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Summer Love

Chet's Summer Vacation is the Most Unlikely Romance of the Season



Chet’s Summer Vacation is a hot, surreal new play that explores the depths of adolescent transformation and sexual introspection when a young man named Chet moves up to the attic of his mother’s house in the heat of the Houston summer only to find release in the irresistible overtures of his new air-conditioning unit.

 


State of Play: Theatre Listings 7.16-7.23


Compiled by Michael Martin

A lively pair of musicals and the blackest of black comedies open soon. Plus Halley's Comet continues her ride and Earnest stays important. For a full listing of this week's theatrical offerings, click on through.


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

The Tender Trap



An easily abused theatrical device – having an actor or actors perform in silence during the pre-show – is enjoying resurgence. If you want to give it a try, let me recommend casting Jen Pagan. In Christopher Bentivegna’s staging of Rudy San Miguel’s new Human Resources, Pagan logs at least 15 minutes at her desk on Playhouse NOLA’s postage-stamp stage while the audience assembles (no lobby) before the play proper begins: signing and filing documents, making marginal notes, brewing coffee.


The Garden of Good Not Evil

Southern Rep’s Suddenly Last Summer



The fascinating aspect of Southern Rep’s Suddenly Last Summer is how much director Aimee Hayes and her expert cast have warmed up one of Tennessee Williams’ most luridly Gothic melodramas. Unlike their superb staging of A Streetcar Named Desire a few seasons ago (I missed the recent Night of the Iguana), which was thoroughly traditional in its interpretation of every element (excepting Stanley Kowalski), Last Summer is a genuine and generally successful, rethinking of one of Williams' good but not great works. The tone is closer to The Glass Menagerie than to, say, 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.


Rocking the Cradle: Cripple Creek Announces Free Shows & Initiative


Cripple Creek Theatre Company just announced their 2015 season. For the next eight months, the organization will be looking to the the left with a community engagement and performance series, The Civilian Theatre Project. The Civilian Theatre Project. Cripple Creek will be putting their money where their mouths are; the series will all be free.


Painkiller

Goat in the Road's Numb Opens



Friday night saw the opening of Goat in the Road Production’s (GRP) long-awaited Numb, an original, theatrical exploration of the history of anaesthesiology. The piece is a collaboration of the artistic minds of GRP, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, and the Cachet Arts and Culture Program.  The production takes place at the aptly-named Ether Dome along St. Claude Ave.


State of Play 11.07-11.18


Compiled by Michael Martin

This week's listings offers the last update before the performance explosion that is Fringe Fest, November 19-23.However, several productions are still running, and even more are firing up early to hit their pace when the festival begins. SoLa is also seeing an early start to the holiday season with a couple classics.


Parental Concerns

Theatre Review: Orphans



Damned if I know whether Frederick Mead is a genius or the luckiest director in town. 

I winced when casting was announced for Jonathan Mares’ production of Lyle Kessler’s Orphans. The oft-produced, award-winning drama (three showy roles, simple unit set) is about grown orphan brothers, practically feral: the older Treat (Martin Bradford), a violent control freak who makes their lousy living as a petty thief; the younger Phillip (David Williams), submissive and so childlike as to seem mentally challenged.


NOLA Project Ratched Up

Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest



Does every man of the theatre yearn to be the bad boy? I can summon up several major productions that pivoted on the lead actor’s ability to project physical or sexual menace. Every one failed in the crunch. The profound desire to be liked, typical of most actors, works against being perceived as a bastard, however juicy such roles appear. By nature, the conundrum often appears when One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is staged.


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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

Published Daily