Ahhhh, the 1980s. Who among us who lived through them could ever imagine the fond nostalgia we as a culture would one day have for big hair, vapid pop and rock music, the combination of lace and denim, and the pretense that everything is just peachy?
The concept behind “Just Too Big!” the magnificent new show at Saugatuck Center for the Arts is simple enough: it’s a collection of musical numbers from Broadway shows that are too big to produce on the Mason Street Warehouse stage.
“SpongeBob,” Barn Theatre producer Brendan Ragotzy chanted from his curtain speech at the start of every show this season to the refrain at his behest from the audience, “is for everyone!”
It’s a story dancers live over and over again: They fall in love with dance at a young age (through the obligatory three-year-old ballet class everyone takes, of course) and train throughout their entire childhood, only to part ways with their passion to choose a profession.
The trailer for The Vagrancy’s 2016 production of Macbeth presents three figures — lovely but feral, they are more than women; they are witches, restored through expert lighting, fine sound design, and powerful choreography to their rightful place, which is in our nightmares.
In “Signs and Symbols,” Vladimir Nabokov wrote of Aunt Rosa, “a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growths — until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.”
Is there a place in the post #metoo cultural moment for a workplace comedy in which the narrative builds around a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” of a boss who runs roughshod over his female employees, inspiring both imagined and real revenge fantasies that involve poisoning, shooting, and stringing him up?
Live theater is back, and at Mason Street Warehouse/Saugatuck Center for the Arts, it’s outside at the lakeshore, and everything we could hope for.
Last year, the arts world spent most of the summer trying to figure out what to do next. In 2021, a majority of organizations are managing to make something work, whether it’s being done safely in-person or virtually, for now.
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