as well as the attentions of prison matron Mama Morton and high-powered shyster Billy Flynn. Chicago purports to explore the American obsession with fame at any price. Really it’s a celebration of being hipper than thou.


State of Play: NOLA Theatre 10.07.29-10.14


Compiled by Michael Martin

NOLA has no shortage of theatre this week. Productions inspired by Ghostbuster and Star Trek are opening. Chicago is coming to town. Southern Rep and the NOLA Project are continuing their runs of meatier fare. At the universities, two plays about Marines in very different contexts are paying. That's just the start. Click through for full listings.


Theatre Review: A Lie of the Mind


By Michael Martin

Becca Chapman is now giving one of the greatest performances I’ve seen in my theatergoing life.

Not to put too fine a point on it. I noodled about with different openings for my review of the Elm Theatre production of Sam Shepard’s gorgeous A Lie of the Mind: comments about the challenges of scaling the heights of a modern masterwork and whether failure to hit every peak invalidates the attempt; about the prevalence of machismo as a theme of so many of the serious dramas in New Orleans this year; even about the inventiveness of director Joseph Furnari’s on-the-diagonal staging, which does everything imaginable to make an unsuitable venue work for the play. Any of those would’ve amounted to burying the lead. 


State of Play: NOLA Theatre 9.29-10.05


Compiled by Michael Martin

Theatre season is continuing to build up force. This week several new plays open. A one woman show takes on travel, a second one woman show deals with solitude, the NOLA Project wastes no time opening their next production, and the popular Ricky Graham rolls out his latest. Theatre fans will also have the opportunity to catch a few pieces before they close. COmplete listings follow.


Parsing the Veil

Theatre Review: Thin Walls



Here’s an insider’s tip for adventurous theatergoers: If Richard Mayer is listed in the cast, call for reservations. By day, a cheerful egalitarian booking shows for the Shadowbox Theatre (a venue that grows more valuable by the month), Mayer’s limited time onstage makes him extremely choosy about roles. Every show he’s done since his award winner, Red Light Winter, has been unusual thematically or structurally or both.


Freedom Summer Reviewed


The American Theatre Project (with Dillard University and the Ashé Center) production of Freedom Summer opens with an arresting image: Most of the cast, backs bent low, facing away from us mime their way across the stage in two lines, sharecroppers picking cotton. Silmultaneously, a good musician billed only as Alex plays blues guitar. It’s a bit under-rehearsed (and most of the actors are plainly untrained in movement) but the ragged edges enhance its simple power, at once engaging and moving.


Pre-Script-ion for Problems

Theatre Review: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike



If I don’t spend much time on Le Petit’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, forgive me. I’m weary of writing bad play/good production reviews. And this new Christopher Durang “comedy” is beyond bad, it’s atrocious. Bothering to provide a plot summary is an insult to the word “plot.” 


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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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