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Defender Picks


State of Play: Theatre Listings 3.17-4.02

Compiled by Michael Martin

The spring theatre season is nearing its peak. Drama lovers will have lots of Tennessee Williams to check out in the weeks ahead. Plus, a couple of Broadway road shows are coming to town. Throw in some labor rights, a little cabaret, and a couple classics and you have some busy nights ahead.

The Sunday Critic

Theatre Reviews: Monsters, Stinky Cheese, & Sex Please

The Sunday Critic, finding his Sundays too restful, keeps falling behind in coverage of shows he found interesting. Short reviews of three shows I’ve seen lately (including one that has closed, simply for the acknowledgment) follow, in hopes of being ready to rise to the spring flood of shows soon to hit.

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.

State of Play: Theatre Listings, 3.2-3.16

Compiled by Michael Martin

Theatre season is heating up. The next couple of weeks feature no less than 12 different new works opening. Anthony Bean Community Theater is taking on Shakespeare for the the first time. Cabaret abounds across town. A D&D inspired play continues its run. For full theatre listings, click on through.

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.

Theatre Review: Montana: The Shakespearean Scarface, Drowning in Blue

After a long stretch of consolidation and contraction, our theatre scene began showing badly needed growth near the end of 2014. New voices and fresh approaches. One of the most popular: Shakespearean stage adaptations of mass culture properties, like Star Wars and The Big Lebowski. These pre-sold parodies, the storefront theatre equivalent of Hollywood sequelitis – “You loved the film, remember? Come enjoy it again in iambic pentameter!” – use Bardian tropes in much the same way that drag and musicalization have been used for years. They attempt to claim as one’s own some chunk of shared nostalgia, albeit ‘straighter’ and, frankly, more lazily. It’s less work to rewrite dialogue into da-DUM da-DUM rhythm, replacing the ‘yous’ with ‘thous’, than it is to cross-dress the cast or compose songs.

Stevens, Buress, Primus, & Primal Scream Announce NOLA Dates

A quartet of new shows were announced today. Sufjan Stevens is coming to the Saenger. Primus and Primal Scream are both coming to the Civic. And, Hannibal Buress will be back in town. All tickets go on sale on January 30.

Shadow of Life in a Box

Your Lithopedion Ushers In New Era at Old Marquer

Your Lithopedion, a new play by locally-based playwright Justin Maxwell, opened Thursday (1.15) night at the recently renamed Old Marquer Theatre (formerly the Shadowbox). The production was the work of the venue’s new, in-house company Lux et Umbra and featured the direction of company member Bonnie Gabel.

State of Play: 1.12-2.02

Compiled by Michael Martin

Boom! Ten new shows open the weekend of the 16th, as everybody squeezes in a run before Mardi Gras takes over. Defying the Carnival calendar, NOLA Project opens its big spring comedy at the end of January and runs it into March, skipping only the big parade weekend.

State of Play: 1.01-1.12

Compiled by Michael Martin

The holiday break slowed down theatre a bit, but with 2015 dawning, the footlights are getting fired up again. Southern Rep and the Old Marquer (formerly The Shadowbox) are rolling out a pair of premiers. New installations of Verbatim Verboten and Debauchery are also on the docket. Details follow.

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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


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

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